Our good friend Suzanne Shaw and her lovely family recently visited 5* campsite La Grande Métairie, a Canvas favourite with first-class facilities set in the grounds of a beautiful Breton manor house. Read on to find about her experience at this fantastic camping destination in beautiful Brittany…
Our Canvas Holidays Experience by Suzanne Shaw
With over a week to go, feeling amazed at myself for being organised (which is a rare occurrence for me) our holiday suitcases were packed! It’s most probably down to the fact we were so excited to be going away as it had been nearly 3 years since we had been on a family holiday.
My family consists of myself, Suzanne (40 year old mum) my partner Sam (39) my 17 year old son Corey and my 6 year old son Raffi. It’s never easy finding something that pleases both children being such a big age gap but looking through the huge variety of European campsites Canvas Holidays have to offer, we knew this could be a great getaway for the entire family.
5* campsite La Grande Metairie which is based in Carnac in the Brittany region of France was our choice of sites in the end and it was a really hard decision because of the incredible variety on offer, but our reasons for this site were as follows…
GREAT reviews! It wasn’t too big a site but still had plenty of activities to take part in, it wasn’t too far to travel to (3.5 hours after our ferry crossing), it was near the coast so we could enjoy beach days and an interesting area to explore and have a mooch around the local towns and harbours.
All set and ready to go! Bags packed without any worry of weight restrictions, footballs and inflatables in the boot and a bag of food shopping so we were set when we arrived in that evening, plus I am plant-based so I know products can be limited in Europe, things like soya milk and yogurt. It was so great to know that there would be no faff with security, simply show our documents, drive onto the ferry, park up and enjoy the trip over to France! With a five hour crossing ahead of us we had booked a mobile home so we could get some rest (which Sam did, our designated driver) but it was great to be able to walk around the deck, get some breakfast and lunch, indulge in some duty-free and see the excitement on Raffi’s face as he skipped around the big boat! It was a brilliant way to travel, plus no airport queus and dramas – going by the news, flying hadn’t been the most pleasant way of travelling.
After a day of driving and sailing, we finally arrived at La Grande Metairie. It was extremely refreshing to be checked it literally within the space of 2 minutes and with a very warm welcome! I said to Sam “that was the quickest check in I have ever experienced” which was brilliant to have after a long day of travelling.
A stress-free travel day couldn’t have been made easier as we parked up to our mobile home (which was nestled into a wooded area at the edge of the site), simply unloaded our car and placed our bags into our accommodation which was a few metres away…
And the mobile home was just delightful! 3 bedrooms (one double and two twins) a spacious living and kitchen area, one shower room and separate toilet, an outdoor tropical shower and our plot was private with a great sized garden which Raffi loved kicking a ball around, Sam relaxing with a beer, Corey enjoyed a workout and I made the most of a bit of yoga… just not all at the same time!!!
With so much on offer on the site it was difficult to know where to start. The evening we arrived, we decided to eat at the restaurant. I wasn’t up for cooking but equally was hoping they had something on the menu for me. Although there wasn’t any specific vegan options the chef did adapt one of their salads for me which was perfect although with a side of French fries! There were great options for everyone, Raffi had fish fingers, Corey had a burger and Sam a seafood salad. That evening we had an early night ready to explore the site the following day.
Awake before the kids, Sam and I ventured to the local supermarket to grab food for the week. Unfortunately the onsite shop was closed due to the campsite still being out of season. However, it was great to get off site to understand our location a bit more whilst Raffi and Corey were still sleeping. Big food shop done, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast and headed out to explore the site – well if I’m honest we headed straight to the pool – the boys were desperate to try out the slides!
All family sporting activities happened at 3pm every day and Raffi was thrilled that on our first day it was football. Watching from the sideline it was nice to hear a mixture of French and British families enjoying the game together and soon enough we were chatting away to the other campsite guests and agreeing to meet up at 3pm the following day for a game of volleyball – we were really keen to make the most of everything on offer including joining in the quiz they had planned for that evening, which is where we got to know Vincent and Paul, the campsite’s activity and entertainment team.
Luckily we were set for pretty good weather for the week which enabled us to make the most of the local beach too. Carnac is a beautiful French town and the coastal line is stunning. On a couple of the days we had a picnic on the beach but always making sure we were back for the 3pm activity! We had made friends with a few families and it was a great way to meet up and play a bit of sport with them. Plus, we just loved Vincent who ran the activities; in fact, everyone did so it was guaranteed to be a great turnout.
As the week progressed, the boys just loved to be by the pool. They had made friends and wanted to hang out with them as much as possible so poolside it was. I got to relax and read, as did Sam. The boys also loved spending time playing pool, table tennis and arcade games in the games room. Raffi loved feeding the on-site animals (goats, ducks, lama and sheep) with his new friends and the evening entertainment was always such good fun!
When I say we made the most of everything on offer plus being able to explore the area and relax, we really did do it all!!!
We hired bikes and cycled to the seafront from our campsite, we played mini golf, we took part in every 3pm activity – football, volleyball, basketball, table tennis, football again. Sam and I ran through the woods early in the mornings enjoying the trails and getting fascinated by the many megalith in the area (prehistoric large stones), we joined in a yoga class, we hit the pool slides a lot, we played on the park, in the games room, relaxed in our garden eating local produce on the mobile home decking, we joined in the quizzes, the disco and I even joined in the karaoke which was on 3 times that week because everyone enjoyed it so much, and I ended up doing a fair few songs when the other guests realised I was Suzanne from Hear’say!
The staff were brilliant, the campsite was super clean, it felt safe, it was peaceful and there was lots to do. We went when it was still slightly out of season so the on-site restaurant wasn’t always open or the shop and the high ropes were closed which was a shame as we would have liked to have tried it out. However, apart from that (which really didn’t affect our time there) we had a blast.
When I say it was one of our best family holidays I truly mean it! My eldest son is 18 this December and it may be our last family holiday together so I was just so happy we all had such a wonderful time. We had fun together, connected and made the most of doing everything together. In my experience of being a mum, it’s hard to please every member of the family, particularly a teenager, but Corey absolutely loved every minute and it was so nice to see him off his phone a lot of the time.
We can’t wait to return to La Grande Metairie, which we most definitely will be doing and I know I may even get to squeeze out another trip with Corey involved if we go back there – he was online looking at when we could go back on our way back home….we all were!!!