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Another France campsite ditherer. I want a lake and fresh croissants.

(25 Posts)
profpoopsnagle Sat 01-Oct-16 21:21:49

Summer clothes have been put away, central heating tested and a plethora of winter veg arrived in my shopping. Winter is coming but I need to dream of summer camping. I know, I know it's early but it whiles away the winter and I live up North, so need to start early.

So, thinking of heading to France next summer. Have lined up this place in Normandy, know that the weather may not be ideal but it looks heavenly, has natural swimming and there's a lot we've not seen in the area.

But where else? We could Valade again and would dearly love to but DH is keen to avoid a long journey. We had thought about Burgundy and earmarked this place which has my 2 top priorities, namely a lake and croissants. The site is about to change hands and go under the Indigo chain and my extensive research shows that it could go either way WRT it still being a lovely campsite. Anyone camped with the Indigo chain?

Then I have looked under many search sites for something else. I have tried to find where the Dutch search (anwb and France camping) for Every Site That Could Possibly Have a Lake and had some success but many campsites are just a little bit too large... I like the idea of the activities but not the noise and fighting for a sunbed.

Then, I have considered La Garangeoire but bookings for that open in about 3 weeks and we'd not be ready to book then, probably not until the New Year. Apparently it gets booked up quickly and I'm still not sure if it's a little bit too big.

And my last port of call is Ferme du Latois which looks pretty damn fine, except there's possibly no swimming in the onsite lake. It's Dutch owned, but I like the Dutch and let's face it, they know how to camp.

Has anyone camped at these places? Or do you know of any secret campsites that fit my criteria of lake swimming and croissants within a 4 hour drive from Western ports? Or could you just tell me which one to go for? grin

Milliways Sun 02-Oct-16 22:42:59

This site at Tuffe near Le Mans was great for us. Quiet, small pool, bordering a lake where you could hire pedaloes, small beach at one end. Just idyllic-we stayed only 1 night as a stopover on route home but would happily stay longer just to relax.

Hopefully managed to upload pics of our pitch and it's view.

profpoopsnagle Tue 04-Oct-16 20:16:48

Milliways lovely pics, thank you. Took a while to find some other reviews but they are all quite positive. I'm not sure if there's a lot to do in the area though, but really useful to know about as a stop off for a few nights.

SummerSazz Tue 04-Oct-16 20:20:34

Lake Annecy is very beautiful but busy. We scoped out a few nice campsites there but ended up at Lake Padulac - I'll see if I can find a link

SummerSazz Tue 04-Oct-16 20:40:41

Lake Paladru sorry! www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g2140785-d4050985-Reviews-Detente_et_Clapotis-Montferrat_Isere_Auvergne_Rhone_Alpes.html
It clearly had changed hands in the last year or so and facilities upgraded so any reviews older than that might be re previous owners

WaccaWacca Wed 05-Oct-16 22:39:19

We have stayed at your Normandy site and Les Valades. They are both lovely but quite different.

Our dc were toddlers when we went to Monfreville and it was perfect - friendly, relaxed and animals onsite to feed. The natural pool was very cold though, far too cold for us, and small. If your dc like to live in the water on holiday, I'd chose elsewhere. Surrounding WW2 stuff and local towns are interesting and the beaches are great, even if the weather isn't. We also had a great day trip to the aquarium and nuclear submarine at Cherbourg. It is a really, really small site though. I could imagine older kids being quite bored. No playground or even any places to hide from your parents really. They do put on a fab moules frites night though!

WaccaWacca Wed 05-Oct-16 22:57:15

Sorry, I was making the assumption that you're camping with dc, when you may well not be. Monfreville would be lovely for a couple, but the pool is still freezing and definitely not a lake!

