Whether you want to plan a quality evening for your partner and children or you’re in the midst of organising a huge family gathering - here’s how to plan a memorable get together in France:Read More
Filtering by Tag: family holidays
There might be a chill in the air but we think it's the perfect time of year to step away from the keyboard, put down the smartphone, and look out at the world. Get outside and spend your days breathing in fresh-air! Here’s what to do in and around beautiful Bordeaux.
Get on your bike
If you’re ready to uncover the marvels of Bordeaux city, start on your bike. Bordeaux By Bike provide smart guides and fun rides across the destination. Bordeaux was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002, and has since been transformed. The city uses ‘soft transportation’ with the Tram and extensive bicycle paths allowing a stress-free way to get around and soak up the history. Bordeaux By Bike currently have 6 different routes to choose from.
Wander the vines
Wine, it’s what Bordeaux is famous for and the main business sector here. With over 117,000 hectares of vineyards in the region, there are many tours to choose from. Popular tours include: the Rustic Vines Napoleon tour, Bordovino tours, and Ophorus’ Bordeaux vineyard tours. Many tours are very welcoming of children, particularly Chateau Soutard with its mini train and ‘safari trek’.
Visit the Zoo de Pessac
A zoo trip – it’s the ideal family day out! At Zoo de Pessac, be taken on a journey from Africa to South America and Asia – meeting lions, tigers, giraffes, pandas, tapirs, and even dinosaurs. This zoo is well laid out with plenty of shade for on those hot and sticky summer days.
Visit Place des Quinconces
Soak up Bordeaux’s culture and history at this expansive city square, one of the largest in Europe. The principal monument (Le Monument aux Girondins) featuring bronze horses and French Revolution troop is remarkable, and there are several other sculptures to captivate.
Climb the Great Dune of Pyla
If you’re looking for a challenge, take a trip southwest of Bordeaux to the Great Dune of Pyla rising 351ft above the beautiful Arcachon Bay. Not one for little children, here you can tackle a sandy hike up to incredible views or try your hand at ‘sandboarding’ (or snowboarding in the winter).
Make a splash at the Miroir d'Eau
Opposite the Place de la Bourse, the Miroir d’Eau translates as ‘reflecting pool’ and you’ll soon see why. This unique installation has water periodically recede underground and return as a mist that your children will adore to wander through. If it’s a hot day, don’t be surprised if you spend over an hour here!
Family fun at ‘Ferme de Exotique de Cadaujac’
Another excellent animal attraction in the Bordeaux region, the Cadaujac exotic farm has over 1,000 animals of different types and origins. Other highlights the children will love, include: horse and pony rides, camel rides, mini train rides, donkey-drawn carriage rides, circus shoe and carousel.
Explores the Landes de Gascogne
The natural landscapes surrounding the city of Bordeaux certainly aren’t the most adventurous of Southern France, but the Landes de Gascogne is a nice base to play explorers. It covers 315 hectares of hiking and horse-riding opportunities, and has a bird sanctuary in which over 300,000 migratory birds take rest.
Hit the waves at Lacanau
If you’re in the mood to get wet and have a laugh (or show off your natural talent) try your hand at surfing on the coastline of Lacanau – considered to be one of the best surfing spots in the whole of Europe! In the summer water temperatures can reach a very comfortable 21c.
Cruise the Garonne
Another chance to take to the waters, why not spend a day canoeing/kayaking on the Garonne River? Or take a more leisurely approach and book a spot on a river cruise ship – much more appealing for those who’d otherwise be hung up on trying not to capsize!
Marvel at Église Sainte-Croix
If you want to take in the history of Bordeaux city, don’t miss the early 12th century Église Sainte-Croix (Church of the Holy Cross). You can take a pleasant walk from the old town along Cours Victor Hugo and arrive here for a photo opportunity – and if you fancy, a look inside too. Look out for the imposing Grand Organ.
Browse the Marché des Quais
Take a stroll along the riverside with a stop by this charming producer’s market. This lovely weekly market takes places every Sunday from 7am-4pm and offers edibles, crafts, books, and more. (Food stalls close at 1pm).
I often get asked why I started French Loaf and my number one motivation was so that I can drop and collect my two boys from school and nursery every day. I realise this is not something everyone can do or wants to do but after a 24/7 job in the city it was what I wanted. You see I can remember only a handful of times when I was collected at the end of the day from school as at the age of eight, I went off to boarding school.
I was always giddy with excitement counting down to the holidays. My trunk would be packed weeks in advance, we’d have our end of term midnight feast and spend the last day of term waiting for the bell to ring.
It was the holidays that gave me some of the best times with my family. We’d have walks to the local shop to buy sweets, den making with my older brother, games of hide and seek. Just the simple pleasures of childhood.
When we actually all went away, now that was an adventure! My dad being a Commander in the Royal Navy meant everything was executed with military precision. We had checklists, route maps, eta's and emergency supplies to last a month. Though our destinations were either Cornwall or France we were prepared should we be shipwrecked or struck with monsoon rains.
Camping in Cornwall was a religious pilgrimage for us. With everything packed into our brown Ford Capri, four children on the back seat, my parents, and Neil Diamond playing loudly on the radio it was always an interesting (note sarcasm) eight-hour journey. Once there though we were in our element. Body boarding until the skin on our stomachs was red raw, making sand ramps, playing in the rock pools and getting lost in that time together.
On our many trips to France I can remember the long drives, past sunflower fields and beautifully evenly spaced trees that lined the side of the roads. The taste of sweet cordial and the smell of Gauloise cigarettes smoked by the locals. We had daily trips to the boulangerie where we'd practice our French then while away the day playing in the swimming pool.
These holidays have given me some of my happiest childhood memories. If I can help other families create anything like the holiday memories I have I'll be very happy.