Category Archives: Camping

Viva SkegVegas

The family show just outside Skegness in Lincolnshire is only two weeks ago, are you going? http://www.vivaskegvegasvw.co.uk/

Lincolnshire’s largest VW show is at Revesby Country Park starting on 16th August 2019. The VW Type 2 Owners Club will be there with the club stand, do come along, say hello and have a natter.

This is a laid back, family oriented classic car show, not a festival!

Busfest – last call!

This is the last Friday for tickets for Busfest, the world’s largest VW transporter show. The pinnacle of the year and the largest event for the VW Type 2 owners club as well.

If they are already full then you have missed out, but last chance to buy tickets from https://www.busfest.org/tickets/. As always, club members get an exclusive £20 discount to this exciting and fun event at the Malvern Showground near Gloucester.

Our club has a dedicated field, so that you can come back from the bustle of the show into our enclave and relax with other club members. Last year we had 60 vehicles and expect to have more this year. Our club field will be offering baps for Saturday and Sunday breakfasts (bacon and egg) and the club BBQ will be out in force on the Saturday night with burgers, both meat and vegetarian with cooked onions.

We also have the tea urn in the large club marquee and this is used to shelter from the sun or rain of the day and huddle up in the evenings for a natter over a glass of something.

In 2018, we had a George Formby singer, kids playing together and a lot of laughing. We did also get out and see the show!

All of this is free of charge to club members and those in their van in the club area.

Busfest 2019

As we enter June, the club committee are working hard finalising the plans for Busfest 2019 at the Malvern Showground. This is one of the premier events in the transporter calendar and usually sees 7,000 people attending.

If that number fills you with dread, you are in luck! The Type 2 Owners Club has our own dedicated field holding 60 vehicles that means you can stay small, spend the weekend with just club members or go large and venture out to the many stalls.

The early bird catches the bargains and also the quiet times. Everything is organised with military precision having been run by the same group for over 25 years. It is a brilliant show to look for parts for Type 1 (Beetle, Ghia, Thing) and Type 2 (Split screen, Bay, T25, T3, T4, T5, T6) vehicles. Or just kick back and enjoy the atmosphere.

Just 4 of the vans from the 2018 club field at Busfest!

The owners club will have a large club marquee for members only in the club field. Last year we served tea, coffee, burgers and sausages. We had a ukulele performance from “George Formby” and about 50 vehicles were there. Plenty of dogs, children, stories, fun and laughter were there – everyone is welcome and the field coped well with mobility scooters.

You don’t even need to bring a van – come in the car and a tent. Bring a (small) motorhome.

Book early to avoid disappointment and book using the club link on the web link above. Discount code available from the club secretary if you did not find it in the club magazine.

Next club meeting is only 3 weeks away now!

Are you coming?

Three weeks to go to our first big club event of the season. Great Bourton in Oxfordshire sees our second trip for the club weekend. Last year we had a dozen vans, 25 people, the FA cup final on the TV, live jazz singer and a royal wedding all accompanied by a free BBQ.

People brought cakes, beers, a table tennis table and a bucketful of fun.

We are hoping for more people this year, come along and meet people, share stories about your vehicle and your adventures or your plans to get a VW transporter.

You can bring a tent, a motorhome, it does not have to be a VW. Bring the kids, bring the dog, bring chairs, bring cake. Obviously.

 

First club camp of 2019 – are you coming?

Now that your bus is awake (see last week’s article Wakey Wakey), you can think about a spring camp if you haven’t already got your year mapped out already to include all of the club camps listed in our Events page.

Next up is the April Fool’s camp, less than 3 weeks from now starting March 28th at Sixpenny Handley near Salisbury just nestled into north Dorset.

Come and join the members having a spring weekend!

Events from 2018 and looking into 2019

What a busy club year! If you take a look at http://vwt2oc.co/wp/events/ you will see that the club has had one of its busiest years in a long time. A lot of places and shows with the club stand, the club gazebo and most of them had club camping.

