Over the past three years we have enjoyed numerous camping trips in Cornwall, Devon and Dorset. But this year we decided to spread our camping wings further and booked a week long plot at Camping du Letty based in Brittany, France.
At 7 am on a chilly summers morning we booked in at the Brittany Ferries port at Plymouth ready for the 8 am 6 hour crossing to Roscoff. A first long ferry trip for the girls and my second ever, after my first crossing which was as a teenager on a French college trip over 20 years ago and wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked it!
We had a smooth crossing thank goodness as I wouldn’t like to have thought how the girls would have got on with the idea of coming back again. After disembarking very easily at Roscoff and putting our faith in google maps we then made an easy hour and 45 minute drive to the campsite.
Camping du Letty is just outside the seaside town of Benodet and is based on the banks of Le Letty with the campsite leading straight onto the gorgeous estuary beach. The campsite is only open from the middle of June until the beginning of September, we visits at the end of August.
The site has a range of pitches, some premier ones which are literally based on the beach, as well as other pitches that are more roomy. We had a standard pitch that was just set back from the pitches next to the beach but still had a great view.
The pitch was a perfect size and accommodated our Montana 6 berth tent and T5 van perfectly and even gave us a little private outside space with the help of a windbreaker.
There were a wide range of facilities on site, which included a shop (serving fresh croissants and baguettes daily), a kids club, water based activities hire, takeaway, bar and an indoor and outdoor swimming pool. There was also a play park, tennis courts and an area to clean off boats. They also had a laundry on site which was really reasonable and we used a couple of times during the week.
The swimming pools were the best I have seen on a campsite, it actually felt like we were using the facilities at a hotel! The outdoor pool included a toddlers area, waterfall and two slides (which my youngest easily spent over an hour on every day). The pool is open from 10 am until 7.30 pm every day which meant even after a day on the beach or out sightseeing we still could go for a dip. It also had a number of sun loungers around the outside which were perfect spots to get the last of the day summer rays.
The receptionists were really helpful. They spoke good english and had an answer to pretty much every question we asked. They gave us great tips and directions with maps which were a great help when we were finding our way around on our trips out.
On the Saturday we drove into the local town of Benodet. It was only 5 minutes away by car but you could walk into the centre of the town from the campsite in 15 minutes. Benodet is a lovely town, the beach is gorgeous, and goes on for ages. It is also a port and marina which seemed very popular and busy.
Benodet have certainly got it right for tourists, the parking was free everywhere in the town, and there where lots of it. There were also great facilities on the beach and a fab range of places to eat in the town, there were also a lot of french house goals to!. And the ice cream, wow, the ice cream! That was certainly a highlight of the week!
On Monday we ventured further afield and visited the amazing city of Quimper. The old quarter here was beautiful. The cathedral dominated any view as you walk around. We did some window shopping and sat outside a lovely little restaurant in one of the many squares for a lazy summer lunch. Again the French have got it right with parking, between 12 noon and 2 pm the parking was free so for just under €3 we got 4 and a half hours of parking.
Now, what we did on Monday night was my favourite part of the holiday. We packed up a picnic tea and took it down to the estuary beach next to the campsite and watched the sun set. It was just perfect. Eating cheese on a baguette made that morning washed down by a glass or two of wine, followed by a game of Boules. We could have not ticked any more French cliches if we tried!
The rest of our holiday was spent either on the beach at Benodet or in the swimming pool onsite, and of course we eat more ice cream!
By the end of the holiday we had settled into the French way of life – bread and cheese for lunch washed down with a glass of vino, moules for dinner and and the eldest was fluently ordering “deux croissants, deux pan un chocolat et une baguette s’il vous plait” every morning at the campsite shop.
The day we took down and packed away our camp was tinged with sadness as we could, and wanted to stay longer than our seven days. But we made some fab family memories on this holiday and I hope the girls will also remember these memories as they grow up.
If you are lucky enough to visit this lovely campsite I thought I would list some top tips we picked up while visiting:
- Toilet roll is provided but is hung up outside of the cubicles, so don’t forget to take a handful before you go in or even take your own.
- Hand soap wasn’t provided, so either take your own or a have some anti bac hand gel ready to go.
- No drinks or snacks are allowed at the pool side but we did take with us a bottle of water and weren’t told off for this. The bar does over look the pool and you can sit outside there with a drink.
- Most French swimming pools have a rule that any clothes that can be worn as everyday clothes can not be used as swimwear, so men (and women tell your other halfs) don’t forget that those board shorts are not allowed and those speedos/small trunks/budgie smugglers that are hiding at the bottom of the drawer will need to be dusted off! Hubby wasn’t too keen about this but everyone was wearing them and by the end of the week he said it felt normal!
- Make the most of the estuary beach. Take your breakfast, lunch or dinner down or just a glass of wine or that late night cup of tea. There is nothing to do but chill and it’s perfect.
- You can hire freezer blocks from reception and by paying a €5 deposit you can keep them all week and pay 60 cents to get freshly frozen ones every day. They will also freeze your ice blocks the day before you leave to keep things cool on the journey home. That certainly helped us keep our Tarte aux Pommes,the Brie and their amazing mayonnaise cool for the journey home.
- We stayed at Camp Du Letty from the 25th August to the 1st September and we found the campsite not that busy. I have heard though that during the main part of the summer holiday, the beginning of August) the campsite can be full and maybe a bit too busy.
If you ever get the chance to visit this beautiful part of France I hope you enjoy it as much as us. I am pretty sure we will be visiting again.
Lets get organised and camp!