Fixed-centre cycle camping holidays
An Adventure Under Canvas!
Since 2013 we decided that for our Fixed-Centre Cycle Camping Holidays we'd go all old-fashioned, and so we have bought some 5m diameter bell-tents. These are huge and airy inside and there is the real feeling of camping under canvas. This comes with all equipment including the use of the campsite's canoes, and a wide range of routes - some described here - and of course your base is in the most perfect village of Gouarec. From 2017 we've added 3 other options. The first are five little classic caravans from the 60's and early 70's as an alternative at no extra cost making it the cheapest 'solid' accommodation you can find... The second is our new Bunkhouse converted for the lock-house at the entrance of the campsite, again at no extra cost. Lastly there are two shepherd's huts which are completely different...
The 'Fixed Centre' option keeps you at Gouarec for the week, a site right next to the canal, within 300m of a supermarkets, bakers, a new 25m swimming pool and several restaurants and bars. As for cycling, we provide around 20 different routes, and there's the canal towpath in both directions, a cyclepath to the nearest market town and a mass of deserted country lanes, so for beginners, people who can't face the idea of lightweight camping and families this is a perfect option at a much lower cost than hotels (and I think nicer;-). The other advantage is that you can use any of the equipment at the campsite for free - canoes, one of our big rowing boats etc. In fact if you want to drive out for the day then why not make it a real adventure and hire our 2CV?
The Rides - Children - The Tents - 'Baby' Caravan - Bunkhouse - Shepherd's Huts - Bikes - Costs
In the immediate area you'll find horse riding, fishing, forest walks, canoeing, restored trains, ruined abbays, 5000 year old tombs, canals, rivers, lakes so no excuse for being bored... In 2016 we took over the running of the campsite ourselves so now we can tailor it even more closely to our customers needs. There are hot showers, washing facilities as you'd expect, but there isn't a noisy bar on-site (they are in the village) As for swimming/canoeing etc there is of course the canal that runs down one side of the campsite and the river Blavet the other - you can see both if you look at the Gouarec map here and zoom in with satellite view. Both are exceptionally clean (full of trout and course fish - bring your rods!) because there is no motorized transport on the canal just the odd canoe. So it's used by all the local children (including ours) for swimming. There's also a huge lake with a beach and rather 'seaside' feel an easy 10 km ride away and Lac de Guerledan, in the village itself a large swimming pool.
Gouarec is ideally placed as a centre for cycling - on both the Nantes-Brest towpath, and the converted V6 railway/cyclepath running through central Brittany. That means that there are lots of opportunities for cycling off-road, and on the flat, with small children (or even bigger ones). For example, within easy riding are Bon Repos, The Forge Des Salles, the covered tombs at Liscuis, the Lac de Guerledan (beaches, swimming etc), the Buddist monestry, the narrow gauge railway at Bon Repos and the Forest de Quenican. Other routes we supply will take you for wanders down tiny lanes to little restaurants tucked into villages - lakes, megalithic monuments, bustling market towns (on market day) and local swimming pools, but most of all you will just be able to relax and cycle through truly unspoilt countryside - it's a magic area that many people simply fall in love with...
The big advantage of the fixed centre option is that you are camping in a huge grassy campsite with no traffic nearby so children can just pour out of the tent in the morning and run about all day in safety - generally they sleep like the dead the following night! It also means that as you are on the spot you can take advantage of all of our equipment, so for example we can supply you with solo bikes and a tandem for smaller children and you just take whatever you want for a particular ride - it's all there for you for the week. We even have some 'knock-about' kids bikes so they can hurtle round and round the campsite and inevitably make friends with other children doing the same. On the other hand, because the site is so large it never becomes 'Lord of the Flies' as there's still lots of quiet space. The campsite also has a huge sand-pit and play area for smaller children and free use of our canoe 'fleet'. To be honest you could just move over here for the entire summer:-)
The Tents and Equipment
When I first saw these traditional, 5m diameter, canvas bell-tents I just knew I had to have one - they are just so lovely to look at in a world a nylon and fibreglass. The living space inside is huge and gives us space inside to include a futon-style bed, rugs and other luxuries. Obviously all this is very different to the equipment our lightweight campers use. In addition the tents are nearby to our camp kitchen (which has gas cookers, fridges and all the pots and pans you might need) - and also the large covered area with tables and chairs...
The tents themselves are 5m diameter - my son borrowed one for his friends and slept 20 in it so you can see how big it is! But of course we generally expect a maximum of 4 or 5 people - if you are a larger party we have another smaller canvas tent we just add as an extra bedroom (though this too is very large) - the whole system is very flexible. Sleeping is done on traditional cotton matresses, though if you find that too hard we can add things like blow-up matresses or extra padding - most find it very comfortable. The feeling inside a canvas bell-tent is something special too... The tent also come with a large parasol for shade or cover from showers. And last of all, you get that great luxury for campers - tables and chairs...
The 'baby' Caravan option...
This year Kate had the idea of buying some classic 1960's caravans, stripping them out inside and making them into cosy little bedrooms for people who love the idea of the campsite but really don't want to sleep under canvas. They obviously get to share the camp kitchen and covered eating area and get a garden table/chair set and parasol included - this is the result;-) Currently we have two but Kate has plans for more. Same price as for our bell-tent based holidays...
Now these are just gorgeous. The pictures paint the story, but in affect they are a large and beautifully finished bedroom set in the heart of the campsite. For cooking you use the camp kitchen. Of course you get tables and chairs for sunning yourself outside and they are placed with the vintage caravans in the 'classic' area of the campsite. These are suited to couples and families/groups up to 4 people and add £175/200Euros a week to the usual camping price.
As with all our holidays you have a choice of any of our bikes - however because you are staying put what you use on a day-to-day basis can change whenever you want - so you can have solos and tandems, try expedition tourers or a 'dutch' style roadster, or even an electric bike;-) All included in the basic price. You also get free use of the campsite canoes.
Booking and costs
The price for this comparative luxury is exactly the same as for our moving-on campers for the tents and 'baby' caravans and with a suppliment of £175/200 Euro for the Classic or Shepherd's hut. For detailed costs please go here.