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lilibet- or anyone! Where would you recommend in the Loire?

(15 Posts)
miljee Fri 23-Feb-07 15:12:10

Looking at a couple of sites, either camping with our own gear or staying in a mobile, possibly a castels site? And was looking for anyone's personal experiences. We have 2 DSs, 6 and 8, not really been abroad before but camped a lot. We're looking for:- reasonably quiet (no hordes of p*ssed English teenagers!)- an onsite disco is OK as long as one doesn't have to camp alongside it!, preferably a pool (pref with a water slide!), no need for kids clubs, an interesting area to explore and not too extortionate! End of May/start June. Any advice would be gratefully received. I've trawled the various travel threads on MN but there's not much on the Loire. We've discounted Vendee (windy, crowded and I don't do miles long beaches, Watney's Red Barrel..) and am unsure about Brittany (isn't the early summer as dodgy as Devon's?!).

foxtrot Sat 24-Feb-07 12:44:20

We stayed here at the end of June. It was quiet, but you do need to use the car to go anywhere. Pool was lovely but not heated.
The weather was a bit mixed - a couple of rainy days, some pleasant sunny days and a few really hot days.

miljee Sat 24-Feb-07 14:06:38

That was a place I was looking at! What's the lake like? Did you camp or mobile-home it? Was there enough for kids to do (mine, as I said are 6 and 8, or will be by then)? What's the local countryside like? Any 'must sees/dos'? And I guess we take our chances with the weather! We had a bit of a washout of a camping trip last August on the Dorset coast, but the previous Aug, we had a completely rainfree, hot week in Devon!

foxtrot Sat 24-Feb-07 14:17:14

We had a mobile home. I don't want to put you off, it was a perfectly pleasant site but TBH i wouldn't go back as its location was a bit 'in the middle of nowhere', an easy run into Tours but nothing much in the immediate locality. The lake was rather dull. The bar area is nice but i should imagine it would be very quiet - we went during the world cup which was fun, and they did some children's nights with dancing & games, but not sure if that would happen early in the season. And the pool was cold unless the sun was shining to make it bearable. All the facilities were clean and modern, pitches quite spacious.
What do your DC enjoy doing? Brittany is lovely and i think you might find more things to do there, if you're not bothered about the weather. We've been there in June too and it's been too hot

slalomsuki Sat 24-Feb-07 14:34:52

I don't know where you have looked in the vendee but we have photos of our holiday last year in May/June there it is blazing sunshine and we are the only people on the beach.

The vendee is not just miles and miles of beach, there are fab coves and rockly islands to explore and some great things to do. I have never been crowded there and to me it beats Brittany since the weather is just that little bit better without being overly hot.

crunchie Sat 24-Feb-07 16:23:44

we stayed here a coupe of years ago in the whitsun week (I am assuming that is when you want to go)

It was simply the BEST campsite I have ever been to, my kids still ask to go back (They were 4 and 6 at the time)

The pool area is good, a couple of slides, a huge jacuzzi that all the kids played in, and enough loungers at that time of year. The parc itself was spotless, clean loos/showers, small shop, small bar/restaurant (We never used it though)

Best of all it was about a 10 min cycle (if that) to the grounds of the Chateayu de Chambord. There is a wild animal park we saw baby wild boars etc from forest hideouts (they have little veiwing places around). They have a huge chateau, a little like Disney on Acid with 365 chimneys. At the Chateu there are a couple of little restauants too. There is a horse show, the kids LOVED this and also boats to hire, another fun afternoon activity.

We also went on longer cycle rides along the river and beyond which were fun.

Blois is a pretty town, 30km away, and it has a fab night illumiation show (OK kids were up until 11pm or later) in English at least once a week, which shows the history of the place.

We went with Eurocamp and the kids loved kids camp for a couple of sessions, DD1 also learnt to bike ride there, no traffic and wide smooth paths. The central area has a green play area where kids played together with bats/ball and also on the climbing frames etc. No tent/mobile is more than a minutes walk away so our kids were able to play there until late in the eves (9pm) with others.

