Chatel ski slopes
Days out, Travel

Half term fun in snowy Chatel

 

Should we go skiing?

Charley had a dry ski slope lesson over the Christmas holidays, invited by a friend, as they were off skiing in Feb half term, which made us start thinking about a ski holiday.

I wasn’t sure how Charley would get on but she seemed to have good balance and enjoyed her skiing lesson which spurred us on to look for a holiday.

 

I’ve been on one ski holiday (before children) and managed one ski lesson…….the apres ski was the best bit!

Tim loves skiing and used to go a lot before we got together (I like sun, beach and pool holidays!)

Where to book?

We looked at skiing holidays in resorts and hotels but they are so expensive during half term that we started looking around at apartments and even campsites (we have got the camper van and I’d seen amazing photos of people staying in their van in ski resorts).

We weren’t brave enough to stay in our camper whilst away!

I came across L’ Oustalet campsite in Chatel that had been recommended on the VW California Club site and we booked into one of their mobile homes. The campsite had good reviews and having a shower and toilet inside is now pure luxury!

{Chatel is nearly 650 miles away from where we live which google maps said takes 11 hours to drive.}

The drive to our mobile home

As usual, we were quite late booking the trip so all eurotunnel bookings for Friday night of half term week had already been taken so we had to grab one on the Saturday lunchtime. It was sooooo busy, all families seemed to be heading to Europe for half term. The tunnel crossing is great though once on the train, so quick, and the children just enjoyed playing around in the camper and before you know it you’re in France trying to remember to drive on the right side of the road.

We saw lots of snow just an hour outside of Calais in the fields, though the main roads were all clear.

Although it was a long journey, even being split into two days of travelling, we just loved driving on the French roads. They are sooo much quieter than our jammed motorways and there are plenty of places to stop for toilet and food breaks, which is really needed when you have young children.

Even I did a couple of stints of driving when Tim got bored.

We stayed in a little hotel in St. Quentin on the way down. It was a large family room with a fab bathroom and two double bedrooms. As one of the bedrooms was upstairs I of course ended up sleeping with Charley there with Bodhi downstairs.

We found a brilliant restaurant in the main square that had a whole room with kids film, toy trains, kitchen etc set up so me and Tim could have a peaceful chat whilst they were off happily playing. I don’t think I know of anywhere that has a room like this set up in the UK.

Big bath

We’d decided to leave relatively early in the morning so that we could try and arrive in Chatel in the light – we still had about 400 miles to drive, so we just grabbed a few breakfast items that had been left out for us and set off.

Some of the areas were quite snowy but all the roads were clear and with it being a Sunday there wasn’t much traffic about at all.

We arrived at about 4.30pm in L’Oustalet campsite and there was a lot of snow!

We checked in and they gave us a bag of towels and bed linen, it was quite strange having to make up our own beds!

The children immediately wanted to go out in the snow. They’ve never seen so much snow so they had a brill time.

Snow in Chatel

 

In the evening, we decided to walk to find some dinner, which we did after a few wrong turns and lip biting, as we were all getting a bit tense and hungry. Fortunately, we managed to find a great hotel which did some fab food. It also started snowing on the way back to the mobile home and didn’t stop until later the next day!

Day 1 in Chatel

Just down the road from us there was a boulangerie so every day we had fresh croissants, pain au chocolate and bread for at breakfast.

Snowy campsite L' Oustalet

Snow outside mobile home

Catching snow flakes

We took the free bus into the village centre. (Just a trip on a bus is exciting for the children!) It was a very snowy scene in the town centre and we just mooched about for a bit and got some lunch.

Snowy town Chatel

Charley had been getting quite tired recently and seemed to slump in the mid afternoon so whilst Tim did some supermarket shopping I took the children home on the bus, having to carry Charley from the bus stop as she’d slumped again! A bit of calpol though and she perked up later so they were ready for some more snow play outside, taking the biggest icicles off the side of little house.

Big icicles

Day 2 in Chatel

A lovely sunny day, with clear skies.

Blue skies and the camper

We WALKED into Chatel, up the hill (with a bit of moaning from Charley).

But the weather was glorious and we passed pretty, icy waterfalls along the way.