Club Stand

The club stand at Volksweald July 2018

As we move towards 2019, it would be great to meet more members and welcome back repeat visitors to club events. If you would like to join us, come along, we don’t bite. Our emphasis is on using the vans, having fun and sharing (knowledge, information and stories. Don’t ask to share sausages though).

If a member would like to organise a club camp, please contact events@vwt2oc.co.uk and talk to the events manager. Please remember that a club event is at least 8 people, 4 vehicles, a stand, tables, gazebo, maybe the club marquee, BBQ and a host of other equipment. It takes a lot of planning, preparation and time to make an event happen. If you want to join in, come along, we provide the framework either as a standalone event or as a club presence at a VW show for fun times.

That bit about us not biting? It might not be true. Woof.

Europe’s best campsites by lakes and rivers

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/campingholidays/11642919/Europes-best-camping-sites-by-lake-and-river.html

In this extract from ‘Cool Camping Europe’, editor Jonathan Knight chooses his favourite sites near the continent’s lakes, rivers, reservoirs and waterfalls

From France’s Lake District to the wilds of Slovenia, staying in yurts, wooden caravans and treehouses, here are some of the best places to enjoy the great outdoors.

Müllerwiese, Germany

A family-run, family-friendly oasis, Müllerwiese is a small but perfectly formed operation that’s been running since 1972. On the edge of a picturesque German village called Enzklösterle, the area resembles nothing more than a large, pretty household garden, with around 75 pitches stretched along the River Enz. Away from the riverbanks, you can pitch in a grassy, car-free area, purely for tenters, or rent one of two log cabins edging the camping field. The Enz provides a gurgling soundtrack, fir trees offer shelter and facilities are appropriately modest but adequate, accompanied by a playground in the garden. Quaint Enzklösterle on the doorstep will keep you busy and the vast Black Forest all around will keep you busier still – visit the tourist office directly opposite the campsite to get started.
Location: Campsite Müllerwiese, Hirschtalstrasse 3, D-75337 Enzklösterle, Germany
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

Müllerwiese, Germany. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Quinta de Odelouca, Portugal

When it comes to waterside lounging in the Algarve, it’s usually a mad dash to the beach accompanied by a swarm of other British sun-seekers. Backtrack into the forested Serra de Monchique, the region’s mountain range, and it’s a totally different story. Above the coastal crowds, Quinta de Odelouca overlooks a tranquil river basin, gradually widening into a vast reservoir. Almost all of the 25 pitches come shaded by olive trees and the basic but clean sanitary facilities offer something for everyone – there’s a baby-changing room, disabled-friendly showers and a chemical disposal point for the caravanning community. There’s even a saltwater swimming pool, perfect for cooling off on summer afternoons. With high peaks puncturing the surroundings, the site is a perfect base to do some serious hiking or canoeing.
Location: Quinta de Odelouca, Vale Grande Baixo, Monte das Pitas, São Marcos da Serra, Portugal
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

 

Quinta de Odelouca. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Camping Val d’Or, Luxembourg

Luxembourg boasts a total area of just 999 square miles but, tucked in the valley of the Clerve River, Camping Val d’Or boasts perhaps the finest acreage of the lot. Spread around the riverbanks, the campsite is an oasis of greenery with the water at its heart. Shallow, rocky and gently flowing, the Clerve occupies children for hours and, while there is room to pitch along its edges, campers can also cross a wooden footbridge to more spacious pitches hidden behind tall hedges – best for peace and quiet. Not that the place is a riot at the best of times. The village of Enscherange has a population of 140 and it’s a five-minute drive to the nearest restaurant in Drauffelt. It’s an easy and scenic train journey to historic Luxembourg City, though, with day tickets costing just €4 (£3).
Location: Camping Val d’Or, Um Gaertchen 2, Luxembourg
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

 

Camping Cal d’Or. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Agricampeggio Madonna Di Pogi, Italy

