Posted on

WHERE TO HIRE A CAMPERVAN

Red and white VW Camper van

Looking to make a proper road-trip of it? You’re going to need a campervan. Like Airbnb, a number of companies now offer campervan hire direct from owners, so you can rent a home-on-wheels no matter where you are in the country.

Camplify 

A platform for renting recreational vehicles, with a range of sizes and styles. Van owners are all personally verified by the team and RAC cover means you don’t need to worry about breaking down. Some owners will even deliver the van to your holiday destination.  

VW T25 campervan

Paul Camper 

Home to more than 1,000 private campers, you can take your pick on Paul Camper. Although the sharing website was born in Berlin, it’s spread to the UK and has a range of vans across the country. Handovers are in person so you can visit it and take it for a test drive before finalising the booking.  

Old fashioned VW camper at a lake at sunset

Quirky Campers 

Specialists in hiring out bespoke campervans, Quirky Campers rents out a range of beautifully designed motors so you can live out your #vanlife dreams, if only for a little while. The company prides itself on sustainable credentials so expect vans fitted out with masterfully reclaimed materials (see picture below from Quirky Campers), as well as carbon offsetting for your driving miles.  

Go Boony 

Boonies are a New Zealand term for beautiful, untouched places, so Go Boony is a nod to where the founders of Go Boony met – on a campervan trip, naturally. They claim to have the largest fleet in the UK, with pet and bike friendly options easy to find.  

Quincy Campervan (c) Sam Howard, Quirky Campers

Suitably inspired to hit the road? Find perfect pitstops and idyllic farm shops at which to shop and stock up, in The Extra Mile guidebook – friend of campervan gloveboxes everywhere – or by using the online Venue Finder

Posted on

6 UNIQUE FERRY TRIPS TO TAKE IN THE UK

Image of a ferry between islands

Did you know that around 4,400 islands make up the British Isles, although only around 210 are inhabited. UK ferry journeys can offer a fresh perspective on the coastline. To add a voyage to your overland journey, find inspiration with this collection of six of the country’s most unique crossings.  

Scrabster to Stromness, Orkney 

The wonderfully named Scrabster, on Scotland’s North coast, is a jumping off point for a short-ish (90 minute) hop to the Orkney archipelago. It takes passengers past the Old Man of Hoy, a famed 137m high sea stack off the coast.  The archaeological wonders on Stromness (below) are something else. 

Incredible archaeology in Stromness, Orkney.

Glenelg to Kylerhea, Skye  

The original crossing point between Skye (pictured below) and the mainland, a small ferry crosses this narrow channel in season. It’s an unusual turntable design, so the ferry pulls up alongside the slipway and the crew turn the deck to embark cars and passengers. Sure, you can drive over the bridge to get to Skye these days, but if you do you’ll miss the sea eagles, otters and seals that frequent the waters. Grab a coffee at the Shore Station café to stop and enjoy the view.  

Small boat passing Skye, Scotland

Kingswear to Dartmouth 

Crossing the water saves drivers a lengthy detour round the river Dart and gives a lovely view of the picturesque harbour town, including the castle and Royal Naval College; keep eyes peeled for helicopters as well as wildlife. Two boats make the crossing, straightforwardly named Lower Ferry or Higher Ferry. 

Kingswear to Dartmouth Ferry, Devon

Lymington to Yarmouth, Isle of Wight 

The shortest route across the Solent, this 40-minute journey spirits you from the New Forest to the tranquil Isle of Wight, passing Hurst Castle on the way. On the other side of the water you’ll see its counterpart, Yarmouth Castle, which was built by Henry VIII as a gun platform to defend the waterway.  

Feock to Philleigh, Cornwall 

Another time and mile saver, this crossing saves drivers the 27-mile alternative route round the Truro River. The King Harry Ferry (pictured below) has been transporting passengers to the Roseland peninsula since 1888, and today’s incarnation offers calming views through the glass side, and a view onto the chains guiding the boat across the water.  Find out more about the route at Fal River Ferries

 

King Harry Ferry, Cornwall, (c) https://www.falriver.co.uk

Penzance to St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly   

Affectionately known as the Vomit Comet, thanks to the rough ride it can offer in high seas, the Scillonian III takes passengers on a nearly three-hour journey to the UK’s southernmost islands. Hope that the weather is fine so that you can enjoy the beautiful views of Cornwall’s coast as it glides past. Explore timetables for your next adventure with Isles of Scilly Travel

Scillonian Ferry (c) iselesofscilly-travel.co.uk

Inspired to take a road trip, boat trip or best-of-both-worlds trip? When travelling across the UK to actual ports or simply metaphorical ports of call, don’t forget to check that The Extra Mile is in your glovebox (with the Venue Finder on home-screen speed-dial) to ensure your journey eats are as memorable as the trip itself. Get your copy here

Posted on

FAVOURITE UK WATERFALLS

Autumnal waterfall image

As a rainy, lumpy country, there is no shortage of waterfalls in the UK. After a hot, dry summer where most dwindled to trickles, one benefit of the seasonal turn to drizzle is that the waterfalls are back in full display. Waterfalls also emit negative ions which are said to be good for your health, helping with mood, sleep, metabolism and our immune systems. For a truly restorative stop, work one of these into your journey. 

