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EVERYTHING YOU CAN LOOK FORWARD TO IN ISSUE 445

And the winner is... This has been one of the most involved, but also one of the most exciting, issues of Practical Caravan that we’ve ever put together. For starters, we’ve been working late into the night to deliberate and cogitate on the winners of our brand new Awards (p56). I won’t reveal the victors here, but suffice to say: each represents the very best of caravanning today - don’t miss it. Then we’ve just some of the highlights of our upcoming Van Live! event – you’ll find our round-up on p64. And, as we went to press, news broke about the Government’s decision to scrap the B+E towing test meaning younger newbies to our pastime can now tow a heavier caravan from the off (p46).

It’s certainly made for an action-packed month – I hope that you enjoy this very special issue.

sarah@practicalcaravan.com Editor-in-chief SARAH is a keen caravanner who loves seeing the best of Europe on her travels

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ON THE COVER…

1 We’re about to reveal all on the Practical Caravan award-winners, from caravans to kit (from p56) 2 Discover great tour destinations across the UK (from p24) 3 We road test the best in new and used tow cars (from p107) 4 Expert tips on window care (p121)

Chat 6 The big picture Autumn splendour at Bodenham Arboretum 8 Connect Readers share their news, views and photos 12 New gear We round up the latest essential touring kit 14 Expert Q&A Caravanning problem? Our panel can help! 16 Strike up the band! Meet the brilliant musicians and keen caravanners of the Caravan and Motorhome Club Concert Band

Travel 21 Travel A round-up of all the latest touring news 24 Getaway: Wye Valley Andria Massey discovers great walking and fine scenery in the region bordering England and Wales 28 Getaway: Bury Nigel Hutson explores a Lancashire gem, where you can travel on heritage railways in gorgeous scenery 32 Getaway: Heart of England On an unplanned trip to the West Midlands, Elaine and Joe Ormerod find much to enjoy 36 Getaway: Northumberland and Yorkshire Marcus Leach and family dodge the showers to enjoy uncrowded coast and country 40 Top sites for autumn walks Great destinations where you can pitch up and admire the changing landscape as the season turns 42 Local authority: Chester Inside information on this lively city 44 Road sense All you need to know about towing on the A66

New vans 46 Tested Peter Baber has the latest from the showrooms 48 First look: Sprite Compact Smart little tourer ideal for two 50 Lifestyle accessories We select some superb luxury-level caravan kit that is certain to enhance your touring experience 56 Practical Caravan Awards 2022 And the winners are… 64 Van Live! 2021 Don’t miss our brilliant online event

Special supplement 83 Buying a used caravan Expert tips to bag a bargain 84 Guide to buying What to look out for when you buy 86 Staying safe A few simple checks before your buy 90 Exterior checks First, inspect the outside of your van… 94 Interior checks … then it’s time to examine the inside, too 98 Consumer protection It pays to understand your rights

Used vans 101 Used vans Andy Jenkinson reports from the forecourts 102 Used van buyer Buccaneer Corsair (2011)

Tow cars 107 Tow cars We take a first look at the new Kia Sportage 108 Tow car test Volvo V60 Recharge T6 AWD Inscription 112 Quick test Nissan Qashqai DIG-T 158PS Tekna+ Xtronic 114 Used tow car test Mazda CX-5 (2017-present)

Skills school 117 Skills school How to keep your caravan safe from thieves 118 Fit a 12V hub Extend your supply with this simple DIY task 121 Caravan windows Acrylic windows require specialist care 124 Industry insight: Colapz Meet the clever kit designers 126 Buyer’s guide Comprehensive listings and data 138 Look-back page Caravanning life in years gone by www.practicalcaravan.com | NOVEMBER 2021 | 5

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