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Key camp sites - recommendations in France?

(48 Posts)
kizzie Tue 10-Feb-04 12:43:47

Hi can anyone recommend any of the key camp sites in France.
Have had a look at the website and ordered a brochure but always so much better to hear personal accounts.
Will be our first holiday like this with two 4/5 yr olds so ideally quite close to one of the ports if poss.

Janh Tue 10-Feb-04 12:56:36

We have been to Houlgate in Normandy - not with Keycamp though. Very handy from Caen. You can walk to the beach - maybe a mile, down a residential road.

It's quite a big site but in small sections IYKWIM - the mobile homes are higher than the tents. Our kids loved it (we have been a total of 4 times - twice with Eurocamp, twice on our own.)

lilibet Tue 10-Feb-04 12:59:40

How old are your children?

La Grande Metarie in Brittany is fantastic for all ages, our 14 year old loved it there.

Camping de Fierbois in the Loire is good too, this year we are going to something that I cant spell, but its in Blois in the Loire.

I have stayed in loads and never had a bad one yet.

Slinky Tue 10-Feb-04 13:17:39

We've been to Pointe De La Gilles in Benodet (Southern Brittany) last 2 years and have really had a great time! Beach with rock pools across the little lane directly outside the campsite.

This year, we're off to the Loire region - staying at the E'tang de la Breche in Saumur. Friends have been to this site numerous times and have said it is one of the best sites they've stayed in France.

The site in Brittany is a medium sized one (I think it had around 400ish pitches) but this year really fancied a smaller site. The Saumur site is only 200 pitches. Never fancied the larger sites as my older 2 children like a bit of freedom and I'm not sure I would be happy with them (8 & 6) wandering around on a site of 1000 or so pitches.

Crunchie Mon 19-Apr-04 10:06:52

Slinky, just seen this. Can you give me more low down on Point de la Gilles. We are just about to book this for Whitsun week and I'd love an insider view. My kids are 5 and 3 - love waterslides (!) and dh loves rock pools etc

littlemissbossy Mon 19-Apr-04 10:08:10

Kizzie, which port will you be going from/travelling to?

Codswallop Mon 19-Apr-04 10:25:25

we are off to the bonne anse plage on the reccomendation of friends of ours

its in the royan section

Slinky Mon 19-Apr-04 10:31:38


We've all enjoyed Point both times we've been. Site is quite spread out with a playarea near the main entrance. On-site shop is quite good - have a bakery that bakes fresh baguettes/croissants daily. Although we used the on-site shop daily, we did our main "bulky" shop at a Champion supermarket which is about a 5min drive.

Benodet itself is quite pretty - beaches are lovely and they have little "kids clubs" with bouncy castles/swings etc etc for them to play on. Benodet beach is about a 5/10 minute walk from the site but there is a beach across the small road from the site - lovely with rocks and rock pools. My kids spent hours crabbing

The waterslides are only open from 2pm until the pool shuts at 7pm. There is a bar which opens at 4pm which has nighttime entertainment. Couldn't tell you what it was like because we never went in there - we spent most of our evenings drinking with our neighbours Kids were all playing out together etc.

Can recommend the restaurant in Benodet on the seafront - can't remember what it's called but it's green

Also recommend visiting Quimper (about 15km away) beautiful town with a lovely Cathedral and lovely little cobbled streets. Also went to the Aquarium at Audeirne which the kids really enjoyed.

If your older child is into "kids clubs", my 2 loved the Funstation clubs - at Pointe, they split them into ages - 4+, 7+ and 10+. Did lots of activities - football/arts/treasure hunts/water fun etc etc.

I'm trying to think of other stuff - can't think, let me know if want to know more. Which port are you thinking of travelling to? We went to Cherbourg - journey from there to Benodet was about 6hrs!

This year, we going into Caen - journey time is only 3 hrs hopefully !

Crunchie Mon 19-Apr-04 11:45:41

We are doing Dover Calais so the drive is about 8 - 10 hrs (!) Thing is we live so much nearer Dover (about 1.5hrs) and DH gets sea sick, we thought that would be best. My kids are 5 and 3, therefore only one will be able to go to the kids club - which will upset the other one, so I doubt we will use them much.

Did you go in high summer? We are planning Whitsun week so I guess the beach clubs won't be running.

What we are looking for is a site that is lovely for us, and them. With plenty to do around if the weather is not really 'beachy'. A rock pool beach is perfect as they can wear shorts and long sleeves. We will probably hire some bikes, as we love doing that, is it pretty to cycle? If Quimper is about 15km we will probably cycle there.