Tuscany may not strike you as a secluded getaway – Pisa and pizza-seekers swamp the place in summer. Yet at the region’s eastern fringes, you can truly leave the beaten track. Nestled in the heart of the Val’d’Ambra, verdant hills stretch for miles around while inland lagoons puddle the valley floor. Comprising eight wooden “caravans” and five wooden “tent houses”, Agricampeggio Madonna di Pogi offers ingenious glamping accommodation fully furnished within so you can travel lightly and sleep deeply. When the weather’s nice, the private lake is perfect for a cooling dip or a spot of fishing in the shade of the cypress grove. Some of Italy’s most iconic Renaissance sights are easily reachable too: Florence, Siena and Arezzo are all within an hour’s drive.
Location: Agricampeggio Madonna Di Pogi, Via della Madonna, 52, Pogi AR, Italy
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

 

Camp Liza, Slovenia

It pays to bring along your own personal kayak to Slovenia’s Kamp Liza. With so many others lying around, without one you might feel a bit left out. The site offers access to two rivers: the emerald-green Soca and the clear, wild Koritnica, making it a serious boon for aqua aficionados. Surrounded by the peaks and pastures of the Bovec Valley, the campsite is a large, laid-back space with relatively basic facilities – there are lavatories, hot showers and disabled bathrooms, but they’re a bit limited. Groups are directed to the lower terrace, next to the burbling Soca; families gather in the central area, while tenters head to the farthest field. It’s a couple of kilometres to 800-year-old Bovec, a centre for adventure sports, with an array of cafés, shops and traditional restaurants, as well as a daily market.
Location: Kamp Liza, Vodenca 4, 5230 Bovec, Slovenia
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

Camp Liza. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Camping De Roos, The Netherlands

Meandering through the sprawling, grassy meadows of Camping De Roos, the River Vecht is the perfect centrepiece to nights under canvas. Many cycle here along the river’s towpath, a journey punctuated with a refreshing dunk to cool off en route. Upon arrival, campers truly are spoiled for choice with pleasant places to pitch up. An undulating space scattered with trees, bushes and winding paths, the site has an intimacy belying the wide variety of pitches. For something special, two designated trekkersvelden are tucked away amid the chunkier trees, exclusively reserved for anyone arriving by bike or on foot. Situated in an area of breathtaking natural beauty, preservation is a priority, with timed showers, recycling bins and an on-site shop chock-full of healthy foods, planet-friendly cleaning unguents and the most local of local produce.
Location: Camping De Roos, Beerzerweg 10, 7736 PJ Beerze-Ommen, the Netherlands
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

Camping de Roos. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Camping Milin Kerhé, France

On and around the Brittany coastline there is no shortage of camping destinations but Camping Milin Kerhé stands out from the pack. Not many sites can boast such an idyllic setting: pristine terraced fields hugged by dappled woodland with a salmon-rich river meandering languidly through. The general laid-back air of the place is mirrored in the camping options on offer. Tents, campervans and motorhomes are all welcome, while hanging tents slung up in the woodlands are pre-arranged for campers travelling light. It’s echoed too in the varied activities, from volleyball and boules to kayaking on the majestic Trieux or following nature trails along its banks. Campfires are very much encouraged and riverside picnic tables are set up for family barbecues. If you do decide to leave, the beaches of the coast are a mere 30 minutes away.
Location: Camping de Milin Kerhé Rue du Moulin 22200 Pabu
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

 

Camping Milin Kerhé. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Lima Escape, Portugal

On the western edge of Peneda-Gerês National Park, the appropriately huge Lima Escape (capacity for 400 campers) seems to maintain an intimate atmosphere while still showing off the park’s vast natural beauty. Pitching up in mixed woods of oak and pine, campers can rest near a babbling stream that snakes along one edge, or pick a point overlooking the open Rio Lima, resembling more a long, slim lake than a river. Two tepees, two bell tents and two tree houses are the summation of their glamping options and poach the best views on the site, each with their own wooden terraces. Ramblers and mountain bikers will love the surroundings. Peneda-Gerês is spread across four dramatic granite peaks, and is especially popular in late spring when its wild flower-lined trails are in full bloom.
Location: Lima Escape, Lugar de Igreja, 4980-312 Entre Ambos-os-Rios, Ponte da Barca – Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

