With transport links constantly improving, it’s easier and faster than ever to get out of the UK and explore Europe. Bargain flights make a weekend break a real possibility, but what about an overseas daytrip? It seems a bit ambitious, but in fact it’s very easy to hop on a ferry for one of these amazing France day trips. Wake up early and jump over the channel, and you could find yourself having croissants for breakfast in no time! Take your car to drive even further afield once you hit the French coast, or simply step on as a foot passenger and spend the day in any of these great, easy to reach French coastal towns…
One of the oldest university towns in France, Caen, in Normandy, is pretty fashionable, with tons of high-end boutiques and art galleries. Sample Normandy delicacies like wine and fresh seafood at the many excellent markets, and explore side streets for some fabulous crêperies and pátisseries. The town is picturesque and dripping in history, from the Abbaye aux Hommes (the last resting place of William the Conqueror) to the Chateau de Caen, an 11th century castle – not to mention the nearby site of the Normandy landings.
Another town in Normandy, Cherbourg is a beautiful port town on a stunning section of coastline. Set amongst dramatic cliffs and sandy beaches, Cherbourg has some great attractions, from the 19th century Fort du Roule which sits atop the Montagne du Roule, to the grand markets of the Place de Gaulle.
A pretty, medieval town rising out of the granite rock, St Malo sits on a stunning natural harbour and has some of the most gorgeous sandy beaches on the coastline. This is one of the most popular France day trips as it’s so easy to reach. The heart of St Malo is the Intra-Muros, an ancient walled town where the Gothic and Romanesque Cathédrale de St Malo can be found. Two islands, Grand Be and Petit Be, can be reached on foot at low tide. St Malo is filled with winding, maze-like streets lined with gorgeous pátisseries and some very cool, arty shops – definitely a great place to while away an afternoon.
Last, but not least, is the picturesque Roscoff; a lovely, rustic fishing village on the North coast of Brittany. Filled with 16th century buildings that have been converted into cute little cafes and art galleries, the town is famed for Brittany thalassotherapy – healing and relaxation therapies which use seawater and sea products. Visit the small harbour and the stunning 16th century church Notre Dame de Croatz Batz, and don’t miss La Maison des Johnnies et de l’Oignon de Roscoff (Museum of the Onion Johnnies – onion merchants who went door to door on their bicycles).
With regular, quick ferries – not to mention the speedy Eurostar – it’s easy to take any of these France day trips and still be back in England for supper. Or, spend the night and really make the most of France’s beautiful northern coast!