Is anyone able to give me some pointers? Having been browsing but struggling to find anything.
We want to go for a week at the end of August. Me, DH and 3 DS's 5yo 2yo and 3mo.
Travelling by ferry and need to be staying a maximum of two hours (preferably 1.5 hours) drive from the port. Neither me nor DH have driven abroad before.
We don't want to be anywhere touristy, but would like amenities close. Traditional French towns/villages for shopping/occasional meals out. Near to child friendly beaches/lakes if we fancy venturing out. We want a proper French experience!
Accommodation - A child friendly cottage/gite with a pool. Quiet.
Would really appreciate any pointers/tips for where we should go, or just decent websites.
We've just returned from Brittany with our 3 young dc's. It was lovely. If you get a ferry from Plymouth to Roscoff (overnight) then you have access to some gorgeous places on the Western/Southern coasts of Brittany. We have stayed just outside Benodet and last year, near Pont-Aven/Nevez.
Owners Direct is a good place to start for looking for accommodation.
I agree owners direct is a good place to look. I have to say however most of the good places will have been booked up long ago. If you can go first week in September rather than the last week in August you will have much more choice, and the price will be about half.
French Country Cottages will probably find you something and will do a package with ferry. Tell them your requirements and see what is left. We've used them several times and haven't been disappointed. I wouldn't worry too much about the driving - French roads are much quieter than English ones - I just drove to La Rochelle (about 6 hours from Cherbourg) after DH broke his leg just before our hols and it couldn't have been easier - much more stressful driving home from Poole on our return.
Second the recommendation for Brittany Ferries if you are anywhere near the ports they sail from - Brittany is great, with lots of good places not too long a drive from ferry ports.
Overnight crossings could be a bit of a nightmare with small children, but if you take a daytime crossing it is worth paying an extra £25 or so for a deluxe private cabin - big porthole, sofa plus bunks plus chairs and little table, own kettle and fridge, lspace for the DCs to play without you having to keep them from running off, your own loo, and a TV with children's channels....