Forest Days, Spain

Four fully furnished bell tents, raised on wooden platforms are the sole accommodation in this Pyrenean glamping site, each separated from one another to provide space and seclusion. Inside, super king-size beds are accompanied by bedside tables made out of enormous round logs, while outside, guests have their own vista-viewing dining space and a hammock for relaxing. Venture down the track and a pleasant walk reveals the majestic Vall d’Ora River, where an old, disused lock has become a re-wilding waterfall, with pools on either side perfect for swimming. Off-site, the traditional Spanish town of Solsona boasts a well-preserved centre, complete with towering Catalonian cathedral and a cluster of good eateries. Alternatively, head to Panta de Sant Ponc, a vast lake that’s ideal for kayaking and cycling on the perimeter route.
Location: Forest Days, Navès, 25286, Solsonès, Lleida, Catalunya, Spain
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

 

Forest Days. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Lo Stambecco, Italy

On the Italian side of the Mont Blanc Massif, Lo Stambecco is a campsite popular with walking types and anyone with an eye for stunning views. Directly opposite its grassy slopes is a steep shoulder of mountain – the silhouette for setting suns – while rumbling through the valley below, a gushing river of glacial melt water. Dips (and sips) are not recommended, though – your extremities wouldn’t thank you for the exposure. On the edge of the tiny village of Valnontey, the campsite is a popular stopover on one of the great Alpine walks – the Alta Via from Champorcher to Courmayeur – and has a variety of pitches, some on the open grass, others venturing into the pine cover that engulfs much of the hill. Facilities are good and there is a cosy bar and reading area with a selection of board games.
Location: Camping Lo Stambecco, Valnontey, Cogne, Val d’Aosta, Italy
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

La Ribière Sud, France

Known as France’s Lake District, Périgord-Limousin Regional Park is dotted with sparkly bodies of open water – some with natural beaches perfect for wild swimming and many with countryside cycle routes. In the park’s north-easterly corner (on the site of a former tree nursery) La Ribière Sud boasts 22 acres of woodland and meadows. Run by two English expats, Ann and Harry, the site’s centrepiece is a wonderfully painted, genuine Mongolian yurt with a refined, gipsy-chic interior and wooden struts delicately illustrated by the hands of nomadic craftsmen. The giant bed and welcoming candlelight is difficult to turn down, but you don’t have to stay in here if you’ve brought your own canvas – there are plenty of pitches in the shade of the towering poplars outside, all with electricity.
Location: La Ribière Sud, Haute-Vienne, Limousin, Limoges, Chalus, France
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

La Ribière Sud. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Camping Lagos de Somiedo, Spain

High up in the quiet and unspoilt Spanish village of Lago, Camping Lagos de Somiedo is a compact campsite by the side of a stream. Cars are confined to an entrance car park, so the camping area is free of clutter. For extra seclusion, there’s a private patch of grass across the water, accessed by a rickety wooden bridge. Facilities are basic but clean; a rustic wash-block has showers and lavatories, and outside washing-up sinks, while elsewhere, there’s a small bar and a “mini-farm” with animals and a quaint old water mill. Within a Unesco Biosphere Reserve, the area boasts some of Europe’s most rare and exciting wildlife, from birds of prey to the Cantabrian brown bear.
Location: Camping Lagos de Somiedo, Valle de Lago, Somiedo, 33840, Asturias, Spain
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

‘Cool Camping Europe’ is available at coolcamping.co.uk

Would you take a campervan to the ski slopes??

vw winterIs swapping the warmth and comfort of a ski chalet for a campervan worth the money you’d save?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/snowandski/skiing-news/11294759/Would-you-take-a-campervan-to-the-ski-slopes-this-season.html

ByLucy Aspden

New research has found that families could save up to £1,100 by swapping a hotel room for a “cosy caravan” when hitting the ski slopes in Europe this season.

