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Best French campsites/camping operators...

(7 Posts)
bronniemuldoon Tue 30-May-06 13:59:54

We're thinking of going camping abroad for the first time with DS(3) and DD(14 mths) this summer. I've ordered brochures for Eurocamp and Keycamp but are there any other operators (or independent campsites) that anyone can recommend? We're thinking France is easiest journeywise - we don't want to travel too far with "are we there yet" chorusing from the backseat!

calpopscalum Tue 30-May-06 14:29:19

You'll love it! I'd order more brochures as most of the operators seem much the same and prices do vary.We go with French Life but that's solely cos we use Tesco vouchers to pay for it. Where areyou thinking of going? The prices usually include a return ferry crossing dover/calais but that's quite a haul if you want to go to western France (brittany, Vendee etc).
The best site we've been to (when our 2 were 15m and 30m)was camping mane guernehue in baden, Brittany. It was just perfect for young children - nice and quiet with a fantastc pool complex- main pool gently shelved so they could wander in and out. There was also a kids pool, an adults only pool and some separate water slides. DD (15m then) was happiest playing in the footbath at the entrance though!!. the site has a lovely restaurant/take away right next to the pool (fenced off) and they have a little tykes climbing frame in the restauarnt - ideal!! BBQs by your caravan so daddy did the cooking! Lots of play areas, a bouncy castle and they have a pen of goats and a field of donkeys down by the fishing lakes. There are also ducks down by the lakes and my 2 loved it! Only drawback is that it is quite hilly but you get peace n quiet and lovely views over the countryside rather than looking at rows and rows of vans! The village is within walking distance with all you need (PO< bakers, butchers, restaurant, tourist info)and the local towns are fab. They all seem to have mini trains which take you round them which we spent most of our holiday on!! You need to drive to beaches but there's so much choice, and you can sail round the golf of morbihan. We'll be going back! This year we're going back to St Jean de Monts to camping acapulco - a new site for us. We've enjoyed all the sites but Mane Guernehue was a gem! Stayed at Le Guilvenic last eyar - village la plage which was fantastic location wise, right next to the beach - 2 mins walk but the kids pool was unusable so it all depends on what you want.
When we go to Brittany/the Vendee we always sail overnight Portsmouth/ST malo cos it's less driving, the kids love the mini disco/live band on board and adore the bunk beds in the cabin. The journey is not stressful at all that way. Avoid the daytime fast craft to ST malo it's known as the Vomit Comet for obvious reasons. We did it once and never again! I even had to be escorted to the car deck mid sail to get more clothes as our 2 had gone through all emergency clothes they were so ill and that was meant to be a calm day at sea. Everyone was vomiting, vile. We did the drive to St Jean de MOnts one year from DOver/Calais but stopped at Rouen over night to break it up but we much prefer paying the extra for the overnight sailing.
Try the Mattews Holidasy discussion board at www.matthewsfrance.co.uk click on a destination and at the bottom of the drop down menu you'll see the discussion area. Hope you find something you like!

bronniemuldoon Tue 30-May-06 17:24:45

Thanks calpopscalum, that sounds just what we're looking for - loving the Vomit Comet (or not, obviously!)

Milliways Tue 30-May-06 20:18:56

I'd second Matthews Holidays - had a great time at Les Genets with them last August, & we did the drive from Cherbourg in one day - took the early crossing (on the vomit comet!) & arrived on site for tea time. Came back from Caen which was much better, but next time would take the longer crossing & the fastcraft has NOTHING to do on it!

Going with Siblu (Haven) this year for about the 7th time - never had a problem with them. Just did Matthews as sooo cheap last year and we fancied the Med this year & Matthews have no decent sites there.

Surfermum Wed 31-May-06 12:47:44

We went with Matthews last year on Milliways' recommendation and they were great. We got a caravan cheaper than were were going to pay for a tent with Canvas! We stayed at Camping Atlantique in Fouesnant and had a fab time. Brittany is lovely and reminded us a lot of Cornwall. This year we're venturing further down the coast to the Vendee and staying at the Clarys Plage.

DD was 2.3 last year when we went and she was fine on the journey. We did the 7.30 sailing from Poole to Cherbourg on the vomit comet, but we chose that as we're only 10 mins from the port, and we got to the campsite around 5.00 pm. We broke the drive with a picnic half way.

DH used to work on the vomit comet. He's a salty old sea dog though and is fine on it. Dd and dsd also seemed to be OK too and he managed to take them up on the Bridge, as he knew the Captain, which they loved. I am completely hopeless on it and normally can't leave my seat and have to sit looking at the horizon the whole time to stop feeling sick . That's sick not envy!

crunchie Wed 31-May-06 20:49:33

Matthews are cheap but they only do mobiles and our kids prefer a tent

Outside of the main school hols you can get Keycamp holidays really cheap if you book via Leisure Direction. They don't tell you they are Keycamp holidays, but they are.

If you are thinking of going in the summer holidays you will find m,ost of it booked up. If you can go early to mid July you should get a bargain or two. Look here this is so much cheaper than the brochure

calpopscalum Wed 31-May-06 21:04:11

French Life/Camping Life ahve fab summer offers on this year - 3 bed mobiles £299 if you book before 21 June

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