French Campsite Recommendations

(19 Posts)
LondonSuperTrooper Tue 04-Feb-14 09:53:58

I've recently become a single parent and I'm looking at cheap holiday for either the may half term or the summer holidays. My son and I need something to look forward to.

I'm not brave enough to use my own tent and pitch it up abroad by myself. So I have been thinking of Eurocamp os similar. Ideally, I would love to visit Tuscany but it is a long drive and it will just be the two of us - my DS is 6.

I think for our first trip away, France is a feasible option. I will be using the Eurotunnel (ferry prices are v expensive). Please can you recommend a campsite for me? I can't speak French (will I get by without speaking French?), so would like to have a good site where we can spend a few days onsite...........I have never camped in France & not sure what to expect. Also, any ideas for budgets for 1 week camping will be gratefully recieved - I am absolutely clueless!

Thanks.

Flappingandflying Sat 08-Feb-14 18:42:13

Recommend Chateaux Les Eaux in Normandy. Its got a mahoosive covered pool which is great in May when the weather is iffy. Hire a mobile home directly from the site. It's about a four hour drive from Calais. Brilliant zoo just down the road and fab patisserie in Pair Sur Mer. That has a lovely beach with no one much on it in May.

Also good but the pool was bloody cold last May is Chateux de Galinee in St Cast in North Brittany. You could get an overnight ferry so shorter drive. Countryside is beautiful round there.

Really nice with massive pitches is Etang de la Breche near Samur. That's about four hours drive from Caen.

Go on the Castels website and see! Lots and lots of lovely places. One thing you need to consider is the tolls on motorways. Is your child able to hand over money, throw into a box, etc.

Booking direct with the campsite is cheaper than eurocamp, etc. canvas and thompson have better couriers and the leaning is generally better.

MegBusset Sat 08-Feb-14 18:50:24

We spent a week at Croix du vieux Pont in Berny Riviere last summer, it's east of Paris so not too far a drive (about 3 hours from Calais). We were with Canvas, there were a few other companies there Inc Eurocamp.

It's a great site, very child-friendly. Has its own 'beach' and fab lake for paddling plus indoor pools, bouncy castle, bowling alley, playgrounds etc. Canvas did a good kids' club. You can get coach trips to Paris and Euro Disney from the site. Good takeaway pizzas, plus restaurant, shop, fresh croissants every morning, etc.

LondonSuperTrooper Fri 14-Feb-14 09:38:16

Thank you both for your reply. I'll have a look at the sites recommended.

Do you think that I will get by without speaking any French?

hillbilly Fri 14-Feb-14 11:02:29

Take a phrase book and give it a go - it will be appreciated! I don't speak French but ended up translating for the whole family last summer! A steep learning curve grin

millimat Sat 15-Feb-14 08:54:45

In my experience the French are embarrassingly good at speaking English so you'll be fine. I always attempt a bit of French and the replies from them are in English! The only time you'd have difficulty is if you go to a non-touristy area.

You'll get by no problem.... Most sites have a mix of nationalities.... And most have at least some English

And consider a toll tag to get over the issue of toll booths.... We bought ours from Sanef - can't link from my phone but there is a link to them from the Brittany Ferries web site .... It's great ... You just drive through and pay later grin

Also, if you don't mind a reasonable drive, head south west - once you get south of Nantes the weather is usually much better and warmer wink

Kahlua4me Sun 23-Feb-14 14:59:37

Have you looked at www.gingerbread.org.

We used to go on their holidays as kids after my dad left and had a great time. Everyone was in the same boat so DM had other mums to socialise and share a bottle with and we had other kids today with.

Kahlua4me Sun 23-Feb-14 15:00:20

Sorry link should be gingerbread.org.uk

LondonSuperTrooper Tue 25-Feb-14 12:57:53

Thank you all for your replies. I don't think that I can afford to go camping abroad so I've started looking at sites closer to home.

Kahua, thanks, I'll have a look at your link.

LondonSuperTrooper Tue 25-Feb-14 13:05:31

Kahua, I can't find any holidays on their website. I have found a link to other single parent's websites.... is this what you meant?

chicaguapa Tue 25-Feb-14 13:23:43

Just to say that May half term will be cheaper than the summer as it's not a holiday in France. Also that the French schools go back mid August so the last two weeks of August are generally cheaper too.

I would have a look at the Eurocamp websites and then check the prices directly with the campsites. Eurocamp put a massive mark up on them. eg. I was looking at campsite for just outside Paris (International Maisons Laffitte) and Eurocamp quoted me �222 for 2 nights pitch only. Directly it was 136 EUR.

If you could brave taking your own tent (for the sake of a cheaper holiday) have a look at staying in a municipal site which has a municipal pool nearby. They're significantly cheaper than commercial sites and if you look at the reviews on ukcampsite you could find one where they speak English at reception.

LondonSuperTrooper Tue 25-Feb-14 13:49:53

Chica Thanks for your suggestions. The Eurocamp holidays in August still come in at �800-�900 for 7 nights. I'll look at booking it directly with the site & see whether it's cheaper - thank you.

I'm not brave enough to camp in France on my own - I've only been camping once in my tent & that was with my ex. I have actually started looking at camping in the UK as I can send out an SOS to my brother if I need their help!

chicaguapa Tue 25-Feb-14 13:52:53

You could always look at going for 5 days to reduce the cost as you'll still have something to look forward to and it's still a holiday somewhere forrin.

MegBusset Tue 25-Feb-14 14:02:21

If you're looking in the UK, may I suggest Sandy Balls in the New Forest? They have Eurocamp-style ready tents so you wouldn't have to pitch by yourself. It's a great site with plenty for kids to do and loads of places to go nearby. £599 for seven nights in August (and of course you'd save on petrol).

LondonSuperTrooper Tue 25-Feb-14 14:04:28

The campsite costs for May are actually low. It's the ferry prices that are absolutely crazy. I've looked into driving from Calais to Brittany/Vendee regions but it's a long drive - in excess of 450miles..... it's a long driv with just DS & I.

VelvetGecko Tue 25-Feb-14 16:15:27

Have you thought about flying to France? Have just been checking prices as I'm planning on taking Ds to France this year and got quotes of under £300 return for both of us-cheapo airlines obviously. That's from Edinburgh to Nice so probably cheaper from down south. You can get s/c apartments for under £300 p/w.

LondonSuperTrooper Wed 26-Feb-14 13:43:03

Thanks for all the recommendations. I've managed to book a holiday overseas for less than the price of going to France smile

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