Caravan dealership, Salop Leisure, compared the average cost of staying in a hotel or chalet with the cost of driving to the mountains and staying in a campsite. Yes, there’s no match for the comfort of real, actual brick walls, a freshly-made bed every morning or chalet staff-made coffee and cake on your return from the slopes every day, but making the swap to the deal on wheels could be almost eight times cheaper.

Using prices from Trip Advisor’s 2014 Trip Index, Salop Leisure found that the average price for a week’s stay in a hotel or chalet in Serre Chevalier, France, where accommodation is apparently one of the cheapest in the French Alps, is £1,210. However, skip the hotels and head to the nearby Champ du Moulin campsite and the cost for a family of four for seven nights plummets to £163.

The same savings apply in more popular resorts like Austria’s St Anton, where, according, again, to Trip Advisor, a week’s stay is the most expensive in Europe, with an average cost of £3,424. But trade the luxuries of a hotel or chalet for the Camping Arlberg site and a pitch for the week will cost £182 and include a private bathroom hut, wireless internet, washing machine, tumble dryer, sauna and ski bus stop to the slopes (mind you, that’s just a public bus stop and a free ski bus).

Salop Leisure says more and more Britons are purchasing campervans and caravans for holidays, a trend it believes matches behaviour in North America where driving a motorhome to a holiday destination is much more common. The dealership says that while the initial investment in a “chalet on wheels” may be steep (in the region of £20,000, but up to £40,000), the savings to be made in resorts around Europe are vast.

Campbell Levy, a regular caravanner in Colorado dug up by Salop Leisure to sing the holiday format’s praises, said he drives up to Aspen Snowmass in a 1997 VW Eurovan Camper. “It has a propane-powered furnace that keeps us toasty even on the coldest nights. We’re often too warm, and have to let heat out,” he said.

 

“It’s especially advantageous on a powder day because you can park on the steps of the gondola, and roll out of bed right before the lift starts running and get right on.”
Camping Arlberg in St Anton, Austria

Ski-in/ski-out access (sort of, from your car park) may sound ideal, but Telegraph Ski and Snowboard editor Henry Druce said the dream does not match the reality. He said: “When I toured the Alps a few years ago in a campervan I found the experience tiring because of all the driving and inconvenient because the campsites where we stayed in Val d’Isère and Chamonix were not that close to the lifts and lacking in crucial home comforts like a nice big bath to soak away the aches and pains of a day on the slopes.”

He added: “Admittedly my experience was tainted from the word go as we were robbed on the first night of our trip and lost thousands of pounds worth of kit.”

Saving money is not the only consideration though – as well as the hours of driving (the drive from Calais to Val d’Isère is about nine and a half hours), prepping your ride for a winter journey requires meticulous effort. Everything from winter tyres, snow chains and pipe insulation to checking tyre pressures, testing breaks and investing in copious amounts of antifreeze are seen as essential preparation for a moutain drive adventure. See our guide on how to drive to the slopes.So, would you?

8 Things that Will Make Eating and Drinking on Your Camping Trip So Much Better

http://fwx.foodandwine.com/secrets/8-things-will-make-eating-and-drinking-your-camping-trip-so-much-better

By Noah Kaufman |

The summer solstice is upon us and there are few better ways to spend the brightest weekend of the year than on a trip into the great outdoors. The fresh air, the chirping of the crickets, the knowledge that you don’t have to care about what’s trending on Facebook for several days—camping is great. But eating and drinking in the woods come with some drawbacks. Lugging beer and wine bottles in your backpack is cumbersome, making a decent meal on a stove the size of novelty Frisbee is challenging and how are you supposed to get a decent cup of coffee? Here are eight things that can solve all of those problems so you can worry about more important things, like what was that growling sound you just heard off in the woods.

