Parc du Val de Loire, a family friendly Yelloh! Village luxury campsite near Mesland in the Loire Valley, France

Parc du Val de Loire, a family friendly Yelloh! Village luxury campsite near Mesland in the Loire Valley, France

Last summer, our family decided to take a holiday on a luxury French campsite. We wanted to stay somewhere in the Loire Valley, and after poring over all the different options, we chose the Yelloh! Village Parc du Val de Loire.

I’ve already posted about our stay in the Loire Valley. It turned out to be an area with a lot to offer families with young children (ours were five and three at the time). The stay was made even more enjoyable, though, by the facilities on offer at Yelloh.

Camping in the Loire Valley

Yelloh Parc du Val de Loire is nestled in woodland in the Touraine area, on the outskirts of a tiny village called Mesland, between the towns of Blois and Amboise and 42km from Tours.

Parc du val de Loire

Throughout our stay there (late August/early September) the oak trees on the campsite were dropping leaves and acorns. Before we worked out what the colossal bangs on our cottage roof were, we thought they were caused by branches raining down from the skies, not tiny  acorns.

Parc du Val de Loire

Apart from the acorns, the campsite was relatively quiet. Being surrounded by stately oaks, with vineyards all around, made it feel like a wholesome, invigorating break in the great outdoors, a million miles from the noise and belching fumes of London.

Loire Valley

Facilities at Yelloh Parc du Val de Loire

Parc du Val de Loire has both indoor and outdoor pools (500 square metres in total), with water slides for all ages.

Parc du Val de Loire

Parc du val de Loire

The Loire Valley’s climate isn’t as hot as further south in France, but although we did have a couple of cooler, stormy days (typical of the end of the summer season) when we couldn’t swim outdoors, most of the time the temperature was 30 degrees+, making the outdoor pools a big attraction.

As well as the pools, there were trampolines, two bouncy castles for young and older children; a zip wire, table tennis, a sports court, climbing frames and even small ponies, which the children could pet and ride on specific days.

Parc du Val de Loire

Parc du Val de LoireParc du Val de Loire

Bikes, tags and carriages for youngsters were all available for hire at a small charge. In my post on what there is to do in the Loire Valley for families I’ve written about our day out cycling, which I’d recommend as a good way to see the local area (you could even take a sneaky pit-stop at a local vineyard or two).

Parc du Val de Loire

Bikes for hire at Parc du Val de Loire

Kids club at Yelloh Parc du Val de Loire

There was a small cabin where a kids’ club took place for the over-fives, for a couple of hours each morning. There was no extra charge for this and our son enjoyed going there on three mornings of our stay. They seemed to mostly do crafting activities and play games (board games and basketball), all within the clubhouse and its enclosed outdoor space (apart fom one morning when the children trooped out on a treasure hunt around the campsite – entirely in French, so my son wisely opted to stay put in the clubhouse and play cards with one of the workers).

As well as the club, there was a children’s disco every evening at around 6pm, where the kids learnt dance moves to the same songs each night, sung in a variety of languages. Our three-year-old daughter loved the mini-disco.

Parc du Val de Loire

The evening entertainment all took place around the pool area

Accommodation at Parc du Val de Loire

We paid 613 Euros to stay for a week in a three-star cottage. It slept five people and had two bedrooms, a living space, small kitchen, a verandah and its own bathroom. If you book early enough, Yelloh allow you to pay in monthly installments. We paid over three months, which helped spread the cost.

Parc du Val de Loire

The children’s bedroom

The accommodation was basic, but the cottage was clean when we arrived, and in a good part of the campsite for us. It wasn’t too far away from the restaurant and poolside, but it was far enough away so that we weren’t disturbed by any noise. Having said that, the campsite was remarkably quiet. The evening entertainment finished early, and there were strict campsite rules about being noisy, not shouting or playing loud music etc.

Parc du Val de Loire

The view from our kitchen sink

If you pay more, you can stay in a cottage with a dishwasher and TV, or even a safari tent. But we didn’t spend a great deal of time in the cottage (apart from breakfasts on the terrace), so ours was fine just for a week.

Parc du Val de Loire has a restaurant with a takeaway (their pizzas were delicious), a shop and bakery (scrummy fresh croissants in the morning), a launderette and wi-fi. It even has its own vintage of wine, which was not too bad at all.

