August 12, 2021
Staycation or Vacation? French vs UK Destinations
French family holiday or UK family holiday? Let’s compare and contrast 8 destinations.
Who doesn’t love a French family holiday? If you are looking at destinations that will provide your family with an unforgettable holiday, do you choose France or the UK?
French family holiday or UK staycation?
There are many beautiful and exciting places to explore in both nations. I am currently quarantining after a holiday to France. So, for fun, I have created an informative list of some of the best destinations in the UK and compared them with similar French destinations! I hope it will inspire your decision-making process. Can you guess which country each picture is from?
Normandy or Yorkshire?
Normandy in the North-West of France has it all; rich in history with rolling green countryside but also miles of beautiful beaches to explore. An easy reach from the south of England via ferry or Eurotunnel, must-do activities include the island of Mont-Saint-Michel, Rouen with its medieval city centre and spending time reflecting at one of the D-Day landings beaches.
Can’t make it to France? Historic Yorkshire is an excellent destination for families because it offers so many different things to do. You can spend your time enjoying the beach, exploring museums or biking in one of Yorkshire’s beautiful parks. There is something for everyone! Yorkshire’s coastline is the longest in England, and it offers families some of the most serene views from its famous cliffs. There are many small fishing villages to explore on foot or by boat, with many excellent seafood restaurants if you get hungry!
Brittany or Cornwall?
With an abundance of coastline strung with pretty fishing villages and gastronomic opportunities galore, Brittany is a hit with the Brits for a reason. Brittany, known as La Bretagne in French, has a distinctive identity and local language akin to Welsh and Cornish. Home to the perfect crêpe and my kids’ favourite pastry, the buttery Kouign-Amann, children will delight in tasting the local cuisine. There are also lots of opportunities for outdoor sports such as biking, kayaking and, even, stand-up paddle. Venture further inland and visit the capital of Brittany, Rennes, and the medieval castle of Châteaugiron.
Separated only by the English Channel, Cornwall shares many attributes with Brittany. There are countless secluded beaches, pretty fishing villages and rugged coastal paths to explore. Cornwall also offers visitors some of England’s best surfing spots – perfect if your family members can’t get enough of water sports. No wonder Cornwall is one of the most popular destinations when booking UK school trips. The county has an abundance of sandy dunes that provide spectacular views and plenty of opportunities for dog walking or horse riding. If you like history, there are many castles along its coastline, including Tintagel Castle, where King Arthur was born.
The French Alps or The Scottish Highlands?
Not one for beaches? Head to the Alps where adventure and breath-taking scenery awaits. Breathe in the fresh air in this all-season destination. We are, of course, talking about a vast area so choose a base such as Annecy, Chambéry or Briançon. In the summer, go hiking as a family and take in the alpine flora and fauna. For winter adventures, you will also find, arguably, some of the best skiing in Europe. There are amazing family ski resorts such as Val Thorens and Les Deux Alpes with and kids’ ski schools delivered by École de Ski Français.
Equally, consider staying in the UK where the Scottish Highlands is home to some of the most beautiful views in Britain. You can spend your time hiking, kayaking and even skiing during winter. The Cairngorms offers over 30km of ski runs. There are plenty of small towns dotted around with cute cafes where you can grab lunch or go shopping – there are also many places that offer traditional Scottish hospitality, including pubs that serve hearty food and tasty ales. The area has many spectacular castles too. If you fancy exploring Scotland’s history on your holiday, then this could be a good option for you!
Paris or London?
For a city-break, you’d be hard pushed to choose between Paris or London… but let’s try! Having lived in both cities I love them both equally.
With 297 museums, Paris has enough cultural sites to keep you going for a while. Start the day with a delicious breakfast at a Parisian café. Consider a Parisian brunch that will keep you going all day! Next, you cannot go to Paris without at least catching a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. However, if the queue is too long or heights make you dizzy, consider seeing it from the metro by taking line 6 which is elevated and has an amazing view of the city. Spend the rest of the day cruising the Seine on a ‘Bateau-Mouche’ taking in all the sights of the ‘most beautiful city in the world’…
Now let’s, hop on the Eurotunnel to London (don’t forget your passport!) where there are plenty of attractions that will keep your kids entertained, including Tower Bridge and the Natural History Museum. As well as this there is an abundance of family-friendly restaurants. Splurge on an experience eatery like Planet Hollywood or Rainforest Café or head to Hyde Park for a low-key British picnic in the sun. If you fancy something more active, consider hiring bikes at Hyde Park Corner and cycling across iconic central London.
Have I made your choice any clearer? French family holiday or UK family holiday? For language learning, France will always win. However, if we need to get creative then remember that the UK offers some wonderful destinations and then your children can learn French with Mini Ville!