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camping in france

(45 Posts)
hercules Sun 22-Feb-04 20:15:19

Dh, me, ds (8) and dd(willbe 10months) want to go camping in france but can only go in August.
For some reason we've never been there so want basic advice please.
We would like to take our car and quite a cheap holiday as i'm only just going back to work then.

Which is the best way to get over there? (we live in se, near london)
Dont want to go too far once we're there cos of dd and driving.
We'd like somewhere not too touristy, fairly cheap, places to visit, nice walks etc.

Also is camping in a tent a good idea or should we pay extra for a caravan or cottage?

Thanks in advance

JanH Sun 22-Feb-04 20:23:46

hercules, have you got a tent or do you mean a Eurocamp-type holiday?

JanH Sun 22-Feb-04 20:24:47

(Only in August Eurocamp etc are not cheap!)

hercules Sun 22-Feb-04 20:25:42

Havent got a tent but could buy one.
i've looked websites for keycamp and it seems to be about £1000 for 12 nights for basic accommodation or have i read that wrong?

hercules Sun 22-Feb-04 20:26:55

Messages crossed. I'm a teacher so can only go then and ds's school dont allow them time off outside school.

Slinky Sun 22-Feb-04 20:30:55


This year we're going with Keycamp again - in a caravan for 14 nights, Portsmouth to Caen crossing for 1st 2 weeks in August and it is costing in the region of £2,500!!(admittedly we have booked cabins for both crossings).

You get quoted a basic price for basic caravan/12 nights/Dover to Calais crossing - then you have to add on all the supplements for extra nights/bigger caravans/different crossings etc etc.

hercules Sun 22-Feb-04 20:33:26

Thanks slinky. We could visit dh's parents in srilanka for that though and would hate dh to decide that would be the better option.
He has family in Canda as well so usually go there which is why i want to do a cheap holiday with no family iyswim

LadyCodworth Sun 22-Feb-04 20:35:29

ditto slink. where are oyu going?

hmb Sun 22-Feb-04 20:36:50

We are having 14 nights in France with Canvas in a 2 bedroom caravan for about £1600. I also have to go in the summer holidays as I am a teacher. We have booked the channel tunnel (we are all rubish sailors) and one night each way in Normandy, and then 12 nights in the Vendee. In a tent I think it wold have been about £1200.

Have done it in a tent, but in reained and raines, so wimped out and went in a caravan last year. Had a *great* time, best family holiday ever.

Slinky Sun 22-Feb-04 20:36:53


We're off to the Loire - E'tang de la Breche.

Tinker Sun 22-Feb-04 20:38:41

Overnight ferry crossings are outrageously priced in August I think. If you're organised, it *might* be cheaper to get a ryanair flight and then hire a car.

JanH Sun 22-Feb-04 20:39:41

You might find a gite for less, but if there is any chance of you camping in future I would definitely think about buying your own kit.

We have done DIY camping in Normandy on a site used by Eurocamp etc, you don't get the benefit of the childrens' clubs but you get everything else, MUCH cheaper, and IME the campsite staff have enough English to communicate OK.

hercules Sun 22-Feb-04 20:41:13

janh, can i ask how much it cost and where exactly you stayed?

JanH Sun 22-Feb-04 20:44:19

I just googled "gites Normandy Picardy" and lots of links came up, availability may well be limited and prices will vary but have a look! Chez nous has a helpful-looking website...

hercules Sun 22-Feb-04 20:50:24

thanks janh

JanH Sun 22-Feb-04 20:51:15

hercules, I can't remember exactly how much it cost - and it was 10 years ago now - only that it was, relatively, extremely cheap. The campsite is Camping de la Vallee in Houlgate and we crossed Dover-Calais which gave us a 3 (?) hour drive the other end - pretty handy from the SE! We've been to this site 2 or 3 times now, it's a fairly short walk to the town beach (about a mile) and we love Normandy.

I will do some googling and see what I can find (it's hard sometimes with foreign names because our keyboard doesn't have accents and won't find the right thing.)

JanH Sun 22-Feb-04 21:01:24

Oh, it's just la Vallee - this is its page on the Eurocamp site.

Any luck with Chez Nous? There are some *lovely* places!

Crunchie Mon 23-Feb-04 11:42:05

Hercules I was suggest, if you want this as a long term plan to buy a tent. We bought a fab 12 person tent (!) for our family of 4 - giving us loads of room and 3 bedrooms for £250. This means we can go to France peak season for about £250 crossing and £250 pitch. OK you don't get the kids clubs etc, but you can book most of the same campsites direct and therefore know there will be loads of kids around as playmates for your older one.

We are planning a spring break at Whitsun week which will cost less than £200 for the family inc. crossing. The tent will pay for itself in about 2 yrs.

Tortington Mon 23-Feb-04 12:38:37

crunchie i always wanted to do what you do - but cant seem to find a crossing for less than 200 - never mind the site fees - how do you manage it?

hercules Mon 23-Feb-04 12:39:31

Thanks for help,all seems a bit out of budget as can go to stay with rels elsewhere for the same ifswim.

Crunchie - actually I've been following your thread with interest and like the look of where you stayed last year.

Crunchie Mon 23-Feb-04 13:04:04

Crossing would be £200 + at peak times, but off peak times it is les. I am looking at a site in the Vendee called La Garangoire (sp) where I went as a kid and I think the site fees will be under 100euros in may/june and I found a P&O crossing for around £125 (but I may not have checked the right dates!!)

Tent I bought from Ebay, but a good family tent is around £250 with loads of room

Crunchie Mon 23-Feb-04 13:07:57

Checking the right dates gives me a crossing for £197 but still cheap site fees. I need to check various prices and sites to get a better ferry price, but still a week for around 3260 for 4 people isn't bad

hercules Mon 23-Feb-04 13:27:29

Is that a typo or £3260 right?

Crunchie Mon 23-Feb-04 14:12:09


Crunchie Mon 23-Feb-04 14:30:47

Getting there with my quotes!!! Crossing sunday 30th May - £169, campsite 6 nights 84 euros gives a total of about £220

Check out this campsite \link{} I went there as a kid and remeber it vaugely, look great still.

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