Cheepest "ready put up tent" holiday company in Europe?

(40 Posts)
LynetteScavo Sat 29-Dec-12 19:58:04

Please save me hours of research.

£1,300 sounds like a lot for a week in a tent in Northern France.

Would I be better off buying a tent and struggling to put it up?

I want to go as far/hot as I can for as little money as possible. smile

rumbamama Sat 29-Dec-12 20:30:30

We have used Venue in the past, they were fine, but did not have many choices of destination, I think Keycamp, Eurocamp and Canvas have more, though £ but holiday clubs etc are included.

SizzleSazz Sat 29-Dec-12 20:31:35

There are mobile homes here for €710.00/£580.00 a week

We camped here in the summer and it is the cleanest campsite i have ever stayed at. The pool is lovely and it is c0.5k from beach - easily walkable (with our 4 and 3 year olds)

I saw inside a couple of the mobile homes and they seemed really nice.

SizzleSazz Sat 29-Dec-12 20:33:34

I would say though that there is not masses of child entertainment - pool, huge bouncy castle, football area, kids play area and a small 'clubhouse'. Perfect for young children or if you are happy to go out and about rather than having everything 'on site'

Ponders Sat 29-Dec-12 20:39:52

it does sound like a lot, I agree - which company was it with?

as well as kids' clubs though the price usually includes Dover-Calais crossing, & also it does mean you only have to take a relatively small amount of luggage - we once stayed with 4 kids on a Eurocamp site in Normandy in August with our own tent, & it was way cheaper, but we had an 8-seater MPV at the time & even with a roof rack it was rammed with stuff!

LynetteScavo Sat 29-Dec-12 20:41:00

Thank you!

There are 5 of us, which seems to put the price up.

Youngest DC is now 7, and eldest will be 14...he want's to go "Wild and poo in a ditch shock hmm" I, obviously would like something more refined.

I can do camping, as long as it's warm.

LynetteScavo Sat 29-Dec-12 20:43:07

It was Canvas.

While a pool with slides would be nice, we don't need kids clubs or evening entertainment (my idea of hell). The quieter the better, really. (Although I do like the availability of a washing machine /launderette, just in case).

MoppingMummy Sat 29-Dec-12 20:46:36

We have also used venue before in southern brittany. We booked quite last minute & had a mobile home for 10 nights for around £1400.

We went to southern Brittany again last yr with Keycamp - we stayed at La Grande Metairie & it was absolutely fab. We paid a bit more, but it was worth it for the facilities & kids clubs included.

Our prices included ferry crossing (Plymouth / roscoff - as we prefer a shorter drive) for 5 people, 3 bed accommodation & kids clubs on site.

MoppingMummy Sat 29-Dec-12 20:51:21

I think Venue have accommodation at Raguenes in southern Brittany - i heard that is a nice quiet site.

Ponders Sat 29-Dec-12 20:57:48

book Canvas via topcashback & you get 10% back smile

Eurocamp & Keycamp give 4%

(if you do go with one of those be very careful to do a full new booking - don't use a saved quote)

Ponders Sat 29-Dec-12 21:02:56

I just did a quick search on Canvas & found 10 nights in a 3-bed mobile home in the Dordogne for just over £1000 - 2 or 3 children doesn't seem to make any difference

what are your dates, Lynette? (I love doing searches!)

LynetteScavo Sat 29-Dec-12 21:06:08

Any time during the six week school holiday. smile

Anifrangapani Sat 29-Dec-12 21:09:48

A tent isn't that hard to put up....... £1400......... blimey.

overthemill Sat 29-Dec-12 21:12:08

Venue is cheapest I think but I did find someone else that was pretty cheap too. Will look when I can get near the laptop, am on phone. Canvas is brilliant but the frills are expensive!

