Archive for the ‘belle dune’ Category
If your kids have been inspired to get active this summer by watching team GB’s triumphs at the Olympics, you can road-test their enthusiasm for multiple sports at Pierre et Vacances Holiday Villages.
Holidays at Pierre et Vacances car-free resorts open up a world of activities, with many included in your booking price – meaning your little ones can sample all manner of sporting fun and find the event or activity they enjoy best, before committing to expensive lessons or equipment.
Tennis – Lessons for children aged 5 up as well as adults are offered on the Pierre & Vacances Holiday Village courts for budding tennis champions. And since sing pong or ‘whiff whaff’ has come home, according to Mayor Boris Johnson, table tennis is also available for those who enjoy the more diminutive game.
Swimming – Not just pools but water parks galore available for children of all ages from water babies to competitive juniors perfecting their freestyle.
Biking – Cycling in the French countryside is the perfect way to enjoy the scenery. Your aspiring Bradley Wigginses can stage their very own Tour de France with cycle hire available at all of Pierre & Vacances’ Holiday Villages.
Sailing – Another activity at which we Brits excel, sailing (plus kayaking and windsurfing) is available at Holiday Villages in coastal regions. If the children are not quite ready to take to the water, they can even try their hand at sand yachting on-site.
Volleyball – With beach volleyball teams set to get the nation’s pulses racing this summer, kids can hone their skills at any of the Pierre & Vacances Holiday Villages. Other available team sports in resorts include football and basketball.
Trapeze & Circus Skills – Not everyone is interested in competitive sports; creative kids can also join in the active fun with flying trapeze lessons, juggling and other circus skills.
Pierre & Vacances’ 15 Holiday Villages are located throughout the most popular beauty spots in France, Spain and the French Antilles. For further information or to book, visit pierreetvacances.com/gb-en or call 0870 0267 144
There’s still time to snap up the last few apartments in Pierre & Vacances Holiday Villages for Summer 2012. Deals can be found from just €86 (around £67) per person per week.
Pierre & Vacances is offering up to 40 per cent off its range of self-catering accommodation all over France and Spain booked before 2 July 2012.
From Seaside holidays and mountain escapes to city breaks and short breaks to the sun, the offer includes a wide selection of dates including the school holidays, and also features the popular family-friendly Holiday Villages in a range of sunny locations: Belle Dune, Cap Esterel, Port-Bourgenay and Port du Crouesty.
So whether you want a fun family break to beautiful Brittany, to explore the sparkling seas of the South of France with a self-catering base or enjoy the sun in the Spanish Costa Del Sol, there’s a holiday deal for you!
This week, our blog comes from Nick Vowles, the UK marketing manager for Pierre & Vacances.
A family holiday in France with the grandparents – and Aunty Hilary from Australia!
Last time we were in the Pierre & Vacances Belle Dune Holiday Resort in Picardy, France, it was just the three of us, the wife, myself and our then 1 year old Fred.
One and half years later we thought it was time to visit again. But this time we were the double the size, my Mum and Dad and Aunty Hilary came along for the ride plus the newest addition to the family; 8 month old Jo Jo.
Ferry to France
We all decided to meet on the P&O Ferry from Dover to Calais. Having not been on this route for a few years it was a great experience. As the grandparents grabbed a seat in the bar we treated Fred to fish and chips from the restaurant – a very generous portion at 5 quid, and of course some extra chips for Mum and Dad!
We then joined the oldies for some sandwiches and a Costa coffee. There were lots of indoor viewing areas for Fred to see all the boats passing by. A quick 5 minutes on the top for some fresh air and views of the French coast and we were there!
I’lle aux Oiseaux, Pierre & Vacances Belle Dune Holiday Resort
One of the best things about Belle Dune is its only an hour from Calais – so you can get there in no time at all and get on with your holiday.
Back in May 2008 we had a lovely refurbished villa close to all the facilities with a little balcony overlooking the main lake. This time we went for something different. Two adjoining 3 bedroom villas in the I’lle aux Oiseaux area which is about 5 minutes walk from the main centre. This was perfect for us as it was nice and quiet for the oldies, and the kids didn’t wake anyone up in the morning – apart from Granny – who was quite happy to be called upon!
The villas themselves were just what we needed. Ours had 3 bedrooms with a bathroom upstairs – perfect for keeping an eye on the little ones. Downstairs was a nicely laid out lounge, kitchenette and dining table plus a shower room. This worked out really well for the grandparents next door as my Mum and Dad like a bath, but Aunty Hilary, being an Aussie, loves a shower. Both our villas had lovely outdoor spaces and access to a bit of grass. The kids loved the freedom to flip between our two adjoining villas.
Our villas didn’t directly overlook the main lake of the area but a smaller lake overlooking the golf course. Luckily the weather was fantastic so we could lazily watch the local birdlife in the morning – including a patrolling heron who seemed to rule this particular lake. And though there wasn’t room for my clubs at least I could see some other golfers enjoying the course – which apparently is one of France’s top 50 golf courses.
Swimming pools, farms, shops and much more
On the Belle Dune site there’s loads for kids to do. Grandad loved taking the kids to the resort shop in the morning to pick up the baguettes and croissants (including a pain au chocolat for Aunty Hilary!) and Granny was in charge of taking Fred to the water park area in the afternoon, which he loved. Onsite there is a little farm, plus a restaurant, bar, tennis courts, the golf course of course, plus an indoor sports hall, bike hire and much more that we didn’t have time to explore…
With a name like Belle Dune you won’t be surprise to hear that the beach isn’t far away. The Belle Dune Holiday Resort itself is located between two small town’s Quend and Fort Mahon. The beach is vast at low tide and nice and sandy, so perfect for kids. We even got a rare chance for a Mum and Dad jog one morning. Of the two towns Fort Mahon has more to offer with a nice selection of bars and restaurants, a couple of boulangeries and other shops.
Out and about
My Dad and Hilary enjoyed a ‘cultural’ (read boozy) day out in Montreuil. And the whole family had a fantastic day trip on the ’Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme’ – a fantastic 80 year old steam train that chuffs between Le Crotoy and Cayeux-sur-Mer.
As the kids are still quite young we decided to drive to Noyelles-sur-Mer and do the half hour journey and back to St Valery sur Somme. This was very fortunate as we discovered a lovely café in Noyelles run by an English couple. Its called Relais de la Baie and is well worth a visit. St Valery itself is equally enticing – we explored the market and old town before settling for a family lunch ‘a la Francais’ with Moules frites for everyone!
See the Pierre et Vacances website for more tips on things to do in the area – there’s lots to do.
Ferry to England
And before you know it, it was time to head back to the UK. We were very lucky to bag a seat opposite the children’s play area, keeping the kids very entertained all the way home. I’m sure we’ll be a back to Belle Dune again very soon!
And Le Crotoy