Our family (2 adults, a nearly 3 year old and a 10 month old) spent 10 nights at Domaine Des Ormes Eurocamp accommodation in Brittany, France from the UK via the ferry in May 2022. It was a brilliant relatively budget friendly family holiday with lots of activities on site including swimming, horse riding, adventure courses, pedalos, crazy golf, water sports, etc. We went on 3 day trips to Mont-St-Michel (amazing island and abbey – one of France’s most popular tourist attractions), Saint-Malo (port city) and Zoo and Castle Bourbansais (animals, a castle and inflatables). We had a great first trip abroad with our little ones and would recommend for families with children of any age. I hope this itinerary is helpful for anyone planning a similar trip! See also my story highlights and reel/posts on our instagram for videos of our stay.
Camping in Europe (not just tents!)
We were looking for a budget friendly holiday and a friend recommended camping in France. This being totally new to me, I was really impressed with the parcs on offer across Europe with activities rivalling UK Center Parcs. The accommodation and ferry combined was a lot more affordable than the package holidays and some UK holidays we looked at as an alternative. There are numerous parc/campsite operators. We booked with Eurocamp in Brittany, but I also liked the look of Yelloh Village and Canvas. There are different accommodation options to suit everyone – lots of cabins, but also safari tents, traditional camping pitches, hotels, tree houses, etc. Some parcs are independently run, but a number of partners provide accommodation so it’s worth searching between different providers.
Initially we deliberated between getting a ferry to a parc in Brittany, or doing a fly drive holiday further afield. So many parcs look brilliant it was hard to choose. We liked the idea of having everything with us in our car, and loved the look of Domaine Des Ormes in Brittany with Eurocamp so that was our final choice!
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Ferry to Brittany
We took the ferry to France with Brittany Ferries. Travelling from Bristol we chose the quickest outward journey Poole – Cherbourg 08:30-14:00 (4 hr 30 mins). We had approximately 2 hours driving on either side of the ferry. For the return journey we took the Caen – Portsmouth crossing 08:30-13:15 (5 hr 45 mins).
Our booking confirmation said last check-in was 90 minutes before departure which I’m not sure is accurate. For the outward journey we left home at 4am, arrived at 6am, but couldn’t check in straight away and we weren’t allowed on to the ferry until just before departure so there was quite a long wait. The outward crossing on the Barfleur was pleasant – we had breakfast and lunch on board, walked around the deck as it was sunny and visited the children’s room on board which had some soft play blocks and a small TV room with cbeebies playing.
On our return journey we didn’t leave until 5am and arrived just after 7am which felt a more reasonable start and we didn’t have a long wait to get on the ferry. We were on the Mont St Michel which was a bigger ship with two cinemas, children’s entertainment, a family quiz, and a wonderful children’s room with a huge multi-touch interactive screen with games. This was a longer journey but there was more to do and we had a really nice time on board that the journey didn’t drag.
We booked cabins both ways as I was worried we would be tired with the early starts and I wanted our own space with two small children. My partner used our cabin for a quick nap as he was doing the driving, but apart from that we didn’t use it. The ferries were a lot more spacious and not as busy as I imagined and there was a lot of unreserved seating. I don’t think a cabin is necessary on a day time crossing unless you want a bed for a nap. I originally booked reserved seats only but anxiety got the better of me as I was worried it might be too busy and noisy with small children. It cost me quite a lot in admin fees to add the cabins to our bookings so book at the outset if you want one!
My partner, our daughter and I wore an anti-seasickness band just in case we felt unwell. I’m not sure whether we needed them but might be an idea to have on you. Now I know we are ok sea sickness wise, if I were doing this crossing again I’d probably try the overnight crossing to St Malo as it’s a better use of time being asleep through most of the journey, no early start and it’s only 30 mins from the port to the parc. This may also be a good option if you have a longer journey.
Domaine Des Ormes (Our resort)
The Les Ormes resort is a 200 ha country estate in Brittany with Eurocamp and other accommodation options and activities for all ages such as swimming, golf, horse riding, tree adventure course, archery, bike hire, fishing, water sports, etc. (More on the activities we did below) The Les Ormes app is good for finding out what entertainment is on and for booking activities. In terms of services it has a small but well stocked supermarket on site, restaurants, bar (nice mojitos!), an ice cream kiosk and entertainment (some things are seasonal). It felt very spacious, with lots of woodland and so much to explore on site.
Eurocamp Brittany Accommodation
We booked our Eurocamp accommodation a week before going. With Eurocamp you get an extra 5% off if you book within 2 weeks of the date of arrival and 10% off within 1 week so we got a really good deal (£600 for 10 nights!). The time of year predictably influences the cost so school holidays are pricier. As it was such a good deal we booked the 3 bedroom Aspect which is the top of the range accommodation. It is very spacious, modern and clean with a big terrace area (partially covered) with rattan furniture. It has a gas BBQ which we used most nights. Tip: Ask for a sunny cabin as there are some in quite wooded areas. We really enjoyed sitting on the terrace in the evening sun whilst our little ones were in bed.