Waterfall Country: The Brecon Beacons National Park

Though famous and increasingly popular, it would be churlish not to mention the Brecon Beacon’s famous waterfalls at the southwestern corner of the national park. The Four Falls Trail is a well-trodden route taking in several of the area’s finest. Wales’s answer to the rain forest, the area is as magical as it is fragile, so do make sure you stick to the paths and take litter home (which we hope would be a no brainer). Visit Waterfalls Country on the National Park website – the lovely falls pictured below are in Neath.

Neath Waterfall, Wales

Grey Mare’s Tail, Dumfries

Watch the water tumble 60m from Loch Skeen into the Moffat Valley. Consider a ranger-guided walk to learn more about the fossils, rare upland plants, ring ouzels and vendace found here. The drive from the M74 to the reserve along the A708 is said to be one of Scotland’s most scenic as well. Find out more with the National Trust for Scotland 

Thornton Force, Yorkshire

A popular cascade on Yorkshire’s waterfall circuit, the water here falls over the edge of a limestone cliff to dramatic effect. It’s one of several falls on the Ingleton Waterfalls walk (so named for the nearest town) and is the most popular. If you want it to yourself, try timing your visit for a weekday. The Dales are home to more than 50 waterfalls, so if you’d rather find a lesser known one, try one on this list. Uncover the area courtesy of the My Yorkshire Dales website.

Aber Falls, Snowdonia, (c) Snowdonia.gov.wales

Aber Falls, Snowdonia

Just a short distance from the A55, Aber Falls (pictured above) is an impressive introduction to the Snowdonia National Park. It’s at the foothills of the Carneddau where the Afon Goch (Red River) descends into the Menai Straits. The 4.5km path is accessible to all and has picnic areas and open spaces for running off some steam. Explore Aber Falls online before planning your trip. Image (c) Snowdonia.gov.wales.

Hellgill Force, Cumbria

Although Aira Force is arguably Cumbria’s most famous (and there ought to be a lot of waterfalls in England’s watery lake district), Hellgill Force is an impressive slot-canyon fall at the start of the River Eden under the Crinkle Crags fell. It’s easy to reach from the B6259 and there’s a small parking area available at Aisgill Moor Cottages. Find out more about Aira and its neighbouring falls here at Visit Cumbria.   

North Glen Sannox, Arran

Beautifully clear waters slip over the granite stone here in a pretty series of waterfalls (pictured below). If your trip is taking you out to the islands of Scotland’s west coast, make this one of your stops. And if the islands aren’t on your itinerary, consider adding Arran, which at a 55-minute ferry ride from Ardrossan, is one of Scotland’s most accessible. Explore North Glen Sannox’s pools and falls.

North Glen Sannox, Arran

Water-break-its-neck, Powys

So memorably named we had to include this one in mid-Wales! At Water-break-its-neck, hills and rivers combine to create a selection of tall falls. It’s easy to reach through a forested path and is suitable for little legs as it’s only a kilometre there and back from the car park. Explore Water-break-its-neck (pictured below) and surrounds on this Country File recommended walk.

Water-break-its-neck Falls
Posted on

CATCH THE UK’S BEST AUTUMN COLOURS

Woman enjoying falling autumn leaves

Are you a leaf peeper?

Europe is beginning to catch on to the North American hobby of leaf peeping, a term used to describe trips dedicated to the seeking out of blazing autumnal colours. The Japanese call it momijigari which means maple viewing, more specifically, but the quest for colourful leaves is the same. Who hasn’t gaped in wonder at the golds and russet reds of the UK’s woodlands as the seasons change? What better reason for an autumnal exploration? Here are some of the UK’s best leaf peeping spots. 

An autumnal picture of Gibside, National Trust

Gibside, Tyne and Wear Designed for its stunning views and now a National Trust property, Gibside (pictured above), at the edge of the Derwent Valley near Gateshead, is heaven for leaf chasers with 720-acres of beckoning woodland. Download one of four walking routes through the landscaped parkland to maximise your stop. (Image (c) National Trust)

Wintour’s Leap, Gloucestershire

Enjoy the sylvan colours of the Forest of Dean blazing around the horse-shoe sweep of the river Wye from the unique vantage point of Wintour’s Leap, just to the north of Chepstow (pictured below). It’s also a popular climbing spot, if any adventurers have their ropes and harness in the boot. Visit Dean Wye has lots of great ideas for activities in and around the region. (Image (c) Visit Dean Wye.)

