© 2018 by Sarah Bennett ITE

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Family Love for La France

Updated: Feb 11, 2018

Yes, it’s true…

Men and boys DO have to have to wear Speedos in public swimming pools in France and in most campsite swimming pools, but don’t let it put you off!

In fact, my son is so used to the idea now, having been on many French adventures, that he actually quite likes the lycra speedo shorts and finds them rather comfortable.

Aside from this funny and rather bizarre ruling (which I still don’t fully comprehend), France is still a firm favourite.

In previous years, we’ve caught the ferry and driven the length of France

to reach the South coast – which was brilliant fun especially since I’m at my happiest when exploring the World in some way. However, it is no mean feat at around 11 – 12 hours driving time. The first time I drove this journey, my friend and I travelled via Geneva, Switzerland and broke up the journey – stopping at the magical Lake Annecy en route.

Last year, with an eight-month-old new-ish infant in tow, flying and car hire seemed like a good option for a change.

The flight from London Southend to Lyon was hassle-free and so quick, I do highly recommend for anyone with very small children. French roads are fantastic and well made – just remember to drive on the right and prepare yourself beforehand with the rules and regs of driving in France…and watch out for tolls, they add up on longer journeys!

The Ardeche

It's no wonder France is still the top European destination for families, and The Ardeche region is our favourite.

Here's a quick overview of Ardeche highlights to explore:

1) Go kayaking at Pont d’Arc

A stunning natural 60 metre-wide bridge and archway over the Ardèche River. You can rent a kayak or canoe for a gentle paddle, alone or as part of a group, and float for miles taking in the scenery through the carved out valley.

2) Visit the ancient village of Balazuc

(warning: not ideal for those with a fear of heights!)

Balazuc can be reached via a steep, windy and breath-taking drive but the drive is certainly worth it. This charming little village has the remains of Neanderthal men who hunted ibex there over 50,000 years ago at the beginning of the last ice age. In the Middle Ages the village had a church and a castle from the 11th to 13th centuries in an enclosure which dates them. The castle was originally built in the 12th century and greatly enlarged in the 13th century with a square keep. The ramparts, keep, noble houses, and fortified houses are well preserved.

3) Visit the local market in Ruoms

Keen foodies will love strolling around this little town on

market day; there's so much to see and taste, or just go to soak up the dreamy French atmosphere. I have the fussiest son when it comes to food, but here we are...he couldn't miss the chance to be part of it and he too joined in with trying local cheeses, hams and other local delights.

Stay tuned for more of my family favourite blog posts, including Ardeche part 2, but in the mean time, I'll leave you with a few more of my favourite pictures: