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camping this summer - sw england or sw france???

(37 Posts)
peanutbrittle Mon 08-Jun-09 09:25:22

so, trying to decide what to do this summer - we have had last two summers washed out in sw ireland which depressed us so are we totally insane to even think about a camping hoiday in cornwall or devon this year? obv it would be cheaper than going to france, but really, is it sheer madness?

anyone who has camped in france - would you recommend it? what sort of money are we looking at? (we happy to do cheap ferry to calais and drive for up to a day)

[about to interally combust if we don't sort this summer hols out soon]

DeepGoat Mon 08-Jun-09 09:28:43

am intrigued by your sw fixation!

sw scotland is v. nice!

ime sw england is horrific during the summer, too busy, takes ages to get anywhere on teh wee roads stuffed with cars.

sw france is a fantastic place to camp, campsites are probably similar in price to uk (esp with teh euro in its current state).

but teh campsites have better facilities, not so busy etc.

it might take longer than a day to do calais to sw france.

peanutbrittle Mon 08-Jun-09 09:54:00

i know - isn't that sw thing funny - totally accidental

thanks for your insight on sw eng - hmm, long queues on tiny roads - hadn't thought of that [shivers]

ok, so where do you recommend in sw france then? (happy to have to stay over on drive down, part of the fun)

(is the euro in bad state then? I thought it was the pound...)

DeepGoat Mon 08-Jun-09 09:58:49

sorry i meant they used to be cheaper than uk sites but now are on a par due to strong euro.

what are you into sw france is a big old area!

peanutbrittle Mon 08-Jun-09 10:17:47

big old area indeed grin

well, we like the seaside, have two kids so a campsite next to a sandy beach would be brill

not into loud disco/entertainment type places, more low key, casual (dare I say it) bo-ho vibe suits us

proximity to croissants essential

Peachy Mon 08-Jun-09 10:19:22

See,i'd be happier to hve a wet one here (though hoping not to obv) than drive with my boys for a day

If you can afford it though and are happy to drive, go for it: look at the caravan and camping club as they do sites abroad and can save far more than their joining fee

MagNacarta Mon 08-Jun-09 10:24:16

We camping in Devon last summer and were washed out, came home after four days. We are very broke atm, but I had a look at camping in France in August in a site we've been to before. For 10 days inc ferry it came to £600 (that's us taking our tent). I'm very tempted.

peanutbrittle Mon 08-Jun-09 10:28:51

oooh, magna, that budget sounds very reasonable

where? (if you don't mind sharing)

peachy - I don't mind long drives with the kids (obviously they drive me barmy ) - we are in London anyway so to get to cornwall or devon will take a day - I couldn't bear to think about staying somewhere near London, arrrgh. We usually drive to sw ireland and so we are all well used to it

MagNacarta Mon 08-Jun-09 10:33:43

It was one of the Siblu parcs, there's a MN discount too if you look on the discounts link. We've been to two of them and they were great.

DeepGoat Mon 08-Jun-09 10:34:39

brittany is good for beach holidays. i camped in sw france pre dd so didn't hang about teh beaches much. was too hot for me.

we camped in the pyrenees which was lovely.

this summer is meant to be good though, have you considered n. wales or scotland? less busy and beautiful beaches.

saggyhairyarse Mon 08-Jun-09 10:49:27

Keeping to your SW theme, I recommend SW Wales over SW England in school hols

peanutbrittle Mon 08-Jun-09 11:06:36

hmm, sw wales - what's to recommend it particularly?

I know the summer is supposed to be good - but how can anyone really know???

brittany? hmm, I feel I could be as exposed to fluctuation in weather there - though part of me would like to visit brittany - it's a part of france have never spent any time in...go on then, any recomendations for sites?

what's camping in pyrenees like? what's to do with small kids?

can't find anywhere on slow siblu site at present but have emailed them


Lucycat Mon 08-Jun-09 11:12:09

From Calais you'd be better heading straight south into France, if you're prepared for the drive then the Ardeche is stunning - obvioulsy no sandy sea beaches but a site like this one right on the banks of the river is much more beautiful than the sea - sunshine virtually guaranteed!

I personally think you'd need an overnight stop on the way though.

