Being nomadic in the UK in winter

Before I write the rest of this blog, I feel I should say how I became nomadic. All of the choices I have made to lead me here have been mine, well mostly. You see, I have a dream. I have had this since 2019 and I have found the Universe/upstairs whatever you want to call it has a way of getting you from A to B, but it isn’t always as you planned. My first nomadic experience came over the summer. Asked to leave a caravan site as I had been in a national newspaper telling people they could save money by leaving their house and living in a caravan, then being asked by ITV to take part in a documentary. This was a step too far for the caravan site owners and I was asked to pack my stuff and leave in five days. I went into denial, then anger then acceptance in five days. The night before I left a few of us had a party and I left a beautiful offering to the land for having me there. Although the owners didn’t know what it was.

I put my caravan into storage and decided to see what adventures life would bring me. I stayed with a couple of friends in York, camped at Jeans Field in Skipton for a week before heading north of the border. Being nomadic in summer is amazing. The sun is shining, it’s warm, people are friendly. I decided to move my caravan up to Scotland in September 2022. For a variety of reasons I chose to leave it in November. Let’s just say things didn’t work out. It was back to finding somewhere to stay. I navigated between Scotland, York and Newcastle. I met a lovely lady called Susan who runs a space called Frugaldom. This is a beautiful offgrid rewilding space which welcomes campervans and van lifers to stay. You can find more about them here.

Photo by Gabriela Palai on Pexels.com

Anyways, Scotland is cold in the winter, like really cold. The main roads are great to drive down but the side roads, phew! I have only crashed twice in my seventeen years of driving and both have been on icy roads. I skidded twice tonight and thought my car was about to roll backwards down a hill, but I made it. I have stayed in hostels and hotels. I have travelled to where I felt I was meant to go. Exploring the local area is a bit tougher in winter as a lot of places close, however the nature and beauty of the area more than make up for it.

If you find yourself nomadic/houseless in winter I wanted to share some of my top tips. ( Please note some of the links are affiliates so I may get a few pennies if you purchase something)

  1. You are going to have to get used to asking for help. Asking for help takes courage and allowing yourself to be vulnerable. It isn’t easy but you will find people will help if they can. I even had one offer of help from a chap I spoke to at the local tip when I explained my circumstances. People may not be able to help, but may know someone who can
  2. Your main priority is clothing in the winter months. Thermals are a must. For the last few months I have worn thermal leggings under tights and four layers on top, a vest, a long sleeved tshirt, a short sleeved and then a dress
  3. Footwear. Wellies can be cold as I have found, so a decent pair of insulated waterproof boots are essential
  4. Warm clothing. It sounds so basic but having a warm jacket, hat, scarf, gloves and socks are essential.
  5. Keep your options open. Can you work in exchange for somewhere to stay? The cheapest place we found to stay nearby was the Glenluce Hotel for £14pp for a twin bed including all you can eat breakfast. We may have also taken a couple of yoghurts for our lunch as well as tucking into the hot buffet breakfast. Fill up on a huge breakfast so you aren’t so hungry later in the day. Creetown also has a hostel for £25 per night. If you are willing to share that’s only £12.50 and they have kitchen facilities so you can microwave some soup or a meal and free tea and coffee.

I chose this way of living and although it is testing at times, I know I am on my way to my goal, I am just having a few diversions along the way. Bit like driving down the A1 at times and your sat nav takes you through cow fields and you have no idea where you are!

If you have any more tips to add comment below, let me know if you have ever been nomadic and how you managed through winter.

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