My husband and I both experienced numerous Eurocamp holidays when we were growing up. His family stayed in the tents; my family tended to go with Eurocamp Independent, as we had a caravan. When we discussed our experiences we found that we that our fondest memories were of the kids clubs, swimming pools and meeting new friends. This half term we decided to take our three to La Vallée in Normandy because the kids club there promised to be bigger and better than ever before. The site also has some exciting pictures of waterslides and three pools (one of which is a paddling pool). Would our kids find an experience like we remembered? Would they meet new friends, be worn out with playing games and doing art and crafts, and give us tired parents a half term to relax too?
Booking with Eurocamp was so easy and we received excellent customer service both before and during our stay. We decided to take our family car and travel from Portsmouth to Caen with Brittany Ferries so we could take more luggage and food and drink than we could do if we went by plane. On arriving at La Vallée we were given a warm welcome by the Eurocamp couriers and shown where our accommodation was. We opted to stay in a caravan, specifically an Azure. This has three bedrooms, a bathroom and separate loo, and an open plan living/dining room with kitchen area. The kitchen was very well equipped with an oven, separate 4 ring hob, sink and draining board, full-size fridge and smallish freezer, microwave and a full range of cutlery, crockery, pans and cooking utensils. The van was brand new and beautiful, both inside and out. We loved the decking area outside for eating outdoors, sunbathing and sitting out at night while the children slept peacefully indoors. We also really liked that there were blackout blinds and fly screens in each of the bedrooms and that there was a small radiator in each room (we didn’t need to use them but it’s good to know they have them if you plan on going when the weather is a bit cooler). The beds are proper-sized and very comfortable and the shower is large and powerful, and the temperature regulation is spot on! We took some of our stuff in a ‘Tub Trugg’ so after we emptied it we could put the tub into the shower and fill it up to make a bath for the kids. This worked brilliantly. Everything in the caravan is easy to clean because it all, including the sofas, can be wiped down with a damp cloth or baby wipe. Overall, it was perfect!
The children went along to the kids club on 4 of the days we stayed. The other two days we went out on day trips to Omaha Beach where we visited the Memorial Museum and the US Military Cemetery, and to Bayeux to see the Tapestry, the Commonwealth Cemetery, Gold Beach and the German Bunkers. These are fantastic days out that we’d highly recommend them. Anyway I digress! The kids clubs were a roaring success and we were surprised by how much there was on offer to children of all ages. Our two year old was able to go to Mini Fun Station Plus (up to 5 years old) sessions accompanied by an adult and she enjoyed playing musical instruments, singing, painting and playing games. She also went along with our four year old to play on mini-scooters and drive in toy cars. She had a blast! Our four year old and six year old went along to some of the Leo’s Station Plus sessions (4 to 6 years old) where parents don’t have to stay with their children. They were excited to take part in sessions called Knight and Princesses, Dino Discovery, Cowboy Adventure, Wizards and Fairies, and Alien Adventure. They played games, did arts and crafts, ran around like crazy and generally had an amazing time. Our eldest was old enough to join in with some of the sessions with the Mac’s Fun Station (6 to 9 years old) and he particularly liked Land Zorbing where each child wore a large inflatable ball around themselves and then bumped into each other whilst playing games. What a laugh! We were impressed with how enthusiastic the children’s couriers were and how well thought out and creative the sessions were. Our children bonded with the couriers immediately and looked forward to every session. Safety is the top priority and the staff were careful to ensure they had contact details for parents (parents need to stay on site but you can go off to the pool or bar, etc) and that children had to be signed in and signed out of every session by an adult.
The campsite, La Vallée is a 5 star site. It has great facilities and the whole site is kept spotlessly clean and tidy. We all enjoyed the swimming pools and slides (there are age restrictions on them so if you take younger children on them, as we did, it is at your own risk). The bar and restaurant has a terrace over looking the pool and it serves ice creams and cocktails as well as the usual selection of beer, wine and soft drinks, all at a reasonable price. From our one experience of the restaurant we’d have to say the food is fair. The pizzas are really good though and these can also be bought from the takeaway and seemed to be very popular with guests. The site has a shop which has a reasonable selection of fresh baked goods, basic foods, drinks, toys and games but you would need to go to the supermarket to get a full range of meats, fruit and vegetables, etc. There are two large supermarkets about 10-15 minutes drive away and they have everything you could need and more. On site there are also two play parks with a good range of swings, slides and climbing frames. Our children enjoyed playing on these in between kids club sessions and in the evenings where they met up with new friends they’d made. There is also a games room, boules pitches, tennis court, basketball court and even a bouncy castle. There is so much to do we didn’t even have time in our week away to try them all out!
We have to say that this week away has been the most relaxing one we’ve had with our young family. Everything worked out perfectly – the travel on Brittany Ferries, the accommodation, the campsite, the day trips, the weather and most notably the kid’s club. The kids clubs have evolved a long way from our memories of them over twenty-five years ago. But just like our treasured memories of family holidays, the enjoyment that our children had from our Eurocamp holiday at La Vallée will stay with them a long time, I’m sure.
NB: Ian & Emma were invited to Eurocamp in order to review but all views and opinions are their own.
Btw we’ve just been shortlisted as finalists in the Brilliance in Blogging Awards – if you’d like to vote I would be over the moon! Travel section is section 9 and the link is here!
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