Our Top Tips for an Autumn or Winter Touring Holiday

September 14th, 2021

We think autumn is one of the best times of year to enjoy a caravan or motorhome break in Dorset. Escape the stresses of work and head to the coast for an off-peak break in your holiday home on wheels. We open until the 7th January, so there’s plenty of opportunity to experience our beautiful county in its autumn glory. There’s something quite magical about visiting as the seasons change.

Our touring pitches are conveniently placed for exploring Swanage and the surrounding towns and villages, which are considerably quieter in September, October and November. From the park, there is easy access to abundance of autumn walks and iconic beauty spots are just a short drive away.

The on-park facilities are maintained to a high standard throughout the year. Our heated shower and toilet block will ensure you’re warm and cosy before retiring to your van for the night. Gas and electric hook up are also available.

The Village Inn bar and restaurant boasts a tasty menu and roaring fire – the perfect base for relaxing evenings in. We also have an indoor swimming pool if you need a wet weather attraction to keep the kids entertained.

We hope we’ve inspired you to venture to Dorset for a shoulder-season stay this year. Here we list our top tips for an autumn or winter touring holiday, to ensure you have a hassle-free break.


Pack for all eventualities

wellington boots

If you’re used to touring in the warmer months, you’ll probably need to rethink your packing list. Ensure you’ve got lots of layers, waterproof clothing and sturdy footwear in case a cold spell comes in.

Unfortunately, at this time of year the weather’s less predictable, so you’ll need to be prepared for all eventualities. Consider purchasing a sturdy stack and store to put your muddy boots in so your caravan stays clean.

If you run out of fresh clothes or you get a bit wet and muddy, there’s no need to worry, we have a laundrette on site. We highly recommend packing spares of all the essentials though – you never know what you might need.


Essential maintenance checks

caravan tyre

During the autumn and winter your caravan or motorhome will be subjected to harsher weather conditions, so it’s important to keep up to date with maintenance. Before setting out on your journey spend time checking everything in your van and pay careful attention to your towing vehicle.

Make sure the tyres are the correct pressure and check that pipes, pumps, heating and electric are in good working order. Double check your carbon monoxide detector has batteries in, that you have gas and that your indicator and break lights are working as they should.


Plan your activities

autumn dog walk in the woods

The majority of Dorset attractions will still be open in the autumn, but may have reduced operating hours or limited service available. Before heading out for the day we recommend calling ahead or checking the attractions website for up-to-date information. This will help avoid disappointment if you turn up and it’s shut!

Likewise, the evenings will be longer, so you’ll want to ensure you have plenty of indoor activities to keep you busy into the evening. Download some of your favourite TV programmes to your laptop or tablet before heading to the park. Bring board games, cards or crafts to keep the kids entertained.


Insulate your van


With shorter days and dark evenings, it can often get chilly if you don’t take the time to prepare your caravan or motorhome. If you have vinyl floors consider introducing rugs for added warmth and insulate wheel arches with polystyrene.

Consider purchasing a draught excluder to stop the cold air coming in. You may need to pack a couple of extra blankets, a hot water bottle and cosy socks or slippers to keep you toasty and warm.

Never block the air vents – even in the winter. Proper ventilation is really important.


Bring your awning

Visitors often leave their awning at home when visiting in the colder months, but we think it’s a valuable asset when touring in the autumn or winter. A porch will help keep hot air in your caravan and is the perfect place for storing muddy boots and drying wet clothes.

Don’t forget to pack extra strong pegs for securing your porch as the ground can be extremely hard at this time of year.


Start your day early

caravan night

We recommend starting your journey early when holidaying in the autumn or winter. This means you’ll complete the majority of your trip in the light, without having to worry about navigating in the dark. This also means you should have plenty of time to pitch up before the sun sets. We know from experience, there’s nothing worse that setting up by torch light!

That being said, we advise all visitors to bring multiple torches and spare batteries. You’ll need them for the late-night dash to use the facilities.


Search availability and book an autumn caravan break at Ulwell today! We look forward to welcoming you for a relaxing break at our holiday park in Swanage soon!

What our guests say

  • A lovely quiet site

    Andy Blackwell

    A lovely quiet site, nice warm amenities with good sized shower cubicles, shop not open yet as it’s too early but the local pub is ideal. Staff were very friendly and helpful. If you’re reasonably fit you can walk into Swanage but the bus service is great so why would you want to. Overall a very nice break, we will be back.

  • Super swimming pool

    Joseph Molford

    Fantastic site, we have had a brilliant holiday. Super swimming pool and changing facilities. Site really handy to get to Swanage and Studland. Will definitely return. Thanks to all the staff for a lovely holiday.

  • Excellent quality caravan site

    Peter Skrobacz

    Excellent quality caravan site, top quality, small and friendly, location fantastic. Been visiting Ulwell for over 25 years now and every year is special.

  • An amazing week at Ulwell

    Jenny H

    We have just returned back from our weeks stay at Ulwell Holiday Park with our 2 small children and dog. It was an absolute brilliant week! The site has everything you need, and more! A lovely comfy pub on site for drinks and a bowl of chips, a small shop, swimming pool, large play are with park, and the bus stops right outside.. what more could you want

  • Easter break


    We have just returned after a brilliant Easter break. Couldn’t fault anything at all and we didn’t want to leave. We didn’t visit the pub but the shop is stocked with local produce and essentials. The facilities are great and the location convenient. Our van was spotless and had everything we needed. We will definitely be back

All reviews


We are currently at an amazing 4.5 score at TripAdvisor, based upon 200+ reviews from verified guests.

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Proudly associated

Over the years the family has developed the park to award-winning standards and in a style which compliments its surroundings.

  • Camping and caravanning
  • AA
  • British Holiday & Home Parks assocation
  • Poole Tourism
  • Visit Britain
  • premier park 2020 logo

Finding us


From Bournemouth via the Sandbanks chain ferry and following the B3351 into Swanage.

From Wareham using the A351 into Swanage, turn left along the seafront towards Studland.


The park is situated on the main bus route from Bournemouth to Swanage.


1 ° 58’ 16” West, 50° 37’ 34” North



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