With the travel restrictions of the last 2 years finally easing we planned to hit the continent this Summer, driving to France and spend a week camping in Brittany. Heading to the Quimper and Cornouaille region, a wild and unspoilt corner of this popular holiday destination.
We chose the Newhaven – Dieppe ferry crossing with DFDS. Portsmouth – St Malo will get you a lot closer to Brittany, but at nearly £1000 for four people and a van it is expensive! A 4am start and a 3 hour drive from Bath to Newhaven meant we had to have everything packed the night before. We took our own tent and bikes, luckily we have a big van!
The ferry check-in was all very straightforward and the kids were very excited for their first time on a big boat! The crossing takes 4 hours and the facilities on the ferry are pretty good. Lots of seating inside and outside, a bar and a cafe. The channel was calm and we arrived in Dieppe at the scheduled time of 3pm.
We chose to stay the night on arrival in Dieppe and found a great apartment on Airbnb, £80 for the night. Dieppe is a lively coastal town and we enjoyed the afternoon exploring. A quick dip in the sea and a play in the great park on the seafront before we headed to a bar for a meal.
Driving through France
The drive the next day was a planned 6 hours so we headed to bed early. From Dieppe to Névez was 560km! Leaving Dieppe, Google took us past Caen continuing to head west on the A84 towards Rennes. After Rennes it was a long drag on the N24 before heading to Quimperlé and finally onto Névez. In the end, with some traffic it took nearly 7 hours but driving in France was very easy. All the roads were dual carriageways, the A84 is a toll road, but this only cost around €7 each way.
We only stopped once at a service station for a break – it seemed like most of France also stopped there! It was very busy and I was pleased that I had packed a picnic. The kids are very good travellers and are used to long car trips. We had bought them both Amazon Fire tablets and these kept them entertained for some of the journey!
It wasn’t a very exciting drive, no stunning scenery, and if we’d planned a longer visit it would have been nice to stop more along the way and see some of Normandy.
We stayed at the Sandaya Deux Fontaines campsite on the Névez peninsula. This 4-star rated campsite had all the facilities on-site you could need. You can choose to pitch your own tent or rent a static home. As we purchased a brand new Coleman Weathermaster last year for this type of holiday we pitched our own.
All the camping pitches included electric hook up and we had no problem fitting our 6 man tent and a long wheel based van in the space. The pitches were surrounded by small trees which was good for shade and helped to give some privacy from your neighbours.
The facilities on the campsite were excellent. A large toilet block had plenty of hot showers, private WC cubicles and washing up sinks. We were impressed by the cleanliness and they seemed to be inspected throughout the day.
Also on the site there was a bar, a snack kiosk, shop, a play area, tennis courts, a small skate ramp and a pétanque courts.
The highlight of the campsite is the water park, which the kids absolutely loved. There are 3 pools, a lagoon, an inside pool and a deeper pool plus water slides and splash areas! There are plenty of deckchairs around the outside for chilling out and sun bathing. The water park did get busy, especially in the late afternoon, but it is open from 10am – 7pm so you can choose quieter times.
As much as the kids could have spent the entire holiday in the water park, we love to explore! The beaches in Brittany are stunning. We visited several, including the local beach to the campsite, Plage de Tahiti which is a lovely sandy beach.
One afternoon we cycled to Port de Trévignon, where we had a great time rock pooling before introducing the boys to the delights of crêpes. Plage de Rospico is another lovely sandy beach. We spent the last day at Port Manec’h, which is a pretty little town with a marina and beach area.
All the beaches are on the Atlantic Ocean, which was pretty cold, but crystal clear. Great for snorkeling! We had calm sea conditions for our whole holiday, but the area is known for it’s surfing and other water sports. The beaches are never crowded because you are spoilt for choice, with lots of space for everyone and they are family friendly. The sand is perfect for digging and sandcastle building. The kids loved exploring the rock pools and the sea is very accessible.
The Local Area
We mixed up trips to the beach with a couple of visits to local towns. We spent a morning strolling around the pretty town of Pont-Aven. This is an art lovers paradise, with many art galleries. We loved exploring the secret footbridges that run behind the water mills and wash houses. It wasn’t really the boys cup of tea but we enjoyed the culture.
The larger walled town of Concarneau is a real delight to explore. The town is hidden within the old fort, and despite being a bit of a tourist trap, we loved walking down it’s narrow streets. You can also walk along the paparapet, the kids loved pretending to battle against imaginary invaders!
Concarneau is a fishing port with a working harbour. A boat trip is a great way to see the boats and the fort up close. You can also catch local ferries to nearby islands.
Camping in Brittany
We loved camping in Brittany. The weather was perfect and the facilities on the site made camping easy. France is an easy country to travel in, with fast roads and clear signage.