Icy waterfall

 

We caught a bus to a place called Petit Chatel that had a kids sledging section. It took us a while to find the sledging hill, but after hiring a sledge (complete with brakes) we had a brill afternoon. It was great fun, though quite hairy looking when Bodhi was in the driving position!

Sledging in Petit ChatelSledging fun

The sun went down and Charley had taken off her ski jacket so she started getting cold. It was time to get a bus before all the other skiers left too. She looked like she might pass out on the bus but we managed to get back to give her some calpol.

Day 3 in Chatel

There were clear skies again, so after a bit of snow play we headed into Chatel village. The children were brilliant making their own slides in the snow. I think they made 5 in total.

Slides outside the mobile home

Snowy slides waiting for the bus

We bought ski passes so we could get up to the slopes and see what was going on. I have to admit I did find the lifts a little nerve racking but at least it was the covered in kind and not the open kind that Bodhi kept pointing at and saying he wanted to go on.

Chatel ski slopes

Down in the ski lift

We stayed on the slopes for a while trying to find the sledging areas but couldn’t without having to negotiate through all the skiers so after a few drinks and nibbles in the bar we headed back to our mobile home for takeaway pizza for Valentines Day.

Trip back to UK

The next day we packed up and drove to Chalon-en-Champagne to stay in an amazing French farmhouse. The room was amazing and the champagne was also amazing! Breakfast was a sumptuous French buffet. Me and Tim would have been happy to sit there all day eating but we had to get back on the Eurotunnel that evening.

French farmhouse room

Breakfast in the French farmhouse

 

Would we go again?

I’d definitely go back on a snowy, winters holiday. I’d try skiing but make sure we had lessons and ski passes all booked before we went. I’m not sure I’d rush to stay in a mobile home in the winter, although there was nothing particularly wrong with it, just a bit cosy for us messy lot.

It would mean being pretty organised for us, booking well in advance but I’m sure the children would love skiing on snow, maybe next year?

 

How about you? Have you tried skiing with young children?

 

Tammymum
Five Little Doves
3 Little Buttons
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

23 thoughts on “Half term fun in snowy Chatel”

  1. IT looked a brilliant few days, the two stop offs sounded excellent. The children obviously loved the snow, I bet it made the little snow we had here last week seem a bit insignificant!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow I say good effort for making that adventure! It’s so far! I definitely want to go skiing with the kids but don’t think it’ll be possible. I love that you got sledging as a priority. It looks so fun! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This looks exactly like my kind of holiday. I don’t really fancy skiing at all but I love snow and sledging and just generally playing in the snow! You’ve inspired me to give a winter holiday some serious consideration as I think our kids would love this. Thanks for linking to #DreamTeam x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the idea of a ski holiday but I’m riddled with arthritis and don’t think my joints would take the cold unless I was wrapped up like ranulph fiennes on an artic expedition! Although it does look like you guys had tonnes of fun and the snowy/icy waterfalls look beautiful! I think the French farmhouse looks much more up my street! Who wouldn’t enjoy a boozy breakfast. Although it does look good and I do have a think about wearing layers of clothes so maybe. Ps I wanted to call poppy Charley but Ash was having none of it and I said if we ever had a boy he had to be called Noah or bodhi in honour of point break! Anyway great post 👍🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh sorry about your arthritis – definitely recommend the French farmhouse it was lovely! My daughter has juvenile arthritis, although she is in medical remission, so we tried to keep her as warm as possible. Not always an easy task as they like flinging off their clothes as soon as they warm up for a moment. Love the name Poppy!

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  5. We went to a fab place in Italy, you’ve reminded me I need to write it up. We flew, although we have driven our van Wilma to Italy before but it’s a bit far for a short 1 week hol. I’ve seen lots of people with insulated toppers staying in their vans in the snow but I wouldn’t fancy having damp gear all the time. Thanks for linking up with the #bigpinklink this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No I don’t think I’d want all the damp ski stuff in the van – and there’s only just enough room for all of us! I’d love to go a bit further afield in the van but holiday time is always so short (sometimes tempting to homeschool and do some travelling!!)

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  6. I love a snow holiday! and love to ski, but haven’t yet been brave enough to take the kids! Maybe next year. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.

    Liked by 1 person

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