Beer Concentrate

Drinking beer around the campfire is perhaps the best part of any camping trip. But packing out all of your empties (and make sure to pack out all of your empties) is a real pain. Pat’s in Alaska has created a beer concentrate, so you can make your own beer right on the trail. No more lugging around packs full of jangling glass bottles all weekend.

The Hydro Flask Camping Growler

What if you’re in the mood for a beer that doesn’t come in cans or bottles? You’re in luck. This vacuum insulated bottle will keep your beer cold for 24 hours, so stop by the brewery and have them fill it up.

Wine Preserver Bags

You can pick up wine in portable pouches, but selection is limited. These refillable ones, which will hold an entire 750ml bottle, will let you put whatever you want in them. Now you don’t have to leave that 1982 Bordeaux at home.

Pour Mason Coffee Maker

This funnel system makes pour-over coffee much more campfire-friendly. Also, hipsters rejoice, because you can own yet another item made of a Mason jar.

A Cooler That Dispenses Shots

Finally, a convenient way to get shots when the nearest bar is three hours away. This is made by Jägermeister, but if that’s not your vice of choice, you can fit it with other spirits.

The Coleman Camping Stove/Oven

We have a friend who insists the only food you should eat when you go camping is canned chili. We’re getting one of these ovens and making a soufflé. That should show him.

The Back Country Martini Glass

Wine and beer not your thing? Class up your campfire drinking with a martini from a stainless steel cup. These things are hearty enough to survive a bear attack.

Power Pot Generator

This brilliant heat-powered generator will charge your phone while you’re boiling water for your coffee. You may not have service, but at least you’ll be able to play Threes and Angry Birds.

Related: This Earth Cooler Chills Your Beer Underground, with No Electricity
The World’s Most Expensive Tea Machine is a Very Fancy Vacuum
Top 10 Picnic Recipes

Traveller’s Guide: Camping in France

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/europe/travellers-guide-camping-in-france-9268480.html

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Bubble wrap: an unusual ‘treehouse’ in Mayenne
Domain des Vaulx

The traditional holiday under canvas has come a long way – now you can sleep in a treehouse, a vintage caravan or even at the zoo. Sarah Barrell pegs down the options

Happy campers are those considering France this year. According to the French tourist office (uk.rendez vousenfrance.com), there are now more than 9,000 one- to four-star campsites spread across the country, plus a blossoming number of luxury pitches. And if you don’t want to carry your own canvas, many of these sites provide fully equipped tents, caravans and cabins, not to mention a burgeoning number of very smart treehouses.

Camping in France

The accommodation on offer is ever more inventive: from a pop-up surf camp near Bordeaux (0800 6123 516; feralsurftours.com), to a naturist beach retreat in Corsica (00 33 4 95 38 80 30; bagheera.fr/en) plus floating cabins (echologia.fr) and bubble treehouses (00 33 2 43 69 95 63; domainedesvaulx.fr) found in the increasingly popular Mayenne region, a short hop from the ferry port at Caen.

Camping in France

Early booking is recommended, especially for breaks during the school summer holidays and to secure places on sites with easy beach access, swimming pools and activities for children. “We hear that the north and west coast of France is selling well, but there still seems to be lots of availability in the south,” says Daniel Johnson, from campsite comparison website, francefor families.com. “This is different to recent years. But families who want to head to the Mediterranean coast for the school holidays should still book now before it sells out.”

To ensure a good choice of dates and destinations, it is worth considering areas outside the southern summer holiday hubs. “The Alps are often overlooked, but there are some stunning sites to be found there and plenty of outdoor activities to fill a holiday,” says Jonathan Knight, founder of Cool Camping (020 7820 9333; coolcamping.co.uk). He suggests choosing a site with pre-pitched tents. “Without the need to bring a car-full of your own camping gear, you could just pick up a cheap flight or take the train.”

Pre-pitched tents with luxury trimmings – plush beds, loos and a close attention to design – are popping up across France, a destination that had previously lagged behind the luxury camping boom seen in the UK and Spain.

