Our home for the week was called Breeze, an original bay-windowed VW campervan, an idea I’d been toying with for years as a potential escape route, a sanctuary, a vehicle in which to ride away into the sunset, explore new horizons, and then pull up the roof and go to sleep.

But now that the moment was actually here, would living in a campervan with my children live up to they hype, solve all my problems or be a crashing disappointment?

All our worries dissipated on arrival at New Forest Safaris, Breeze’s multi-coloured siblings fanning out in a retro VW rainbow.

After a full talk on how to drive it and sleep in it, we were then left, like parents with a newborn outside a hospital, to take it away, and clambering in, the adventure began.

We had a full schedule of events planned, as having chosen the autumn for our road trip, simply hanging out at a campsite or by the beach was out of the question. Instead we pottered off to Paultons Park for a day of pure hedonism, the theme park providing the necessary thrills.

With the option of booking into Lytton Lawn Touring Park in Milford-On-Sea, perfectly set up for canvas, caravans and campervans, instead we decided to visit local friends and family, parking up outside their various homes for the night while they wined and dined us, retiring to sleep it all off in Breeze, whose roof provided perfectly adequate accommodation for the children while we snored underneath.

The only problem was that getting up in the night meant having to slide the door open and shut which woke everyone up, but perhaps in the summer this is less of a problem. Other tips would be to pack hand luggage only because with food and bedding it’s a tight squeeze, and to eat out, or on the move, where possible because while perfectly equipped, there’s not much space for manoeuvre. I can imagine BBQs and an outdoor camping stove come into their own in warmer climes.

As it was, we did magnificently, using the time to really explore, aided by the endless supply of sights and activities on offer in the area. Highlights included a memorable kayaking trip up the Beaulieu River with New Forest Activities, the peace and quiet disturbed only by the dip of our oars as we spotted an amazing array of wildlife from kingfishers to cormorants and tiny jellyfish we picked up in your hands. The fish jumped out of the water as we glided by, all pointed out by our charming and enthusiastic guide.

New Forest Activities then sent us off on bikes through the forest on a beautiful sunny day when the gorse was out, and the paths empty, presenting us with what the Americans would call quality family time.

A fortifying cream tea, and then on to Beaulieu Motor Museum, marvelling at the gleaming classic cars from the monorail, vowing to return for a proper trip around the extensive grounds and monastery.

Another night under chrome and then we were off to Winchester for a full tour of the cathedral and city, and one of our favourite days. Our guide, the marvellous and extremely knowledgeable Don Bryan enlightened us as to the enormous historical significance of the UK’s former capital and its treasures, entrancing us with tales of Alfred The Great, Charles I and the rampaging Cromwellians. But perhaps the most pertinent story was of amateur diver William Walker who propped up the subsiding cathedral over six years by underpinning its waterlogged foundations with bags of concrete, which remain until this day.

Desperately trying to fit in a trip to the interactive Science Museum near Winchester and the Submarine Museum in Portsmouth, we ran out of time, but still managed to slip into Marwell Zoo, parading past a wonderful array of creatures, before reluctantly returning Breeze to its rightful owners.

Driving home in a modern car felt wrong, signalling the end of our adventures. Certainly a holiday I would recommend to anyone who fancies doing something a bit different while exploring the UK. We loved it.

A mid-week four-night break in Breeze starts from £365 – sleeping two adults and two children with New Forest Safari Campers was £365 (newforestsafari.com); Lytton Lawn Touring Park shorefield.co.uk; Beaulieu National Motor Museum beaulieu.co.uk; New Forest Activities newforestactivities.co.uk; Paultons Park paultonspark.co.uk; tour of Winchester visitwinchester.co.uk