Family holiday review – a camping holiday in the French Vendée

If you thought camping with kids would be a nightmare, think again

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Samuel got busy with his bucket and spade
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Nicky and Samuel give Doris a break

John Perkins, 38, and Nicola Herring, 37, from London, took Samuel, 3, to La Garangeoire campsite in the Vendée region of France, with Eurocamp. They took the ferry from Dover to Calais and drove to La Garangeoire, with an overnight stop just outside Rouen.

“When I first told family and friends we were planning a camping holiday with Samuel, the replies fell into two camps, if you’ll forgive the pun. One reply was: “Camping with a 3 year old? Are you sure you’ve thought this through?”. The second was more positive: “What a brilliant idea! The great outdoors, with nothing between you and the stars but canvas. It’ll be great fun.”

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Well it was great fun, but it wasn’t camping in the good old-fashioned sense. We stayed in one of Eurocamp’s new Safari tents, and although they’re made from canvas and use guy ropes, we didn’t have to put it up ourselves, and it didn’t leak. It was a sturdy two-bedroom structure with decked living area and all mod cons.

Everything on site

La Garangeoire campsite is set in beautiful woodland, with meadows and lakes, and there’s so much to do you never have to leave the site. Samuel loved the pony rides through the woods (€8 per hour) and there’s free boat hire on the lake. Three swimming pools helped us cool down, while other facilities on-site included a shop for essentials, two bars, a restaurant, and a take-away, and the nearest town for the supermarket and restaurants, St Julien des Landes, is only a 10-minute drive away.

Eurocamp also organises loads of kid’s clubs, and there’s crazy golf, table tennis, tennis, archery, and Samuel’s favourite, six trampolines.

Exploring the region

On our days off-site we visited the beaches around Brem sur Mer, the zoo at Sables d’Olonne, the aquarium and chateau at Talmont Saint Hilaire, and a lakeside beach at Apremont, to name just a few.

The whole holiday was a total success and I’d recommend Eurocamp to anyone. We were extremely lucky with the weather and the idea of camping with kids no longer fills me with fear. A special mention has to go to Eurocamp staff, Sam, Jess and James, who were brilliant. In fact, the whole site was such a warm and welcoming place, not even England getting knocked out of the World Cup by Germany could spoil the trip.”

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