Parc du Val de Loire

Getting to Yelloh Parc du Val de Loire

It would be difficult to stay with a family at Parc du Val de Loire, if you didn’t have access to a car. We took a ferry from Dover-Calais, and drove around the outskirts of Paris, down to Mesland and the campsite. Although the roads were excellent – uncrowded and fast, except near Paris – you had to pay a toll (around 20 Euros), and it was a long drive. It took us around five hours on the French side, with the ferry crossing and travel on the UK side to factor in. Another option would be to take the Eurostar, change trains in Paris and carry on down to Tours (42 km from the campsite), where you could hire a car. Ryanair also flies to Tours.

Places to visit near Parc du Val de Loire

Don’t forget to check out my post on things to do in the Loire Valley with kids.

Chateaux: we visited Chambord, but there are many others a short drive away, like Chenonceau and Chaumont sur Loire.

Beauval Zoo  is are nearby.

Blois is a pretty town, with its own chateau.

Have you stayed in a French campsite? What did you think?

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42 Comments

  1. January 12, 2016 / 10:32 am

    This looks like a really nice site, reasonably priced too. Will add it to my list of favorites x

    • January 16, 2016 / 6:22 pm

      We benefited from the schools going back a little later here. Our week there ended on 1 Sept so it was a lot cheaper than mid-season. You can get some really good deals at the moment.

  2. January 12, 2016 / 2:33 pm

    A great review, with so much detail in – so useful! This looks like a really good place for kids. It sounds as if they have really thought about what little ones would like and excellent for a family stay. Would be a little freaked out by those acorn bangs though 🙂

    • January 16, 2016 / 6:18 pm

      Ha ha yes- it was disconcerting! Sounded as though they were going to come crashing through the roof…

  3. January 12, 2016 / 3:26 pm

    Love the look of this. We have never camped on a French site but that is on our list of things to do this year. Think my kids would enjoy that pool! x

    • January 16, 2016 / 6:17 pm

      The pool was fab – our kids are itching to go back.

  4. January 12, 2016 / 8:42 pm

    It looks like such an excellent place to go to with young children. I love how far away it is from what I remember as “campsite” and that you really don’t have to sleep outside. I think it would have been too much for me 😉
    The pool area looks really amazing. Last summer we had such a gloomy summer in Germany (not a lot of sunny days) so I am looking for a sunny place for this year, and this looks like one to consider!

    • January 16, 2016 / 6:17 pm

      I’d recommend it. There were a few traditional tent pitches on the site, but most of the spaces were taken up by cottages like ours.

  5. January 12, 2016 / 9:12 pm

    Oh that looks fantastic! Such fun! Glad you had a wonderful time

    • January 16, 2016 / 6:16 pm

      Thank you!

  6. January 12, 2016 / 11:59 pm

    I’ve just been checking out French campsites tonight for a possible summer holiday so a timely post! We stayed in a safari tent at Cosycamp, a couple of hours from Lyon in the Haute-Loire back in 2014 which I can also recommend – cheapish too.

    • January 16, 2016 / 6:15 pm

      That’s a great tip, thanks. We love safari tents after our experience on the Isle of Wight.

  7. January 13, 2016 / 9:46 am

    This looks like the perfect place to stay – anywhere with so much for the kids to do ticks all the boxes for me

    • January 16, 2016 / 6:14 pm

      Yes, it turned out to be an incredibly ‘easy’ holiday.

  8. January 13, 2016 / 10:21 am

    That looks really lovely – we’re big campers but I’ve never done it abroad. We’ve talked about going to France but I’ve always been unsure, but this looks great!

    • January 16, 2016 / 6:13 pm

      I haven’t been to campsites in any other countries yet, but France is incredibly well set up.

  9. January 13, 2016 / 12:06 pm

    We LOVE these type of holidays in france and are looking to arrange something similar for this summer. The boys love the pools and the husbeast the wine and cheese!

    • January 16, 2016 / 6:12 pm

      Mmmmm yum- that wine and cheese!

  10. January 13, 2016 / 8:16 pm

    Oh that looks brilliant! We’ve stayed in a Eurocamp in Spain a couple of times and I think these sorts of holiday are fantastic if you have little ones 🙂

    • January 16, 2016 / 6:11 pm

      Yes- our two are demanding we go back NOW! 🙂

  11. January 14, 2016 / 11:10 pm

    Looks lovely. We were going to do this last year but to the South of France. We decided it would be too long a drive so we binned the idea. Determined to do France this way though so am looking again. This place looks ideal x

    • January 16, 2016 / 6:11 pm

      The south really is a long drive, but have considered breaking it up with an overnight stop on the way? There are some beautiful areas en route, with charming guest houses.

