Fall in love with a restored 1960s mobile home and explore the New Forest

6

WE’VE only just met but already I am falling in love with Dylan.

With his shiny baby blue and white paint job, sparkling chrome and polished wood accessories, it was hard to believe this little stunner was 55 years young.

 Van-tastic... the New Forest Safari VW fleet

Van-tastic… the New Forest Safari VW fleet

He was also our home for the week — a gorgeous 1962 VW campervan RHD split-screen, lovingly restored by New Forest Safari Campers to his former glory.

The guys gave us a warm welcome and a quick tour of Dylan’s cream and grey interior complete with fridge, oven, two-ring gas burner and a convertible comfy double bed.

Our daughter Ellie, 14, was delighted with her own digs in the awning with the van.

After some tips and advice on driving Dylan — and a reminder that there was no such thing as power steering in 1962 — we were off on our adventures.

 Autumn in the New Forest is a colourful experience

Getty – Contributor
Autumn in the New Forest is a colourful experience

Our first stop was Lytton Lawn Touring Park in Milford on Sea.

A small site with just eight acres of parkland, it has a well-stocked shop, toilet and shower block and amusement arcade.

After checking out our pitch — complete with electric hook-up — we were off again to explore.

The beach was just a ten-minute drive via the pretty village of Milford on Sea.

 Close to the beach... Milton on Sea

Alamy
Close to the beach… Milton on Sea

At Sturt Pond we bought all the essentials and set off for a few hours of crabbing.

Who knew enticing unsuspecting small creatures would be so much fun — and really quite competitive?

After working up an appetite, we walked along the seafront to a hidden gem, the Raft Rocks restaurant.

Meze platters, seafood, and burgers all piled on rustic wooden boards, together with brilliant service, made for a very pleasant experience, which only came to an end because apparently we hadn’t yet caught all the crabs in the sea.

After round two of family versus crustaceans we finished our day with a trip to Lytton Lawn’s sister site, Shorefields.

You can use the facilities on both and with indoor and outdoor swimming pools as well as a bar, restaurant, showbar and games arcade, there was obviously plenty of old-school campsite fun awaiting us if we fancied it — including live music, bingo and discos.

 Pop out... Make your mobile home even bigger with a tent

Pop out… Make your mobile home even bigger with a tent

Next day, with some rainy skies threatening, we spent the morning in the indoor pool at Shorefields enjoying a swim, sauna and steam before heading to Bournemouth, a glorious 45-minute drive in delightful Dylan.

We narrowly avoided decapitating poor Dylan while finding a place to park — watch out for those height restrictions barriers, they are there for a reason.

After a blustery walk along the beach and a trip on the West Cliff lift, we made our way back.

There are many gorgeous places to grab a bite to eat. We chose The White Hart in Lymington and were not disappointed — good food, service and cuddles with the landlord’s dog.

Once back, we settled in for the night with a film before bed.

 You can see the Needles from the UK mainland

Getty – Contributor
You can see the Needles from the UK mainland

Next day we had just one last adventure with delicious Dylan — heading to The Needles Eye Cafe for a spankingly good full English breakfast and stunning views of The Needles off the Isle of Wight.

Dylan had done us proud — driving him was a joy and spending the night even better.

It was a case of instant true love with our V-Dub!


GO: New Forest

GETTING THERE: New Forest Safari Campers have 14 VW Campers – including 1960s split screen and early 1970s bay window models. Prices for Dylan from £395 for a four-night short break.

See newforestsafari.com

STAYING THERE: Shorefield have three parks in the New Forest area.

Pitches at Lytton Lawn, Milford on Sea, are from £15.50 per night.

See shorefield.co.uk

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