When it comes to travel arrangements, there are three options you have to get your family from the UK to Northern France; either by train, plane or ferry. If you’re travelling with bikes then the most popular choice is the cross-channel ferry with a company such as Brittany Ferries. They have the most convenient and widest choice of cross channel ferries to France, sailing from either Portsmouth, Plymouth or Poole into Cherbourg, St Malo, Caen, Le Havre or Roscoff.
Anyone who’s had the misfortunate of flying with bikes will know all too well with the unacceptable expenses of paying for bike transit and then wondering if the bikes will turn up damaged or even be lost along the way. Suffice to say, far from ideal. You can of course opt to pay to hire bikes when you are in France which comes with its own downsides.
By contrast to flying, the ferry to France makes for a journey that’s much more convenient and enjoyable for all the family (stylish bars and lounges, entertainment, kids’ play areas and shopping). A big plus is you can enjoy the freedom of taking your own familiar family car to France (no need to hire a car) packed with everything you need including the family bikes whilst avoiding the hassle of airports, long queues, excess baggage charges and lengthy check-in times as ferry check-in time is only 45 minutes before departure.
Northern France is perfect for family cycling holidays with the likes of Brittany and Normandy within easy reach of the ferry ports and some of the most spectacular cycling opportunities in Europe are literally on your doorstep. We recommend you read this Guardian article about family cycling in Pays de la Loire or read this article about cycling in Normandy.
Before heading out for an active holiday like cycling with your family, it’s a good idea to first familiarise yourself with a few expert guides about cycling in Northern France. Whether it’s completing a stage of the Tour De France for pure bragging rights, exploring the historic heart of St Malo or spending a relaxing afternoon in Cherbourg, it’s pure cycling nirvana for visitors on two wheels. And of course, let’s not forget the incredible treasures to be discovered along the coastline. We recommend looking through the cycling guides over at freewheelingfrance.com who offer independent advice for cycling holidays in France including guidebooks and maps.
Finally, here is an infographic which highlights the advantages of family travel to France via the ferry and compares a family travelling to France via ferry vs plane:
Image source: Brittany Ferries – Ferry VS Plane to France