What do you look for in a campsite

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Des49
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby Des49 » 28 Aug 2016, 9:49pm

Just back today from a 6 night trip to Brittany. This included a 2 night stay at Gouarec at Bretonbike's campsite.

What a lovely place! It is indeed large with unstructured pitches. Plenty of space, we had a nice pitch with shade from a handy tree that was also useful to lean bikes on. The facilities were fine, clean, hot water, loo paper provided. Cost, I think was 7.50 euro a night, seemed very reasonable. We didn't use it but the camp kitchen is a great idea as is the awning over some seating. Wi-fi never worked for us, just got the message that the server was unavailable, funnily enough a couple of other British people saw us and mentioned the same, but a couple of other nationalities seemed to be happily using it. We did find that sitting outside the Credit Agricole office on the main road allowed us to log in to their free wi-fi so some important emails could be dealt with!

It was quiet, I noted a dog or two but it seemed the French owner kept them well looked after and I didn't hear them that all.

I really would highly recommend this site and also the area. We arrived via the V3 & V6 from St. Malo in a couple of days, beautiful cycling on the paths. Even going back on roads was surprisingly peaceful until near Dinard.

bretonbikes
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby bretonbikes » 29 Aug 2016, 7:43am

Des49 wrote:Just back today from a 6 night trip to Brittany. This included a 2 night stay at Gouarec at Bretonbike's campsite.

What a lovely place! It is indeed large with unstructured pitches. Plenty of space, we had a nice pitch with shade from a handy tree that was also useful to lean bikes on. The facilities were fine, clean, hot water, loo paper provided. Cost, I think was 7.50 euro a night, seemed very reasonable. We didn't use it but the camp kitchen is a great idea as is the awning over some seating. Wi-fi never worked for us, just got the message that the server was unavailable, funnily enough a couple of other British people saw us and mentioned the same, but a couple of other nationalities seemed to be happily using it. We did find that sitting outside the Credit Agricole office on the main road allowed us to log in to their free wi-fi so some important emails could be dealt with!

It was quiet, I noted a dog or two but it seemed the French owner kept them well looked after and I didn't hear them that all.

I really would highly recommend this site and also the area. We arrived via the V3 & V6 from St. Malo in a couple of days, beautiful cycling on the paths. Even going back on roads was surprisingly peaceful until near Dinard.


Many thanks for the write-up - it was 5 Euro (unless my son has been fleecing campers;-) but the wi-fi does seem to be erratic - most people log-on with no problems but a few don't - no rhyme or reason as far as I can see...

les tocknell
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby les tocknell » 13 Sep 2016, 10:59pm

Please don't allow the refuse people to empty the bins at 4.00 am! An unnamed site in La Manche is the guilty party...

andymiller
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby andymiller » 14 Sep 2016, 8:15am

les tocknell wrote:Please don't allow the refuse people to empty the bins at 4.00 am! An unnamed site in La Manche is the guilty party...


In fairness they probably don't get a choice about it - I doubt your council gives you a choice about when your bins are collected.

Vorpal
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby Vorpal » 14 Sep 2016, 9:13am

andymiller wrote:
les tocknell wrote:Please don't allow the refuse people to empty the bins at 4.00 am! An unnamed site in La Manche is the guilty party...


In fairness they probably don't get a choice about it - I doubt your council gives you a choice about when your bins are collected.

4:00 am is a ridiculous time to empty the bins. And that process is noisy enough to wake many people in their houses, let alone tents. I donæt think they should be allowed to begin before 6:00 am.

That said, maybe the campground could put the bins somewhere a bit away from the site, if it is a problem, and the council isn't accomodating
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andymiller
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby andymiller » 14 Sep 2016, 10:07am

Vorpal wrote:4:00 am is a ridiculous time to empty the bins. And that process is noisy enough to wake many people in their houses, let alone tents. I donæt think they should be allowed to begin before 6:00 am.


That may be so (if it was actually 4am), but it's not something that's in the control of the campsite operator. I suspect if they were here to give their side of the story it would turn out to be something they had tried to sort out with the council - or that there was a valid reason for the early morning collections.

les tocknell
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby les tocknell » 14 Sep 2016, 10:20pm

You're all so reasonable! I bet you wouldn't be so reasonable at 4.00 am ( and it waS, i CHECKED)

robing
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby robing » 14 Sep 2016, 11:13pm

For the first time I had something stolen at a campsite :( It was a battery pack that I had left unattended charging in the toilet block. The campsite was close to Ile d'Oleron on the Atlamtic coast of France.

tatanab
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby tatanab » 15 Sep 2016, 8:31am

les tocknell wrote:You're all so reasonable! I bet you wouldn't be so reasonable at 4.00 am ( and it waS, i CHECKED)
A couple of years ago I had that on the site in Mortain. Yes, about 4 am -- grumble, grumble, go back to sleep. At least there were only 2 dumpsters to empty so it was over quickly.

psmiffy
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby psmiffy » 16 Oct 2016, 12:05am

What I would like - campsite operators to put the period they are open for on their websites

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foxyrider
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby foxyrider » 16 Oct 2016, 9:42am

psmiffy wrote:What I would like - campsite operators to put the period they are open for on their websites


IME they usually do, it's office opening times which are often missing - I can't count the number of times i've arrived to find I have a wait of sometimes a couple of hours before I can check in!

