Yet another French campsite recommendation wanted!

(9 Posts)
KosherBacon Fri 14-Feb-14 15:18:19

I am looking for some recommendations of where to stay in France. We are thinking of spending a week in France, say near Bordeaux or in the Dordogne. We are thinking of renting a chalet/ gite on a campsite, as we are travelling with a one year old so want others nearby.

We are looking for a campsite that
- Is small ie less than 100 pitches.
- Has a pool and a kiddy playground
- Has a shop on site, even a little cafe would be nice
- Is within walking distance to a village or town would be nice
- Has beautiful views
- Isn't noisy with loud evening entertainment, but still has a sociable vibe
- Is in a good location for exploring and pottering.

Any suggestions? Or are we asking for the moon on a stick?

We had thought about renting a gite or cottage with a pool however we worry we would be too isolated with our son, having to drive even to get a loaf of bread. We hate big resorts, have never been in a package holiday either.

millimat Sat 15-Feb-14 08:58:24

So are you looking for a campsite but not wanting a pitch?

cheerup Sat 15-Feb-14 12:59:09

Les mathevies, Dordogne. Has gites and mobile homes/chalets. Not been but considered - decided not right for us as our children are older. Very helpful by email and looks perfect for little ones.

Sixtiesqueen Sun 16-Feb-14 01:19:26

We have stayed at les Mathevies. It's alright but there's nothing in walking distance and you have to pre-order bread, there's no shop.

It was quite noisy at night in a tent but probably ok in a mobile home, there were a couple you could rent. Relaxed campsite, very British. The dordogne was lovely but you have to drive everywhere and it's a good few miles out of Sarlat.

KosherBacon Sun 16-Feb-14 06:01:23

Sixtiesqueen- where would you go instead? Would you recommend the Dordogne at all? I worry our son will be bored (he'll be about 20 months old by then).

Sixtiesqueen Sun 16-Feb-14 16:46:43

I really liked e Dordogne but our children were older (8 and 4). They enjoyed paddling in the river but it doesn't compare with a beach, it's pretty rough on their feet.

Tbh I think 20 months is a hard age. We lived abroad when our first child was 20 months (in Australia) and we did a lot of 'holidaying' that year. The best times we had were staying in mobile homes close to a beach with a park. It was almost impossible to do anything cultural because of the heat but also becaus eyeing on holiday often disrupted sleep and at least two of us were permanently tired.

Perhaps you should save Sarlat for when your little one is older (by the way, new rules dictate they have to be 5 to go in the canoes on the river, which is a big thing in the Dordogne). When he's older you will also be able to navigate the brilliant markets without a pushchair, which will really help.

At that age I'd have gone for Devon and Cornwall to avoid the travelling. Or Majorca (puerto pollensa is great) if you want more guaranteed weather. If you really fancy France, what about hiring something in south Brittany?

mercibucket Sun 16-Feb-14 17:17:45

dordogne is prob better with older kids. i am sure a 20 month old would enjoy it but they would enjoy it more when old enough to kayak etc. i would just do beach at that age

MummyPigsFatTummy Mon 17-Feb-14 10:33:26

When our DD was about 22 months, we went to a campsite at Hourtin Plage (on a peninsula sort of , about level with Bordeaux), www.camping-cote-dargent.co.uk/. It is a short walk to the beach with small shops and restaurants, and they have a good pool area - outdoor pools with slides, and a toddler pool, and an indoor pool which is great, both to get out of the sun and if the outdoor pool is a bit cold (we were there in September). DD absolutely loved it there and we were able to take her on the big slides (one of me and DH posted at the bottom to grab her as the other one went underwater). She adored it and her water confidence went through the roof.

We stayed in one of the site's mobile homes, which was great. Only thing is it might be a bit big for you as it is a proper commercial site.

We stayed at Les Mathevies, and it is a nice site with an indoor playroom to get out of the sun which is good. The playground for toddlers is (or was, at least) a bit tired but it didn't bother DD and it is next to the bar area, so ideal if you fancy a drink in the sun while they potter.

The swimming pool is nice and there is a toddler pool, and once a week they organise a bonfire in the evening and the children toast marshmallows which is lovely (although your DS will need help obviously smile).

As others have said nowhere is within walking distance, but Sarlat is a drive away and is a nice big town - while we were there there was a sort of sports thing going on in the town and loads of free activities for children to try including a sort of soft play gym thing.

Another place we enjoyed and which is (or used to be) a slightly smaller site than most Yelloh ones was Yelloh St Emilion. Looking now, it seems to have about 125 pitches and 47 rented accomodations.

There is a pool, a playground and a little lake and you seem to be able to hire pedal boats. St Emilion is a lovely town although, again, is a fair trek from the site. We used to do it on bikes but I am not sure if it is walkable.

We have done loads of holidays in France since DD was born and, so far at least, she has never been bored so long as there was a pool and a playground and possibly a bouncy castle about. We got a bit of time off too, as she napped and slept really well with all the swimming and running about.

Pootlingalong Wed 19-Feb-14 12:07:02

Also been to Mathevies which is lovely but my DCs are a bit older than yours. When ours were a bit younger we went here in Brittany which was really relaxing. Not sure it's what you're after and I know you didn't ask for Brittany but it might be worth looking at Camping a la ferme in other areas. Bit further south we have also been here when the DCS were 2 and 4 and they loved it. We did struggle to convince them to come off the trampolines though! The local town, Sommieres is worth a trip and there's a cycle path directly from the site.

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