Discover France - Berny Rivière


Holidaying in Picturesque Picardy - Alternative Highlights

A self-drive trip to France as part of a shorter itinerary appears to be a popular solution to the ever-changing picture of overseas travel in 2020.

Travelling via ferry offers you and your family access to some of France’s most inviting countryside surrounds, not least when staying at Croix du Vieux Pont and the stunning Picardy region.

While the reawakened streets of Paris are on your doorstep, we wanted to shift the spotlight towards the various other top attractions when visiting Berny Rivière that can be equally as fun-filled.

Theme parks (No, not that theme park!)

With Micky and Minnie et al still getting to grips with a phased re-opening over at Disneyland Paris, there is an additional option catering for the entire family over at Parc Astérix. 

The second largest theme park in France and therefore generally less crowded than its famous neighbour, Parc Astérix is a highly affordable alternative where kids and big kids can hang out with Obelix, Getafix the Druid and Chief Vitalstatistix as they fight off the Romans at this French favourite. 

Pour the Champagne

Berny Riviere blog champagne

Obelix is not the only one capable of finding a magic potion. The aptly named wine villages of Montagne de Reims, including Bouzy and Dizy no less, are part of a wine connoisseur’s perfect day out within the Champagne Ardennes region and its assortment of vineyards.

This isn’t to say that a day out in Champagne is off limits for kids however, with the grand wine houses of Epernay a fun experience for the kids too, particularly when visiting Champagne Mercier and its train ride journeying through the cellars.

Family day out in Compiègne forest

The 60km forest canopy of Compiègne is the stuff of folklore dreams as childhood imaginations are able to run wild. If you’ve recently taken up cycling as a family hobby, then taking to the paths and well-marked out trails here makes for one of the most enjoyable bike rides in the area.

Make sure you head to the tourist office before you start and pick up a route map, with the Pierrefonds trail highly recommended by us here at Al Fresco.

Alternatively, you could start at the Palais de Compiègne as you take in the majestic allée des Beaux-Monts; a 5km stretch of lakes and parkland leading towards the forest. 

Escape to the château

Berny Riviere blog chateau

You don’t have to venture to the Loire region to experience the awe inspiring sight of famous castle grounds, with Emperor Louis Napoleon’s 19th century rebuild creating an architectural masterpiece in Pierrefonds. 

The staggering towers and courtyards found here allow the whole family to reimagine the nation’s medieval age, where fortresses like these were either common battlegrounds or extravagant retreats for knights and princesses.

The charming village below has also recently ranked in the top five most beautiful villages in the country.   

Visit the royals in Chantilly

Berny Riviere blog chantilly

If you were a fan of the TV show Versailles, then you may also be interested in a day trip to the similarly grand palace of Chantilly. 

The kids can make like royals for the day as they play dress up as kings and queens of old while touring the palace, before getting themselves lost in the maze on the grounds. 

Formerly a horse stables for French aristocrats, the undoubted stars of the château are the horses themselves, with plenty of shows throughout the day showcasing the skills of horse and rider sure to please animal lovers.      

Brie for you and me

Berny Riviere Brie blog

We all know that France is all about cheese; the soft creamy Brie is produced locally down in Meaux and is a great starter to initiate the kids on the wonders of French cheese.

Brie experts would state it should be served “ripe”, with the outside firm and the inside bouncy; best left for one hour out of the fridge before serving, you can also feel free to eat the rind!

Musée Automobiles Reims Champagne

After all the excitement of walking through forests, sipping champagne and experiencing the life of French royals, motor enthusiasts in the group can take in more recent history at this automobile museum. 

Housing a quirky collection of vintage cars and over 5000 toy cars from various eras – the kids will love the vintage deco and costumed guides making it an unforgettable experience for all.

Keen to discover more about Berny Rivière? Visit our Paris Region page for more information on how you can experience this countryside haven only two hours’ drive from Calais. 


France's Vendee has been a family favourite for many decades now, and with total sunshine hours to rival the south, it's easy to see why!  Find out more about this throwback seaside getaway


This is Al Fresco Holiday's pick of some of France’s best regions for a family getaway, along with the best places to stay from our top European holiday parks, so as the French say, 'click ici!'


Don't get distracted by fancy flights or the promise of speedy arrivals, ferries are the only true and proper way to travel to your holiday. Start your trip the civilised way - board your vessel here.