UK Daytrip – to France!

Posted on July 16, 2013

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There’s something about a day-trip to France. Watching the white cliffs of Dover disappear from sight and finding yourselves in France, if only for a few hours. It’s exciting and yet there’s also something simple and reminiscent of yesteryear about it.

The White Cliffs of Dover.

1. Why go?

On a clear, sunny, summer’s day a boat trip over to France can feel strangely romantic. We joined the cars and caravans lined up to get the ferry to Calais and I did have pangs of wishing we were going for longer, but a day trip brings its own fun.

Calais was a real revelation. So often just the point of disembarkation, and the start of long car journeys heading further into France, there is actually a lot on offer here for the day tripper. There are some great restaurants, lovely French streets and squares to explore and plenty of shopping opportunities. It also has wonderful beaches which many a UK resort would be envious of. This trip certainly changed my view of a town which many of us will just pass through.

Driving towards Dover…

2. So…what is there to do?

Shop, eat and explore! There are numerous little shops as well as the larger hypermarket just out of town to pick up a few French goodies. Lunch can also be a great event – I love pasta roquefort and settling down with a big dish of pasta and one of my favourite cheeses was great!

For shopping we love to drive out to the Cite Europe which has a huge Carrefour hypermarket and lots of other shops – clothes, electronics, perfume etc It really is a one-stop shop for stocking up!

If you really want to do something more specific there is the  Musee  Memoire 1939 – 1945 –  housed in what was once a German naval headquarters it is now stuffed full of artifacts relating to the Second World War.

3. And with children?

The boat trip itself is a real adventure and just enough time to wave goodbye to the white cliffs, grab a drink and wave hello to France!

Bye, bye England!
Hello France!

I think the beaches of Calais itself are really underrated – they are beautiful and over a mile long of great sand with long lawns running down to them full of playground rides for the children and little snack stops for a quick ice cream etc.

These photos were taken through the slightly murky ferry window but show the beautiful coastline at Calais.

Our children enjoyed even just the trip of going to the French hypermarket and picking up new little biscuits to try and of course amazing French pastries to bring home.

If you’re feeling energetic you can even climb to the top of Calais lighthouse for panoramic views of the coastline.

All this and loads of other little treats to discover…if you’ve got a day to spare in the summer holidays I would definitely recommend thinking about a day-trip to France.

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