Swift Escape to

'God's Country'

Swift Fiat Ducato motorhome, front
Swift Fiat Ducato motorhome, front, static
Swift Fiat Ducato motorhome, outdoor table
Swift Fiat Ducato motorhome, cooking area
Swift Fiat Ducato motorhome, captain's chairs
Swift Fiat Ducato motorhome, interior
Swift Fiat Ducato motorhome, interior, living space

IT'S God's Own Country. At least that's what they say in Yorkshire.

Many other parts of the UK would dispute that, but it's clear the White Rose county has a rich tapestry of gently sloping wolds, delightful dales, quaint villages and the stunning moorlands so vividly displayed in TV's Heartbeat.

Not to mention picturesque seaside town like Whitby, Filey, Bridlington and Scarborough - and plenty of pubs and wildlife.

A lot to take in in what is a huge county so a touring holiday gives the freedom to pick and choose various campsites that each offer something a little bit different.

We chose a motorhome. It has been a few years since that last adventure when we hired a vehicle from one of the many rental sites.

But recently a big fish has entered the market. Swift has set up its own bespoke rental service, operating initially from a swish new base in Stockport, which has dozens of different motorhomes to choose from and which is convenient for the motorway network.

The firm, based in Yorkshire, plans another six depots countrywide by 2022.

Our four-berth award-winning Escape was a compact brand new vehicle, ingeniously designed, as they have to be, to give the comforts of home living in a relatively tiny space.

Powered by a Fiat 2.3-litre Euro 6 engine, and based on the ever-popular Fiat Ducato it can be driven on a normal driving licence.

Cab equipment, including captain's chairs, air conditioning, DAB radio/MP3 player with Bluetooth and switch-off timing, variable power steering, and a dash mounted holder for a full-width tablet and pocket for smartphone with USB port for charging.

Having familiarised ourselves, we loaded up and set off on a tour which took in North Yorkshire and eventually north Derbyshire.Our destinations were Caravan and Motorhome Club sites, or sites affiliated to the group.

The club has more than 200 sites and 2,500 privately owned places to stay in the UK and more than 300 sites across Europe.

Our first port of call was Wharfedale, near Skipton in North Yorkshire. This is one of the top sites with a peaceful atmosphere and excellent facilities including a pristine shower block and a pub nearby to slake your thirst after a long walk in the stunning countryside.

The next site couldn't be more different. A couple of miles up the road from Whitby at Sneaton, it is on a working farm, offering limited facilities but a spectacular view over Whitby bay.

There are only a few hard standing pitches but water and waste disposal is available. It is peaceful and secluded and the sheep are never far away. For essentials a pub and farm shop are nearby.

Lack of facilities is not a problem as the Escape is fully equipped with toilet and shower facilities, hob, oven, microwave, fridge and toaster, plus all the pots and pans to go with it.

It also offers 4G wi-fi, heating/lighting control via smartphone app and technical support available during the tripHook up to the electrics and off you go. Otherwise a gas supply and leisure battery will provide power.

The motorhome has a sturdy and ingenious foldaway table and chairs and if the weather is kind, like it was for us, you take your meals al fresco.

So relax, fold out the integral awning and settle down with a Merlot or two and start counting the sheep.If you like peace and quiet and a friendly welcome this fits the bill.

A trip in Whitby is a must to try the famous fish and chips. Whitby also hosts the famous North Yorkshire Moors Railway. This railway has been featured on Channel 5 and runs to Pickering, with various stops along the way.

If you are a Heartbeat fan, then stop off at Goathland, home of the Aidensfield. It is a beautiful journey through the moorlands and steam enthusiast or not, people love it

Filey is just about 40 minutes down the road and weary travellers can stop off at another affiliated site. The Honeypot Inn offers a small number of pitches with electric and toilet facilities on a field with a view towards the seaside resort.

Filey itself is a pretty unspoilt seaside town in a picturesque bay, the kind of town you would be happy to visit on a day trip.

Our final destination took us back inland to the imposing and sprawling Chatsworth House estate in Derbyshire. Chatsworth Park is another Caravan and Motorhome Club site offering a full range of facilities and with a couple of magical extras.

Although walled off from the estate, campers are provided with a key to a ‘secret garden' type entrance door to the estate, which allows access to wander around, take in Chatsworth House, although charges apply for entry and provides a relaxing walk down a path to the village. The site is also inhabited by families of tame ducks which just love to be fed, a real treat for children and the site shop provides reasonably priced bird food.

The motorhome itself is easy to drive and set up and provides plenty of freedom to move around.

A big bonus on all models is the free, inbuilt Wi-Fi and excellent TV reception. While it may not offer the freedom of a caravan, it does mean you do not have to face the chore of towing.

Considering their size and weight, they are also pretty economical to run. It is certainly worth trying.

FACT FILE

Swift's award-winning Escape coachbuilt motorhome range has been transformed for 2020, with a new layout and an exciting makeover both inside and out.

Built on Swift's SMART construction platform with a timberless bodyshell and durable GRP outer skin, the Escape offers a 10-year bodyshell warranty.

There are nine Escape models available for 2020, including the new 675 model, with front lounge, mid kitchen and twin beds, plus rear washroom, offering space for four to sleep and travel in excellent comfort. An AL-KO extra-long wheelbase chassis is available on several models.

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