Joined 8 years ago
After spending a summer in our motorhome touring France using the fantastic France Passion guide to enjoy the hospitality and produce of farms and vineyards, we realised that a similar scheme in the UK was long overdue! Inspired by France Passion, we decided to start Brit Stops - like the name suggests, a network of "pit stops" around Britain where the motorhome tourist can rest, stop over and travel on the next morning having enjoyed some local produce, and even filled up the on-board larder! France Passion, which has been operating successfully to the mutual benefit of local producers and motorhome tourists for 18 years, has created a blueprint that is now being used in Italy, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland and Germany. Called the "formule invitations" it began as a scheme to help bring custom to regional vineyards, and now includes over 1600 farms and vineyards in the guide. We loved the way it still operates on a no-charge basis for the stopover as it did from the first year, instead relying on the mutual benefits offered, where the motorhome tourists can stop over for free on a "no frills" basis and the hosts get the opportunity to show their wares. It also came as no surprise to us that research undertaken by France Passion shows that 93% of motorhome visitors purchase from their hosts - in our own travels we enjoyed a whole range of produce, including local honey, venison, wine and home-made quiche lorraine. The other great feature we've always enjoyed is the opportunity to meet local farmers and vineyard owners and learn about their business. I know my 10 year old daughter talks more about "helping" the farmer milk his 250 cows than she does of the water slide at the camp site the following day... Local retailers of home-grown produce have always been aware that it's not just the undoubted freshness and quality of their produce that sets them apart, it's also the personal touch offered to their customers, and it's this that we adventurous and curious motorhome tourists are looking for on our travels! We hope to build Brit Stops into a comprehensive network of UK stopovers over time, and bring many more customers to the doors of local producers. We'll be touring the UK ourselves regularly over the next year, stopping at as many of the "Brit Stops" as we can, so who knows - maybe we'll meet you? We are even toying with the idea of painting our motorhome the same as the Brit Stops logo - if we do it shouldn't be hard to spot us! Find out about Brit Stops at www.britstops.com Happy motorhoming! Steve and Mandy
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