Brittany Bound: A Family Adventure Through Frances Enchanting Region

Brittany Bound: A Family Adventure Through Frances Enchanting Region

By Rachel Ducker

I recently had the pleasure of embarking on an unforgettable trip to the beautiful French region of Brittany, in collaboration with Mumsnet and Brittany Ferries.

As a seasoned travel writer, this journey presented a unique opportunity for me as it was my first experience travelling by ferry. I must say, it exceeded all expectations.

Portsmouth to St Malo on Bretagne

Our adventure began with an overnight stay aboard the impressive Bretagne. The boat was a marvel in itself, boasting state-of-the-art facilities and providing a seamless journey from Portsmouth to St Malo.

As a first-timer, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to drive to the port, board the boat, deliver your luggage to the cabin and then enjoy a delicious dinner with bottle of wine in the restaurant.

Having the freedom of bringing your own car also meant we didn’t have to fret over baggage restrictions or the additional costs associated with adding extra bags, as is often the case when traveling by air and can increase a holiday cost significantly.

During our voyage, we stayed in a spacious Outside 3 berth Commodore cabin, equipped with a TV, ensuite facilities, and the delightful perk of having breakfast delivered directly to our cabin – it was so easy for us in the morning with young children to organise.

Here’s a glimpse into the variety of things to do on board: Bretagne

Dining Options: The Bretagne features several dining venues to satisfy every palate. From gourmet restaurants serving delectable cuisine to casual cafes offering quick bites, there’s something for everyone. Passengers can enjoy a sumptuous meal while admiring the stunning views of the sea.

Bars and Lounges: The ferry boasts well-appointed bars and lounges where passengers can unwind and socialise. Whether you prefer a lively atmosphere with live music or a cosy setting for a quiet drink, you’ll find the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a refreshing beverage.

Entertainment: The Bretagne offers a range of entertainment options to keep passengers entertained during their journey. From live music performances and cabaret shows to cinemas and quizzes, there’s always something happening on board. Passengers can enjoy the lively atmosphere and engage in various activities.

Shopping: The ferry features a duty-free shopping experience, allowing passengers to indulge in some retail therapy. The onboard shops offer a wide selection of products, including perfumes, cosmetics, fashion accessories, confectionery, and more. It’s a great opportunity to find unique gifts or treat yourself to something special.

Relaxation Areas: For those seeking a moment of tranquility, the Bretagne provides relaxation areas where passengers can unwind and enjoy some peace and quiet. Whether it’s reading a book, catching up on emails, or simply enjoying the scenic views, these dedicated spaces offer a serene environment.

Children’s Facilities: The ferry is equipped with dedicated areas for children, ensuring they have an enjoyable and memorable journey. Play areas, game consoles, and activities tailored to different age groups are available, keeping the little ones entertained and engaged throughout the trip.

Nail bar: Passengers can indulge in some self-care by visiting the nail bar on board, providing opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation during the journey.

Outdoor Deck Spaces: The ferry features spacious outdoor deck areas where passengers can soak up the fresh sea breeze and enjoy panoramic views. It’s an ideal spot to take a leisurely stroll, savour the beauty of the ocean, or simply bask in the sun.

Domaine des Ormes

Upon reaching St Malo, we made our way to Domaine des Ormes, an extraordinary family-friendly resort.

Domaine des Ormes is a haven of excitement and relaxation, offering an extensive range of activities to suit every interest and age group.

Adventure seekers can unleash their inner thrill-seeker with zip-lining, tree-top adventures, and paintball, while sports enthusiasts can indulge in tennis, basketball, and football. Golf enthusiasts can perfect their swing on the resort’s picturesque 18-hole golf course, while equestrian lovers can embark on horse riding lessons or explore the stunning countryside on a trail ride.

For those seeking relaxation, the resort features multiple swimming pools, including a tropical-style lagoon, where guests can unwind and soak up the sun.

Fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines in the serene lakes and ponds scattered throughout the resort. Children are well catered for with dedicated kids’ clubs, playgrounds, and entertainment programs, ensuring they have a fantastic time.

Nature walks, cycling tours, and on-site shops complete the array of activities, ensuring that every moment at Domaine des Ormes is filled with adventure, relaxation, and unforgettable experiences.

We stayed in a self-catering premium mobile home cabin, which not only provided comfort but also proved to be environmentally friendly—a great bonus. There are many other types of accommodation depending on your budget, including tree houses, raft houses and safari tents.

The boys wasted no time immersing themselves in the numerous pools available, while my husband and I basked in the warmth of the sun.

Dining options at Domaine des Ormes were diverse and well-suited for families. On the first night, we indulged in a meal at the on-site pizzeria, while on the second evening, we enjoyed the convenience of cooking in our own cabin. The availability of an on-site Spar meant we could easily procure all the necessary ingredients for our meals, making the experience even more convenient.

Exploring Brittany

Exploring the surrounding area of Brittany offered a plethora of activities, visiting the nearby market at St Leonards and immersing ourselves in the vibrant atmosphere and sampling local delicacies.

One of the highlights was our visit to the renowned landmark, Saint Michaels Mount. This stunning site, steeped in history, provided breathtaking views and an unforgettable glimpse into the region’s cultural heritage.

Return to Portsmouth on Normandie

For our return journey to England, we opted for the Normandie, one of Brittany Ferries’ longest-running vessels, boasting a remarkable 31-year history, this ship exudes a sense of timeless elegance.

Stepping aboard the Normandie, passengers are greeted by a welcoming atmosphere and a range of amenities to enhance their journey. From comfortable cabins and delicious dining options to entertainment and relaxation areas, the Normandie offers a well-rounded experience for travellers of all ages.

The journey was swift, allowing us ample time to enjoy the kids’ play area, savour a delightful dinner, and even catch a rejuvenating nap.

A special moment awaited us as we were invited up to the Captain’s bridge to witness the magnificent sunset and the boat’s graceful entry into Portsmouth harbour—a truly memorable way to conclude our trip.

The Normandie continues to be a beloved choice for travellers embarking on their Brittany Ferries adventures.

My verdict…

Would I travel like this again?… absolutely!

This trip could not have been more easy for us as a family. When you travel with children you want to make things as simple as possible. Brittany Ferries offered a full itinerary including travel there and back plus accommodation at Domaine des Ormes.

There are so many more benefits of travlling by boat than plane, comfort being one of the main ones.

Thank you to Mumsnet and Brittany Ferries for inviting me along [#ad / paid collaboration]


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