Wintour's Leap image (c) Visit Dean Wye https://www.visitdeanwye.co.uk/

Llanwrst, Wales
Is there a more iconic image of autumn in Wales than the
Tu Hwnt I’r Bont tea room (pictured below)? We don’t think so. Make this Virginia-creeper clad cottage part of your autumn road trip to see it in its full, fiery glory.

(Image (c) Tu Hwnt I’r Bont.)  

 
Tu Hwnt i’r Bont in Llanrwst

Glen Affric, Scotland

Sometimes touted as Scotland’s most beautiful glen (though it’s a hard-fought crown), Glen Affric’s woodland and moorland come alive in autumn as the leaves change colour. With a 10-mile circular walking circuit, prepare to enjoy them from every angle.

(Image (c) Visit Scotland.)

Stourhead, Wiltshire
Famous for its spectacular hues in autumn, the National Trust’s
Stourhead property is decadent in its autumn splendour (pictured below). Enjoy this quintessential view across the lake towards the Pantheon to see the colours in reflected glory.
(Image (c) National Trust)

Stourhead, image courtesy The National Trust

The Extra Mile glovebox guidebook brims with excellent eating choices, designed to take motorists just off the main roads and into the lovely communities and locally run foodie businesses hidden around each corner. This autumn, escape the monotony of the Services and the bland forecourt food at A road garages around the country. Use The Extra Mile book or online map to eat more memorably. To buy a copy for yourself, or as a gift for a favourite, frequent-travelling friend, visit our online shop today.

Posted on

TELL US YOUR TIPS

The Extra Mile from Glovebox Guides (ed. 3)

Avoid the Services: Nominate great cafés for the new guide

Research is underway for the 2023 edition of The Extra Mile – Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Services – every driver’s essential guide to good food on the move.  
 
Nominations are welcomed from (or for) independent cafés, cosy tea rooms, quirky pit-stops and welcoming farm shops – within a 15-minute drive of a motorway or main A-road junction – to feature in this useful glovebox guidebook and on its companion website. Is there anywhere we really shouldn’t miss?
 
Writer, Kerry O’Neill, said, “We’re keen to fill the upcoming fourth edition of this sell-out guide with some classic and new foodie destinations to help drivers avoid the monotony of motorway services. We’ll uncover the best farm shops, cafés, tea rooms and eateries we can find near motorway and main A-road junctions, many of which would love a helping hand following the challenges of recent years. The Extra Mile helps its readers find and support the small and independent food and drink businesses who are going the extra mile to keep us all fed and watered in local, low-food-mile style.” 

 
England, Scotland and Wales: the café hunt continues 

In early Sept 2022, Icelandic foodie and photographer Iris Thorsteinsdottir will set off to explore Scotland’s off-motorway and A-road wilds on a quest to find more venues to join The Extra Mile while author Kerry O’Neill continues her quest across Wales and England.  
 

Nominate yourself or a favourite venue 

To nominate a venue to join The Extra Mile – Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Services for the team to visit, go to Find a stop to see if it’s already part of the collection. If not, submit the information at Join the Guide. Nominations should be interesting and independent (or part of a small regional chain) with a strong locally-sourced food ethos. They must be within a short drive – 15 minutes maximum and the closer the better – of a motorway or main A-road junction in mainland England, Wales or Scotland. Most importantly, they should be friendly, foodie and fabulous!
 

Who can be nominated? 

  • Coffee shops and tea rooms 
  • Cafés and bistros (including those within gardens or visitor attractions) 
  • Farm shops, farm shop cafés, garden centre cafés 
  • Delis and bakeries 
  • Vegetarian and plant-based cafés 
  • Unusual take-aways, pre-order picnics/ veg box companies 
  • Ice-cream parlours 
  • Breweries, wineries or distilleries with sit-in food options 
  • Family-friendly and dog-friendly spots 
     

Buy a copy for yourself or for a gift

The Extra Mile – Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Services is the essential glovebox guidebook for anyone seeking interesting eats while exploring England, Scotland and Wales by car. It’s the ideal gift for drivers, food lovers and gloveboxes everywhere. The most recent edition (ed. 3, 2019, by Laura Collacott) sold out and was refreshed and reprinted for 2022 by Glovebox Guides. The new, fourth edition is being compiled now, with a deadline for inclusion of 30 Sep 2022. The book will be in good bookshops and online in 2023. For updates and an alert when the new edition is available to order, subscribe to our newsletter on the homepage. Buy the current edition now while stocks last.

—– ends —- 
 

Notes for editors 
For further press information and to discuss related content, photography, book giveaways and reader competitions, email Kerry at The Extra Mile Guide.

