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The view of a fairy-tale castle

We love staying at La Croix du Vieux Pont in the tiny village of Berny-Rivière in northern France.  It’s around 70 miles north east of Paris and just a two-and-a-half hour drive from Calais so it’s easy to get to – and has plenty to do on-site.

It’s open from the Easter holidays until the end of October half term so it’s perfect for an out-of-season break.  You can take your own tent or stay in a mobile home with an outdoor holiday specialist like Eurocamp.

La Croix du Vieux Pont (click here to read more about the parc itself) is a great base from which to explore a stunning and fascinating part of France. Here are some of the best fab trips we’ve tried.

Disneyland Paris

The famous theme park is only 60 miles – or an hour or so’s drive – from La Croix du Vieux Pont FIve children in front of the Disney castleand is a very popular day out for families staying there.

An added bonus is the handy door-to-door coach service which leaves the parc at 7.50am and picks back up at Disneyland at 7.50pm (17 € adults, 14 € children, 10 € children under 2. Advanced booking advisable la-croix-du-vieux-pont.com/en/onsite-services/organised-trips/).

The journey takes around 75 minutes and takes the stress out of driving.. And believe me, you’ll need all your energy for what lies ahead. With just one day there, we opted to avoid the Walt Disney Studios part and concentrate on the Disneyland Park itself (advance Disneyland Paris tickets from £32 for both adults and children).



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A woman and four children laugh at they stand outside one of Eurocamp's Avant mobile home at La Croix du Vieux Pont parc in Berny-Riviere in France

THE roofbox was stuffed to breaking point and the bikes strapped securely on the back. As I coaxed the overloaded car into gear I mentally checked off my must-pack list.

Football. Cricket bat. Snorkel gear. Rugby ball. Table tennis bats. Puncture repair kit. Fishing tackle. Waterproofs and wellies. Favourite breakfast cereals, ketchup, marmite, tea bags. Washing powder. Body boards. Inflatable rowing boat and canoe. Life jackets. Six cycle helmets. Board games…..had I really managed to get all of that plus six people in our much-abused motor?

Meanwhile all was quiet on the backseats as the kids, headphones clamped tightly over their ears, immersed themselves in the latest films. Our summer break was about to start and we were all chilled…despite the fact we were about to embark on a Channel crossing and a journey behind the wheel on the wrong side of the road. There’s something about a self-drive holiday that I find very relaxing. Continue reading “SIX GO MAD IN…BERNY-RIVIERE”


THE Greeks christened it ‘Kallisté’ (the most beautiful) and the French call it ‘Ile de Beaute’ (Island of Beauty) so we weren’t surprised by Corsica’s spectacular scenery.

But it didn’t take us long to discover that this amazing gem – roughly the size of Crete and lying above Sardinia off the west coast of Italy – satisfies every holiday palette as it’s teaming with serene beaches, rugged mountain ranges, chocolate box villages and enticingly warm rivers and sea.

Unlike Italian-owned Sardinia, it is part of France but has its own distinct feel and remains refreshingly undeveloped. We stayed on the east coast near Ghisonaccia town, next to a wide sandy beach called Plage de Vignale and fringed by the Tyrrhenian Sea, its 28⁰C water perfect for swimming or pedalo rides.

Our large holiday parc Marina d’Erba Rossa had a lively hub around its swimming pool and entertainment square – complete with rooftop DJ – but elsewhere it was quiet and laid-back.

Continue reading “SIX GO MAD IN…CORSICA”


It’s 6pm and the warm evening sunshine glimmers on the gentle water.   My four wetsuit-clad kids laze on top of surf boards, casually chatting about the best wickets they’ve taken this season or their current playlist.

But as the familiar rumble starts up, they swing into action, paddling calmly then with greater urgency as the wave surges up behind them, tossing a couple of them underneath in its wake and propelling the other two to shore.

I hope I don’t sound like a harsh parent when I say I’m unconcerned about any stragglers being knocked unconscious and dragged out to sea by unpredictable currents.  Because this is not the sea…my precious offspring are having a surfing lesson in the world’s first inland surfing lagoon.  And it’s right here in the UK.

North Wales is cleverly carving itself out to be a leading light in the tourism world, with superlative after superlative flying out of the activity lists.  The world’s highest or longest, Europe’s first or fastest…it’s all here in what was once sleepy Snowdonia.

The mountain steam trains and cavern tours are still around but nowadays thrill seekers arrive in flocks to zip across the landscape in every way possible and to bounce, plummet and swing their socks off. And now it seems, to surf in safety too.

Continue reading “SIX GO MAD IN…SNOWDONIA”