A Family Holiday at Eurocamp’s La Pointe St-Gilles, Brittany
The highlight of our week on the west coast of Brittany was my four-year-old daughter learning to ride a bike with no stabilisers, as part of a course run by Eurocamp on a first-come first-served basis. Encouraged by the enthusiastic Jess, Lily didn’t shed a tear – which she certainly would have done had we been teaching her at home.
The big sell of Eurocamp’s La Pointe St-Gilles are the swimming pools with lazy river, slides and children’s section, plus the location just a five-minute walk from the beach. We found it best to do our own thing in the morning and head to the pool in the afternoon, when it was a bit quieter. There’s a poolside bar and an air hockey table. The site also has an indoor pool and gym for over-16s, payable at a supplement locally – a good option for those who want some child-free time. Other facilities on offer are bike hire and loan of pull-along toddler cars – great if your little one isn’t keen on lots of walking.
La Pointe St Gilles is by the pleasant, pretty, restful resort of Bénodet in the Finistère region of southern Brittany. The beach has a sandy cove great for sandcastle-building, with excellent rock-pools for crabbing. It was lovely to walk from the holiday parc into town rather than having to rely on our car, or to catch the land-train from the parc reception. At Bénodet, you can hire kayaks and potter along the coast to Quimper. You can also catch a lovely, reasonably priced boat across the water and eat in a crêperie with gorgeous views over the water. Bénodet has restaurants, shops and a Monday market with local products, too.
We were in a two-bedroom, one-bathroom Avant mobile home with modern decor and an awning with a table for outside dining, giving as much space outdoors as there was inside. We also used this area for family activities such as board games and cards. There's a very easy-to-use gas BBQ too. The Avant was spacious, but next time I’d book a three-bedroom as my teens aren’t used to sharing a room.
We’d purchased optional linen packs with towels, which saved loads of space when packing the car. We also had an Essentials Pack, although there is a good on-site shop should you forget anything; they have fresh baguettes/croissants at 8am each morning. One evening we ate excellent steaks in one of the restaurants by the pool, with children’s menu and good service.
The children's faces were a picture when they realised there was no TV in our mobile home, but in the end we were glad as it gave us more family time. Generally speaking, we didn’t use our electronic gadgets except towards the end of our trip, to download Netflix films for our return car journey. The pay WiFi was excellent: you could stop and start the timing and switch it between appliances (miles better than some five-star hotels we've stayed in!).
Eurocamp reception has boards so you can check the activity program. The kids' club activity tents are all on a big playing field, and there are also tennis and basketball courts and outdoor table tennis. Bats and balls can be bought at the shop if you forget to bring your own. The ping pong was great for my 17 and 13 year olds, who are relative newcomers to the ‘doing nothing’ concept but generally didn’t want to join in the kids’ club activities (they planned to go karting but didn’t realise they had to book a day in advance).
We went to the children's disco in the main club area. The entertainment was great, and loads of children participated. There are also pool tables and a games room with a football table and some games machines.
This trip couldn’t have been much further removed from our usual all-inclusive holidays – ones where the Bank of Mum and Dad gets a well-deserved break. We were also a bit trepidatious about the long car journey with three kids in tow. To minimise time in the car, we chose a longer ferry route – Portsmouth to Caen with Brittany Ferries – and made a stop-over in a hotel to break up the trip.
Booking a four-berth outside cabin with en-suite facilities and pull-down beds meant we could all have some quiet time and a little sleep to recharge even on the daytime crossing. Dinner in the Normandie’s self-service restaurant was great, and Lily burned off some energy in the children’s play area. There was a good choice of films at the onboard cinema, for which there’s a small charge.