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Adrenalin rush on the water

after a long sleep we spent our first day at Lake Montirond. Still tired from travelling we swapped our planned 15-miles for nine and instead opted for a swim in the icy cold but refreshing water. As my children are a little older than some of the others staying at the hotel, babysitting isn’t an issue, but for many of the families the crèche with fully qualified nannies was invaluable. Breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner are included in the cost. The children quickly made friends, and had ‘sleepovers’ in the giant garden teepee (one of Francesca’s imaginative investments).

Active days out Once settled we quickly got into a routine. At night the gathered families would swap stories about runs they’d done, walks they’d been on and activities they’d taken part in. In our week we ran most days and fitted in an adventure every day! On our first day out, Mike and Frankie

were taken on a zipwire trip through the mountains on the Fantasticable, which is to be found at the top of the Chaux Fleurie lift. It covers over 3k in two stages and reaches speeds of up to 100km/h. Lying in a harness, superman style, and attached to a wire you fly face first – Ciara and I watched in terror as they were cast off, flying out of sight with the words “Bon voyage” ringing in their ears. Another day, we went white water

rafting and dived off rocks into the fresh and cold rushing water. We were flung out of the boat and came perilously close to rocks, but I felt reassured by the skilful dingy directors; it was thrilling, but definitely not dangerous.

Don’t be scared of heights! We visited a charming mountain village where goats roamed freely and we were transported midair up to 1,800m on

shaky chairlifts. My kids are experienced chair-lifters as they ski every winter with their father, but I had visions of sliding through the seat and hanging on by a finger with a 300ft drop below! My fear of heights was exposed even

more when we visited Nyon to try out the high ropes. The children seemed to have no fear, whereas I had a meltdown and shakily climbed down the ladder of a 50ft tree and took position on the ground – as photographer.

Mountain bikes and multi-pass Our next excursion was mountain biking. Coming to Morzine and not mountain biking is like going to Eastbourne and not having fish and chips! The area is packed with mountain bikers dressed head to toe in padding, with the chairlifts and gondolas that carry skis in the winter transporting bikes in the summer. Morzine is a beautiful town, with a

mixture of ex-pats and laid back French – it’s cool but retains its small village culture. A recent innovation has been the off-season multi-pass, which allows families free chairlift and gondola rides, and reductions on many local attractions, including the luge (dry tobogganing), ice skating, tennis courts and a family friendly outdoor swimming pool. And of course being France, the food

is exquisite – all in all the perfect break for active families!

The lovely oak dining table!

PRICES AND ACCOMMODATION CHOICES Chilly Powder is open all year with prices dependent on the season. For seven nights half board accommodation in Hotel Au Coin Du Feu, expect to pay from €1595. This is based on two adults and two children sharing a standard family room. Chalet Le Plan des Rochers is a self-catered option for 14 people and costs just €1500 euros per week in summer. For winter prices, visit or for more info call 020 7289 6958.


Like staying at a friends

Chalet in the summer


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