What do you look for in a campsite

Specifically for cycle touring subjects & questions
Des49
Posts: 620
Joined: 2 Dec 2014, 11:45am

Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby Des49 » 30 Mar 2016, 10:08am

For our family we found just a slide with one of those climbing "walls" attached to the side, a couple of swings and a couple of those bouncy seat type affairs that wobble around on giant springs was all we needed.

Great if it could be sited somewhere where the children could walk to it themselves, i.e. no exposure to cars or hidden the otherside of the admin block so they could be kept in sight without being right with them all the time.

andymiller
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Joined: 8 Dec 2007, 10:26am

Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby andymiller » 30 Mar 2016, 12:53pm

Des49 wrote:Any recommended routes to cycle from arriving by ferry at St. Malo? Cycling out of St. Malo does't seem like fun (have only left by car previously in St. Malo).


I stayed off the bridge and followed a lovely scenic route along the Rance estuary (the route is actually signposted from the bridge - or at least it was when I did it). IIRC (it's a few years ago) I stayed the night at the municipal camping in Dinan which was nice (I hope bretonbikes won't mind me mentioning a competitor).

Oh and it might be worth waiting a little while to let the cars from the ferry clear before setting off.

This of course is no help if you are planning on heading east.

Des49
Posts: 620
Joined: 2 Dec 2014, 11:45am

Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby Des49 » 30 Mar 2016, 1:25pm

andymiller wrote:
Des49 wrote:Any recommended routes to cycle from arriving by ferry at St. Malo? Cycling out of St. Malo does't seem like fun (have only left by car previously in St. Malo).


I stayed off the bridge and followed a lovely scenic route along the Rance estuary (the route is actually signposted from the bridge - or at least it was when I did it). IIRC (it's a few years ago) I stayed the night at the municipal camping in Dinan which was nice (I hope bretonbikes won't mind me mentioning a competitor).

Oh and it might be worth waiting a little while to let the cars from the ferry clear before setting off.

This of course is no help if you are planning on heading east.


Thanks, I would go westwards. Good tips, I will have to look into it. A few days round trip from St. Malo via Bretonbikes' site seems to be an attractive idea.

andymiller
Posts: 1716
Joined: 8 Dec 2007, 10:26am

Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby andymiller » 30 Mar 2016, 3:00pm

I really am going into the dustier corners of my memory, but I also seem to remember people talking about a ferry across the Rance as an alternative to the bridge.

There may also be a cycleway along the Rance, but I simply took the minor roads via Saint Suliac.

psmiffy
Posts: 610
Joined: 1 May 2009, 1:32pm

Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby psmiffy » 30 Mar 2016, 3:36pm

yup there is ferry from the steps - If it is raining and you are lucky you can get a ferry from there to Dinan and miss out the quite boring ViaVelo

Across the barrage is not that bad - no worse than the St Nazaire bridge :)

Chat Noir
Posts: 182
Joined: 22 Jan 2010, 8:52pm
Location: York

Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby Chat Noir » 30 Mar 2016, 4:15pm

Location and attractiveness are key qualities.

Stayed here several years ago, on the banks of the attractive canal, pleasant village with sufficient shops and good access to beautiful countryside, on a good cycleroute and access to masses more. I think you've got it covered.

There is a passenger ferry across La Rance, think barely 5 mins from the car ferry terminal, regular crossings to Dinard, an attractive old town with some seriously good restaurants, and then 5 mins to the start of the old railway line southwards. Last year when we did this a dozen or so cyclists on the boat because the Tour was nearby, and plenty of space. Can't remember exact price but we bought open return tickets, think just over 60 euros for two.
Dawes Galaxy 1979; Mercian 531 1982; Peugeot 753 1987; Peugeot 531 Pro 1988; Peugeot 653 1990; Bob Jackson 731 OS 1992; Gazelle 731 OS Exception 1996; Dolan Dedacciai 2004; Trek 8000 MTB 2011; Focus Izalco Pro 2012

Bmblbzzz
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Location: From here to there.

Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby Bmblbzzz » 31 Mar 2016, 3:30pm

Soil that's easy to get tent pegs in. Completely separate van and tent areas. A fire pit is a very good idea precisely because people will use it rather than lighting fires any old where. A few tables and benches – maybe those all in one designs like pub gardens often have, good for eating and cooking at.

I don't particularly mind paying for a shower as long as it's properly hot, not restricted in time and it's clear on arrival that you need to pay or get a jeton. If it's a jeton, the office needs to be open 24/7, or there needs to be some machine selling them (though that could be a theft risk) or you need to give them on arrival (say one per day).

A tip from Mike Carter's enjoyable book One Man and His Bike: a long list of rules is a sure sign of a crappy campsite!

bretonbikes
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby bretonbikes » 1 Apr 2016, 6:57pm

Des49 wrote:The campsite and location sounds great.

Mention has been made that it is between a canal and river, is there any flooding risk?
Also what's it like for mossies?

I like a quiet site, bit of shade, a little playground for those with young children (mine are a bit big now) can work wonders for helping to keep them entertained. Plus nice clean washrooms, bright and white, tiled. If they are clean when you walk in that's how people tend to leave them.

No barking dogs!

Any recommended routes to cycle from arriving by ferry at St. Malo? Cycling out of St. Malo does't seem like fun (have only left by car previously in St. Malo).


In the summer there's zero risk of flooding - it can occasionally get a couple of inches deep in mid winter but the locks and weirs control it. Mossies not a problem - too many fish! Yup tick all those boxes for you, and the point you make an clean toilets beign treated better is very important -it's like our bikes - people said they were too good for hire use, but people treat them with real care and in 25 years only had a couple of cases of (accidentally) trashed bikes...

Des49
Posts: 620
Joined: 2 Dec 2014, 11:45am

Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby Des49 » 1 Apr 2016, 10:35pm

Sounds even better.

Will try and visit when I have a few days to spare for a ride in France.

PT1029
Posts: 654
Joined: 16 Apr 2012, 9:20pm

Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby PT1029 » 23 Apr 2016, 2:45pm

Spin dryer to get hand laundry nearly dry.
A site in NZ had and old mangle once - I could dry some bits of my garments, but didn't want to put the zip (cycle jersey) through it.....

phil parker
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Joined: 31 Dec 2009, 5:09pm
Location: Hants/Wilts

Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby phil parker » 23 Apr 2016, 4:27pm

I'm currently staying at a campsite in Kirkwall, Orkney - and it is ticking all the boxes...except weather,of course!

bretonbikes
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby bretonbikes » 23 Apr 2016, 4:59pm

Just had our first camper - two cyclists from this forum. Not really open and no hot water so they got in for free, but next week the hot water should be fired up!

phil parker
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Location: Hants/Wilts

Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby phil parker » 25 Apr 2016, 3:01pm

I've just spent 3 nights (out of 11) at two campsites that weren't open, but it is nice to find somewhere to sleep for the night when conditions are less than favourable! (Snow in Shetland this morning!)

bretonbikes
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby bretonbikes » 29 Jun 2016, 4:53pm

Just to update.

Well it's probably the worst year ever to start this sort of thing (referendum, Euro-cup, weak pound and Wimbledon and the Olympics hoving into view) but we're fully up and running. I hope we've covered all the advice given so freely here and the place is looking good though without a good-old British gang-mower I couldn't keep ahead of the grass and the moles are trying to recreate the battle of Passchendaele but I think I might even be winning that...

So thanks to all for their help;-)

Kernowboy
Posts: 43
Joined: 29 Aug 2015, 7:04pm

Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby Kernowboy » 29 Jun 2016, 7:49pm

Having stayed at your site in mid May I can confirm that you and Kate are doing an excellent job since you've taken over the site. It has all the facilities any cycle tourist would need, Including good weather when was there :D