However, “bookings are significantly up on last year,” says Rebecca Whewell, from Sawday’s Canopy & Stars (0117 204 7830; canopyandstars.co.uk). “It’s important to book early, especially for family places. People assume peak season weather is the best, but the mildest, sunniest days often fall in May, June and September. Our most popular bookings are treehouses – France is the place to go for these; there are many more established than in the UK – and also for traditional roulottes: much bigger than a gypsy bowtop caravan, but with the same quirky, bohemian style.”

If you want something really wild, how about camping out at the zoo? Three new safari-tent-style Lemur Lodges recently opened at La Flèche Zoo (00 33 2 43 48 19 14; safari-lodge.fr), in the valley of the Loir, a tributary of the more familiar Loire. Each has oversized windows for observing the nocturnal habits of these much-loved Madagascan primates, plus an outdoor shower and pergola to complete the back-to-nature experience. A week in June costs £125 per adult, £60 per child (aged three-12); under-threes go free. The price includes two-day zoo passes for all and half board with dinner delivered to your lodge.

Camping in France

The Michelin Camping Guide (travel.michelin.co.uk) and Guide Officiel Camping Caravaning (available from campingfrance.com) have more details on sites across France.

Camp chic

These days, the perfect pitch means more than flat ground and a great view. Glisten Camping (0844 344 0196; glistencamping.com), at Col d’Ibardin in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques, has six new geodesic domes furnished with hanging sleep pods for children, beanbags, king-sized beds and an artfully arranged al fresco kitchen with plancha grills. There’s also a kid’s club, swimming pools and sports for teens. A week in August costs £750 (sleeps four adults, two children).

Canvas Holidays (0845 268 0827; canvasholidays.co.uk) has expanded its “luxury extras” programme. New summer additions include safari tents and buggy building (teams race and create beach buggies from rope, wooden poles and barrels). Other activities at the 12 participating French sites include Water Walkerz (aqua body zorbing), orienteering and teddy bear picnics. A week’s stay in a Safari Tent Deluxe (sleeps six), at Camping la Sirène, near the coast and the French-Spanish border, costs £1,288, arriving 19 July.

Travelling with tots

If you don’t have to travel during the school holidays, it’s easy to save. Book a break between 1-19 June and Eurocamp (0844 406 0402; eurocamp.co.uk) is offering a week’s holiday for £405 per party (up to eight/six adults), including accommodation in a three-bedroom mobile home and return Dover-Calais ferry crossings. Participating toddler-friendly sites include Domaine des Ormes in Brittany, where pitches are available for those with their own tents, plus treehouses and mobile home rental. Set just inland from St Malo, the site has a pool and lake to swim in, plus a kid’s club, babysitting services and all-terrain buggies which you can hire.

Stay within dashing distance of Paris, at La Croix du Vieux Pont (0844 847 1356; hoseasons.co.uk), a five-star campsite perfectly set up for under-fives with accommodation that includes fully equipped mobile homes, lodges and tents. Facilities include children’s pools, playgrounds, soft play areas and a kid’s club; a frequent camp bus service makes the hour’s journey to Disneyland Paris. A week in June costs £441 for a family of four staying in a mobile home, with shower and loo.

Camping in France

Fancy farm stays

Book a stay on a farm near the beach in Normandy. As part of the Featherdown Farm (featherdown.co.uk) portfolio, the family-run Ferme de la Folivraie offers the usual Featherdown comforts: decked, canvas tents (sleeping six) with kitchens, comfy beds and flushing loos, plus farm activities for childern, the beaches of Port-en-Bessin are a mile away and the Marais du Bessin National Park is on your doorstep. A week’s stay in June costs between €649 and €759 per tent.

Another Normandy farm favourite, Château de la Grande Noë, is an organic farm estate where you can camp high up in Douglas redwoods in medieval tent-style treehouses complete with drawbridges, rope ladders and winch systems to hoist up farm-made picnic baskets. Walk a Shetland pony, pet horses and goats in the paddocks, and explore La Perche – the surrounding region of protected woodland. A week in August costs €1,015, including breakfast, in a treehouse for five (chateaudelagrandenoe.com).

