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Gypsy Caravan - Gypsy Caravans - Gypsy Wagon - Gypsy Wagons - Gypsy Waggon - Gypsy Waggons - Romany Caravans - Vardo - Vardos -
Reading - Ledge - Bowtop - Square Bow - Burton - Dunton - Howcroft - Orton Spooner - Tong - Bill Wright - Wheeler -
Hill - Jones - Watts - Thomas of Chertsey - Herbert Varney - Stubbs - Jowett

A Fine 1916 Dunton Reading           ValleyStream©

Relic of the Golden Days                             UnKn ©

A Traditional Northern Bowtop       J Pockett ©

What is a Vardo?
For the novice it's Romani chib for living wagon, or, in plain English, a Gypsy caravan.

In Britain we imagine the traditional Romany home to be a gaily decorated wooden caravan pulled along by a plodding horse.  But in reality caravans have only been used by Romanies for 150 years.  Before that time, they walked on foot, used carts to convey their possessions, and slept in tents.  Waggons built to live in developed about 1810 in France and were soon used in England by showmen travelling with fairs and circuses.  Romanies only began living in vans about 1850.  They called their home a "vardo", and it became their most prized possession.  Later on, they even took over many straight-sided showman waggons.

Monuments on Wheels

Sadly, today very few original vardos have survived the evolution of time.  Wear n tear, scrap yard mentality, the great British woodworm, and the worst culprit of all - the weather - are mostly responsible for the vardos near-extinction.  Let's also not forget the ones used in gardens as plant pots - pretty perhaps but they need maintaining, otherwise they end up like this one.

it's not all doom and gloom - fortunately, there's a steady revival taking place in the UK, with an upturn in interest once more in Gypsy caravans. 

The few remaining original "lucky" waggons are safely in private collections or museums, either fully restored or under restoration.

Also, a new generation of wagon builders and painters are up and coming, attempting to replicate the craftsmanship and construction of past masters, often working to original plans and designs.

Welcome to the UK Vardo Heritage website
For the Preservation of the British Vardo
  VStream ©
Gypsy wagons of the uk
The UK's No1 Gypsy caravan website devoted to wagon owners - Over 360 vardos in the gallery



For more Waggons & Romani Culture Videos   CLICK THE REEL
Tour around an early Dunton Reading, Visit Gordon Boswell's Museum, See Paulton Park's Aution Day, Watch the Northerner's hoopin and much more!

Award-Winning Film
of the

The life of Traveller & Herbalist Juliette de Bairacli Levy

For over 70 years Juliette lived amongst Romanies, nomads and peasants, learning the healing arts of plants and natural remediesShe wrote many successful books on her life with Gypsies and the use of herbs.

Sold out!

Justice Eve's Summertown Caravan Late 1800s pioneer of early "land yachting" 
Once hidden amongst the late Les Oakes Collection, now Eve's kite waggon has been finally restored back to full glory - but who exactly was Justice Eve?
. . . Read more!
PLEASE NOTE:  this website is best viewed in Google Chrome.


The Finest Romany & Showman vans to restoration projects

Purple Heather

Alfie Dale

When the local authority outlaws the free movement of Romani Gypsies in the forest, EVA and her young siblings are forced to abandon their life of independence and seclusion, and move into an overcrowded, communal compound.

Winner of 'Best British Short Film' at Southampton International Film Festival,

Romani Film


True Life Story of Welsh Gypsies in the 1930s

A drama set in the wild mountains of Snowdonia, North Wales and based on the childhood of Eldra Roberts, a descendant of the famous noble Gypsy chief Abram Wood and the Wood/Roberts tribe.

Sold out!

Taken on Tuesday 26th March 2019
from Nunhead, London.

A unique handmade caravan in the style of a bowtop body with distinct windows in the sides

Can you help with any information about the theft? ... MORE DETAILS