City Breaks

Spending Spring Outdoors

Early spring is a great time to have fun with your pet outdoors. Here are just a few things you could do with your furry friend.

See amazing kites take to the skies at the International Kite Festival © Eva Rinaldi

As Spring approaches, the parks and gardens of France bloom with colour. The bright green trees and lawns are dotted with vibrant flowers, so it’s the ideal time of year for exploring the outdoors with your pet! It’s also when many events in France’s annual calendar kick off. Here are a few activities that you can enjoy with your pet, when having fun outdoors in France.

International Kite Festival – Berck-sur-Mer

The International Kite Festival at Berck-sur-Mer is an event on many travellers’ to-do lists when heading to France. It attracts thousands of visitors every year, and with these numbers steadily growing, you’re sure to enjoy the bustling atmosphere. Last year’s festival saw no less than six nations represented on the sands at Berck-sur-Mer, including diamond-shaped kites hailing from India, as well as stunning painted silk kites found in China. With its location on Berck’s wide sandy beach, this event is ideal for dogs! They’ll love running around, chasing the waves and looking towards the sky as kites soar overhead. It’s also a great day out for children, who can try kite flying for the first time.

The Berck-sur-Mer International Kite Festival will take place between 9th and 17th April, 2016.

Menton, French Riviera

While the crowds are few and the weather is warm, try taking a trip to the French Riviera in the south of France. Places such as Menton, one of the area’s prettiest seaside resorts, are ideal for visiting during early spring, as its microclimate protects it from the chilly weather. The commune of Menton is especially fun for pets, as it boasts a number of fabulous parks and gardens. Arguably one of the best is the Jardin du Palais Carnolès. A beautiful citrus garden, this space was once the summer residence for the Princes of Monaco. The citrus collection includes over 100 different varieties of fruit, ranging from Seville oranges to lemons and limes. A beautiful place to walk during a sunny day, the gardens serve as a pleasant backdrop to the palace, which today houses a Museum of Fine Arts.

 The beach and surrounding hills of Menton are ideal for dog walking.
The beach and surrounding hills of Menton are ideal for dog walking.© Fredrik Enestad

Gardens and Abbey of Valloires

A visit here will yield views of beautifully kept gardens and an Abbey steeped in history. There are few places in France’s Somme department that are more breath-taking than the gardens and Abbey of Valloires. There’s an added bonus too – the gardens are dog friendly! Sat neatly in France’s Authie Valley, the Abbey of Valloires was built in the 12th century and is surrounded by landscaped gardens. Highly ornamental, the new gardens were designed by Gilles Clement in 1987 and have become a haven for botanists and gardening enthusiasts who come to admire the impressive collection of flora. The garden has over 5,000 varieties of plants, which stretch over an incredible eight hectares. Your furry friend will love a stroll around these regal grounds!

 See the stunning gardens at Valloires
See the stunning gardens at Valloires © Rictor Norton & David Allen

Le Tréport

A charming seaside town, Le Tréport boasts a bustling fishing port, marina and commercial port, making it a lively destination all year round. Visiting in the early spring however, will reward you with bright skies and allow you to explore the many fantastic hiking trails around the city. Le Tréport is a popular destination in the summer, but visiting in the spring means fewer crowds, and a more intimate experience with the stunning natural surroundings. Once you’ve seen the beach and lighthouse, try exploring the hiking trail between Dieppe and Le Tréport. The trail is about 35km long, and winds through the beautiful valley between these two towns. Ideal for dog walking, this hiking trail (marked 21) features diverse scenery, from white chalk cliffs to wooded forests.

 Explore the surrounding cliffs of Le Tréport.
Explore the surrounding cliffs of Le Tréport. © Maëlick

Inspired to travel to France this year?

With Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, you can get from Folkestone to Calais in just 35 minutes, giving you more time to enjoy the beautiful French outdoors.

About the Author

I love travelling. France, Europe, the World! I’ve been to many countries around the World, but keep being drawn back to France. Just a quick trip under the Channel from our home in Folkestone, my family and I could easily spend every holiday there, from skiing, self catering gites and the odd daytrip or weekend break. I hope to share some of my stories and favourite places with our Eurotunnel Le Shuttle customers.