My Canvas Holiday memories – Sarah Stokes

We are delighted to be welcoming Sarah to our 50th anniversary ball – her Canvas story stretches over the years and it’s so lovely to hear that her young family have just enjoyed their first Canvas adventure together. 

July 1981

 “My love affair with Canvas begins in July 1981 as we head down through France by car, three sisters squashed in the back surrounded by sleeping bags and plastic bags full of cuddly toys and clothes, Mum and Dad in the front negotiating their way along the unfamiliar side of the road:

‘Muuuuum, can you rewind the Joseph tape so we can hear ‘Any Dream Will Do’ again?’

‘When’s lunch? Do we have to eat that funny cheese?’

‘Are we nearly there yet?’

We arrive at our first ever campsite, Val de Cantobre in Cevennes (still going strong) and see our orange and blue tent for the first time. Rushing in excitedly we decide quickly who is going to sleep where (me back left, my elder sister back right and my little sister stuck in the middle with the curtains down – all on tartan camp beds in our own ‘rooms’!)

Car unpacked we take in our surroundings and make ourselves cosy by the light of our gas lamp. The following morning we look out across the mountains from the terrace as we eat baguettes and croissants from the tiny campsite shop (having been ‘encouraged’ to ask for them ourselves) and drink chocolate milk (no fresh milk back then, refusal from all three girls to drink UHT!). It’s all so unfamiliar but so exciting. 

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Cycling in the Loire

One of the best ways to explore the stunning Loire region of France is by bike. The beautiful countryside goes on for miles and as the majority of it is flat meaning it’s perfect for all types of cyclist, even younger children.

The Loire à Vélo is a cycle network covering 500 miles from the Atlantic coast of France to just outside Nevers in Burgundy. Now, we’re not suggesting tackling this all at once but why not try a section. The great thing about the Loire à Vélo is that it is wonderfully flat – you could cycle for days without coming across an incline.

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