Over the October half term we took a trip to France and stayed just an hour outside Paris in the Eurocamp La Croix du Vieux Pont campsite. This was the boys’ first time outside of the UK and they were so excited to visit France! We found the holiday very relaxing and it was a great place for our first trip to mainland Europe with a great balance of different things to see and do.
We travelled across to France by ferry which was so easy and convenient. It takes only 1.5 hours to cross from Dover to Calais, and the drive from London to Dover is only 2 hours (although we went down the night before and stayed one night in a hotel near the port just to make sure there was no rushing in the morning.) Being able to just drive onto the ferry with all our suitcases in the car, and then drive off again on the other side seems like so much easier to me than having to check everything in and take the kids on a plane so we were really happy with this method of travelling.
The boys are all keen on boats too so they were quite excited by travelling by ferry. Here you can see them looking out over the water as we were setting off from Dover.
When arriving in Calais, it was under 2 hours drive for us to reach the La Croix du Vieux Pont campsite which is not too bad at all. Since the travel was broken up into sections of driving to dover, then the ferry, then the drive to the campsite it was all very manageable for the children and I think would be fine with younger toddlers too.
When we arrived at La Croix du Vieux Pont, there is a main reception and a separate reception for Eurocamp and both were very friendly and helpful. The staff in the Eurocamp reception are British and of course all speak perfect English so there is no need for language barriers to be a worry at all on site. They showed us to our caravan and explained where to find all the different activities on site.
The site is a good size, with plenty to do but it’s easy to walk around from one place to another. You are allowed to drive your car through the site though if you prefer. There’s plenty of grass and open space for the children to play in as well as the activities on site, and the different types of accommodation.
We stayed in a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom Vista mobile home with decking. This has a kitchen area which we used to eat our breakfast every day and to cook dinner a couple of days when we wanted to have a quieter evening (on other nights we ate out)
We did find that the mobile home was slightly smaller than some others that we have stayed in, but the decking area was larger and it was a comfortable enough place to stay. You don’t get a TV or wifi in this type of accommodation, so I would advise that if that’s important to you then download a few movies or whatever you want to watch onto your iPad or laptop before you go and just bring it with you.
Here’s the living area and kitchen. As you can see, my family started to make themselves at home before I had the chance to take my pictures! But there is a long thin kitchen area on one side, and then the dining table at the end, with the sofas and living area on the other side.
The bedrooms come with two beds to each room, or one double bed, and do have storage space in each of the rooms so you can unpack your clothes.
And the main bedroom. The rooms are a little bit on the smaller side, but overall they were fine. You can rent all the bedding, towels and everything that you need from Eurocamp so no need to worry about packing those and bringing them across from the UK. There’s one bathroom which comes off the main bedroom, and another bathroom and toilet further down nearer to the children’s room. All of these were clean and fresh, as was all of the accommodation.
If you need a washing machine, there is a laundry block which was conveniently placed nearby to our accommodation. You can see it just across from our caravan in this picture (the wooden building) so that is all very handy. As you can see there’s plenty of space to play directly outside the caravan too, which was great for the boys to run around together and use up their energy.
There are also a few playgrounds around the site so wherever you are within the park there would be one nearby.
Those are always handy to have to keep the kids busy in any spare moments in between activities and it was fun for the boys to explore these.
There are also kids clubs on site, along with a restaurant, a take away and a general shop. They don’t have 24 hour opening times as we are more used to in London but I think this is the French way (we noticed while out and about that a lot of restaurants have very fixed time slots just at meal times!) so just check those and be aware. If you time it properly, then there will be everything that you need there.
There’s plenty to explore in the local area too. We all enjoyed going a little further out from the campsite and experiencing more of France. If you are not confident with driving in France, then you can visit Disneyland Paris on a coach trip directly from the campsite. Luckily my husband is happy to drive anywhere so we made our own way there as well as exploring other attractions nearby.
This is Laon Cathedral which is nearby to the camp site, you can also get some great coffee and French pastries or crepes around here. There are lots of French supermarkets nearby too, to pick up any items for cooking back in your accommodation or just to try out some French produce. The nearest town is Soissons at 19km away so we visited there for supermarkets and also to find some restaurants to eat at. We found a lovely Moroccan place and some other great places too. Since we prefer to find Halal food, we used an app to track down Halal restaurants even in France. You do also get a booklet included in your welcome pack from Eurocamp which recommends some of the suggested local places to eat and visit.
We were able to drive in to Paris too, to explore and take a look at the Eiffel tower! The driving in Paris was a little manic, it seemed busier than London so perhaps we would have been better off taking the coach trip in!! But it was a fun adventure.
There is also Parc Asterix nearby, which we would have visited if we had more time. There was so much available to do to fill our 7 days!
Overall, we really enjoyed our trip and would recommend this type of holiday for families. It’s a great and affordable way to explore an area with lots to keep the children occupied and entertained. We would definitely be happy to stay in a Eurocamp park again in future. There are lots to choose from. See the full list of Eurocamp parks here.
The total cost for this holiday for our family of 5 would be: £613.50 including the ferry travel and hire of linen and all essentials. I think this is pretty affordable especially considering our trip was during school holidays too!
If you want to find out more about La Croix du Vieux Pont, a couple of other bloggers visited the same camp a little earlier in the year so you could check out their reviews too since each of them have tried out different things on the campsite.
To get a feel for some other Eurocamp sites, check out these reviews:
We received a complimentary press trip in order to review