Continued restrictions on international travel has made 2021 a great year for UK travel destinations.

But with their cancellation, tourists are heading abroad in large numbers thanks to pent-up demand.

Before the worldwide pandemic travel and the tourism industry accounted for just over 10% of global GDP. Now, after a difficult 2020 and 2021, with some false starts in the industry due to new variants of Covid-19, tourism is now almost at the same level.

According to Abta, which represents travel agents, bookings for overseas travel were close to pre-pandemic levels last summer, even though the industry has been hit far harder by Covid than the domestic holiday trade.

For those who may still be wary, a stint in Calais and the delights of Paris could be the way back for this family of four, including a nine-year-old and a 14-year-old.

The P&O ferry from Dover had its delays, fast and quiet traffic and a huge two hour return delay – there’s little to do while waiting in the port.

The trip got off to a rocky start financially. The trip to Paris from Calais involved a €23 (£20) toll – and it seems you can’t avoid it on the way back.

La Croix du Vieux Pont at Eurocamp, a two-and-a-half-hour drive away, feels like it’s far from civilization, nestled in the lush green countryside of Berny Rivière in northern France.

The idyllic setting may have made the younger members of the party wonder if there was enough to do here.

But once you pass the gated entrance to the site with its beautiful flower gardens, you have nothing to fear.

Marketed as the gateway to Paris, the Champagne regions, Disneyland Paris and one of France’s premier Asterix theme parks, La Croix du Vieux Pont offers something for everyone, with no obvious distractions – at a price, of course.

Hundreds of mobile homes and cabins for large and small families are located around the two large lakes.

If camping itself fills you with bad nightmares music festival toilets and uncomfortable tents, there are alternatives to the ‘outdoor life’, again at a price.


We arrived at the end of June and stayed in a cozy three-bedroom Aspect holiday home with lake views – a premium upgrade on the site of your modest caravan of yesteryear – which will be open for ten nights self-catering next year, at the time of writing it cost the family nearly £2,000. A safari tent that sleeps six costs less than half that at £860.50 over the same period.

For this, of course, you get access to all the activities available on the site – although most of them will incur additional costs. Although the beds may not be the most comfortable you’ve ever slept in, the accommodation is spacious, has a very large deck with furniture, sunbeds and a table for those important barbecues in the sun and air conditioning which was a must in the hot summer .

There’s enough to spend ten days without leaving this desert setting – with four pools – one outdoor man-made lagoon beach and another indoors with water slides that have become a hit. There are also a range of sports and activities for which you have to pay extra, from canoeing, cycling and fishing to tennis, crazy golften pin bowling, laser quest and go-karting.

It was a distraction from the fact that the wifi was questionable. This was at extra cost – and was only free at the beach bar. An alternative solution was free 4g roaming.

Another more than adequate distraction was the itinerary of daily free events organized by an enthusiastic and inclusive animation team, all of which are easy to get involved with. These include table tennis, which is extremely popular football, beach volleyball and basketball. Water aerobics was less popular.

Football has turned into a multi-national battle that has resulted in this unfit older lad getting his knees scraped for the first time in years after falling while attempting a silly dribble between youngsters more than twice his age. Of course it was a foul!

Wasps are a problem when you’re out and about, in a six-euro-a-pint bar or by the lagoon, so covering your food and drinks is a wise decision.

Few people know that they pay one euro for every plastic pint cup returned, which allows some savvy young people to earn money by collecting from tables.

My nine-year-old boy was particularly cheeky about his collections, losing a €12 handset in the lagoon within hours of receiving it.


Outside the campsite, an hour’s drive takes you to Asterix, a theme park named after a diminutive, fearless and rather ugly fictional Gallic warrior who lived during the Gallic Wars of Julius Caesar.

It’s very French, aimed at an audience that was mostly French in our time, and it’s fair to say there’s only a little compromise for English speakers.

One intricately crafted 25-minute show, Gauls – Romans: The Match – or, to get it right, Gaulois – Romains: Le Match – seems (spoiler alert) set up for the Italians to lose.

That doesn’t stop the park from being a major hit with my nine-year-old son, who wants to be a roller coaster designer, and his 14-year-old brother.

