Coast’s Choice: Middlesex

After a week’s break while we were at The Motorhome & Caravan Show, Coast’s Choice is back. This week we’re showcasing one of the country’s unsung areas, the second smallest county in England: Middlesex. Although there is some debate as to whether it is an official county – it doesn’t have its own council – as it is a recognised postcode we thought we’d celebrate some of its finest tourist attractions!

Capel Manor Gardens

This Georgian manor house and its Victorian gardens offer visitors more than 30 acres to explore, with the meticulously designed outdoor spaces attracting thousands of tourists each year.

Among the delights on offer in the gardens are an Italianate maze, street of sunflowers, 17th century walled garden and a Japanese garden. There are also two gardens that have triumphed at the Chelsea Flower Show: 2010’s family friendly garden and the Le Jardin de Vincent, another vision to have triumphed at the famous floral event.

Capel Manor Gardens isn’t just a place of beauty, however – it is also home to several development projects by consumer organisation Which? Living alongside the flora are stables filled with Shetland ponies, goats and poultry, plus the site features an exotic room for snakes, lizards, amphibians and arachnids that is open to the public between April and October.

The gardens are open daily during the summer and on weekdays between November and February. Tickets are priced at £5.50 for adults and £2.50 for children, further information is available at the Capel Manor Gardens website.

Nearest caravan site: 0.3 miles

London Motor Museum

It might have London in its title, but this tourist attraction is most definitely situated in Middlesex! The London Motor Museum is Europe’s only custom car museum, which also features classic European and American machinery from the turn of the century through to the 1980s.

From vintage cruisers of the 1930s to the Delorean from Back to the Future, there are plenty of priceless cars to admire at close range. The museum floor is divided into sections that include film cars, hotrods, muscle cars, Miami coast riders and even the world-famous Batmobile.

London Motor Museum is open weekdays from 10am-6pm. Admission costs £10 for adults and £5.00 for children – click here to find out more.

Nearest caravan site: 2.8 miles

Sanatan Temple

Middlesex is an area of many cultures and faiths and the Shree Sanatan Hindu Mandir, an opulent £16 million temple of worship, opened in May 2010. The temple was constructed using ancient techniques from Hindu scriptures and features carved limestone imported from the Indian state of Gujurat.

The sand coloured walls of this 2.4 acre building – which is located in Wembley – stand out against the surrounding environment and the design features carvings of spiritual leaders including Gods, Gurus and Mother Teresa.

Tours of the Sanatan Temple can be arranged in advance and visitors are advised that a strict code of dress and conduct applies. Click here to apply for entry online. There is no charge for visiting the temple.

Nearest caravan site: 4.3 miles

Strawberry Hill

Visiting this eccentric gothic house is described as a ‘theatrical experience’. Built in the eighteenth century and inspired by the novel ‘The Castle of Otranto’, Strawberry Hill is a festival of striking stonework and renaissance glass.

Inside, the intricately carved hall and staircase lead to several stunning rooms including the library, with its ornately decorated ceiling, and the Holbein chamber, which is based on the Queen’s dressing room at Windsor.

Strawberry Hill is currently part of a £9 million restoration project but the house and its accompanying informal gardens are still open to the public. Entry costs from £8.00 for adults and £5.00 for children. The house is open Wednesday – Sunday between March and October, with twilight tours including a glass of prosecco also available.

Nearest caravan site: 7.1 miles

Wembley Stadium and Arena

Whether you’re a sporting fan or a music enthusiast, chances are you’ll have travelled to Wembley at some point to enjoy live entertainment in either the Stadium or Arena. Some of the world’s biggest bands and most talented footballers have performed within its hallowed walls and more information on the upcoming events is available here.

Even if there’s nothing that takes your family, the Wembley Stadium and Arena complex are worth visiting to enjoy the atmosphere in Arena Square, a vibrant bundle of restaurants and bars located around Europe’s largest fountain – which performs an interactive light and sound display throughout the day.

Nearest caravan site: 13 miles

For a competitive quotation on your motorhome insurance or touring caravan insurance, give Coast a call free of charge on 0800 614 849. If you’re a caravan owner you can also get a free online caravan quotation.