Chateaux of the
Loire, one of the sites to be seen while camping
Camping holidays now cover a range of possibilities.
It no longer necessarily means wrestling with pitching a cramped
tent, hoping it is rain proof and communing with nature in the
In an attempt to put the glamour into camping, the latest
buzzword is glamping.
Not since my long past Boy Scout days have I felt the urge to
spend one night under canvas.
A well-equipped mobile home in the bucolic Loire Valley,
however, is a different proposition altogether.
Siblu is one of the leading French specialists in the field and
has 14 holiday villages in France. Comfort combines with endless
countryside for a fantastic family holiday at a cost that won't
give your bank manager palpitations.
We travelled to Domaine de Dugny between Blois and Tours and
discovered a site offering a good variety of activities to keep
both parents and children happy.
If mum and dad want a bit of "me" time while the kids are at
Club Bubbles, Pirates or Barracudas, there is always the attraction
of wandering around the many and varied chateux de la Loire or
hitting the wine trail.
Our destination was more than 300 miles and a good five hours
away. We arrived in sizzling sunshine but a spectacular
Once settled into our mobile home with a balcony and a
barbie at the ready we were taken on a tour by our enthusiastic
French host Corentin Dallay.
Facilities include swimming, cycling, crazy golf, tennis,
pedaloes, riding, archery, petanque, trampoline, fishing, pedal
gocarts and a cyber cafe to name a few.
In the evenings the French and English-speaking staff put on a
show in true holiday camp style.
The mobile homes come in three grades. We were billeted in a
two-bedroom Esprit that can sleep six. The Elegance sleeps up to
eight and there is an even larger option with the Excellence.
We soon settled into village life, collecting our pre-ordered
croissants in the mornings and sampling wines on the terrace from
vineyards we visited such as Vouvray.
Our nearest and favourite chateau was Chaumont-sur-Loire, with
extensive ornamental grounds, which dates back to the year
We also explored the Chateau Royal in Amboise, where Leonardo da
Vinci joined the court and was interred after his death in 1519,
the jewel of the French Renaissance Chambord, and we were inflamed
by the son et lumiere at the Chateau Royal in Blois.
It may not be camping as we know it but we handled it with great
Our holiday started in style aboard P&O's latest addition on
the Dover-Calais run, the giant 2,000 passenger capacity Spirit of
We went club class and took advantage of priority boarding and a
welcoming glass of bubbly.
The sailing, taking just 90 minutes, passed almost too quickly
and we had barely finished browsing the designer shop before the
French coastline appeared.
The ship sails for Calais five times every 24 hours. Current
standard return ticket prices start from £30 each way for a car and
up to nine passengers.
Motorists access the ship via their own private car deck which
has special lanes for those selecting priority loading.
For those wanting a bit more luxury and style, the ship's
exclusive Club Lounge comes complete with its own private sheltered
outside deck equipped with cruise-style teak furniture.
To book call 08716 64 64 64 or visit our website at
A seven-night holiday at Domaine de Dugny for a family staying
in an Esprit mobile home with terrace, departing June 10 2012 is
currently available from only £251 with an early-booking saving of
£51 on the brochure price. To book go to www.siblu.com or call 0871
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