Activities at Les Ormes
Les Ormes has an amazing indoor swimming pool complex which appealed to us going in May in case of bad weather. It is under a huge dome with a toddler pool (with slides), a wave pool, lazy river, cascade slides and jacuzzi pools. Some nights they have a nocturnal pool event where it is open in the evening and all lit up. There is also a smaller outdoor pool opening for the season the week after we left which looked good, but the indoor pool is the star of the show! Swimming is included within the price and you do not need to pre-book.
There is an equestrian centre offering horse riding lessons/activities for different ages. Our daughter really enjoyed the age 3+ pony ride around the domaine on Ken. Ken acted like he was paid by the hour and stomped us around. You take the pony out by yourself so my partner held Ken the whole way around. There were no stirrups so she kept slowly sliding to the side but never fell off – good practice for her balance! This is the thing she has been telling people about her holiday the most since we got back. It was €12 which we thought was very fair.
Children’s adventure course
There are a number of different adventure courses for different ages and abilities. There is a children’s one that is 4+. Our daughter was a bit young but we had already been over to look at it and you can go around next to them so we gave it a try. She was really brave and managed it with my partner and the instructors help, and went around twice! Moving the harness clip above was quite hard and fiddly for her as she was that bit younger. This was €10. Really fun for active toddlers that like adventure. My partner did the adult adventure course and be warned the black route is very challenging – he returned a broken man!
We went to the Les Ormes kids club one morning. The staff were all really friendly and welcoming. Most of it was in French but they did speak some English and there were a couple of other English children that we befriended. I know only very basic French but it was enough to get by! I stayed with Ada the whole time as she was under 3 and she had a great time. Eurocamp have their own separate kids club as well which is available if you have booked through them, but it hadn’t opened for the season when we went.
We also did the crazy golf and pedalos which were fun. The play areas were good for our 3 year old and older children, not a lot for our 10 month old. They had many other activities that we didn’t get to do so see the Les Ormes resort website for more details on those. I wish we could have hired bikes but we were unsure about our littlest being too small for the trailers.
We went on three day trips during our stay:
You’ve probably seen photographs of this place as it’s the second most visited tourist destination in France after the Eiffel Tower. It is as stunning as it looks in person and straight out of a fairytale! We walked from the car park (35-40 min walk) and it was a lovely walk but we both ended up carrying a child so I’d recommend the free shuttle bus if you have small children. It’s not very buggy friendly when you get there as it’s so hilly. We went for crepes/galettes for lunch and found them to be a reasonable price. We went on a Tuesday and it was quite busy – probably a good idea to avoid the weekend!
This is a beautiful port town with ramparts around the old town that you can walk on the top of. There are lots of lovely views, beaches and streets to wander. We had ice cream and went on the vintage carousel. We would recommend Bergamote for a family friendly restaurant with yummy traditional Breton galettes. Our toddler was a bit tired this day so we could have spent longer here. We also intended to spend some time at the beach but timed it badly when the tide was in!
Zoo and Castle Bourbansais
We really enjoyed this zoo as you could get some very up close views of the animals. The sloths climbing above our heads were amazing! It is set in the grounds of a castle which is very picturesque and has some beautifully maintained gardens. They also had 4x bouncy castles (included in the price) and a play area. Lots to do for a whole day. Current costs: €22.50 adult, €16.50 4-12 yrs and under 4s free.
- Accommodation 10 nights Brittany Eurocamp 3 bed Aspect £600. There was cheaper accommodation available.
- Ferry £184 and £170 each way (+ extra for the cabins)
- Holiday Insurance £31
- Car breakdown cover Europe £26
- Zoo cost £38
- Activities on site – Pony ride €12, childrens and adult adventure course €10 and €18, pedalo €6, crazy golf €6 per person
- Food (we mostly cooked at the cabin so shouldn’t have been too much more than we would pay at home). Spent a bit on mojitos and ice cream!
- Petrol estimated £100-150 but used my partners work vehicle which is a 4×4
- I found these Facebook groups helpful if you’re considering a similar holiday with Eurocamp in Brittany or similar – “Camping With Kids in France”, “Eurocamp Unofficial Supporters Group”, and one specific to the parc we stayed at “Domaine Des Ormes Happy Campers”.
- Check what you need for driving in France (drivers licence, UK sticker, headlamp deflectors, high vis, hazard triangle, V5C certificate, car insurance details)
- There is a Super U, Carrefour and Lidl supermarkets in the nearest town to stock up on food. Next time I would research if there was a click and collect option at one of these as I found it hard to find what I was looking for!
- If we had more time we would have visited:
- Dinan – medieval town that looks stunning. Might be good to go on market day.
- Dinard – seaside town
- Alligator Bay – alligator and reptile zoo. This is really close to Mont-St-Michel. We were too tired from carrying children to go after visiting Mont-St-Michel, but would have if we had had more energy!
Thank you for reading!
We hope you enjoyed reading about our family holiday to Brittany with Eurocamp. Check our other holiday itineraries if you are looking for ideas!
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