Thanks for those. Portofino- will def look into the Normandy Garden. I think the other options look lovely but are maybe a little too far for us at the moment with the little ones. We had figured that a 4 hour journey from Calais was probably do-able without having nights stop overs on the way which would take out of the 14 day break. We are used to covering lots of miles pre children (we've driven to Croatia, Southern Spain etc), but after driving back from Britanny in one day home last September with the children (we did have lots of stops and did some night driving etc so children didn't suffer that much!), we are scared a little and feel we would probably be better heading a little closer for the next one
P.S. We stayed [http://grangedumoulin.com/ here]] and it was very child-friendly. Would be great with a 1- and 2-year-old. It might not be very warm though and it's quite a drive from the channel tunnel (we stayed in Le Mans on the way down and Rouen on the way back. Novotels have great family rooms!).
May is really early in the season and a lot of places in France won't be fully geared up yet for the summer season. You'll also want to go fairly far south to get warm weather (it's never guaranteed though - we went to the area near La Rochelle the last two weeks of June last year, an area that's famed for it's warm, mild weather, and it was cool most of the time).
If you want warm and won't compromise on that you need to head as far south as you can. If you don't want to drive there are lots of airports with flights from the UK and there's also the Eurostar/TGV. And if you're going to fly anyway, you could go to Spain or Greece or somewhere where it's likely to be much more summery.
We stayed here in the Loire for a week last summer. It was truly lovely. The owners are really friendly and the kids all just romped round the huge garden together. There is a great tree house and play area. A bread van comes every morning and there is a huge intermarche 5 mins up the road. There were rabbits, squirrels and even a deer roaming about.
We mostly chilled out but did outings to Holly Park, and Doue Zoo which is fabulous! I have trailed round a few zoos in my time but we were blown away with it. Saumur is also nice for a visit.
Just that really. We're hoping to go away for 2 weeks in May. We live in the midlands so already have the drive to the south coast so don't want to be too ambitious with length of drive, particularly now our 1 year old is more mobile. We got caught out last September when we headed to Brittany when it was very cold and everything was shut as apparently the French holiday mainly in July and August? So, any suggestions of an area / even accommodation which would have suitable and open child friendly facilities / activities in May for a 1 and 2 year old would be greatly welcomed! Thanks.