Take your family to Hauts-de-France with P&O Ferries

With young children, you may feel the days and months go by far too quickly, and quality time can be hard to juggle with the demands –and costs – of modern life. But holidays don’t have to mean expensive long-haul flights and an enormous packing list – have you thought about exploring our nearest neighbour, Northern France? Enjoy the freedom of taking your own car and going where the whim takes you.

Make unforgettable memories with your family

We know how it goes with kids, one day you're teaching them how to walk and, in the blink of an eye, they are ready to leave the nest. That's why it's important to take the time to enjoy quality time with your family before it's too late. And to do so, what's better than Northern France, an oft-forgotten destination which has so much to offer: dazzling monuments, incredible food, and breathtaking landscapes...

Plan your trip to Hauts-de-France (External link)

Thanks to P&O Ferries (External link) , the oft-overlooked shores of Hauts-de-France are just a 90-minute ferry ride from Dover. With up to 23 sailings a day, unbeatable on-board services, and friendly staff to help out every step of the way, it’s never been easier to get a ferry to France with their Dover to Calais crossing. Then take to the open road – and feel a world away.

Northern France, a region full of surprises

If finding somewhere for the kids to let off steam after the car journey is top of your list, the Parc Saint-Pierre in Amiens is ideal, with its wide grassy lawns, lake and walking trails. Let them wander in awe through the splendid Gothic Notre-Dame Cathedral, and enjoy family lunch at Le Quai, just the place to introduce them to their first bowl of moules-frites (mussels and chips, a French classic).

France is known for its relaxed pace of life – so rather than hurtling along in the car, slow down and take a tour of lovely Lille in a traditional open-top Renault 2CV with Tradi’Balade. It’s the perfect platform for people-watching and playing I-Spy. And in Saint-Valery, hop on an old-fashioned steam train along the Somme Bay Railway. To explore in an even Frenchier way, get out on two wheels on a hire bike from NoShoes, all of which can fit child seats.

Fancy a thrill? Parc Astérix is one of the jewels in Hauts-de-France’s family-friendly crown, the country’s second-largest theme park after Disneyland Paris and bursting with raucous rollercoasters and river raft rides. Lest adults feel left out, all travellers whether nine or 90 will be dumbstruck by Nausicaa, Europe’s largest aquarium in Boulogne-sur-Mer. Watch stingrays swoop overhead and shoals of fish glimmer in the blue light – it’s enough to make every child want to be a diver.

And of course, you won’t want to leave before you’ve taken a bucket and spade to Wissant beach. This wide expanse of softly shelving sand is just 26 miles from English shores – but they won’t believe you when you tell them.

Visit Northern France – because sometimes, the best memories are made close to home.

Book your sailing with P&O Ferries by visiting www.poferries.com (External link) today

Download our travel blogger and writer Katja Gaskell’s mini guide!
to find out more about her itinerary and her recommendations on what to do with kids in Hauts-de-France

PO and HDF

Calais, Northern France