Add a new baby, and your holidays will never be the same again. But with &Breathe, non-solo travel is a breeze.
Getting to france
Manoir La Croix de La Jugie is set in rural countryside in southwest France, but is super-easy to reach. We're only 35 minutes from Limoges Airport (1hr 15m flight from London Stansted), less than a day's drive or train journey down from the north coast on France's fast autoroutes.
- Flights are with Ryanair or Flybe from London Stansted or Southampton, and yes, they are low-cost airlines, but we we fly with them all the time and have always been pleasantly surprised. The cabin crew are very friendly and the flight's only a short one. If you book in advance, tickets are around £60 per person return with a small supplement for baby and checked-in luggage. Other accessible airports include Brive, Poitiers, Angouleme, Bergerac and Bordeaux.
- Or catch the ferry/Channel Tunnel and drive down from a number of ports including Calais (7.5hours) or Caen (5.5hours). This way you can take it slow and break every couple of hours, or even stay overnight somewhere on the way. We can always help you find somewhere. There are some world renowned sites on the way down, including Chateau de Chambord, about three hours north of the Manoir.
- Go old school and travel in style with the Eurostar and TGV straight from St Pancras. The change in Paris is super quick either in a taxi (skip the queue with a baby) or on the metro. We like staying over in the City of Lights for a little added romance to the trip! The Eurostar is just over two hours Paris and then three hours from Paris to Limoges. Book with Voyages SNCF.
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Ou est le Manoir?
Manoir La Croix de La Jugie, 87800 St Priest Ligoure, France
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Once you're in Limoges you can pick up a hire car from the station or airport (book when you book your train or plane) and it's just 35 minutes' drive to the manoir. Take your time and enjoy the scenery. A car means you can explore during the week and get some along time, but we can arrange transfers if you'd rather stay put. Taxis can be booked during the week for excursions or dinners and both we and our preferred taxi company have car seats for you to use if necessary.
The most cumbersome thing about travelling with baby is all that extra stuff you need. But with &Breathe retreats, we have everything you need on site. Each room has a travel cot, baby bath, changing mat, baby monitor and nightlight, and there's a whole host of other things we provide too:
- playmats and various toys
- spare baby crockery, cutlery, beakers
- spare bottles
- spare nappies and wipes
- spare swim nappies
- car seat (group 1 and 2)
We also provide plenty of towels (bath and pool), bed linen and nappy sacks for those never-ending changes. We're sure they'll be some laundry to be done during the week too, and we have two washing machines and a tumble dryer to cater for everyone. All you need is clothes and particular things that you know your little one can't live without. We also:
- Are able to order in nappies and wipes for you so they are here when you arrive;
- Send you a reminder list of equipment available two months before your trip so you can plan ahead what to bring;
- Usually have spares of most things, so in an emergency (before the shops open), we've got it covered!
- Provide sheets for cots, but find that babies tend to be very particular about what they sleep in.
- Have a young child ourselves, so we try to make things as child-friendly as possible. The pool is fenced, with a child-safe cover and stairgates are in place if you have a toddler in tow.
Bryn, Clio and Delphi have travelled extensively, and Delphi's first flight was to Brazil when she was only two months old. So we feel we can say we've got some experience.
Our advice is to take the plunge! &Breathe retreats are such a fab environment to do it in, and you'll enjoy it immensely when you get here. For a first time holiday abroad, we're a particularly appealing option: all the help you need for you, daddy, and baby; tonnes of equipment; a chic and comfortable environment; fully catered; very small time difference; and easy to get to. Unlike a 14-hour solo flight to Singapore that Clio took with a 6-month old Delphi.
- Pack light, we have most of what you need and you can buy anything you've forgotten;
- Consolidate carry on bags for you and the little one. Get a compartmentalised one so you're not frantically delving at the crucial moment;
- Don't forget to get your baby's passport!
- Do make room for a few toys or an iPad (loaded with baby apps and CBeebies) in hand luggage if your baby is old enough for them;
- Invest in a good sling to keep your hands free and practice before you get to the airport;
- Bring the car seat attachment to your buggy so it can double up as transport and buggy;
- Don't worry about not bringing baby food or milk through security - it will be fine, they just take it to scan in a special machine before seeing you through.