Ponders Sat 29-Dec-12 21:12:18

where are you coming from (roughly) & how long are you prepared to drive the other side?

do you mind starting midweek or does it have to be a Sat for work hols?

do you care if you're in striking distance of a sea beach, or would a lake/river beach (or none) be ok?

is Dover-Calais ferry crossing ok or would you rather use a different route (will cost loads more though, unless you have Tesco vouchers for Eurotunnel - Canvas only knock off £40 for accom only, & a self-booked ferry would be a lot more than that in July/August)

Ponders Sat 29-Dec-12 21:14:40

oh, and, would you rather have a mobile home or is a tent ok?

v little price diff between cheapest mobile home & tent though (I think)

LynetteScavo Sat 29-Dec-12 21:19:01

Coming from the midlands.

The shorter drive the better, but I understand that a longer drive is necessary for better weather. I am also considering train (would enable a night in Paris, which would be nice) and hiring car at destination for a couple of days, although I'm guessing that's silly as no one seems to do it.

Just had the French rule on swim shorts conversation with DS1 and DH, who say like hell are they wearing Speedos! (DH in Speedos is a very scary image I now need to wash from my mind!)

LynetteScavo Sat 29-Dec-12 21:21:08

Tent would be fine if the weather is warm.

My idea of hell is being in a tent in the rain for a week.

If we need to stop of over night on the way down/ way back it's OK.

Ideally I would like to spend under £1000 on accommodation and travel. Is that asking too much? <scared>

EightToSixer Sat 29-Dec-12 21:25:50

Watching because I'm looking for exactly the same thing for my family of four. First year we've had to avoid term time and it depresses me how expensive it is sad
Brittany would be ideal for us with Plymouth-roscoff crossing

overthemill Sat 29-Dec-12 21:29:20

It is French freedom. We spent £ 688 fir one week in tent in Royan with venue last time then did week in dordogne with private rental for another £400. We are 5 people. If you book with company for tent you can get stop off accommodation in their sites on way Down. Much cheaper. You just need to have overnight bag so you don't have to unpack whole car! Cheap hotel chains like formula 1 or. B&B are good too. Tunnel usually around £80 return if you book well in advance.

MrsMc82 Sat 29-Dec-12 21:32:42

how about select camp? think thats pretty cheap........

Ponders Sat 29-Dec-12 21:35:47

tents can be fairly hideous if weather is hot, actually (although not so bad if site is shady) - but a week of rain is highly improbable, unlike eg Cornwall grin

anyway

you could have 7 nights in the Vendee here in a 2-bed mobile home for £983 - that includes an off-peak ferry crossing (ie early or late, not sure of details) or a tent here for £775

those are both for a midweek mid-August start (10th was what I put in)

c 400 miles from Calais. Is that too far?

Ponders Sat 29-Dec-12 21:39:54

off-peak is 10pm-6am, but peak sailings are only an extra £9 each way if you avoid Fri & Sat

Ponders Sat 29-Dec-12 21:41:21

oh, it's Fri-Sat outbound, Sat-Sun inbound

cheerup Sat 29-Dec-12 21:46:24

Look at dutch companies ie selectcamp or tentsettersent or rent a tent or roan or at the sites own accommodation from around 20th august when prices start to drop. Use Google translate. Also check out Flower campings and their accommodation. Using Tesco vouchers for Eurotunnel really helps and DFDS also do discounts sometimes.

cheerup Sat 29-Dec-12 22:11:14

Camping les Iles Beaulieu Sur Dordogne in a funflower tent for 580 euros 10 nights 21 to 31 Aug. Check via michelin route planner for petrol and toll costs but I would estimate 300ish. Don't forget you'll also need euro breakdown cover, high vis vests, bulb kit etc so allow an extra 100 for incidentals.

Definitely do-able - bonnes vacances!

Superspudable Sun 30-Dec-12 08:53:12

Also look at Flower camping and camping indigo. About 600euros in a safari type tent in August in the south for a week, no ferry or tunnel.

LynetteScavo Sun 30-Dec-12 11:09:49

Thank you all so far!

