Over the Summer, one event that grabbed everyone’s attention was Beach Dubbin, held on the Southsea Common. One company that was there was Breeze Campers. Having just launched their campervan hire range in March, they were keen to show Southsea what the company is all about and the range of campers they have to hire out.
Living on the South Coast allows us to explore such a huge stretch of coast that we are lucky to have on our doorstep. When you think how quickly you can be at places like the New Forest in 45 minutes and Dorset in an hour, the idea of popping off for a wknd or a few days is so appealing. To hear that we have a local camper hire company close by that we can tap into made me want to find out more. Breeze Campers is based in Havant and easy to get to from Southsea and Portsmouth.
Going To Pick Up The Camper
Meeting Shafi, we talked about all that Breeze Campers has to offer. I was lucky enough this last wknd to take a brand new California Ocean away to Dorset as a PR hire, to try out the experience of hiring and enjoying a camper-style holiday.
We picked up our brand-new campervan on Friday afternoon. Shafi told us that sometimes people work on a Friday and they have just started a collection time on a Saturday morning until 12 p.m. so people can pick up their vehicles at their best convenience. Shafi showed my hubby all the gadgets and how to move things around like turn the Captain chairs etc. You need to allow plenty of time for this if you haven’t hired one of these campers before. I would say allow a good hour for this process.
Going On An Adventure
Heading off to our campsite, we enjoyed the first evening playing around with all the gadgets! Being so new means everything is designed so well and has all you need to enjoy the perfect break. When we picked up our 73 plate (that still had plastic on the utensils as never been used), we were told we didn’t need to pack anything except bedding and towels. All hires have all crockery and utensils already in place in the mini kitchen that’s there.
On our first evening, we opened the roof bed and let our son enjoy the fun of being on a top bunk that is actually a double bed! You can also unzip the front part of the tent to see panoramic views which is amazing when you have parked somewhere with fantastic scenery. We loved how there is so much room in the California Ocean and how easy it is to move the van around from seating to bed in a few minutes.
The next morning we woke up to a lovely warm camper as the heating had been popping on throughout the night which meant that we weren’t freezing, dreading to escape the covers of our warm beds.
Checking Out Poole
After a morning chilling, we headed off to Poole to check out the town and explore the indies that are there. Following Indieep.com and seeing the cool indies that are recommended on there, we went on a trail to find the coolest shops and cafes in Poole. The great thing about Indieep is that you don’t know how much you appreciate recommendations of places to eat and shop until you are in that town or place and suddenly want to know where the best independent coffee shop is.
First stop, we called at Riptide Coffee which has a relaxed vibe with great coffee and food. We then walked around the front of the quay and explored the array of pubs on the front including the Poole Arms which was covered in Victorian green tiles.
Venturing down one end of the high street to the other, we found the stretch of indies that have been in the news recently. Poole council has funded a scheme to support local independent shop owners by giving subsidised rents and promoting this stretch of independents that reside there. We loved visiting the plant shop called ‘Wild Roots Greenery’. Full of green-fingered love from the quirky dresser storing all kinds of green treasure behind the counter to the huge range of plants small and large. My favourite thing in here was the range of candles that smelt gorgeous and the large plants to buy!
Because the California Ocean is a reasonable size it was easy to park, so we headed back to the camper to go visit the Sandbanks! A 12-minute drive had us looking at spectacular views with palm trees and a great place to stop and take in the scenery.
Heading To Durdle Door
On Sunday, we decided to go to Durdle Door and explore Dorset’s famous landmark. We travelled 30 minutes from our campsite to get there. Landing in the car park, we didn’t expect such incredible views but loved being greeted by pure natural beauty. We opened up the campervan, got the chairs out of the boot lid and had a cup of tea. It is so cool that you can stop and make yourself a brew. It was nice to have a break before the legendary steps down to the beach.
The whole 143 steps down was worth it, seeing the lovely cove with the bright blue sea. Thinking of how old the rocks are there, made me think of how many people have been here to see this view! It’s quite a thing to imagine these rocks have stood here for 140 million years but it is true. As the sun was shining and it was a warm day, it felt quite magical being down at the cove. The limestone arch that stands proudly and enhances the breathtaking backdrop is something you must see when in Dorset. After looking for fossils and scouring the beach for interesting pebbles, we wandered back and stopped at the catering vans at the top to buy an ice cream. What I would say if visiting here for the first time is to wear very sensible shoes as the path down has stones that are very slippery. Also, we arrived at about 12.30 pm and so much food had sold out so maybe take a picnic so you aren’t too disappointed!
After such a wonderful trip to one of the most photographed sites in the UK, we went to a pub which was about a 15-minute drive away on the way back called ‘The Castle Inn’. We had a really nice Sunday Lunch (Highly Recommended), although the menu was quite extensive and had many things to eat on there, we chose the traditional grub, I do love a good Sunday roast. Venturing back to our campsite late afternoon, my son went climbing and then we tucked in for a night of playing cards and watching a film on the iPad we had taken.
In the morning, we packed up and set off home to unpack all our things. We dropped the campervan off at Havant and handed over the keys. I loved how we hired the VW in a month where we got a full tank of fuel for FREE for our trip. Look out for special offers to save money on your hire and your trip.
What We Loved About The Camper
Having never stayed in a campervan before, we loved the gadgets and how much room was actually inside, especially when we elevated the roof tent as it gave lots of height inside the vehicle.
The fact there was a fridge and a cooker and lots of cupboard space meant it was easy to prepare food. We didn’t take a BBQ as the weather wasn’t too great on the Friday, but I can imagine how cool it is in the Summer, opening the doors and really enjoying the awning that is attached to the side of the campervan.
Having always camped before, but in a tent, we loved how we could just pack everything up, turn the chairs around and drive wherever we wanted to go.
Having more space with the electric elevating roof really was a fab feature that the whole family could enjoy. We sat up there on the Sunday evening, opening the zip to see the sunset and we thought it was a lot of fun.
I loved how reasonably priced it was to hire. Costing £140 a day for the California Ocean meant we had a great wknd for the price of £420 and if we had gone for the VW Surf which is practically the same vehicle without the awning, the pricing is lower at £90 a day. You can also hire for as many days as you wish so you aren’t tied into having the camper for a whole week if you only want a long wknd.
The tiny sink was a novelty but with a 30-litre tank, it meant even if my son had walked all the way to the toilet and forgot to take his toothbrush, he could still brush his teeth in the camper by lifting the worktop and opening up the tap to fresh water. I felt this came in really handy.
Even with all the gadgets and the big seat in the back, there was still a huge boot to store all our things and I loved that.
I would highly recommend Breeze Campers as they were friendly, the vehicle was top of the range and in very good condition and I felt the price was very reasonable.