What is a camping holiday actually like?

Nicola McKay, one of our lovely contracting team members, sheds some light on what a camping holiday is really like.

A straw poll of friends and family (excluding my camping industry pals obviously) showed that some of them didn’t actually realise what a modern camping holiday is like. So in an effort to clarify I thought I’d jot down a few thoughts about it.

1)     First of all we’re talking about camping holidays in Europe so the vast majority of the time, the weather is going to be a lot better (if you’re reading this from the UK!). Less of the wringing out of smalls and making a mad dash from tent to toilet block and more of the al fresco dining and glass of wine watching the sun go down.

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Spotlight on Brittany

Brittany is one of the most distinctive and beautiful regions in France with a unique character, intriguing history and 1,200km of dramatic coastline. Each year, over a million holidaymakers hop across the Channel to enjoy the stunning scenery, Breton lifestyle and charming hospitality.

St Malo

The landscape in Brittany is diverse, with a rugged northern coastline, sophisticated beach resorts in the south and beautiful offshore islands to explore. Bordered by the English Channel and the Atlantic Ocean, Brittany is gently warmed by the Gulf Stream, giving it a very mild climate – perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Enjoy the elements and invigorating sea air on miles of coastal paths – walk or cycle as you admire the surrounding scenery.

Brittany’s strong cultural heritage is key to its appeal – a mix of Celtic traditions and medieval history. And of course, no visit to Brittany would be complete without sampling the delicious cuisine on offer. Specialities include seafood and crêpes – both can be washed down with a glass (or two) of tasty Breton cider.

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Macaroons

The food lover’s guide to Paris…

For a day trip to Paris with a difference, let your stomach be your guide…

We asked Paris-based pâtissier and food writer, Frances Leech, to share her favourite culinary adventures in the City of Lights. Her travel philosophy is for every tourist or cultural activity you do, there should always be a corresponding food stop! Now there’s an idea we can get behind! So put on your walking shoes and most stretchy trousers, and get set for a day of tasty treats…

Best bread and croissants
Breakfast is an important start to the day, so no one should start a day’s sightseeing on an empty stomach. For one of the best baguettes de tradition in the city, head to Gontran Cherrie in Montmartre (22 Rue Caulaincourt). They also offer flaky croissants and speciality breads like black squid ink, or fig and lemon. Walk down to the Montmartre cemetery afterwards to peek in the old tombs.

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The alternative guide to romance in Paris

With the annual hearts and flowers fanfare of Valentine’s Day comes the focus on all the typical romantic destinations and Paris regularly tops the polls as the favourite place to enjoy a first date, propose or have a romantic weekend away.

But if cheesy photos in front of the Eiffel Tower really aren’t your bag, then our guide uncovers an alternative way to enjoy the French capital as a couple – without all the clichés.

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Escape to France

A couple of summers ago, Mike Evans and his family took their first camping holiday together for 15 years. Looking forward to spending some quality time together, they set off for Camping la Croix du Vieux Pont at Berny Rivière, near Paris.

I stood at the top of the waterslide waiting for the plunge pool to clear. My wife and son were either side of me, ready to race.

“One, two, three” – we were off! Before I knew it, I’d hit the water at the bottom with a splash, proving you are never too old to conquer your first ever waterslide!

We always took camping holidays when the children were small, in the days before mobile homes were common place and a swimming pool onsite was a real luxury. Since they’ve grown up and flown the nest, we’ve chosen ‘adults only’ hotel resorts, and it’s been almost 15 years since we last holidayed as a family. Until my wife, Jenny, retired from teaching last year, we’ve been restricted to going away during school holidays, so a campsite in July or August wasn’t our first holiday choice.

We often reminisce about the fun we had on our camping holidays – endless days on the beach, chicken and chips from the takeaway and hours spent competing in family boules tournaments. The kids would make friends from all over Europe and disappear for hours on their bikes. We even have fond memories of taking the washing up to the sinks (although that’s probably because we made the children do it!)

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My region – the Côte d’Azur

Simon Marshall is one of our expert campsite finders. Here he tells us about the glamorous hotspots of his favourite region, the Côte d’Azur.

How long have you worked for Canvas Holidays?

I started working in the Canvas Holidays warehouse in Nantes in February 2005. I worked as an Area Manager in Brittany the following summer, then took up a post in the Dunfermline office in November 2006.

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