The biggest event of the caravanning year is just around the corner. The 2016 Motorhome and Caravan Show will turn Birmingham’s NEC into one of the biggest caravan sites in the country from Tuesday, 11th October.
And along with hundreds of thousands of ‘van and motorhome fans, there’s a golden sprinkling of star dust over the show this year. It’s further proof that caravans – once derided as stick-in-the-mud and boring – are hitting the heights of fashion.
Opening the show will be Britain’s best-known cyclist, Sir Bradley Wiggins, fresh from his triumphs on two wheels in Rio.
Bradley – “Wiggo” to friends – is well known for his sideburns and love of the Mod lifestyle, as well as the small matter of picking up five Olympic gold medals.
He’s also a big outdoorsman, evidenced in his role as an ambassador for Swift Group. As well as cutting the tape on the show, Sir Brad will be launching Swift’s new range for 2017.
The Tour de France winner knows the products he’s promoting are top quality. His cycling outfit, Team Wiggins, are sponsored by Swift who supply specially adapted vans for the team to use during races.
Julia Bradbury will be following in Wiggo’s tyre tracks to appear at the show on Friday, 14th October. Julia is the President of the Camping and Caravanning Club, a renowned broadcaster on countryside and consumer matters, and a campaigning public face for many good causes. Julia will be appearing in the show’s Live Theatre and around the show.
Consumer champion Matt Allwright will also be sharing his love of caravanning when he appears during the shows’ Caravan Club Day on Tuesday.
Extreme adventurer Andy Torbet will be sharing his experiences touring around Britain and Europe in his Wellhouse Ford Terrier M-Sport campervan on the Thursday of the show.
George Clarke is renowned for making the most of small spaces. The TV architect has presented shows focussing on sheds and his Amazing Spaces series is dedicated to the beauty of less-than-large building projects. Clarke is also a believer in the transformational power of architecture, and his advice – on Friday, 14th October – should be well worth listening to for van owners in need of some spruce-up inspiration.
If it’s the space outside your caravan you want to transform, then TV gardening presenter, David Domoney, of Love Your Garden, will be sharing his green-fingered knowledge on Saturday, 15th October.
Of course, the show will feature much more than celebrity visitors. It’s one of the biggest caravan marketplaces in the world, with an accessories megastore, huge product launches, including the first chance to see many of the vans that’ll be making news in 2017. There are also plenty of chances to get involved: fancy testing your towing skills or improving your motorhome driving skills?
The Motorhome and Caravan Show 2016 is at the NEC Birmingham from October 11th – 16th, 10am to 6pm every day. Tickets are available online, and buying advance tickets reduces the cost to as little as £7.50 for seniors. Kids go free.