Reunion Time In France
Many people from many different backgrounds and of many different ages and group dynamics choose to go caravanning in France every year, but such holidays are perhaps most popular with families with young children.
Yes, it’s a long drive down to the ferry port for most people, and yes the ferry journeys can be a dreadfully long experience if you’re tired or the boat is full and crowded (not so bad if you’re going Dover Calais, where the crossing is about an hour and a half; not so good if you’re going Portsmouth – Caen, which is about six hours).
But the freedom to pack as much as you can cram in the car (including your son’s twenty-five teddies, none of whom can be left behind), to stop when you need to during the journey, to have only yourselves to worry about (as opposed to the other hundred-and-fifty people aboard a Boeing, none of whom want to hear your child screaming about their ears hurting) are all worth the journey alone.
Then you arrive and realise that actually a journey of twice that duration and length would be worth it for the experience of relaxing at a well-serviced caravan park by the beach.
A popular destination for Brits who like warm but not hot weather is Brittany.
This is part of the country that’s still very popular amongst French for their holidays too,so it doesn’t feel like Bridlington in the sun – there are plenty of locals to converse with and not so many Brits that you feel like you might as well have stayed at home.
The north coast of Brittany looks completely different when the tide is in to how it looks when the tide is out.
When the tide’s out, rock-pools abound, and most caravan sites will happily lend (or sell) nets and buckets for exploring with. When the tide’s in, warm, clear blue water is a joy for paddling in and makes the whole place entirely picturesque.
There are a number of caravan holiday operators who will take bookings direct – they all tend to use the same sites, and the standard of caravan or static tent are largely the same, so you can pick and choose.
The best idea is to pick a site that you like the look of (choose one with a restaurant, creperie, mini-golf and swimming pool with slide and you will find that the children are perfectly happy to stay there all day if you want them to) and then compare prices for that site across the main operators.
Most static caravans offer basic accommodation: beds, sofa, table, small kitchen (check if it includes an oven and not just a hob) and bathroom. Most static tents offer these but you’d need to use the communal shower/toilet blocks.
Most also come with barbeques and outdoor furniture. You can book direct from people who own their own caravans, but beware.
Many people have done so and arrived at the site having paid a fair amount of money for their holiday only to find that they have been swindled and the caravan site knows nothing of the caravan they have booked.
One of the nicest parts of a caravan holiday in France is arguably sitting outside your van in the warm evenings with a glass of wine and a good book whilst the children are fast asleep after a long day spent at the beach or pool. Bliss for all.