Three campsites in France: comparison and review

Beach in Carnac

Recently, I asked my seven-year-old if she remembered Sequoia Parc, the campsite we stayed in, two years ago in France. "Of course I do - it had a dragon pirate ship thing beside the pool," she said. "No," I said, "That was Clarys Plage, last year." She was sure I was wrong. I was sure I was right. ...

Same place, different century

Office Mum: beach St Jean de Monts

Twenty-six years ago, my parents took the ferry to France and made their way down to St Jean de Monts, with four of us rattling around in the back-seat. The roof-rack that held our suitcases was covered in water-proof tarpaulin, secured with rope. My parents found their way by following a big, unwieldy map; cracked in ...

Mr. Pilkington breaks a heart

Office Mum: photo of Emmie

All the talk after the first kids' club visit was about Darragh-from-Dublin. Or Mr. Pilkington as he was known by those in the know. Emmie had gone on her own for this first visit, but her enthusiastic stories of painting and treasure hunts and Darragh-from-Dublin were enough to convince Clara to join her the next ...

5 things I haven’t learned at all about holidaying with kids

Office Mum: photo at pool

Every year, bright-eyed and innocent, I look forward to going away on holidays - to reading and relaxing and resting, and to getting lots of sleep and sun. And every year, I am yet again taken by surprise to find that the holiday isn’t quite the chilled out, easygoing, restful experience I expected. Here’s what ...

Holidays with a dash of toddler

office mum photo of son on scooter

Holidaying with a toddler is kind of a contradiction in terms – if you expect, that is, for a holiday to be a relaxing affair. If you like high-octane adventure holidays, where you come home exhausted after two weeks of running, climbing and water-based-activities, then of course, holidaying with a toddler could be right up ...

Sea change

office mum photo of coffee

“Thinking of taking the ferry to France?” I said. “Here are some tips!” I said, like a girl who knows a thing or two about driving to France. Then this year happened. It started out really well – too well really. We were more organised than ever, and managed to leave the house earlier than planned. ...

Somewhere down the lazy river

From sandals to boots overnight - summer is a goner. And we're all fine with that; as a nation we've agreed that we can't complain, because the summer was just so good this year (by nation I mean three real-life conversations plus the general consensus on Twitter)I'm thinking back on the highlights of my summer, and was ...

tips for taking the ferry to France

The ferry never changes. The familiar smell of exhausts as engines are switched off and families squeeze between rows of roof-box-topped cars to reach the entry doors. The staff with genuine smiles waiting to greet us and help tiny children clamber up the steep steps. The sense of relief when we emerge on the fifth floor and spill ...

Holiday in Sequoia Parc, France: Pirates, Mermaids and Disco Kids

We've just returned home from what has been our best holiday ever. We say that every year of course, and it usually takes a few months and a healthy dose of hindsight to admit that two weeks in a damp mobile home while it rained almost every day was not in fact the best holiday ...

one day, two views

This is a picture that I took of my kids having a picnic lunch today, and instinctively thought "I should put this up on Facebook!" I suppose because the kids look happy, they're having lunch on a picnic rug, and maybe on some level it makes me feel like a good parent. We really go ...