None of the kids had flown before, and they are a little fussy with food, so the ferry crossing, followed by a self catering holiday seemed perfect.
We hadn't heard a lot about Keycamp, so we started to trawl the brochures, and at first we were taken aback by the number of parcs that were on offer across France, Holland, and beyond.
Eventually, the draw of Disneyland Paris became too much, so we settled on La Croix du Vieux Pont because of the proximity to Disney.
The parc (in an area called Berny Riviere) was only a 2.5 hour drive from Calais port and just over one hour to Disney – perfect!
Some of the other selling points were the man made beach (this site wasn't ever going to be near a beach, but they have crafted one in the middle of the site), together with a mini fun station for the children, and a pool complex to be proud of.
The holiday was easily booked and we were regularly kept in contact by email.
The Keycamp provider also arranged our ferry crossing for us, and to keep the excitement up, six weeks before our holiday we received a lovely welcome pack which included a soft toy, bat & ball, beach bag, two road maps & a GB car sticker.
It was a 3.5 hour journey from our home to Dover, and by the time we got there the kids were ready to explore, but we still needed to check in, make our way through the queue and board the ferry before they could get out.
However, to our surprise, we were amazed how easy and straight forward the check-in process was and before we knew it, we were on board.
The ferry crossing was beautifully smooth, and when we got to France, we stuck on our headlight stickers, GB car sticker, changed the speedo to show “km/h” and we were off.
Finding the site in France turned out to be quite easy, made even easier by using a satellite navigation system (be careful as there are strict rules about using these) and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.
We arrived at the parc after a smooth ride with 3 sleeping children, and our initial impression was that the parc was much larger than we expected, AND extremely well kept.
However, what was surprising to us was that the signs outside the parc all said “La Croix du Vieux Point” and had no mention of Keycamp.
When we started to look around, it became more obvious as there were many different groups all sharing this beautiful site, and Keycamp were just one of them.
This led on to our second minor problem, which was trying to find the Keycamp check-in desk, but after a quick visit to the main reception, we were back on the straight and narrow.
In fact, once we located the Keycamp reception, we found our representative to be very polite and she even jumped on a bike and led the way to our mobile home.
We had a two bed Villanova mobile home which had a decent sized decked area outside, and a lockable gate which worked really well with our three (although it wasn't hinged and was quite awkward to use).
Again we received a welcome pack which included the essential kitchen needs and a tent for the kids to play.
This tent was a 'GREAT' idea and the kids used this daily.
Being self catered we made the most of alfresco dining with the outside table and chairs and we even managed to relax on the loungers in the sun.
The mobile home was a good size, although in hindsight, a slightly bigger version would have been better for the size of our family.
It was fairly clean when we arrived, but we didn't have all the cutlery on the itinerary on arrival but true to form, within minutes of notifying the representative they were at our mobile home with replacements.
The one negative about the mobile home was that the bathroom had a dodgy toilet flush.
We didn't report this as it was easily fixed but we had to do this daily and it really shouldn't have been given to us in this condition.
The fun began almost immediately, and we even tried to make fun out of eating different foods - we introduced the children to a French patisserie breakfast and the Pain au Chocolat were a massive hit.
Even better, one of the shops on site was a bakery so we bought beautifully fresh pastries and bread every morning!
We sampled a take away Pizza at “Berny Burger” (the on site take away) which was very cheap & cheerful but being peak season we had to wait a little while.
There were two other restaurants on site which we didn't sample but were always quite busy which I'm sure is positive feedback.
The supermarket on site had a good selection of all essential things from food, drinks, toiletries, to household, swimming accessories and toys all at corner shop prices.
I even bought a lovely straw bag from the gift shop too.
With three young children, I will admit that we were a little concerned that there may not be enough to do on a camp site.
How wrong could we have been? There were so many activities on site we didn't really scratch the surface.
Whatever your personal favourite, there would be plenty there ranging from boating, fishing and swimming, through to archery, climbing, ping pong, kids clubs, (fun station) and even a beauty salon and spa for those who find it too much...maybe next time we'll bring our parents...
I have to say that we made the most of the playgrounds as there were many dotted around the site, and once we accepted that the kids would get dirty (the flooring was pretty much all dark soil) we all enjoyed.
We were however disappointed that the park closest to our mobile home was in such poor condition – it had many broken rides and even ones with protruding rusty nails. Needless to say we avoided this when we could.
The boating lake was great fun - we hired a pedal boat for an hour and gave our legs a workout, while the children took in the experience with a cookie of course.
The boating lake was also a fishing lake and we witnessed a very impressive large fish being caught for those in the know, a 28lb carp!
The man made beach was a big hit too. The kids took their buckets and spades and did lots of splashing.
There was a bouncy castle, and motorised bikes and trampolines for hire too at a very reasonable price.
I hope you're starting to get the picture- there was absolutely tonnes to do!
All of this though was without mentioning the swimming pool, which in our opinion was the jewel in the crown.
The pool complex consisted of three individual swimming pools, two which were outdoor, and one indoor with a retractable roof which gave plenty of fresh air on sunny days.
The indoor pool was shallow (less than knee height to us) with a triple slide and water mushroom which helped all our children gain confidence in the water.
It was brilliant for the younger children. The outdoor had a lazy river, bridges, seats, fountains as well as Jacuzzi areas.
There were two large water slides too and much to our surprise our elder two were allowed on them and used them a lot.
Our elder two children tried out the Fun Station (kids club) which was free, and they thoroughly enjoyed the interaction with the other children and the entertainers.
They learnt their group song on day one, played games (some of which were very wet games), made superhero capes & had their face painted.
They attended three sessions in total (two hours at a time) and my son enjoyed the water fight competition most of all.
They also left with a Leo's Fun Station hat for a memento which they still love wearing.
Aside from the fun, we also had to do the daily chores - not taking too many clothes we needed to use the washing and drying machines, which were again reasonably priced by purchasing a token from the main reception.
A twenty minute wash & thirty minute dry wasn't too bad but we only found out about the times by sitting around and waiting as there were no signs.
The cost of the holiday is based purely on the size of your mobile home and not per person, so you can size your accommodation to suit your budget.
I would though highly recommend the option of hiring the beach towels and bed linen as it definitely helped us by reducing our packing...
With this parc only being 1 hour to Disneyland Paris it is definitely worth a visit if your wallet stretches. Tickets can be purchased from main reception.
In summary, there is only one thing I can say, and that is a big “Thank You” to Keycamp for allowing us to have a relaxing and very fun family holiday.
Before we left we collected the 2013 Keycamp brochure for next year and would definitely recommend this site and Keycamp to friends, family and anyone.
Click here to read about how Sian and her family prepared for their first holiday abroad.
The Laycock Family
I always used to think how set up the CenterParcs TV ads looked but after actually having been there…Read More »