We've booked to go to France, Dordogne area for two weeks in the summer, woo hoo!
First week is a shared villa with friends, so looking for options for the second week. I thought maybe Eurocamp would be good, in an caravan not a tent as DS is an only so it would be nice to have some good facilities en site and chance to meet some other children so hopefully the second week would be as enjoyable as the first. Price wise it's a little cheaper than a small cottage, but not as different as I thought, so I guess it would be the amenities we would be paying for.
I'm hoping not to offend anyone with this thread, but I don't actually know what Eurocamps are like. We stayed at a Haven caravan site once and it wasn't for us - found it too noisy, caravans too close together, entertainment consisted of lots of coin chugging machines, overall just not what we wanted. We have however stayed in South Lakeland caravan parks a few times at Fallbarrow and White Cross Bay and really enjoyed them - less in your face I suppose, but great having amenities on site.
We've stayed at Eurocamp many times and found them to be excellent. The entertainment is normally childrens disco, karaoke etc and only goes on for a couple of hours in the evening at the site we went to in the Dordogne. We went to Les Penyrals near Saarlat which was great, lots of space between mobile homes and 5 lovely pools, crazy golf, childrens play area and football field. I think there was a very small room with some machines in but it wasn't well used and was set well away from the pool/bar/restaurant area. It's a relatively small site and very well run. Not sure about kids clubs as mine were older when we went there. We found Haven in the UK was much nosier and more electronic entertainment, possibly because of the weather not allowing so much outdoor activity.
Thanks NCISaddict - that's a very helpful response. I saw the Les Penyrals site - DS would love it, he is mad about crazy golf. Unfortunately they didn't have any units left that had A/C which I think will be a bit of a necessity for July.
I don't think DS will want to go to the kids clubs anyway - he doesn't really like that sort of thing, but he does sometimes enjoy taking part in activities if we are around.
I have though just found a two bed cottage in a set of cottages within walking distance of Montignac with a shared pool and wifi, that is in fact cheaper than the cheapest Eurocamp option ( and that's with a 25% discount code I found for Eurocamp) so I suspect we may end up doing that.
I think if you pick your site carefully, looking for a small site then Eurocamp can be fab, we stayed on a lovely quiet site in the Vendee last year. If you are outside school holidays it is fine as all families with pre-schoolers. With a site you have the option of being sociable if you want to but you also have your independence
we have only had aircon once and found it was a bit of a waste of money tbh. Our DC's always made friends really quickly and met up several years running with other families, indeed DD ended up babysitting for one family as she was 17 by that time. The dordogne is lovely, loads to do, canoeing is fantastic and very easy.
Oh really NCISsaddict - I thought A/C might have been a necessity - that opens up a lot more possibilities, shuffles off to google again.
We have been to the Dordogne a few times already and loved it, so thought that Eurocamp would be a nice new angle for us.
Hanging - DS is school age, but we're in Scotland and although there are good direct flights to France, it doesn't seem to be so popular here so we have generally found it quite laid back when we go.
PMGKT - yes I didn't want to use the c word, but it was kind of what I was thinking . Our neighbours love Haven though - they go every year to the site where I struggled to spend 2 nights, they have 3 active sociable boys though, so probably made full use of the clubs.
I found it was reasonably cool at nights and with the mosquito nets they have at all the bedroom windows we were fine. It did make the caravan cool to come back to during the day but we were outside and at the pool most of the time we were on the site, The thing that is worth the money is decking, it's somewhere to dry towels etc and keeps the inside cleaner. Have always really enjoyed my eurocamp holidays. Haven was only ok during Feb half term when it was empty.
Eurocamp doesn't really attract 'c' in my opinion. It is a bit too hearty for that! Campsites in Europe aren't like a uk caravan park - totally different. On the eurocamp site you can choose which type of place you're looking for. It is a very middle class holiday option!
That's very reassuring - I thought it was the case as lots of friends have recommended it to us, but you can never be too sure. Good spot on the decking as well, will make sure that I check that they have that.
That's interesting - the one time we stayed at a shared cottage complex in the Dordogne, it was owned by Dutch people and mostly Dutch people staying there, which was nice as they were very friendly, although one little one did steal half a chocolate croissant when we were having breakfast outside !
Haven site going slowly - should really do my tax return - searches for other avoidant activity....
Thanks all - spoke to DH and we are going to go for the cottage instead as it's right beside the village with canoeing, mini golf and loads of restaurants and it's no more expensive that a caravan - do fancy doing the Eurocamp experience some other time.