  12. January 19, 2016 / 1:16 pm

    This looks great! My daughter would absolutely love the disco and I love how well kept it all looks. I love this area of France too.

    • January 21, 2016 / 8:16 pm

      It was very neat and orderly. We’d go back in a flash.

  13. January 21, 2016 / 2:53 pm

    Oh this looks so fantastic – we are hoping to camp in France this summer for the first time! Love your photos. Kaz x

    • January 21, 2016 / 8:14 pm

      It really is an awful lot of fun. I bet you’ll have a fantastic time.

  14. January 22, 2016 / 11:01 am

    This looks like such a great place for a family; we did this type of holiday quite a lot when I was growing up but we haven’t done it yet with our two. I’m off to look at this site in more detail…I wonder whether I could persuade my OH to go for it!

    • January 26, 2016 / 7:42 pm

      Things have changed a lot since we were children – these campsites can be quite luxurious now. Tell your other half he has nothing to fear!

  15. January 22, 2016 / 8:46 pm

    This is something I wouldn’t have considered as an option, but it looks great I would love to stay there, the countryside looks stunning and the kids would love that pool x

    • January 26, 2016 / 9:05 pm

      These campsites can be quite luxurious now. Definitely worth a try, at least.

  16. January 28, 2016 / 2:23 pm

    What a great looking campsite. The pool complex looks great for kids especially with the slides and it’s nice to see a campsite with decent sized pitches instead of being cramped like some of the larger sites. Looks like you had a great time.

    • January 31, 2016 / 5:04 pm

      We did!

  17. January 29, 2016 / 11:59 pm

    I’ve not come across Yelloh before, must have a look at them. It’s so nice spending time in France isn’t it, we loved being there last year. Itching to have a drive around 😉

    • January 31, 2016 / 5:21 pm

      Me too! Roll on the summer, I say. x

  18. February 3, 2016 / 10:38 pm

    Been looking at this company for a while as we love to go to France with the kids. Thanks

    • February 4, 2016 / 7:47 pm

      This is the only one of their campsites we’ve visited, but I’d definitely go back, or try another place.

  19. February 25, 2016 / 2:44 am

    Looks great! We have been going to campsites & waterparks ourselves. (far far away in Chile though), but they’re an hour away at the most from Santiago, so we come back the same day (unlike some people who actually camp!). I couldn’t imagine paying so much for it though- maybe becuz we pay as low as 7 Euros for entry charge (without stay of course). Giant swimming pools, water slides and plenty of park areas to chill out. Not bad!

    Would love to see your posts in the Practical Mondays Link Up:)

    • Nell
      Author
      February 25, 2016 / 10:48 am

      Ooh, you are lucky! I guess things are different over there. I’ll hae to take my kids to some of your water parks some time. They’d have a wonderful time. Thanks for letting me know about your linky – I’ll be over soon.

  20. March 2, 2016 / 9:36 am

    The swimming pool area looks fab and would appeal hugely to my kids. It looks like a well run place. I’m so glad you had a good holiday. Maybe next year you’ll try the far south…and Lou Messugo!!

    • Nell
      Author
      March 2, 2016 / 10:41 am

      That’s very tempting! We’re working out our travel itinerary over the next few weeks…

  21. Gary Dukes
    March 8, 2016 / 7:53 pm

    Great review of a site we are going to during May half term this year. Do you have any experience with the onsite resteraunt or any local of site ones you could advise on ?

    • Nell
      Author
      March 8, 2016 / 9:25 pm

      Thanks for your comment Gary. We visited the on-site restaurant a few times. The takeaway pizzas were delicious! We also enjoyed the moules frites night-great if you’re a mussels fan (although there wasn’t much on offer for vegetarians on that night). On the whole it was tasty ‘pub grub’ – burgers, fries, chicken, steak etc. The campsite’s in a very rural location so there aren’t really any other restaurants within easy walking distance, but the surrounding villages seemed to all have a cafe/restaurant or two. We were given a list of local restaurants at the reception, so the info’s on hand there. I hope you enjoy your break-it’s a beautiful part of France!

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