I am still trying to decide between this site and one in the Vendee, I like the look of both, but the one in the Vendee may have slides that my kids aren't allowed on!

wonderland Mon 19-Apr-04 11:51:52

hi am taking children on keycamp to loire in summer.2 girls age 12&8 is this good.this is my first time booking holiday as hubby normally does.need advice which port to sail from live in windsor area and how long will the journey take the other side.desperate for help.asap

wonderland Mon 19-Apr-04 11:57:02

hi have been reading comments and they sound great a beach site nearby would be good

Slinky Mon 19-Apr-04 16:16:17


Yes, we always go in August - DH usually has to have his holiday then.

I think Brittany is beautiful and there would be plenty to do in "cooler" weather. There were plenty of cyclists out and about whilst we were there. The Reps on site were very good and had lists of places to visit/recommendations etc. Who are you travelling with? We went with Keycamp but KC and Eurocamp are more or less the same.


Whereabouts in Loire are you going? We're going this year - the crossing we're doing is Portsmouth to Caen. Caen is the nearest to Loire region (according to Keycamp website). We're doing an overnight crossing there which gets us into Caen around 7.30am (local time). On the way back, we're doing an evening crossing - leaving France around 5pm, getting to Portsmouth around 11.00pm.

Crunchie Mon 19-Apr-04 16:38:59

Slinky, silly question but since you start just up the road from me, Is it worth going for the longer crossing?? We are doing Dover/Calais as it is only 1:45 this end, although longer once you get to France. Portsmouth or Poole are much longer this side, and a longer crossing, so I reckon overall travelling would be worse (and more expensive). What do you think?

We can't decide between the Benodet site or a Vendee site, Le Clarys Plage. Has anyone been there???

Janh Mon 19-Apr-04 17:39:00

Crunchie, I was pricing ferries this aft for August. Dover-Calais with Hoverspeed was £194 return - Portsmouth-Caen with B. Ferries was nearly £700 (and that was with reclining seats one way).

From Lancs Portsmouth is nearer than Dover, and we're planning on going to Charente Maritime so Caen is closer to there than Calais, but £500 accounts for an awful lot of time and petrol!

(Considered Newhaven-Dieppe too, Newhaven is nearer us, forget what that cost but it was a Seacat - does anybody know what that's like cross-Channel?)

Thomcat Mon 19-Apr-04 17:49:20

I can really recommend this place here

Janh Mon 19-Apr-04 18:07:50

P & O is cheaper though, Portsmouth-Caen (still over £500 though.)

Codswallop Mon 19-Apr-04 18:22:41

we are going back form caen and overnighting it to st Malo

Crunchie Wed 21-Apr-04 20:26:53

Well I booked it!! I finally decided on Le Clarys Plage at St Jean de Monts in the Vendee, simply because the weather should be better. We are going with Eurocamp in Whit week for £237.50!! in a tent What a bargain I am so excited All we need to do now is check we have enough swimsuits and shorts

hmb Wed 21-Apr-04 20:28:41

Went to the vendee at st Jean last year. We had a *great* time and will be going back this year. You'll have a great time. And your right about the weather, it was a lot better than Brittainy

Codswallop Wed 21-Apr-04 20:29:37

fab crunch - check out he moble homes fo us

we ar e in a grand 34b

can you get pally with the inhabitants ans ask them what extras they need to bring?

Crunchie Wed 21-Apr-04 20:31:28

Coddy are you going to the same site??

Crunchie Wed 21-Apr-04 20:33:06

Hmb, Did you go to the Atlantic toboggan park? Where can you recommend to go?? Did you go to that or a different campsite?? I am dead excited, the whole holiday was cheaper than the crossing alone

Boogie Wed 21-Apr-04 20:34:18

We stayed at L'Etang de la Breche near Saumur in the Loire valley a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. Our kids were 4 and 2 and they had a great time. Excellent pool area, lots of young families around. I would certainly recommend it to anyone. Have also heard that La Grand Metaire at Carnac in Brittany is fantastic, though haven't been ourselves.

roisin Wed 21-Apr-04 20:36:57

Has anyone been by air? I quite fancy it next year as a fly/drive ... I just can't bear the thought of such a long car journey. But do you need to take loads of 'stuff'? Is it possible on an air baggage allowance?

hmb Wed 21-Apr-04 20:43:03

Didn't try it, but it looks great from the outside. The whole region is great for kids with lots to do for all ages. We stayed in Camping Le Bois Dormont which was first rate. This year we have gone for a smaller campsite, as it was a bit big for smaller kids. The kids loved the beaches, and having picnics in the woods. We took one day to go to a historical theme parc in Puy de Fou, which was superb, but a longish drive. I'd recommend you have a look at this bebsite which gives you lots of info on places to go

The book it mentions is well worth getting, we did and found it very useful.

You'll have a great time, I'm realy looking forward to going back this summer.

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