Susan reviews Brittany with 2 kids under 4…
This summer, we decided to go on a Brittany family holiday with our 2 toddlers, aged 1 and 3. Whenever we go anywhere, we need to take half the house, so we chose to go by ferry from Cork, so we could take whatever we needed. Brittany felt like the logical destination because we would not need to drive too far when we arrived in France and there are loads of campsites there which are reasonably priced and have swimming pools and kids’ clubs. We booked a small house (or as my son calls it – ‘the tiny house’) in Camping Domaine de Kerlann, near Pont Aven, for one week.
We took the ferry from Ringaskiddy in Cork on Saturday. We queued for about 45 minutes in the car. Check in was very fast and efficient. I had packed a bag for the one night on board and we headed to our cabin as soon as we parked. The cabin was small but had a travel cot for our youngest child and two sofas which transformed into single beds. There were two more beds which could be pulled down from the ceiling and a small bathroom. The kids loved the ferry. They ran around outside for ages and were delighted when we started moving at about 4.30pm.
We explored the ship and found a games room, a bar with a magician’s show, a cinema and restaurant with a soft play area. We weren’t particularly hungry, so we got tickets for Sherlock Gnomes in the cinema which was fun. Halfway through we had to leave because our 1 year old started screaming.
We had dinner at 6PM and the kids played for the rest of the evening in the soft play area and did colouring. Some clowns also passed through making balloon animals. We went to sleep at around 10PM and the kids slept fine but were excited. The ship’s alarm woke us at 6am and we got up, packed up and went for breakfast. The self-service set up was great and we had cereal and croissants. No sooner had we finished we were in Brittany, so we loaded ourselves into the car and off we went.
The drive to the campsite took about an hour and a half as it is located in the South of Brittany. When we arrived, we settled into the tiny house which had all the mod-cons you would want, such as a microwave and a lovely deck outside. Our kids were tired but so excited, so we went for a look around.
There was a kid’s club on for both their age groups (which parents have to supervise if kids are under 4) and they loved that. The pool was amazing and had slides, a huge kids pool with toys and a splash park where they could run around and get sprayed by loads of little fountains. They were in heaven! There were three playgrounds and a shop which had everything and wasn’t overpriced. There was also a Monoprix supermarket just up the road where we stocked up on the essentials. The supermarket had live crabs and lobsters and the kids loved it. There was formula and loads of baby food too and beach toys, shoes and kids’ clothes – everything you need; however, it was a bit pricey!
Things to do with kids
Pont Aven was the nearest town and was stunning with shops, restaurants, playground and a marina. We ate there about four different times, twice in Le Moulin de Grand Poulguin which had great pizza and crepes. We also visited the aquarium in Brest which was amazing. It is huge and there are loads of fish and sharks. There is a restaurant in the aquarium also.
The fortress in Concarneau was also a must see. It’s basically a town built into the fortress in the middle of the city with loads of restaurants and a fishing museum with a trawler to explore. There is also a little park. There are some great crepe and ice-cream shops here. On another day we visited Labyrinthe -a maze and petting zoo up the road from the campsite. This was incredible. You could take a walk through the wood and see all the animals and there was also loads of entertainment after such as trampolines, climbing frames, games and a huge maze. The café was lovely too with tables in little treehouses which the kids loved.
The closest beach was in Port-Manech and this was a gorgeous. It’s a quiet sandy beach where the kids enjoyed building sandcastles for hours. There is a stunning garden café next to the beach which offers refreshments, crepes and ice-cream or a full lunch. The week flew by and the kids had a ball. 2 months later our 3-year-old still talks about it non-stop! –
- If you are going to a campsite, either book sheets/ duvet covers etc. or bring your own – a single for kids and a double for the double room and pillow cases
- You need to clean up before you leave the campsite and I mean clean. The place needs to be ready for the new arrivals and you lose your deposit if it’s not done properly. You can pay to have it cleaned but it costs around €100.00.
- Bring washing machine tabs if you have them, as the detergent can be expensive
- Bring towels and beach toys if you can – purchasing them in the supermarket can be pricey!