A new edition of the popular membership scheme providing a directory of free motorhome-friendly stopovers in the UK and Ireland has been published, this year in a new format. Brit Stops is a membership scheme providing a directory of motorhome-friendly stopovers in the UK and Ireland. Now in its 7th annual edition, the 2017 guide runs to 464 pages and lists over 750 locations.
The scheme is simple: hundreds of country pubs, farm shops, vineyards, breweries, craft / antiques centres, etc. offer an invitation to members of Brit Stops to stay overnight in your motorhome or campervan (caravans and tents are not permitted to use the scheme) in a safe environment - free of charge! The format will be familiar to anyone who uses France Passion, in that all stopovers are free of charge for one night. The hosts provide the service in the hope that members staying overnight will patronise their business. As with France Passion there is no obligation to do so, but who could resist a browse around a farm shop or a pint in a country pub!
The aims are twofold, to provide motorhome and campervan tourists a diverse network of enjoyable, safe, places to stop overnight, and to support the best of British local business and producers.
A large proportion of the stopovers are pubs but there is a range of other locations including organic producers, farm shops, vineyards, even motorhome and accessory dealers.
The guide is a professional publication and a lot of effort has gone into making it easy to use. The UK is divided in 8 areas, each section starting with a clear map showing the approximate location of each of the stopovers. Stopovers are listed two to a page, with clear symbols indicating the number of places, whether large motorhomes are accepted, any facilities available such as water or waste disposal, etc. There is a paragraph of information about the hosts, and clear directions in English, French and German.
This year, as usual there are lots of new hosts (over 160 - a 25% increase on 2016), and every entry has been updated (there are over 550 amendments in total). There's a new. wider format this year, this means that there are two entries on each page or four to the view, which should help when choosing where to go in the immediate area. The double page maps also now cover a greater area, helping with journey planning. This year too, there's a "lay flat" spine, so the book will stay open more easily, making it much easier to use than previous editions.
Despite having even more hosts to choose from and these other improvements, the price is still £27.50, the same as it has been since 2015.
Each of the hosts is contacted for the new edition, to ensure that the guide remains as up to date as possible. Members benefit from an email update service throughout the year, providing notification of any changes to hosts' details and information about new hosts joining the scheme and any hosts that may close during the year.
Purchasing the guide gives motorhome users access to all of the listed stopovers until the end of February the following year, when a new edition is published. A windscreen sticker is included to aid hosts in recognising members. Members are asked to abide by a code of conduct, such as checking in with the hosts on arrival and letting them know when leaving, not lighting fires or running generators, etc, all common sense and courtesy really.
The stopovers will, in general, just provide a place to park overnight, facilities associated with a campsite will not usually be available. Any additional services are marked in the guide, the only one that may incur a cost being an electric hookup, if available.
Brit Stops is the brainchild of Steve and Mandy Clark, the effort and care which they put into the guide is very evident, and the success of the scheme is reflected in the growth in the number of hosts listed each year.
With their presence at the majority of the UK's outdoor motorhome shows (look out for Steve's Union Jack T shirt!) membership is increasing rapidly, strong sales of the guide in Europe mean that visiting motorhomers also have the opportunity to sample the best that Britain has to offer.
We think that Brit Stops is an excellent initiative, giving motorhome users an alternative to campsites, and local businesses an opportunity to attract additional visitors and revenue. At just £27.50 for the year - it's an absolute bargain!
For more information about Brit Stops visit the website www.britstops.com
Paperback - 464 pages
Authors: Steve and Mandy Clark
Published by: On the Road Books Ltd
ISBN 978 0 9928147 3 1
Order this book direct from the website at £27.50 plus £3.50 P&P.