Hi We are trying to start planning for next summer to take our 3 abroad for the first time. They will be 3.5, 6 and 7. We would like to drive from the U.K. to the Netherlands - without particularly rushing eg we’d be happy to stop a night or two on the way. When there we’d like to do a week or so in lodge/caravan/chalet at a park with a pool etc with good access to Amsterdam and some family friendly cycling routes. Any idea where to start looking and planning?!
We are thinking of doing exactly the same next summer and it will be our the children’s first trip abroad too (will be 9,7 and 4 when we go). We had thought of doing a week in De Kempervennen centre Parcs in the Netherlands and perhaps a few two nights stays on the way / way back, perhaps in Brussels and France. I’ll be watching this with interest as I’m trying to gather ideas! Are you planning on doing the Eurotunnel or Ferry?
I would stay away from Bruges. Overpriced and too touristy. Like Disneyland, it's very fake now. Ghent is lovely though, similar architecture and more to do. The Belgian coast can be nice, eg De Haan is gorgeous. Or Sluis just over the border in the Netherlands.
Agree re de Efteling, it's a must with small children. Re accomodation, Center Parcs is more reasonably priced during school holidays than in the UK. Also Duinrell is quite nice, or the Landal parks.
Take the ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland. It leaves at 8 am, perfect for the kids to sleep most of the journey to the ferry. It gets you to Hook of Holland for 4-5pm. The ferries have cinema, playroom, restaurants, massive decks for running around. From Hook of Holland it takes about 40 mins to Wassenar, to give you an idea (it’s rush hour, so it varies). Duinrell is nearby. So you’ll get ‘home’ in time for dinner. HTH
Also re getting there, we always take the Eurotunnel. You can use clubcard points for vouchers. Is by far the quickest way. Ferry (eg Folkestone - Dunkirk) is cheaper but takes a while (and I get bad seasickness)
I didn’t realise you could use Tesco’s vouchers for the tunnel, that’s a good saving. Efteling looks great, I think my three would like it there. Some great ideas and help so far, thanks everyone! Does anyone ever stay anywhere in Germany on the way?
Thanks all! Haven’t managed to check again until now. Some great ideas. We were planning on eurotunnel and way more tempting if I can collect Clubcard vouvehrs towards it too. Tho an interesting idea coming into hook of Holland.
You can also use Tesco vouchers on the Hook of Holland ferry. Last year, we went on the Eurotunnel, stayed 2 nights in Ypres (our boys are older) the drove onto Duinrell, returning on the ferry. It was nice doing a round trip.
We've also stayed in the coast in Belgium. There's a company called Sunparks in Belgium, which is similar to Center Parcs, and I think Landal have sites there too.