Our theme park expert tells us that his Osiris highlight is a roller coaster that launches at full speed 130 feet up and has six inversions – it goes upside down – which I immediately didn’t like.

Also on the itinerary should be a first-ever trip to Disneyland Paris – and after several visits to the much larger and more famous Disney Resort in Orlando, which is the most visited resort in the world, this could have been a disappointment.

It certainly wasn’t.

It is a 90 minute drive from the camp and there are options. Disneyland Park is like a fun replica of the Magic Kingdom with all the wide-eyed splendor that makes the Florida resort so special, and it’s a little less hot in the summer.

When you walk in, it’s hard to believe you’re not actually in Florida, but 20 miles from Paris. A traditional railroad, a charming US Main Street, spectacular parades and a magical view of the fairy-tale towers of Sleeping Beauty Castle are virtual replicas of what you will see in the US.

The main rides were Big Storm Mountain, which the boys wanted to play a few times, Ratatouille Adventures, and Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain, which is a wilder version of the traditional Florida Space Mountain.

The fireworks display, a highlight of any visit, is equally impressive and is accompanied by a spectacular light show featuring 300 drones forming the iconic ’30’ in honor of its anniversary – and shaped to look like part of Mickey Mouse’s head and ears.

La Croix du Vieux Pont at Eurocamp.

Leaving Marvel’s Avengers Campus, a new section of the park that was set to open within weeks of our visit, was even more fun as there were, seemingly unintentionally, previews of some awesome drone light shows.

Less than a 25-minute drive from Eurocamp Resort, you’ll find yourself in a real fairytale castle – the setting for many movies, including Merlin and The Man in the Iron Mask. Château de Pierrefonds is a striking castle that incorporates most of the characteristics of the military defensive architecture of the Middle Ages.

Lahn with its charming streets with many medieval buildings decorated with colorful balls and lanterns is a 45-minute drive away. Just make sure you go prepared that you might not have anywhere to eat at lunchtime.

Care must be taken when eating on site. The Lagoon Bar offered basic pub food at a price, with a simple burger with bacon and chips costing €14.50, while there is only one restaurant with a more sophisticated menu in the form of La Brasserie WILLO.

For those who, like me, wanted to try decent French cuisine, Chez Micheline, which looks like it was converted from someone’s house and doubles as a bar for the locals, was a godsend, and a short walk from the campsite.

But enough about adults, what do children think?

My nine year old described Eurocamp as “a great place to visit with a restaurant on the beach with a pool nearby”.

He said: “There are many activities such as ping pong, basketball, football and many more.

“My favorite part was the slides in the indoor pool. They get very wet. It’s so good.

“My least favorite was the departure. I really enjoyed it, with trips to Disney and Asterix which were amazing and I would go back if it cost £10 million. I know we don’t have that. It’s just called being dramatic.”

Box of facts

From May 2023: Prices from £604.60 for 7 nights in an Aspect 3-bedroom.

A range of accommodation options are available at La Croix du Vieux Pont, starting from £170, including Comfort, Azure and Aspect.

In addition to the four different pools, at La Croix du Vieux Pont you can swim in the park’s beach lagoon lake.

You can keep active in this park with a variety of activities, including enjoying a game at Golf de Monchy, Humières, which is located within 50 km of the park, near Campiègne. This golf course offers a discount of up to 50% to Eurocamp customers staying at La Croix du Vieux Pont.

Located just over 70 miles from Paris, Disneyland Resort Paris is just an hour and a half away.


The place was originally a farm and residence. The residence still exists, next to the site with its own grounds. There was also a factory for the production of sugar cane on the territory.

Originally, the settlement consisted of trips accompanied by small huts built by the owner on the banks of the river.

The shop/bakery area of ​​the campsite was built in 2000, before that it was part of the reception area.

The restaurant had a camping bar, which was expanded to its current location in the mid-nineties, and a bowling alley/laser and indoor gym were added in the mid-2010s.

There was only one fishing lake at this site, but in the mid-00s it began to expand to a second lake before building a swimming lake.—childs-view/?ref=rss

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