If you can’t face the thought of airport security and baggage restrictions (a nightmare with really little ones) then France is the ultimate European family holiday. Hop on a ferry to Normandy and soak up the fascinating history and culture surrounding you. From the D-Day landing beaches to the Bayeux tapestry, little history buffs will be in their element. But if you feel most of this will go unappreciated there is plenty more to see and do.
The whole family will love a trip to Mont St. Michel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and true fairytale island, built by monks in the sixth century. Be warned, there are loads of steps and in the summer months it will be super busy but still well worth a visit, make sure you stop at one of the many créperies to refuel little tummies and don’t leave till you’ve seen the stunning views from the top.
For younger kids the Festyland historically-themed amusement park has water slides, rollercoasters and even a medieval castle to explore. Children will learn about the Battle of Hastings, and Vikings without even noticing! For art enthusiasts, make sure you visit Monet’s Garden in Giverny and soak up the inspiration behind some of his most famous pieces, including the Water Lilies series.
Of course you don’t have to immerse yourselves in history and culture to make the most of your family holiday, Normandy has some brilliant bike trails suitable for even the youngest cyclists, it’s a great way to explore the countryside or try your hand at horseriding in Calvados. Normandy is also home to some amazing beaches with dramatic cliffs, golden sand perfect for sand castle building and miles of sand dunes. Seafood is one of Normandy’s specialities, most restaurants will use locally sourced products so don’t leave without getting the kids to try at least one mussel, it’s almost compulsory!
There are so many excellent campsites scattered across Normandy which make excellent options for a touring holiday but if you need a few more home comforts then there are some fabulous gites available, have a look at Baby Friendly Boltholes for some excellent recommendations.