It is dirt cheap to go on your own steam or hire one of their chalets, but at that time if year eurocamp/keycamp is approx £300 for the week. Therefore we used them!

Serously my children have been asking to go back every year so far!!

miljee Sat 24-Feb-07 18:06:00

That looks ideal, too! Tell me, could you hire kids bikes on site or nearby? My 2 (nearly 6 and 8) STILL can't ride without stabilisers and I like the sound of somewhere that they might be inspired to practice! The independent reviews I've just looked up tend to say much the same thing as you, too.

I take the point about Fierbois being in the middle of nowhere. Though we will have a car with us we'd prefer not to have to drive distances everytime we wanted to leave the park.

Ta!

crunchie Sat 24-Feb-07 18:41:11

we hired adult bikes there, with kids seats as DD2 were small enough (well light enough) to sit on the back of ours!! Took the kids bikes, they fitted in the boot as we didn't have to take tents and all that stuff. They will definately learn to ride without stabilisers there. I have a feeling they also might have those trailer bikes for hire as your kids will be big enough for them, call the site, or email, they spoke good english and were really helpful.

Also it is a nice drive, not too far and easily done in a day inc crossing. I think we did it on the way home like that. On the way we crossed late eve and stayed 1 hr south of calais (DH worked the sat and we had less than a week, he had to be back at work the following friday eve)

Seriously good place, Whitsun week was perfect weatherwise (hot enough for swimming) but not too busy. Orleans is easy tp get too - think Joan of Arc, little boys would like that bloodthirsty story!!

miljee Sat 24-Feb-07 19:40:54

Whitsun is our chosen time. Where did you cross La Manche?! (Le?) We're thinking speedferries via Boulogne or Calais as we can't afford Brittany ferries tho' we live near Poole and Portsmouth! Michelin says the drive from Calais takes 4 hours- we'd probably break that with an overnighter but I'm encouraged by the fact you did it all in a week. Though I feel France as a destination needs 12-14 days the reality is I can't 'waste' that much annual leave in one hit so early in the financial year!

One review of the site or maybe the e-brochure mentions noise from a nearby road. WAS this an issue, esp in a mobile?

miljee Sat 24-Feb-07 19:42:20

Actually, you answered my question when you said you stayed an hour south of Calais! And Oh yes, blood and small boys!

crunchie Sat 24-Feb-07 21:17:41

never heard a thing, and we were in a tent. We did Dover Calais as it is easier for us, normally we would leave early am, cross by ferry around 8am and be at the campsite (with a lunch break) by mid afternoon (not pushing it). Last time we went there we went sat pm, crossed by tunnel about 8.30 pm (9.30 french time) stopped about 11pm french time (an hour drive) and got to the campsite the next day just after lunch IIRC

Anyway I was impressed, France as a whole needs longer but i felt you could do where we were in a week and still want to go back. If you want longer drives or the weather is rubbish there is alway Saumur, loads of chateaux, Orleans etc etc

foxtrot Sun 25-Feb-07 09:03:23

milje i would take the four hours with a large pinch of salt and factor in time for stops. IIRC we allowed about six hours from calais. Easily done in one day. Glad you know about the michelin website, it's very good.

foxtrot Sun 25-Feb-07 09:03:23

milje i would take the four hours with a large pinch of salt and factor in time for stops. IIRC we allowed about six hours from calais. Easily done in one day. Glad you know about the michelin website, it's very good.

foxtrot Sun 25-Feb-07 09:04:14

sorry about the double post

miljee Sun 25-Feb-07 19:56:18

Thanks. I guess we'd try to catch an earlyish ferry (8-9am) And aim to be at the site by late afternoon. Now let's just hope than an enforced trip to Australia doesn't scupper all our holiday plans as we need to get booking, pronto!

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