Trips for the school holidays, minus the kids

School holidays can be some of the most stressful times of the year, especially the 6 week break in the summer. If you have a fairy godmother, or a relative, who are happy to look after your little angels for a week or two, there are some great places in France where you can truly relax and get away from it all and spend some quality ‘me’ time with your partner.

During the summer holidays it can be hard to walk even a couple of paces on the stunning sandy beaches of Brittany without tripping over buckets and spades, but just a couple of miles inland there is a haven for everyone who wants to spend some time in the peak summer season without being dive bombed by 7 year olds in the swimming pool or dodging frisbees.

La Longere is a small boutique bed and breakfast set amongst meadows and orchards that has only three bedrooms. Paul and Elaine, a British couple, have lovingly transformed a crumbling 18th century farmhouse into the ultimate adults only retreat complete with heated pool, decadently sumptuous beds and a hot tub, The neolithic standing stones of Carnac and the charming St Goustin harbour are both within easy reach, if you can bear to tear yourself away that is.

A visit to Marseille is the perfect combination of sunshine and culture, especially this year as it basks in its time in the spotlight as the European Capital of Culture. Apart from showing off the revamped Vieux Port, which was designed by Sir Norman Foster and a host of other new attractions such as the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, Mucem, which is set to open in June, the city is putting on a packed programme of cultural events ranging from open air concerts to street theatre.

While these are all great reasons for visiting Marseilles this summer there is another one; the newly opened Mama Shelter hotel. Apart from some of the best value rooms you will find in the South of France, you can enjoy a playful design courtesy of Philippe Starck, lively bar and outstanding restaurant. You can grab a room here for only €59 a night in July and August, the best excuse you need to get away from the crowds.