Fan in a Van Rachel Kershaw

Rachel Kershaw, selected as England’s Biggest Fan by the national tourism board, VisitEngland, is on week 6 of her 10-week trip journey around the country – next stop, Derby!

Itinerant on her journey in a vintage camper van named ‘Rosie,’ Rachel kicked off her travels in Land’s End, Cornwall on Saturday 19 May for a trip that will take in every corner of England. Her next leg of the journey will be in Derby on Friday 29 June, on her visit she’ll be enjoying cakes at Jack Rabbits, climbing the cathedral tower, going on an alien bus tour with Maison Foo and enjoying afternoon tea at the Cathedral Quarter Hotel. She’ll finish the day taking part in the evening celebrations.

Rachel commented: ‘I’ve never been to Derby and I can’t wait to find out more on the Alien Bus Tour. I’m looking forward to having afternoon tea and taking part in the celebrations to welcome the torch.”

Rachel, 30, won the nationwide contest as a result of her infectious passion for England and her zest for life. She was chosen from a shortlist of 12 other potential Fan in a Vans by a judging panel comprised of Lady Cobham, VisitEngland’s chairman, Martin Dorey, author of The Camper Van Coast Book and Sally Shalam, brit-centric travel journalist, based on her entry video, photograph and enticing description of her favourite place in England, Newcastle upon Tyne.

VisitEngland’s Chairman, Lady Cobham said: “What Rachel doesn’t know about England by the end of the trip won’t be worth knowing! Rachel will be England’s official number-one fan, and chief inspiration officer for the country. This is a brilliant opportunity to explore England to the full and will, I’m sure, inspire the Great British Public to take a holiday at home this year and enjoy what we have on offer during this very special year.”

Councillor Ranjit Banwait, Deputy Leader of Derby City Council said, “We’re delighted to welcome Rachel to Derby on what will be a very special weekend for our city. The Olympic Torch celebrations will provide a brilliant opportunity to share Derby’s fascinating historical and cultural heritage with Rachel and show her our world class hospitality. Derby is located right in the heart of England and so is a great base for visiting the surrounding countryside and attractions.”

David James, Chief Executive of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, the area’s official tourist board, also welcomed Rachel’s visit and added: “It’s great news that she will be doing so many interesting and exciting things during her time in Derby next week – I’m sure she’ll have some great experiences to share with tourists who are following her journey on VisitEngland’s website. It’s a great coup for the city to host next week’s Torch Relay evening celebrations – I’m sure they’ll help to put it firmly on the national and international tourism map.”

Follow Rachel and Rosie’s journey yourself by following them on Twitter @faninavan or reading Rachel’s travel blog on


Notes to Editors: 

About Visit Peak District & Derbyshire

  • Visit Peak District & Derbyshire – the area’s official tourist board – works with VisitBritain, VisitEngland, Derbyshire County Council, all local authorities in the Peak District and Derbyshire, tourism business partners and surrounding tourism organisations that share the Peak District. It is committed to the successful and sustainable development of tourism.
  • For further details, visit or contact Janette Sykes, PR Manager, on 07792 924839 or at

About VisitEngland 

  • VisitEngland is the country’s national tourist board. We work in partnership with the industry to develop the visitor experience across England, plan national tourism strategy, grow the value of tourism in England and provide advocacy for the industry and our visitors
  • Our work is underpinned by robust research and customer insights. You can access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics on
  • VisitEngland markets England under the Enjoy England consumer brand in the domestic market and markets England under the VisitEngland brand internationally

About England 

  • England is a unique destination and a real powerhouse in global tourism. It represents 84 per cent of the total UK visitor economy, is worth £97 billion, and supports in excess of 2 million jobs
  • More information can be found on

– ENDS –


Ruth Sadler

Marketing and Communications Officer – Media

01332 643484


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