DH is very fond of his week in Cornwall, and so has suggested I give him a presentation of the holiday/s I want(rather than jibbering on while he is trying to do something else...presumably the more persuasive the presentation the more likely he is to agree to go, so power points and costings here I come. grin

overthemill Sun 30-Dec-12 11:19:37

i have just checked out flower camping and camping indigo and am very impressed! Great sites and good prices. Camping Indigo is especially impressive as it is 'eco' and has ready to camp kits so you don't have to take a car load of equipment with you. Thanks for the suggestions superspudable - I will be adding it into my already fevered holiday research!

lynetteScavo if dh loves cornwall the brittany would be a perfect first step into france. we went for our first french camping holiday in 2002 when ur kids were small and it was brilliant. Try fousenant as a destination, loads to do, friendly big beaches, night markets, and lots of choice for rockpooling campsites.

we are trying to make the break to another country but the draw of france is very strong after all these years!

dancingintherain Sun 30-Dec-12 19:55:27

If you are thinking of Brittany we went here last year in our own tent
Belle Vue Farm Brittany
They do have set up tents so I've linked to the price list. We also got 25% off our brittany ferries crossing. It's a farm campsite with a pool and farm animals, the DCs had a blast but maybe not that much going on for teenagers.

janek Sun 30-Dec-12 20:08:39

Much as i would love to encourage you to go by train, i don't think it would be possible to get travel and accommodation for under £1000- eurostar return is £70 min for adults/children over 12, and not much less for children under 12, then at least £30 return to wherever you're going, if you book it early enough, probably more.

And you haven't yet hired a car, or indeed got to london to catch the eurostar. Or paid for accommodation.

So sorry as train is definitely the best way to travel.

Superspudable Mon 31-Dec-12 07:29:28

overthemill - you're welcome. We stayed at Les Chateaux in the Loire with Camping Indigo (having stayed in some cabins with their sister company Huttopia out of season) and it was really great. We've booked Forcalquier in the south with Indigo and in a Freeflower tent with Flower somewhere near Grenoble both for August and it was really reasonable (2 weeks for about a grand) and we're confident of the quality!

shockers Mon 31-Dec-12 07:41:26

Ponders, we've stayed at the one in the Vendee, but with Eurocamp. It was a really good site, quite small, but with a few little play parks, a couple of pools and a great beach nearby. We really enjoyed it there. It was about 5 years ago though, so it might have changed.

overthemill Mon 31-Dec-12 10:03:58

One thing I'd add is that the last couple of weeks in August are usually a bit cheaper but campsites are often winding down facilities in the last week because of French schools going back week before us. So that is worth checking out. Once in vendee we were reduced to one shower block and no little shop until midday! It was ok but not forewarned it was a shock on first day.

LynetteScavo Mon 31-Dec-12 15:07:09

Thanks for the tip about the end of August!

Superspudable Tue 01-Jan-13 08:18:44

The price drop in France tends to happen after the Ascension bank holiday on August 15th...

overthemill Wed 02-Jan-13 11:04:02

found this useful website while looking for places in italy - has huge number of camping companies doing tents and mobiles and google will translate for you if they are dutch! going to compare prices with the ones I usually use.

Sparklegeek Wed 02-Jan-13 18:43:53

We have booked with Selectcamp for the Venetian Riviera - very soon after returning home early last August having been rained out in Cornwall! I do love Cornwall but my body needs some sun now :-)

Get this though - we have a fully plumbed in bathroom & kitchen in the tent we are going to shock

I think it came in at about £1100 for 5 of us in August. We are flying though so have that cost in top - too far to drive!

peppersquint Wed 09-Jan-13 17:18:09

Try vacancesoleil (sp?) but their french/euro quoted site. Lot cheaper - but then you have to sort ferries out yourself.

Milliways Wed 09-Jan-13 19:52:48

Matthews Holidays are cheaper for their smallest caravan than all the other companies Tent prices. They have 7 nights for £875 throughout the holidays, plus 15% off if you book by end Jan.

Sample prices for Chateu Des Ormes site here

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