“It is quite something for a campsite to be at once as peaceful and relaxing as it is jam-packed with fun, but Les Ecureuils achieves this beautifully”
It’s an early morning in August as we excitedly bundle into our ram-packed car, headed for the Folkstone Eurotunnel. Having just survived a loft extension, we are all frazzled and in desperate need of a holiday. Camping Les Ecureuils, a family campsite on a peaceful spot on the West Coast of France, promises to offer something for all of us and we are excited to see whether it lives up to expectations.
Thirty minutes on the tunnel and a manageable 7 hour drive on surprisingly uncongested French roads and we’re here in St Hilaire de Riez in the glorious, sand-filled French Vendee. It’s 6.30pm and still lovely and warm. We are eagerly greeted by a friendly Eurocamp Courier who efficiently ushers us straight to our accommodation via a delightful array of flora and fauna.
We stay in a 2 bedroom Esprit model (one of the cheaper options) which is small and basic but comfortable, cosy, clean and functional. There are two bedrooms, a kitchenette and a living area. Had we wanted a more luxurious feel, we could have opted to stay in one of the neighbouring “Avant” models, and a third bedroom would help create some extra space and luggage storage. The features we love best about our holiday home are the beautiful, large, Alfresco decking area (complete with pull across toddler safety gate!) and the fitted black out blinds in the bedrooms which have our boys sleeping until gone 7 (unheard of at home!).
Les Ecureuils is billed as a toddler friendly site with toddler friendly accommodation, and it’s clear that little ones have been well considered and would be safe here. Other toddler friendly features include plastic cutlery in the cupboard along with safety plugs for the sockets, and a stairgate for the main door is hanging on the wall in the bedroom.
One comfortable night’s sleep later and we are ready to explore: we hit the beach which is directly accessible from the campsite…and what a crowning glory it is! Miles and miles of beautiful golden sand dunes, and so much space to run and feel free! It goes on forever and it’s wonderful watching the boys dart around, create sand angels in the sand, and squeal delightedly at the top of their lungs.
The beach alone is enough to make this site a winner but the facilities on offer for what is just a small site (under 300 pitches) are just incredible, and precisely because the site is small, nothing is ever too busy.
The pool complex is simply fantastic. There are two water slides and a water flume, a relaxing, warm lazy river (with a bubble pool at the centre) and a large and glorious main pool which Mummy manages to swim her lengths in no problem. There’s also a separate pool with slides for toddlers, and a covered indoor pool with jacuzzi and splash area, which is as warm as a bath, and would have been perfect had it decided to rain, which it did not! Our sons splash away contentedly for endless hours.
When they are not busy at the pool, they are busy having fun and making friends at the Eurocamp kids club which operates from a circus tent! There are clubs available from 6 months up to 14 years. They run twice a day, six days a week, for 1.5 hours a time. Our kids absolutely love the planned water play session and have an awesome time drenching the kids’ club couriers! The weekly schedule includes space, a bug hunt, science academy, Olympics a scavenger hunt and much more. For the little ones (0-4) there are mini music, messy play, mini football and mini sports sessions twice a day: fun to the max! The kids club couriers offer evening babysitting too, which is perfect for peace of mind, as the kids love the couriers and know them already.
Another outstanding feature here is the adventure playground. The range of equipment is wonderful for all ages, with a huge climbing tower, swings, a digger, a scientific sand pully system which Mummy couldn’t quite get to grips with but we all loved anyway, and so on! Beyond the playground there are tennis and table tennis courts, and even a soft play for little ones whilst you have a drink in the bar, so there really isn’t a chance to get bored at all. One Revoo reviewer says “(we) could not have had more fun if we tried” which sums Ecureils up nicely for us too.
Amenities wise the site is in a great position for the local supermarket which is a walkable 200m away and big enough for all of your needs whilst not being so big that you can’t find anything at all. On site there is a lovely restaurant/pizzeria called Amy’s where you can also order your baguettes and pastries for collection the next morning. How lovely it is to nibble a pain au chocolat on a delightful Veranda in the French country side of a morning.
Though we don’t need to use the shower blocks unless we are at the pool, we do have a nosey, and they are exceptionally well-kept. The site is altogether so beautifully equipped for young families. There are spotless laundry facilities, and wash facilities with baby baths, hot showers, baby changing facilities in convenient places, and so much more.
We had only four days here, and none of us wanted to leave. It is quite something for a campsite to be at once as peaceful and relaxing as it is jam-packed with fun, but Les Ecureuils achieves this beautifully. We would definitely recommend it, and will definitely return. What we adore the most is that we can sit on the decking at any time of day and hear nothing but the breeze in the trees, but there’s still more than enough activity going on to keep the kids busy and give Mum and Dad a chance to truly relax. We will be back, perhaps we’ll see you here?!