However, “bookings are significantly up on last year,” says Rebecca Whewell, from Sawday’s Canopy & Stars (0117 204 7830; canopyandstars.co.uk). “It’s important to book early, especially for family places. People assume peak season weather is the best, but the mildest, sunniest days often fall in May, June and September. Our most popular bookings are treehouses – France is the place to go for these; there are many more established than in the UK – and also for traditional roulottes: much bigger than a gypsy bowtop caravan, but with the same quirky, bohemian style.”

If you want something really wild, how about camping out at the zoo? Three new safari-tent-style Lemur Lodges recently opened at La Flèche Zoo (00 33 2 43 48 19 14; safari-lodge.fr), in the valley of the Loir, a tributary of the more familiar Loire. Each has oversized windows for observing the nocturnal habits of these much-loved Madagascan primates, plus an outdoor shower and pergola to complete the back-to-nature experience. A week in June costs £125 per adult, £60 per child (aged three-12); under-threes go free. The price includes two-day zoo passes for all and half board with dinner delivered to your lodge.

The Michelin Camping Guide (travel.michelin.co.uk) and Guide Officiel Camping Caravaning (available from campingfrance.com) have more details on sites across France.

Sand, sea and safari

Stay safari-style in Brittany. Bot-Conan, in the Baie de la Forêt, has six “Archipel” safari lodges set on wooden decks, and each comes with its own outdoor kitchen. There are also “atoll” tents with sundecks and barbecues and two grass-roofed bathhouses. Beach access is along a wooded coastal path down to a “secret” bay. Canopy & Stars has a week’s stay in June for £587, in a safari tent that sleeps five.

Swim in view of the Pyrenees at Camping des Albères, near Perpignan. Perfect for families, the site has a two swimming pools, a café, shop and activities; the beaches of Argelès-sur-Mer are four miles away. Pitchup (pitchup.com) offers a week in June for £164, for stays in a “nature safari tent” (sleeping up to five), with accommodation split into a double room, a triple room and a fully equipped kitchen, plus a decked terrace area.

Camping in France

Remote retreats

Sleep high in the Haute-Savoie in south-east France. Camping Les Dômes de Miage is set at 3,000ft up the Rhône-Alpes with pitches offering views of Mont Blanc. There are no swimming pools, static caravans or animation programmes but plenty of mountain bike trails, forest hikes and a lovingly-restored wooden mazot (traditional Savoyard chalets). A pitch for two people costs €25 a night (in own tent) in August, with Cool Camping.

Beat a retreat to the foothills of the Pyrenees, to bed down in a vintage trailer. Pioneers of the European vintage trailer park trend, Belrepayre (00 33 5 61 68 11 99; airstreameurope.com) is arguably one of the most splendidly isolated spots to stay in an Airstream. Ten gleaming aluminium trailers from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s (sleeping two to six) are each furnished in period style, plus there’s an on-site spa, hot tub and bar/café. A trailer for two costs €630 per week in August.

On a budget

France’s municipal campsites offer the best budget pitches. Found in most towns and larger villages, these usually have loos, hot showers and a basic shop. You need to book only in touristy (largely coastal) regions. These make great pit-stops for road trippers or those who don’t want to commit to one destination. A night at the Mérindole site in Port de Bouc, close to Marseille, costs from €1.95 per tent and €3 per camper with cars charged at €2.05 (camping- municipal.org).

For a bargain action-packed camping trip, try Family Adventure Holidays (01273 827333; family adventureholidays.com). Stay in a mobile home on a campsite set vineyards and the foothills of the Cévennes. Take a two-day whitewater canoe descent of the Ardèche gorge, with an overnight riverside bivouac, or try kayaking, climbing and abseiling in the limestone cliffs, and tackling a high-ropes course among the pine forests of Villefort. These holidays are suitable for children aged eight and above. A week in August costs £438pp, including accommodation, activities and some meals.