DeepGoat Mon 08-Jun-09 11:33:16

agree ardeche or the tarn region would be my choice with kids. lovely rivers to swim in or canoe. lots of activies.

we have been lucky in brittany with teh weather but agree it is a risk. personally i would prefer a rainy day in brittany over one in cornwall.

we just did lots of walking in the pyrenees. lots of good walks for families and pretty little towns.

peanutbrittle Mon 08-Jun-09 12:05:59

ok, am happy to look at ardech/tarn and brittany if anyone wants to put up specific links...I get overwhelmed by my own ignorance when I try to find any by myself. Have never camped in France b4 and have no idea what sites are good, bad, indifferent or even what I can be looking for so personal recommendation would be brill

have been around the herault gorges before, pre kids, was lovely but I would have thought a bit non little kid friendly - maybe it's just cos I don't have much experience of riverside life having been brought up holidaying at the beach

that one lucycat put up looks nice, pool etc, I just worry kids will be bored (we will be overwhelmed by whiny demands) if we not near beach with easy activities for them while we lay back and try to recover from 11.5 months stressful working and nervous exhaustion grin

why not SW france? too hot?

saggyhairyarse Mon 08-Jun-09 12:48:39


There are enough reasonably priced attractions to cover you for wet days but otherwise the beaches are gorgeous and the scenery is stunning.

It is my favourite area in the country and I would live there if I could!

peanutbrittle Mon 08-Jun-09 13:21:23

ok - I believe you SHA honest grin

any personal recommendations?

hettie Mon 08-Jun-09 13:30:53

erm- I'm from Devon and love it but even I would say no for a 2 week holiday. Weather unrelaible, and truth be told it's bloody expensive- if it rains and you end up doing 'actitivites' it'll cost a bomb. Also eating out is often expensive and bad value. Sad to say too many palces still rely on tourist trade being a one off visit and so therefore don't care that they offer poor quality food at inflated prices. If you go to S France then weather will be sunny and kids will be content to play by pool,in river/sea whilst you relax. More costly to get too, but nicer once you're there.

peanutbrittle Mon 08-Jun-09 13:54:28

thanks hettie - it is that sort of good sense that I really need - we've had too many years of such holidays in Ireland - what can I have been thinking of...they are perfect if the sun shines, and hell if it rains

DeepGoat Mon 08-Jun-09 15:02:24

great brittany campsite pool is good, and you can walk to the beach so you can stroll down in the evening and have a lovely chilled out time before bed.

jambutty Mon 08-Jun-09 16:00:21

We went camping in Cornwall in the first week of the school holidays for the last two years and it was nice even in the rain, apart from St Ives which was unbearably crowded, bit "london by the Sea" and really difficult to park in. Would second SW Wales - anywhere from Aberystwyth around and down to Tenby really. Lovely beaches, lots of rock pooling opportunities, some attractions.

bigTillyMint Mon 08-Jun-09 16:36:03

DeepGoat, I second that site - we have been 5 times blush There are loads of truly lovely little beaches all around the coast there, very unspoiled. I love it and do feel a bit sad that we aren't going there this year!

saggyhairyarse Mon 08-Jun-09 21:22:09

I think France is going to win out but anyway:


Peachy Tue 09-Jun-09 09:51:23

We just got back pembrokeshire and I can agree with SHA, was a great week- managed to fulfil boys wants with a day at oakwood 9some of the best rollercoasters going apaprently- I just ride them, DH is is a coaster geek) yet there was beautiful scenery, incredible beaches (Tenby, Whitesands, Newgale).... bloody fantastic.

And should you ever get down that way anyone, I can hugely recommend a restaurant, The Shed at Portgain.... they do have a website, delicious

Surfermum Tue 09-Jun-09 10:05:40

We just go back from the south of France. It was a long, long drive. We did an overnight stop each way, but it was still 4 days of driving and although dd (6) and dsd (13) were brilliant, we wouldn't do it again, we'd take longer to get there and back.

We went on the toll roads which cost nearly £100, came back via the Millau bridge which meant there were only toll roads from Paris.

We went to a Siblu campsite and weren't that impressed, but they had just taken it over so I'm reserving judgement about Siblu. The independent campsites we stopped at were lovely.

If you are going to Calais did you know you can use Tesco vouchers for the tunnel? I was very, very impressed by Eurotunnel - really efficient and helpful.

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