For many people, buying a campervan means freedom and when Mark Peacock bought his Wellhouse Leisure Ford campervan in April 2019, that’s exactly what he had in mind.
Spending time with his 12-year-old son, Alan, is top of his list and, living in Durham – a short drive from the North Pennines and the Lake District – the former RAF and Navy man is ideally placed to make the most of his surroundings.
“Family friends had an old Volkswagen T2 when I was younger, so I’ve been used to campervans, but when my circumstances changed a few years ago it was the perfect time for me to get one,” he said.
“My son lives in Suffolk, which is a five-and-a-half-hour drive, and I had a place down there that I didn’t really use, so I sold that and bought the campervan. It made sense rather than spending money on hotels, but mainly because I wanted us to get out and do more activities.
“It’s given us the opportunity to go wherever we want and do loads of things we would otherwise not have been able to do as easily, like fishing, walking, kayaking and cycling. It’s been absolutely brilliant.”
Like most people, Mark did a lot of research before buying his Wellhouse and he has a clear message for anyone going through the same process.
“The difference in quality between Wellhouse and the rest is like night and day. I would urge people to go and have a look at a few campervans before they have a look at a Wellhouse, just to see the difference for themselves.
“I looked at a few Volkswagens, but I was disappointed. I’d seen a few good reviews of Wellhouse and then, by complete coincidence, my local Ford dealer had a Wellhouse in their showroom. I went to look it and knew immediately that was the one for me.
“I use it as my daily vehicle so reliability is crucial. It’s been great and has never let me down.”
Everyone has a different reason for loving their campervan but for Mark, it gave him the opportunity attend his sister’s funeral when he otherwise might not have been able to.
“My sister passed away earlier this year and she lived up in the Shetlands. It was the height of COVID and the Scottish lockdowns and I wasn’t sure whether I would be allowed to attend the funeral. Because I had a campervan and wasn’t staying in any hotels, I was given special permission by the Highlands authorities to get the ferry across. For that alone, the campervan has been worth its weight in gold – it’s paid its price back a thousand times.”
With a girlfriend on the south coast of England, Mark knows a thing or two about traversing the country, but with wilderness on his doorstep he likes to stay local and get out a few times a month.
“I’ll meet my girlfriend in the Cotswolds and we’ll go walking around Moreton-in-Marsh. The campsite is right next to the village which is unusual and really handy.
“At home, I’ll head out as often as I can, often without a plan. I’ll get the Brit Stops book out and just stay somewhere I’ve never been before. It’s the type of freedom you can have when you buy a campervan.”
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