Face ruddy with exertion, muddy knees peeking out from beneath his shorts, Bobby, eight, skids to a halt in front of our mobile home and jumps off his bike.
‘Do I have to come in?’ he shouts.
Along with his twin sister, Loulou, and elder brother, Freddie, Bobby has been cycling round the campsite all evening, ricocheting between the playpark and the entertainment, dropping in on new-found friends along the way. He and his siblings are having a ball.
Siblu’s Domaine de Kerlann camp park in southern Brittany (pictured) offers excellent value for money, according to Sarah
We arrived at Siblu’s Domaine de Kerlann park in southern Brittany two nights ago and quickly settled into the campsite.
Just a 70-minute drive from Brest Brittany Airport, or two-and-a-half hours from the ferry port at St Malo, it has mainly two and three-bedroom mobile homes laid out in a grid of tree-dotted avenues and cul de sacs leading off a central concourse.
The site calls itself a holiday village and has everything you want from a mini town — shop, bar, restaurant, launderette, children’s clubs, pool complex and play areas, including mini golf and bouncy castles.
For a relatively big family like ours, it has the advantage of being hugely less expensive than a hotel — and it’s every bit as exciting as tourist attractions nearby (such as Raguenes beach, renamed ‘Tahiti’, four miles away).
Our days quickly settle into a pattern and begin with a child or two or three (without parents, the thrill) walking to the store to collect the morning bread.
After breakfast on the terrace, we decamp to the pool, or rather pools (one indoor, one outdoor, a separate slide pool and volleyball mini pool), where we while away an enjoyable two hours.
The park boasts an indoor and outdoor pool with a separate slide and volleyball mini pool
Exhausted and exhilarated in equal measure, we eat lunch on our terrace, or by the cafe before heading into one of the nearby towns.
There are plenty to choose from and we notch up several during our week-long stay. The prettiest is Pont-Aven, a riverside setting that inspired the post-impressionist painter Paul Gauguin.
Our children are equally smitten by Concarneau, a medieval walled town 20 minutes’ drive to the west of Kerlann and like something out of a fairy tale.
The fortified stone Ville Close consists of cobbled streets, quaint little shops, restaurants and ice-cream parlours, surrounded by accessible ramparts.
And if you fancy some more intensive shopping, the city of Quimper is a 30-minute drive away and the cultural capital of Brittany. Not one but two rivers flow through it and the gothic architecture and cathedral make for a contrast to the twee villages nearby.
Some afternoons we can’t convince our lot to leave the campsite. They trot off to the kids’ club, go back to the pool, or mooch around enjoying their independence.
One of the best things we do is hire bicycles. This prompts timing each other as they cycle round one of the play tracks pretending to be racing drivers.
Two evenings a week, a market comes to the holiday village and on one occasion a visiting circus erects a big top. There is campsite entertainment, featuring a pub quiz, talent show and musical numbers (all well executed). Oh, and yes, there is karaoke.
While five-star luxury may be an adult dream, it’s rarely a child’s. But a bike, independence, the feel of their pocket money jingling as they cycle?
For children raised in a city, ferried around by car, rarely escaping a parent’s watchful gaze, that’s real luxury.