The traditional perception of caravanning is that it’s the domain of Mr and Mrs Boring, bumbling along on their annual getaway to the Keswick Pencil Museum. However that perception seems to be changing. The Caravan Club currently has 1.7 million members and each year it sees a 40% rise in advance bookings. No longer are caravans the sole pastime of pensioners and eccentrics – young people and families can now see the attraction, and so, it seems, can celebrities.
Being in the public eye at all times must surely be draining, hence why a number of celebrities are drawn to caravanning. It offers the opportunity to get some peace and quiet, the chance to be on the move away from all the hype, as well as the ability to stay one step ahead of the paparazzi…
Here’s a list of some high-profile caravanners and the reasons why they find caravanning so attractive.
She’s got the looks, the voice, and the charisma to match, however the Welsh classical singer has said that she feels most content when she’s away from it all. One of her happiest moments was when she was with her mum, dad and sister in their little touring caravan in France playing card games for pistachio nuts!
Jarvis is the English singer-songwriter best known as the front man of the alternative rock band Pulp. It seems his vehicle tastes are correspondingly alternative as he is often spotted on the King’s Road in London driving his Toyota mobile home.
Tara is no stranger to the outdoors being perhaps most famous for her infamous appearance on I’m A Celebrity in 2002. She came in second place and went on the following year to open the Caravan and Leisure Show at Earl’s Court. She always likes to keep up to date with the latest caravanning models on the market and currently owns a cute little custom-made caravan, which she hopes to be making the most of this summer.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin, Jay Z and Beyoncé
Two years ago it was reported that Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband Chris Martin had organized a caravanning trip with Jay Z and Beyoncé along the coast of Florida. Although this was intended as a quiet getaway, in order to give Jay Z and Chris Martin some quality down time after their whirlwind tours, they traveled in a huge luxury Winnebago.
The Bucks Fizz singer who won the Eurovision Song contest in 1981 is no stranger to the limelight, however it’s been said that she likes nothing better than to hitch a caravan to the back of her Austin Allegro and drive down to Cornwall for the summer.
Roland is the television host of a number of travel shows, however it wasn’t until he was aged 42 that he began taking an interest in caravanning. He has been quoted as saying, ‘I’ve no idea who it was that said ‘all good things come to those that wait’ but with me and ‘vanning’ they couldn’t have been more on the money.” Rowland is featured in the image to the left driving away with his brand new Bailey Ranger.
Jamie is well known for his down-to-earth, no-nonsense, cooking style, and it seems this rustic spirit rolls over into his choice of transport. He currently drives a converted 1959 Porsche-powered VW Spiltscreen Camper when moving between locations for his TV series. It is, of course, complete with a cutting-edge kitchen and stylish interior.
The EastEnders veteran is a frequent caravan user and takes regular trips to Sheerness on the Island of Sheppey in Kent with her family. Although she says she prefers her luxurious holidays she continues to caravan because of her children. She says, ‘If you get a good campsite, then it’s just heaven for them.’
Patsy has also come up with an innovative way to ensure she catches the sun no matter where she travels with what she calls the ‘Tanvan’. This is a caravan which has been fitted out as a mobile tanning shop! She takes it along to summer music festivals and offers fake tans along with her range of tanning products for the fairer skinned.
The new wave post-punk singer Gary Numan has strong ties to the caravan, and in fact liked them long before they were considered ‘cool’. He used to holiday at Weymouth with his parents when he was a boy.
After his initial success with Tubeway Army at the end of the 1970s he went out and rented one of the big caravans on the site, thinking he was really ‘lording it up.’ Gary likes to put on a show for sure, but it seems his heart is where the home is.
It’s not often that Patsy Palmer, Gary Numan, and Jay Z are seen in the same list together, but it seems caravanning has become a universal attraction. There really is no such thing as the caravanning ‘type’ anymore: the pensioners and the eccentrics have been joined by members of the mainstream popular culture, who have converted caravanning it into something ‘cool’. But I’m not sure that was necessarily the intention – every celebrity is just looking for their own quiet getaway.