With a wealth of history and scores of sandy beaches, Normandy is a wonderful choice for a family holiday. Even the food in Normandy is kid-friendly with crêpes, pastries, cheese and apples all on the regional menu (and local cider for the grown-ups!). Away from the coast, Normandy is full of lush green countryside and apple orchards.
Normandy is also one of the closest regions in France to the UK and just a short hop over the English Channel. If you and your family are up for an active break and enjoy getting out and exploring then Normandy is the perfect choice. The region’s also pretty appealing if you’re just after some hard-earned rest!
A visit to Normandy wouldn’t be complete without seeing the Bayeux Tapestry and it’s a great way to get kids interested in history. The nearly 70m long tapestry depicts the Norman Conquest of England and the Battle of Hastings in 1066. There’s a short film that explains all the events in the tapestry and audio guides are available in English. For older kids (7+) the Mémorial de Caen is a museum dedicated to World War 2 and D-Day. It’s also free for children under 10.
For a fantastic adventure, take to the skies with Montgolfières de Falaise in a hot air balloon. Floating high above the Normandy countryside, the whole family can enjoy views of its medieval towns, stunning countryside and rivers Dives, Ante and Orne. Younger children are sure to enjoy Festyland, situated just outside Caen. With rollercoasters, water slides, bumper boats, a medieval castle and more, it’s a perfect family day out. Or take a visit to Woody Park in Fécamp – a treetop adventure park. As well as treetop rope courses, the park offers loads of unusual activities such as sumo wrestling in inflatable suits and human table football! There’s also paintball, mini golf and treasure hunts to enjoy.
Those with a sweet tooth should make sure they visit Lait Douceur, a craft producer specialising in confiture de lait (a sweet caramel sauce), fruit jams, fondant chocolates, marshmallows and other sweets. You can join a tour or join a workshop and there are plenty of free tasters on offer!
When you’re in need of a little peace and quiet, Normandy is full of woodland walks and cycling routes. Or you could take a visit to Le Parc de Saint Symphorien des Monts, which is full of beautiful plants and flowers, lakes, woodland and all sorts of wildlife including deer, llamas, zebu bulls, camels and alpacas. And there are pony rides and interactive games for the children!
Brittany Ferries offer daily sailings from Portsmouth to Le Havre, Cherbourg and Caen and from Poole to Cherbourg. And DFDS Seaways sail from Newhaven to Dieppe. If you prefer to travel by air, Flybe flies to Caen and Ryanair to Deauville-Normandie. Alternatively you can take your car on the Eurotunnel to Calais and drive from there into the region.
Family friendly campsites
Calvados, Isigny sur mer, Fanal
Camping le Fanal is a lovely campsite that makes an ideal base to explore the beautiful Normandy coastline. On site there's a wonderful pool complex complete with a covered pool, outdoor pool and water slides. There are excellent facilities, including a playground, boules, table tennis and a volleyball terrain and there's a children's club and lots of evening entertainment in high season.
Seine-Maritime, Les Loges, Aiguille Creuse
Aiguille Creuse campsite is situated in the small village of Les Loges and is just a few miles from beautiful Channel beaches. Kids will love the covered swimming pool and playground, complete with a fantastic bouncy castle. Try your hand at volleyball, pétanque, tennis or table tennis on site, or take a cycle ride around the beautiful surroundings. The campsite is a perfect base to explore the stunning Normandy coastline and beautiful countryside.
Full of rustic charm and surrounded by beautiful countryside, Domaine de Litteau campsite is a perfect retreat for the whole family. There's a fantastic pool complex with a covered pool, water slides and a spa bath and a great outdoor play zone, as well as a BMX track, climbing ropes, zip wire, giant swing, 6 hole golf course and a mini farm that are sure to keep the whole family happy. Or why not try a spot of fishing in one of the two on site lakes?