Bins - we used to have early bin collections and milk deliveries in the UK. The vehicles were back in the depot by the time rush hour hit, most people ignored it but a few complained so it was stopped. Result, well now there are refuse trucks trying to collect in rush hour traffic, no one wants milk delivered after they've gone to work so we've lost most of our deliveries. We've lost more than we've gained.

On campsites it's often attempts to make tent users lot better that conflict with bins - you want to be near the facilities but that can mean close to the bins. I've had similar experiences once or twice but far more annoying are late arrivals banging and crashing about in the dark, shining headlamps into people's tents etc.
Convention? what's that then?
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truckturner
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby truckturner » 26 Oct 2016, 8:43pm

Hi Geoff I stayed at your site this year and after 72 nights at probably 60 other campsites in France on my tour I was most impressed as a solo cycle tourist. After a long hard ride in the rain I was made to feel most welcome. The rates were on par or less than the cheapest municipal sites at 5 euros. I was able to choose my own pitch I was given a plastic waste bag and most importantly a chair. As there had been torrential rain for the last 5 weeks so I was also looking for a covered shelter area where I could eat which was also provided. I have no need for a bar. swimming pool or restaurant which were provided on a few other sites I stayed at and I paid for in site fees I stayed at the site last year and the improvements you have made since you took over were significant. The site for me was also located in a great cycling area with numerous interesting day rides. However, for me a key aspect was as a confirmed bike nerd was talking bikes with you. I learned a lot see you next year.

Peter

mercalia
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby mercalia » 29 Oct 2016, 9:44pm

cheap

bretonbikes
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby bretonbikes » 3 Dec 2016, 3:20pm

truckturner wrote:Hi Geoff I stayed at your site this year and after 72 nights at probably 60 other campsites in France on my tour I was most impressed as a solo cycle tourist. After a long hard ride in the rain I was made to feel most welcome. The rates were on par or less than the cheapest municipal sites at 5 euros. I was able to choose my own pitch I was given a plastic waste bag and most importantly a chair. As there had been torrential rain for the last 5 weeks so I was also looking for a covered shelter area where I could eat which was also provided. I have no need for a bar. swimming pool or restaurant which were provided on a few other sites I stayed at and I paid for in site fees I stayed at the site last year and the improvements you have made since you took over were significant. The site for me was also located in a great cycling area with numerous interesting day rides. However, for me a key aspect was as a confirmed bike nerd was talking bikes with you. I learned a lot see you next year.

Peter


Hi Peter

That's really lovely thanks. It's been an interesting year running the site and glad what we did made life easier.

I like being out in the open and the first thing to say is that as we suspected it's certainly not a way to make money. With the investment we put in we were out of pocket to the tune of several thousand Euro. But... I loved the feeling that after 26 years being based at the site and wringing our hands over some of the things that were done we're finally in control of our own base. That to our main business is worth more than money.

The campsite is in such a fabulous place and has so much potential that we've decided after a lot of thought to take it over for a full 9-year contract. As I said the basic campsite doesn't make money or even cover costs but we can do so much by using it as a base that it's worth while. In particular I want to make it a centre for cycling, get club meets there and expand the day-hire aspect.

Also as you know the toilet block etc is all very 1970's so rather than have this as a disadvantage I'm going to try to give the whole place a more 60-70's feel - classic caravans, more canvas tents for hire and so on. As a classic car nut it's another whole market to aim at.

Overall I'm quite excited about the whole thing and at 56 years old it should take me nicely up to retirement;-)

See you next year - I've booked in nice weather - it'll be 6 Euro but you'll get to use the camp kitchens for free;-)

bretonbikes
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby bretonbikes » 3 Dec 2016, 3:26pm

andymiller wrote:
Vorpal wrote:4:00 am is a ridiculous time to empty the bins. And that process is noisy enough to wake many people in their houses, let alone tents. I donæt think they should be allowed to begin before 6:00 am.


That may be so (if it was actually 4am), but it's not something that's in the control of the campsite operator. I suspect if they were here to give their side of the story it would turn out to be something they had tried to sort out with the council - or that there was a valid reason for the early morning collections.


French bureaucracy isn't very helpful for this sort of thing and often (as we've discovered) it's a case of being on good personal terms with the relevant official. The French have a habit of falling out with each other and once that's happened it's a lifetime war (think Clochmerle) - the owner probably complained to the council about bins and now has to put up with the 4 am collection.

In our case we made the decision early on that there would be no bins at all on the campsite. They are just outside the campsite entrance and so people can just dump stuff as they go in and out.