Happy memories in French countryside

Domaine de Kerlann holiday village in southern Brittany.
Domaine de Kerlann holiday village in southern Brittany.
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When you’re on holiday with a young family, you know that all they want is to be close to the pool for as much of the day as they can get away with and then stay up late for the evening’s entertainment.

So, if I’m really honest, choosing where to go is now more about what’s at the pool and the quality of the holiday park surroundings than where it’s based. It can make or break a holiday.

And Siblu Villages’ Domaine de Kerlann was one of the best we’ve found in Brittany.

There was something different about Domaine de Kerlann and if you scratched beneath the surface it may lie in the fact that many of its holiday homes are privately- owned.

It was all a bit Stepford Wives – but in a good way: Manicured lawns, pristine tree-lined roads and the best customer service we’ve come across all made for a laid-back stay which kept the whole family happy.

A choice of fully lifeguarded inside and outside pools plus a large splash pool and slides kept the youngest and oldest children entertained (including dad!).

And though we normally shy away from the night-time cabaret, we kept coming back for more of the Burlesque dancing and panto-style comedy line-up routines which worked on two levels of humour for parents and the children. (It might have been helped by the strawberry-flavoured lager at the conveniently close bar which became my husband’s holiday favourite.)

Don’t get me wrong, in Brittany you’re never far away from French authenticity and culture if you go looking for it. And when we did manage to cram the children into the back of the seven-seater for a family day out, it didn’t take us long to find the favourite bolthole of artist Paul Gauguin at Pont Aven.

A pleasant waterside stroll leads you on the trail of where he painted watermills and washerwomen on the banks of the River Aven.

Pont Aven is still a mecca for artists today, with its rich heritage and history. It’s also popular with tourists who flock to its many shops, cafes and restaurants which line its characterful streets.

Along the coast at the little port of Trevignon, there’s the ideal chance to see some local life at work.

It’s the perfect place to people watch as the fishermen come ashore with their catch of the day. It’s fascinating to study their unique one-oar rowing technique as they ‘paddle’ their coracle-shaped one-man boats to the harbour-side market, which opens especially for their arrival. Locals and visitors alike gather to wait for the best fish.

Oysters and mussels are a local speciality and are served in plentiful supplies at nearby restaurants with panoramic seaside views.

Or indulge in an afternoon crepe, covered in your favourite topping. And that’s not forgetting the warm croissants, pastries and baguettes delivered daily for the special morning trip to the holiday village store to stock up on breakfast supplies.

Everything about Domaine de Kerlann is designed to make your stay as relaxed and easy as possible – even the local market is brought to your ‘door’ in the centre of the holiday village for an evening’s saunter through the stalls.

It’s simple to while away a week – or even longer – then return home with happy family memories.

A seven-night stay from August 10, staying in a top-of-the-range three-bedroom holiday home with terrace for up to eight people, starts from only £908 if booked before April 30 – a reduction from the brochure price of £1,008. Go to siblu.com or call 0871 911 7777.

Jane and her family travelled with Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth to Caen, and returned from St Malo to Portsmouth. Return fares start from £168pp. Go to brittanyferries.com or call 0871 244 1400 for information.