The Scottish, and I think Irish schools are also back in August. When we were in the Vendee at the end of June/early July last year there were masses of Irish families there - there are crossings to Brittany direct from ireland, so perhaps that area is popular too for irish tourists?
It's just quieter, the weather's not worse. We often holiday in on the border with Brittany at the end of August and the water is a lot warmer than in July (had a chance to warm up).
Agree with pp that the French don't like to holiday then, they are preparing for "la rentrée" (back to school) - schools give you huge lists of things to buy and you have to sign up for the out of school activities etc.
We went to Corsica for the last 2 weeks in August this year and it was v. quiet, (so not an issue with the weather) - the locals said the season was over by the 15th of August.
I'd go for the last two weeks in August if I dind't have to be back in work for the A level and the GCSE results days. The Dutch stagger their holidays in fortnightly chunks from the beginning of July but we've also noticed far more Brits around after aboutt he 12th August.
We holiday in the SE of France, and about the 20th August it gets soooooo much quieter...you can park easily by the beach (lake in the Alps) whereas the week before you'd struggle.
And where we are, you do sometimes get a bit of rain, and after that it is a bit cooler, but not enough to make me change plans - we nearly always go last 2 weeks August - and it is fab!! The fact it is less hectic is a bonus.
As Indith stated, the French generally head back home to prepare for back to school and work after the 15 Aug bank holiday. Most French take holiday (often for the whole month) between the two bank holidays on 14 July and 15 August, so this is when the peak demand and peak prices are then. You can get a much better deal, and get away without a min 7 night stay, at many sites after 15 August! It's quieter and the weather is still good!
We usually go to Cornwall and, until last year, have had fantastic weather. Last June (dd has only just started school, so first time being stuck to school hols) was a total washout, and I just can't face that again, so thought we'd venture further afield.
Planning on going to Les Deux Fontaines near Nevez, so southern Brittany. Am hoping this makes the difference! Kids are still small (5 and nearly 3 by then), so quietening down would probably be a good thing. But as they are small, I don't want a mammoth drive, it would not be an enjoyable part of the holiday, esp as dd has started getting carsick!
The drop in price reflects the reduced demand from Dutch and French holiday makers. We've been to France at the end of August for the last two years and had - generally - great weather although we've always gone further south (the Languedoc in 2011 and the Drome in 2012). Last year we arrived on 16 August to a heatwave across France, including Calais! On our way home, it dropped to 11 degrees one day in the Jura!
We've only been to Brittany once and that was at the end of May. It was sunny and beautiful but not what I would call hot. Friends went last year in early August and drove from Calais in pouring rain but were lucky enough to have 5 out of 7 days warm sunshine. I get the impression that it's very much like Cornwall (plus maybe a couple of degrees) so either end of August shouldn't make too much difference.
Across France, the last week in August is the end of the season for some sites and you do get the sense that things are quietening down but not in a bad way IMO.
I think it's because lots of European schools are back by then. We holidayed the last 2 weeks of August last year in Vendee as was so much cheaper. Only downside was that it was very British, less of a mix than we'd like although think that was partly our choice of campsite too. Weather was great! Sites were full or almost full but think they're full all of August. And def worth booking direct with site rather than through eurocamp etc as don't think the British tour companies put their prices down then.
First time camping in Brittany this summer, restricted to school holidays, but otherwise not really fussed when we go. Campsites, and to some extent ferries, much cheaper after 19th August, is there any particular reason to this? i.e. does weather go horrendously awful? Or sites get really crowded?
I am assuming it is just a quieter time of season, that The French all go on holiday at the beginning of August, so was all set to book for after 19th, but just want to check there's no hidden catch!!
Thanks, sorry for asking what is probably a very daft question!