Milliways Thu 06-Oct-16 19:31:17

Would you consider a river rather than a lake? Fab sites on the Dordogne with beaches and river swimming?

toffeeboffin Thu 06-Oct-16 19:33:27

A lake and fresh croissants? Just come to Québec! 🏕️

Branleuse Thu 06-Oct-16 19:36:56


we stayed here a few years ago and the lake was absolutely stunning. Id love to go back. The outdoor swimming pool is heated and was gorgeous to swim while overlooking the lake and forest

profpoopsnagle Thu 06-Oct-16 20:22:45

Wacca, that's interesting to hear. Our children are a older than toddlers and although they like playgrounds etc they are ok if we camp without them. Although they are used to being able to head off and have that freedom when we camp, so may find that hard if it doesn't feel that there is a lot of space. It's definitely an area we want to visit and the campsite sounds like a nice base from which to do that and be a little bit pampered. We do swim in English lakes so I hope we might fare ok in the pool.

Milliways don't mind a river, but we we head to the Dordogne area then we'd probably go back to Valades. Quebec also sounds fun except for that the baggage allowance probably doesn't stretch to trailer tents.

Will look at the Jura site, quite fancy the Jura and I did find a number of lake sites there and it seems a little off the beaten track ( as much as France can be in the summer) but think the travel may be a bit too far.

Branleuse Thu 06-Oct-16 20:30:50

The jura is not as far as you might think. The roads are good. Its about 6 hours from calais iirc, so closer than dordogne, and the area is stunning. Close to switzerland

Milliways Thu 06-Oct-16 21:23:15

Thanks for this thread, it's got me searching the ACSI sites for lakes. Apparently Lake Aiguebelette is warmest lake in France, water temp to 28 degrees in summer! I have now bookmarked this site to add to my list- www.camping-le-curtelet.com/en/services.html

Tuiles Thu 06-Oct-16 21:28:57

We liked Les Alicourts - although we had a chalet rather than camping. Lovely swimming lake with beach. Entertainment available, but easy to avoid. Shop on site for fresh bakery. Site is quite far off the beaten track, but the better for it. Tours, Blois, Sancerre and various chateaux within driving range.

SummerSazz Thu 06-Oct-16 22:00:30

Lake Padulac

SummerSazz Thu 06-Oct-16 22:03:51

Lake annecy

Poocatcherchampion Thu 06-Oct-16 22:05:00

We liked the jura. Doesn't every single French campsite have fresh croissants?

SummerSazz Thu 06-Oct-16 22:07:20

And my favourite lakeside camping spot on Lake Maggiore - a bit further though!!!

slkk Thu 06-Oct-16 22:11:57

La Garangeoire! I went there when I was 4!! Didn't know it still existed.
We just came back from a really lovely 10 days at huttopia Senonches. It was lovely and low key. Not crowded at all but not an awful lot to do in the surroundings. Suited us perfectly. We just mucked around on/in the lake and the natural pool. The kids built dens in the forest. We walked into the town for our daily croissants. Very peaceful.

Lidlfix Mon 10-Oct-16 17:13:51

We have camped at your Burgundy site and loved it. Arney-le-duc is the quintessentially French rural village stunning! But the following year we headed for the Jura Camping le Moulin Patornay and loved it too. Could not pick between them as we liked the Jura site better but preferred the town in Burgundy.

One thing I do know having indulged in Cremant de Burgoyne and Jura, Prosecco is a poor imitation and Aldi and Lidl often stock themgrin

froomeonthebroom Mon 10-Oct-16 17:16:58

I came on to recommend later garangeoire! We had a fabulous holiday there a couple of years ago and want to back. Although it is big, it never felt huge iyswim! It wasn't crowded and although there are lots of activities (lots and lots and lots) there is no pressure to join in.

samlovesdilys Tue 18-Oct-16 19:35:25

Try le pin parasol on lax jaumay, or, if a river would be a suitable alternative try les paradis on the vezere, or port limeul on the dordogne...

growyourown77 Wed 23-Nov-16 20:22:34

We camped at Lake Orient near Troyes (amazing medieval town) at this site with infoor/outdoor pool, small bar/restaurant, croissants and a massive lake with sailing and pedalled. Lush!


growyourown77 Wed 23-Nov-16 20:23:09


Millimat Sun 27-Nov-16 08:13:30

I know it's further but I can't recommend the auvergne highly enough smile
We stayed at la ribeyre in murol. It's the complete opposite of les valades but those two sites are my favourite of any we've been to.

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