Lots of fun activities with French sessions, too
Benjamin Bryant, 13
I have just come back from a fabulous holiday to Chateau de la Baudonniere, in Normandy. This place was quite amazing and it kept me very busy. We were there for a week and there was little time to sit around. We were busy the whole time. Even the animals that run around the grounds were keeping me on my feet.
Learning the lingo
I wanted to try the French sessions to help improve my French as I’m doing it for GCSE. Although the lessons were quite basic so everyone could join in, I found it was really useful. We learned things like how to start a French conversation and French vocabulary like body parts and animals. And, best of all, at the end of it we went on a special mission during a day trip to the zoo, with all the other families from the chateau. We went off in our own group with the animateurs to try out our new skills. It was a fun away to practise what we’d learned and the younger children, especially, found it really entertaining.
I was worried that I might miss out on the fun but we had the French lessons during the two-hour lunch break and so I didn’t miss out on anything. At the chateau you get to try all sorts of activities from simple, fun sporty games to more challenging things like canoeing and climbing. A few of my favourites were canoeing, T-shirt-making and air-rifle target practice. We were put into age groups for the activities and so I met lots of other children my age I could hang out with. All the staff were really friendly. The meals include lots of delicious carbs – probably because they wanted to give us enough energy to get through the day.
Busy, busy, all day long
Everything is planned out for you into a timetable. We got up at 8am for breakfast and were kept busy until dinner time. Even after that there were optional things to do until bed time.
We went on a great day trip to Mont St Michel, where Woody our guide led us across the bay, barefoot, and showed us where we could play in quicksand, and how to stay safe. It was a laugh for the whole family.
The accommodation was quite basic. But we were busy all day and only really used the room for sleeping. We had 12 bunk beds between three of us and our own bathroom – with three showers, three toilets and three sinks! One each. Luxury.
I got home feeling the trip had been fun, but also busy, which is a great balance.
When I asked my seven-year-old sister, Zoe, about her top five memories from the holiday and she said she liked baking bread, playing in Mont St Michel Bay, aeroball, the mini-farm and the lovely staff. And I totally agree – they were great. I’d definitely go again.