 
The Extra Mile guidebook 
The Extra Mile – Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Services is the essential glovebox guidebook to memorable food and drink experiences while on the move. It helps readers replace monotonous motorway food with the fresh, colourful and often locally sourced flavours of over 300 independent cafes, growers, makers and bakers, all within a 15-minute drive of a motorway or main A-road junction. Plan your journey, explore the alternative eateries and eat better when on the move, while supporting local producers. 
 

The Extra Mile website 
The Extra Mile site is an extension of the print guidebook with venue details and a ‘search by map’ function to direct hungry drivers to their chosen foodie venue. The site is updated regularly, with a curated collection of stop-offs, eateries and farm shops featuring in each new edition of the book. To submit a venue or request to join the collection, visit Join the Guide.
 

Glovebox Guides 
Glovebox Guides is an imprint of Printslinger Ltd, the independent publishing company run by renowned slow food lover, Alastair Sawday. Glovebox Guides will publish the fourth edition of The Extra Mile – Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Services in 2023 as the first in a series of new titles.  Buy direct from Glovebox Guides to ensure you get the refreshed 2022 reprint.
 

Kerry O’Neill, author 
Kerry O’Neill is a UK-based travel researcher and writer with an MSc in literary tourism. She has collaborated with key sustainable travel, food and wine brands including Secret Compass Expeditions, Sustrans, TravelLocal, Sawday’s Special Places to Stay, Sidetracked magazine, Avery’s Wine Merchants and FoodWorks South West. The Extra Mile is her first collaboration with Glovebox Guides.   

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Posted on

IT’S A HARD JOB, BUT…

Image of Farm Shop sign

Laura Collacott, writer of the first three editions of The Extra Mile, is back on the road in June 2022. She’ll be making a cameo appearance in the new edition of the book (due out in spring 2023), as she’s seeking out memorable new venues in the North East for the fourth edition of our essential glovebox guide to good food on the move. Laura found a moment to reveal the reality of life on the road. It’s a hard job, but somebody’s got to do it after all…

View of the North York Moors
Laura’s view over the North York Moors this week

“Ah, the joy of being a food writer. We know what you’re thinking. Meandering from café to farm shop, chatting idly to the good people behind them, languorously tucking in to gargantuan sandwiches, feasting on slabs of cake and scratching farm pigs behind the ear. Gently fattening.  

If only.  

In truth, finding the good cakes and best breakfasts involves a lot more legwork. It starts with poring over maps and trawling the internet for places that look promising, followed by long days on the road zipping from place to place and diverting to follow tip-offs from locals or the glimpse of a promising signboard. Many of the places we visit don’t make the cut for various reasons – too greasy, too bland, too unfriendly; simply not special enough.  

But for those that are – special enough – those that we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to a friend, we set to work. We speak to the owners to find out why they set it up, and their food ethos; to staff to find out how it runs and where the ingredients come from. We talk to customers to find out what they like best about the place and what their favourite dishes are. We explore the shelves and inspect the menu, tasting mouthfuls where we can and taking extensive notes. Then we’re off again, on the hunt for the next. 

Far from eating cream teas in every stop (we’d be the size of houses if we did), this is a life of hastily eaten pastries and scotch eggs on the hoof. A life of broken snatches of Radio Four shows and disgraceful crumb- and paper-strewn cars.  

Sometimes there are long, dispiriting stretches where nowhere fits the bill. But when you do stumble across a fantastic place, where the welcome is all wide smiles and the owners are foodies who can name the farmers who supply the eggs and salad leaves…it makes the empty miles melt away. 

And then there are the views. The sweeping, moorland vistas or emerald hilltops that you just can’t see from the motorway. The countryside traffic jams caused by a string of ducklings crossing the road and the little-known towns that surprise you with their vibrance. That’s when we’re sure it really is worth going the extra mile.”  

Order The Extra Mile book now

The updated third edition of The Extra Mile is being prepared for print now and will be back in the shops around mid to late July 2022. We’re updating everyone’s opening hours so that you don’t turn up for a slap up feed when a cafe is closed, and we’ve removed those places that are no longer open. Order from our Shop today and your book will arrive and may even still be hot – or at the very least a little bit lukewarm – off the actual press. If you order it elsewhere online, it will likely be people’s older stock of the 2019 edition so our top tip to ensure you get the 2022 reprint with up-to-date intel is, buy directly from us.

NEW edition coming in 2023

Laura and our other similarly discerning roving reporters are on the road in 2022, seeking out more great finds to feature in the fourth, spring 2023 edition of the book. Subscribe to our newsletter (scroll down the homepage to enter your email) and keep an eye on our social media channels for news of its release. Don’t forget to let us know if you discover any terrific eateries while on your travels this year. We’d love to feature their local characters and flavours in our new collection of independent cafes, pubs, restaurants, farm shops, ice-cream parlours and attractions across the land.