Having bought our first caravan on eBay last year we were determined to get the most out of it this summer. After a successful tow to Devon in June we wanted to travel further afield for our summer break but not too far. With that in mind we decided on campsites in Normandy, France about a 3 hour drive from the EuroTunnel.
TIP – If thinking of visiting the continent book your EuroTunnel VERY early on to assure of best crossing times
Our criteria was a campsite with a swimming pool – one with chutes and slides to keep the girls amused, a bar, shop and evening entertainment and close enough to the local beaches.
Paul searched Visit Normandy and using their camping tab he came across Camping La Briquerie. A click on the website proved to tick all our boxes so we booked for 3 weeks in August for the amazing price of circa €850.00 on a pitch with 10 amp electricity connection.
Our journey was longer than Google had decided due to towing the caravan and I wish I’d printed off the last part of the journey in more detail as Google maps took us through the busy centre of Honfleur much to the annoyance of tourists, locals and a wedding party of about 10 cars bibbing their way through the bustling centre!
TIP – Print off a detailed map of the last stretch of your journey and look for the simplest route for towing a caravan
We arrived on a busy August day with the season in full swing, check in was simple and quick with a request of a €10 deposit for the bands allowing entrance to the swimming pool. Having paid our 30% deposit on booking we’d settle the bill at the end of our stay.
Our pitch was fantastic, hedged on three sides giving just the right amount of privacy. Each area has it’s own fresh water tap and drain for throwing waste water away plus the electric hook up
TIP – Don’t forget to buy a continental adaptor for your electrical hook up
Shower blocks are a few pitches away and are cleaned twice a day but they do not supply toilet roll. The showers are individual units, each with a ‘dry’ area for changing before and after. Each cubicle which is fully closed off has hangers to hang clothes on and a shelf for your products. The showers were a good blast on a timer but long enough for rinsing and washing, the water was also the perfect temperature.
I understand from other Brits we got talking to that the second block on the campsite has been completely renovated and they were very impressed with them.
Excellent, two indoor pools which are heated, a child one and a larger one for swimming lengths. An outside pool with a fabulous curled chute leading into one end and two more bumpy slides with a separate landing pool – plus cute lifeguards as eye candy.
There is a bar selling soft drinks, ice creams and accessories all reasonably priced too.
A tiny shop onsite which also sell drinks, ice creams, crepes made to order and has a selection of necessities but with a hypermarket within walking distance of the campsite open 7 days a week you are never far from stocking up your supplies
TIP – Hypermarket closes Sunday afternoon at 12.45
Restaurant and Bar
There is a restaurant onsite which also serves take away food, we tried the pizzas and chips on our first night and were very satisfied.
The bar is also where the evening entertainment is held, the mini disco doesn’t start until 8.30pm and is followed immediately by the adult entertainment. The entertainment is mainly in French but a huge effort was made by the team to include us and other non French speaking guests. A lot of fun and very French.
If you’re a competitive player this is not for you! An old set up where some of the pitches are broken or don’t work at all but we took the girls on a couple of occasions and they thoroughly enjoyed it. We were asked to leave a €50 deposit for the clubs which was returned but we thought was a bit steep after seeing the state of the course.
Musculation – fitness
I knew that at some point musculation would become a word and I found it here at Camping La Briquerie! A centre with a good collection of varying weight machines. The site also has a jacuzzi and a sauna.
A clean room with washing machines and dryers, I used machine 3 which required a €4 token bought from reception
TIP – Pack washing powder and fabric conditioner for one or two washes rather than having to buy large packs
Camping La Briquerie has Wifi which should cover the entire site. It is free of charge, you ask for a password and login details at reception which is given for your entire stay however I was only able to use this on our pitch a few times as connection was very temperamental, I had much more luck logging in around the swimming pool, in the games room next to the reception or of course at the bar; ‘Un cafe au lait s’il vous plait madam’ ;)
We didn’t use the kid’s club until our last week as more often than not we were out and about but once we started we wished we’d used it more often. The girls loved it and each day crafts were done. They came home with masks and pretty coloured salt bottles too. I’m wondering if these are the moments (plus the swimming pool) that the girls will remember most when we talk about France?
What to do and see in Normandy?
Honfleur – beautiful coastal town with fabulous market 10 minutes
Trouville/ Deauville – Very popular beach towns 20 minutes
Arromanches/ D-Day beaches – 90 minutes
Giverny – Visit Claude Monet’s home and gardens 100 minutes
Mont St Michel – 3 hours
I will add links as I write the posts up for more information