WE’RE barely into February, but it’s never too early to plan an escape.

Thousands of people have this weekend been flocking to the Scottish Caravan, Motorhome and Holiday Home Show at Glasgow’s SEC.

Billed as the “perfect setting for your next adventure”, the event is heaven for those who like get close to nature on their hols.

And what’s not to like?

I have fond memories of family holidays in our trusty campervan, a Bedford called Bella who had dodgy plumbing. It seems her nether regions were not designed for off-road adventures over peat bogs. The “bung” keeping her water tank intact was prone to coming unstuck, usually in the middle of nowhere.

Looking back, I’m not sure how these holidays were in any way a source of relaxation for mum and dad, with three children in the

back being thrown around on cushions made of the most slidey fabric known to humankind. There was a high-tech Velcro system that could supposedly be deployed to ensure stability, but this seemed beyond our ken.

And there was the non-stop squabbling, mainly over who got the seat next to the only window, a tiny, pushy-out affair. Nevertheless, this was a prized commodity. It being the seventies, there was a fair degree of committed parental smoking being embraced. We were usually kippered by the time we left the Central Belt.

But it was worthwhile once we reached our destination and made our pitch our home, happy in the knowledge that on board there were holiday treats such as Heinz Sandwich Spread, Creamola Foam and Monopoly.

So some years later, when the time came to plan our own family holidays, a campsite seemed the only option.

Admittedly, this was camping for wimps … on the continent and in a static caravan. No longer was beachwear a pair of wellies and an Aran knit and we’d swapped midgies for mosquitoes as the beastie of choice.

But these holidays were not without their own dramas. There was the trip that started with a 12-hour delay at the airport. By the time we finally landed, our precision-planned public transport journey had to be abandoned. We eventually got to our campsite at midnight after a 160-euro taxi ride. We wandered around the site in the dark with no clue as to where we were going. After an hour, we found an empty van with lights on. We claimed it and bedded down for the night. We discovered in the morning that our instincts had served us well and that we had found the right caravan, which was more down to good luck than good judgement.

Then there was the fortnight in Italy that kicked off with Boy Wonder taking a header off the climbing frame. He still bears a scar on his forehead, which swelled to twice its normal size and rendered him barred from swimming for a week. Hence, we did a lot of sight-seeing that holiday, although the boy-with-the-giant-head was one of the more popular curiosities at which the crowds gazed in wonderment.

But we had good times. These holidays might not always have been pitch perfect, but we were very happy campers.