France is one of the most popular European destinations for Brits who enjoy camping and it is easy to understand why. Often cheaper than the UK, families can pick from hundreds of campsites in forests and on the coast. You can enjoy small, basic, tent, and motorhome sites, through to large, luxurious glamping sites which put many 5-star hotels to shame. With the summer sunshine increasing the further south you travel, whatever your budget, the variety and quality of French campsites will have you returning time and again. So, whether you plan to load up the family estate, hook up the caravan, or hire a campervan, here is a small selection of family campsites in France to whet the appetite:
L’Anse du Brick, Normandy
If you are considering your first camping venture into a foreign land, then L’Anse du Brick will make a good starting choice. Book a short break to test the waters. An impressive campsite, it is an easy 10-minute drive from the Cherbourg ferry. They have 230 pitches for tents, caravans, and motorhomes, or you can rent one of the on-site mobile homes. You can enjoy the local wildlife on the many forest walks and cycle trails or head off to spend a few hours on the sandy beach. With the site laid out on terraces, it has great views across the water. A large playground and indoor and outdoor swimming pools with shallow paddling areas help keep the kids happy. The site is open from April through September inclusive.
Escale St-Gilles, Bénodet, Brittany
If your desire is some serious glamping when you are camping, then this 5-star campsite in Southern Brittany should be right up the whole family’s street. In the small resort town of Bénodet with its sandy beach, it boasts a magnificent water park with paddling areas, indoor and large outdoor pools, and water slides. With its kids club, sauna for the grown-ups, restaurant and plenty of family entertainment, there’s something to keep the whole family occupied. You can rent one of the pitches, or book one of the site’s two or three-bed mobile homes.
Camping La Serre, near Toulouse
If you prefer green to golden, the sound of rustling leaves rather than whispering waves, have a love of wildlife and the countryside, Camping La Serre is for you. The nearest port is St Malo, over 850 km away, but the eight-hour drive to get to Toulouse is well worth the effort. The site caters for tents, caravans, and campervans, as well as having a large selection of family sized chalets and bungalows. For the more adventurous, you can book the new treehouse which sleeps five. Very much a ‘green’ campsite, it has a swimming pool and terrace, badminton net, slides, and football pitch to keep the kids happy. The walking and cycling trails, a 15-acre wildlife area, undulating countryside, and views across to the Pyrenees make it countryside heaven for the nature lover.
Village Les Tournels, St Tropez, Riviera
If the South of France is your destination of choice, this large campsite nestling on the hillside above the Riviera makes an ideal base. Not only will you get to enjoy all the facilities of a high-quality campsite, but you are just a few-minutes drive from a day’s serious celebrity watching in St Tropez — if you can find the time. As well as the usual mini-supermarket, snack bar, restaurant and bar, the site has swimming pools, Jacuzzi, sauna and a playground, and games room. A range of sports is available including mini-golf and table tennis. With evening entertainment ranging from bingo to live music and karaoke, you will be hard pushed to find enough leisure hours in the day.
Domaine Le Poteau, South West France
It is often when the kids have grown and gone, that couples look for alternatives to campsites full of water slides, flumes, and other peoples’ children. France has plenty, and Domaine Le Poteauis one such site. Located in Gascony, South West France, it is a small, peaceful area of France where you can relax, unwind, and just immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the camp and surrounding countryside. You can hike, cycle, go sightseeing, or relax around the pool (yes, they have one of those). The countryside has many small family run vineyards to admire, as you stroll the winding lanes into the local villages of Fources and Larressingle. With regular camp-organized mealtimes and barbeques, you will easily make new friends of a similar disposition.
Camping has moved on from the old days of leaky tents, damp sleeping bags, and burnt campfire cuisine. Nowadays you do not even need to own a tent or camper to enjoy the benefits of fresh air and a camping lifestyle. Try something different this year and take a closer look at the many family camping spots in France.
Lastly, as rural camping holidays tend to be located away from towns and cities, remember to take an appropriate amount of foreign currency with you as card machines might be harder to come by. You can check the major UK currency suppliers’ Euro rates on sites like comparecurrency.com.