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France - where should we go?

(31 Posts)
GhostofNatt Fri 10-Jun-05 14:27:02

Ok, have got two weeks out in middle of August and nothing booked as usual. Did the Dordogne last year and Brittany year before. Would like sea and not blistering heat and maybe some castles for knight-obsessed boys. Any ideas gratefully received...

crunchie Fri 10-Jun-05 14:31:59

Well I could offer you the Loire, Not too blistering, river not sea and plenty of castles. We have just got back from the BEST campsite ever called Chateau de Marais near Chambord. We went Eurocamp but you can also go Keycamp or Canvas holidays (or in your own tent/caravan) I cannot recommend this more highly

lucy5 Fri 10-Jun-05 14:33:34

I had some great holidays in Normandy with Brittany ferries. Some lovely beaches, some castles and lots of old war stuff, perfect for little boys.

GhostofNatt Fri 10-Jun-05 14:34:14

Hmm, sounds lovely, have not tried camping with boys. they will be 4 and 3 - does that sound feasible? they woudl be very excited by a tent...
thanks, crunchie

GhostofNatt Fri 10-Jun-05 14:35:58

Normandy is a good thought as well, I seem to remember from when I was a kid that you get bits of old bunkers on the beaches which the boys would love. maybe could do both...

crunchie Fri 10-Jun-05 14:38:37

My kids started camping at 3 and 5 - in our own tent and they LOVE it!!

If you go Eurocamp or Keycamp the tent is there and they have proper beds. I'll just find site details. What dates are you looking at?

Marina Fri 10-Jun-05 14:39:29

Can recommend the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, GoN. Not so much knights as WW1 and WW2 stuff, but a lot of the museums and installations are very interesting, truly (have maybe been spotted whingeing about them elsewhere).
It's such a nice part of France, with big, sandy, wide beaches all the way down from Bleriot-Plage in the suburbs of Calais to Le Crotoy on the Somme estuary.
People are friendly, lots of other divertissements for families, and not blistering heat.
For amazing castles though it is hard to beat the area just to the North of Paris. Senlis, Chantilly, Pierrefonds, Compiegne. No beaches, but feeeeel the history. Possible also to do Parc Asterix and Eurodisney from there, and travel east to Provins, a very well-preserved and handsome medieval town with A* ramparts.

lucy5 Fri 10-Jun-05 14:40:42

We used to rent gites with a big garden, lovely bbqs under a beautiful Normandy skies. Take a paddling pool too.

madmarchhare Fri 10-Jun-05 14:41:51

Can definately recommend Keycamp.

Hulababy Fri 10-Jun-05 14:43:27

In 10 days time we are goiung to the South of France - staying at a camp site place, company is VacanSoliel. really looing forward to it.

crunchie Fri 10-Jun-05 14:44:28

Looking quickly it seems to be sold out a lot. However it would be worth a look. The only problem with High season and camping is that it can be expensive. Although I guess anything mid-August is going to be.

You can do Eurocamp/Keycamp all over France, there are loads of Brittany/Normandy sites as well as others. I loved our campsite, but it maybe sold out in teh summer hols.

Does it HAVE to be in school holidays? The kids are younger?

GhostofNatt Fri 10-Jun-05 14:46:33

I was quite keen on Pas de Calais, Marina, but DP gets very sad when I mention it as we had what I thought was a lovely holdiay a few years ago in Le Touquet but which i think he thinks was just England with French food. It struck me as somewhere with lots of things small boys would like. Having terrible fears that every cottage and gite in the land will be booked for August already so camping might be the answer, looking to go around 6 August for two weeks,crunchie, thanks v much

Milliways Fri 10-Jun-05 14:46:35

We have booked with Matthews holidays this yr (passed 6byrs with Haven). To stay in a caravan with them is cheaper than in a Tent with Keycamp - on the same site. Here

GhostofNatt Fri 10-Jun-05 14:48:20

oops crossed post, no it didn't really have to be August but DS1 is staring bigboy school in September and we failed to get our act together to book out any time in July so now stuck with high season, boo

GhostofNatt Fri 10-Jun-05 14:51:07

thanks Millways, will have a look at that too.

Milliways Fri 10-Jun-05 14:52:40

We booked 2 weeks late August (back the Sunday before schools go back), Portsmouth/Cherbourg crossing, bikes on roof (pay extra) In the Vendee for <£1k inc ins etc

GhostofNatt Fri 10-Jun-05 14:54:21

Oh I'd forgotten the Vendee, like that a lot. sounds v reasonable too.

Marina Fri 10-Jun-05 16:34:14

Le Touquet is un peu Eeenglish, I can see how that might have happened, GoN. Get yourselves a nice gite a bit inland somewhere like Hesdin, Boisjean or the Canche/Authie valleys (or a real fave of ours, the very Flemish countryside round St Omer) and I guarantee he will be blubbing for Marmite before his two weeks are up.

Marina Fri 10-Jun-05 16:34:50

Vendee can be hot hot hot in August.
Near Le Puy du Fou and Futuroscope at a pinch though...

Ellbell Fri 10-Jun-05 19:55:16

Normandy is great. We are going to be on the Cotentin peninsula in August. Have been for weekends before (when we lived down south!) but not for longer, so looking forward to exploring. Mont St Michel is great, if a bit over-touristy, nice beaches all around.

Another nice area (but not one I've been back to since having kids) is Poitou Charentes, around La Rochelle (or further south, but it gets more touristy the further south you go). We camped in a place called Chatelaillon Plage, just south of La Rochelle. The Ile d'Aix (very small island, no traffic) is fab and would be lovely and safe for kids. There's a campsite on the island. Just north of there and a bit inland is an area called the Marais Poitevin with lots of canals, boats, etc. Would depend on whether your kids are likely to have a propensity for falling in the water (we're giving it a couple of years, just in case ) but could be fun!

calpopscalum Tue 14-Jun-05 21:16:05

If you fancy French camping and have tesco clubcard vouchers, book with French Life then you can use them to get 4 x their value off your holiday!! We've been 3 times now! Can recommend Baden (Mane Guernehue cam site) on teh Golfe du Morbihan. Site quiet but pleanty for kids to do, fantastic pools, restauarant food v good and even a bouncy castle!! they ahve 3 fishing lakes and some goats, donkeys and ducks (the first 2 are in fields not roaming about BTW!) really family friendly site. Lots of boat trips and all the nearby towns ahve trips in little trains round them. Lots of medieval towns and WW" history around. Boat trips into the Golfe and a couple fo zoos nearby.

lapsedrunner Sat 18-Jun-05 19:08:15

Normandy is great. Check out www.gites-de-france.fr.

happymerryberries Sat 18-Jun-05 19:11:37

The Vendee is fab.. Beautiful beaches and several castles. Not too anglicised.

We have been twice and are goign bacj there this year

aloadoffishyballs Sat 18-Jun-05 19:37:53

charente maritime is nice but not too far north
w e went to le palmre
no castels I think but lovely beaches

sorrel Mon 20-Jun-05 14:21:14

here here to charente. excellent sleeping beuaty style castle at Roche-Courbon 18km north of Saintes. also Fort Boyarde out to sea off rochefort. See Bernezac.com for details of area and where to stay.

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