France

Yelloh! Village Le Ridin

Camping might not be the first thing we think of when planning a holiday in France. But maybe it should be. Why tread those same worn paths of holidays past? Most of us work at the same place five days a week, travel the same routes, go to the same neighborhood restaurants—you get what I mean.

Why not break out of the sameness of our lives? A holiday is the perfect time to realign our spirits, and camping at Yelloh! Village Le Ridin is the perfect way to do it. Conveniently located in northwest France, Le Ridin is only four hours, more or less, from London by car or train. So convenient that if you prefer to wade rather than dive into this new adventure, you can book for a long weekend between 1 March and 1 October.

Also, if you’re not ready to pitch a tent, rent a cottage and have all the comforts of home. I haven’t mentioned yet how very affordable these camping villages are, have I? You’ll see that when you price the cottages. Cottages accommodate two, four or six people, and then there’s the large villa for groups of eight to ten.

In the village itself, there are swimming pools and water games and, when you’d like some private time, a Jacuzzi. When you’d like some pampering, there is a spa with hydro massage and chronotherapy. Nearby you will find Henson horses, a paintball arena and a rock-climbing wall, among other activities.

Also nearby is the Baie de Somme with its white-chalk cliffs, pristine beaches and, maybe most fascinating of all, a seal colony! The area has a raw, primeval beauty palette of colors that inspired some of France’s greatest artists, such as Delacroix, Degas and Corot.

While you are there, immerse yourself in the “Belle Epoque,” France’s period of artistic grandeur in the late 19th-early 20th centuries on the Chemin de Fer (“path of iron” i.e. railway), an enchanting steam train that will take you gently through the meadows and marshes of Baie de Somme and the Côte Picarde with their wonderland of carefully conserved flora and fauna.

Along the 27-kilometre route, discover the commune of Saint-Valery-sur-Somme with its medieval charm and fortifications, Gothic church, and boardwalk that borders the bay. The commune also includes the Picardie Museum that takes you back to the 19th century with the locksmith in his workshop, the farrier and the basket-maker—forty trades in all and more than 6,000 tools.

Across the bay is the commune of Le Crotoy, known for its fishing economy and excellent bird watching certainly, but also as the place where Joan of Arc was imprisoned before being taken to Rouen, Jules Vern wrote 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Toulouse-Lautrec painted.

Back at the ranch—and by that I mean the village, you will begin to plan what you will do on your next holiday at Le Ridin, because we haven’t even scratched the surface. We haven’t talked about the cities of Rue and Amiens with their treasures, the Hauts-de-France region and the Bagatelle Amusement Park. We haven’t talked about the “thousand and one” (methinks there is some artistic license there— but then I’ve never counted!) paths to hike and bike. The boat rides, sand sailing and kayaking. So much more to tell you, but that’s for another time or you can check this other article I wrote for Yelloh! Village.

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