Home » Headline, holidays, house and home

Review: Family Adventure Holiday in Normandy

1 August 2017 No Comment

Last week, we climbed, canoed, went orienteering, shot clay pigeons, walked to Mont St Michel and made bread. We built a raft, did an assault course and tie dyed t-shirts. We played palet and petanque, had a campfire, and some of us tasted wines of Normandy.

We have just returned from a fabulous week with Family Adventure Holidays at their Normandy Chateau. We slept in a treehouse up in a small woodland village along with four other families in a mix of yurts, treehouses and a cottage. Conditions were fairly simple, with outdoor showers, but duvets and beds were provided. Every morning the forest ranger, Adrien, provided us with fresh baked pastries, a selection of fruit, meant and cheese, and steaming hot coffee. We were then ready for our day’s activities.

The activity programme was perfectly planned, with a buffet and champagne tasting on the first night to help everyone get to know each other, followed by a day of forest games and orienteering. We were provided with a cooked lunch every day we were on site, and an evening meal too, with wine. We finished off that day improving our skills at the French games of palet and petanque.

There were two days out during the week. We attempted to walk to Mont St Michel, but two days of rain had left the river at a higher level than usual so after a muddy splash across the estuary we returned to the coach and visited like normal tourists, with time to take in some history, beautiful views and an ice cream. The second day out was to the Zoo at Champrepus. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was beautifully landscaped with lots of space for most of the animals … and plenty of space for the kids to run around too.

In between the two days out, our activities became increasingly messy and the showers in the woodland village were well used. Aeroball and clay pigeon shooting were both clean fun, but in the afternoon there was a wet and messy It’s a Knockout contest. The families mingled with the site’s ‘animateurs’ and some French schoolchildren who were staying to improve their English. They will have learnt all sorts of words as the teams threw water balloons and were showered with flour as part of the games.The adults were rewarded at the end of the day with a civilised and well planned wine tasting, while the kids learnt circus skills. By this stage the children had all got to know each other and were totally happy to do activities without their parents, which gave me a chance for a rest!

The next day,  breadmaking wason offer for the kids, before everyone went canoing, one of the most popular activities of the week.  This was followed in the evening by a crazy game of Cluedo, with characters and clues spread across the whole chateau site. The next morning there was raftbuilding, followed by climbing and an assualt course which used up most people’s supply of clean clothes!

The evening activities were great, a chance to wind down and chat, with plenty more wine for the adults as we sat around a campfire, let the kids boogie in a disco, and got carried away with last night Karaoke.

Overall, this holiday was perfectly planned, and a real chance to switch off. We were there during the first week of the season – there were just five families in the woodland village whereas in following weeks there would be another 19 families staying in the chateau. The food and drink was fantastic, and the kids tried mussels and snails, mainly because their new friends were trying them too. I can see that during a busier week mealtimes would be a little noisier and more hectic as the fabulous kitchen staff would have to cater for five or six times as many people. The animateurs worked incredibly hard and were always good tempered and ready to give another kid a piggyback or get stuck in to a messy activity – the holiday wouldn’t have been the same without them. Special mentions to Jess, Lillie, Adrien and Valentine who were amazing.

What would I have changed about the holiday? The weather was really the only downside, as it alternated dry days with rainy days. I could have packed more waterproof and sporty gear! There was a lot of muddy washing on our return.  Despite that, we all had an amazing time. We all tried new food, new activities and made new friends. I didn’t have to think about buying or making food at all, and the quality of meals was fantastic.

If you haven’t yet booked a holiday there are a few spaces left this summer, or check it out for 2018. Family Adventure Holidays operates a range of holidays at different sites across France and I can’t recommend them enough.

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.