If you have young children and you're anything like my family, you'll know that from cock-crow to sun down it can be relentless. A family holiday in the sun is years away in the distance and moving away from your well established routine at home seems like sheer fantasy, yes? Well no, it seems not! For a toddler friendly family holiday, look no further than La Grange du Moulin.
We are a family of four with two young children aged 25 months and 9 months. La Grange du Moulin was recommended to us by family who returned with us this year and we all shared the 4 bedroomed gite "Peche"
The gite was well appointed with stair gates, cots, guards for the bed, and there are buggies, baby baths, potties etc. and plenty of toys to borrow - all the stuff that you don't want to waste valuable boot space on. Added bonus: more space for wine :)
Outside the gite is a fabulous garden with grass lawn, swings, slides, trampoline, sandpit, plenty of garden toys and a wooden pirate ship. The perimeter of the property is toddler proof, so we could let our daughter out to play all day and watch over her from the comfort of the terrace, without the usual fear that she'll somehow escape onto a road.
Our children had never been swimming before so the heated baby pool was perfect for the first outing, and we ended up in there for hours every day. There's also a big pool and loungers for the adults, and, to enable you to unwind fully, there's an alarm in the pool should any child wander off or be able to scale the 6 foot perimeter wall & fence.
We had lovely weather and the kids enjoyed it with plenty of sun cream, hats etc and there were plenty of shaded areas around the garden where you could sit on a bench and put the baby on a blanket to play. We had no heat / sun related problems for nap time as the rooms had fans and shutters to keep out the light.
We didn't go on many excursions as the weather was great and the kids' nap time would have made it tricky, but we were happy to hang around the garden and pool most days. Very relaxing.
As wine lovers, we really appreciated the chilled bottle of local wine in the fridge to welcome us on arrival. Chris, our host, was a fountain of knowledge on the locality and on wine in general and shared his knowledge and contents of his wine cellar freely.
We'd definitely come back again, and I'd recommend anyone with kids under 10 to check the place out.
We returned to la grange du moulin this year and we are so so glad we did. The set up is perfect for families and really takes the stress out of coming on holiday with young children. Our daughter has loved every second - making new friends, playing in the pool, in the garden and especially on the trampoline. My husband and I have enjoyed relaxing with a glass or two of wine. The gites are ideally located so you can do as much or as little as you choose. Chris, Wendy, Benjamin and Thomas are excellent hosts and we hope to return again next year.
Can only echo the sentiments above. Great place, wonderful hosts...fantastic kiddie-friendly location. The vast majority of people there are return-guests, which says it all, really. On-site there are 2 pools (small, and medium size), trampoline, sandpit, pirate-ship, ride-on toys, books, DVDs, toys, high chairs, cots etc etc. You also get the chance to socialise with adults after your little 'darlings' have crashed out after a busy day
Loads of days out are fully documented in a bulging 'brochure' in each gite (also see the website).
Couple of points to note: No washing machine in Gites (but there is a communal laundry a few yards away); Wi-fi access is available, but not from inside the gites (the walls are true farmhouse-style!); there is no TV coverage (hooray!), but DVD players are available, It takes about 90mins to drive to the coast...so may not be an ideal choice if you are wanting every day on the beach (however there are plenty of other superb destinations much closer than that); You definitely need a car, as you are in fantastic countryside.
3 or 4 airports are within a couple of hours drive lots of local flight options from UK), or you can take your time, take the ferry, and potter down through France. Book early for school holidays, as it is popular, but if you are lucky enough for the kids to be pre-school, then places are easier to come by. We are going back again in 2 weeks, and there are still a couple of spaces available.
Overall top marks for absolutely everything.
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What a fantastic place to stay with young children! We went with our 2 year old daughter and on previous holidays where we just hired a normal gite, we had to stay in every night watching DVDs. We tried other family resorts, but their kids clubs mean that younger children end up staying up late, and so they’re then miserable for the rest of the holiday. At Grange Du Moulin you can put the kids to bed at their usual time and then socialise with the other parents, having a BBQ or a glass of wine right outside the row of 6 gites, sitting in the evening sunshine. Wendy and Chris are great hosts and give you all sorts of information. In the evenings they hold a BBQ every week, as well as a wine/pate /cheese tasting session and then you can also do a proper wine-tasting course in the garden, while your kids sleep safely. Wendy is a qualified child-minder and baby sat for us twice – what a luxury to go out for a proper meal! She also runs a crèche and a teddy-bears picnic each week. Loads to do around the area and plenty for the younger kids to enjoy. Wendy and Chris provide loads of information, and as their house is only a few hundred yards away, are always on hand if you need to ask anything. We rarely visit the same place twice, but we had such a great time, we have already booked up to go again this year.