Why La Croix Du Vieux Pont Is Perfect For Family Campers
One of our favourite countries to holiday with kids is France. It is so easy to get to from the UK. Just a quick hop across the English channel and we’re instantly in holiday mode. Even before we launched into out adventures in a campervan with kids in our VW campervan, we took advantage of the fabulous campsites in France.
La Croix du Vieux Pont is one of these campsites. If you’re looking for a 5 star campsite in France for families near Paris and the Champagne region, you won’t go far wrong with La Croix du Vieux Pont.
It is a very popular family campsite in France because of its location and the number of facilities and activities for families. It is large and can get quite busy, but time it right and you’ll grab a bargain before the crowds arrive.
If you already know that you don’t want a large campsite like this one, make sure to check out Les Castels campsites which are smaller, more luxurious and in beautiful settings.
How to get to La Croix du Vieux Pont
Camping La Croix du Vieux Pont is located about 100 km north east of Paris in a small town called Berny Rivière in the Aisne Department. It is very easy to reach by car from the UK .
If you’ve come across on the Eurotunnel or the cross channel ferry to Calais, it is 230 km south to the campsite. The route could not be easier.
A26 for 180 km to Saint Quentin
D1 for 42 km to Coucy Le Chateau
D13 and D17 for 20 km to Berny Riviere
La Croix du Vieux Pont address is 8 rue de la Fabrique, 02290 Berny-Rivière, France.
It should take you about 2.5 hours if you drive there direct without any stops. Depending on the time we arrive in France, we usually do a quick lunch stop in Calais. We can highly recommend La Tourelle right in the centre of Calais. We’ll then do a supermarket stop en route to get all of our essentials before arriving at the campsite.
If you are passing through France on the way down to the Alps, this is a lovely place to break up your journey for a day or two.
Best time to go to La Croix du Vieux Pont
To make the most of the fantastic facilities, it really is best to go during the summer when the weather is at its best. Having said that, there are some amazing deals to be had if you go outside of peak season.
The season runs from April to October and if you find yourself there in April and the weather is not what you hoped for, there are plenty indoor facilities and activities to keep you occupied.
We went during the Easter holidays in 2019. It was the first weekend of their season and we were able to hire a 2-bedroom mobile home for £10.00 a night. The weather was ok, but we found the pool area quite cold (even the indoor pool areas including the jacuzzi) and so were the changing areas.
Something else to consider if you want to visit right at the start of the season is that there will be teething problems opening up the site after months of closure. It may take longer to check in. We had to wait an extra couple of hours to check in to our accommodation, but were given complimentary champagne while we waited and the kids were able to play in the playgrounds so it was fine.
There was a lot of beautiful cherry blossom around the campsite at this time and the site was not that busy, so we actually had a great time, despite the cold pool! If you can put up with this, you will have an absolute bargain of a holiday – and Paris in the spring is just beautiful too.
Accommodation at La Croix du Vieux Pont
La Croix du Vieux is a large campsite and has a variety of accommodation options to suit everyone. More information can be found on their website.
There are two parts to the campsite. The main part of the campsite is situated around the lakes and is closest to the action. If you want a quieter holiday, you should aim for the lodges on the other side of the park (located in the top left corner of the map below). This is where we stayed.
Our mobile home was brand new and spotless. It had heating which was much needed during the evenings and early mornings in April and it was fully equipped for self catering. The pitch didn’t feel overlooked as the units are separated by hedge fences.
We had a little playground just 30 seconds walk from us and a large grassy area for the boys to play football. The swimming pool, restaurants and shop were a 5 minute walk away but we had bikes with us so we usually hopped on those to get about.
La Croix du Vieux Pont Map
Facilities at La Croix du Vieux Pont
Being a large campsite, there are all the facilities you would expect. There is a reception area, shop and beauty salon as well as café, bar and restaurants. We found the takeaway service excellent for those days when we didn’t feel like cooking.
Things to do at La Croix du Vieux Pont
One of the things we love about La Croix du Vieux Pont campsite is that there is so much to do. The campsite is set around two large lakes. One offers a variety of watersports including kayaking, SUP and pedalos. There is also a La Croix du Vieux Pont fishing lake.
If you fancy a swim, there is a great swimming pool complex with several indoor and outdoor pools. The large indoor pool area has a retractable roof for those glorious summer days. There is a children’s pool area with small slides and water features and there are jacuzzis and a lazy river. You could spend your day here but there is so much that you would miss out on if you did.
Don’t fancy the pool area? There is also a beach area with lovely white sand for building sandcastles and a beach bar.
The sporting facilities at La Croix du Vieux Pont Eurocamp site include:
- indoor multisports complex
- outdoor all weather pitch
- climbing wall
- bike hire
There are far too many activities to mention, so this is the best place to check what is available. One of the things we love about this family-friendly campsite in France near Paris is the choice of activities available.
We actually spent a lot of time at the multisport pitches playing or watching football because there was always someone around for them to play with. They were welcomed onto the pitch with teenagers who were very kind and gentle with them and they loved this.
Things to do near La Croix du Vieux Pont
If you can tear yourself away from the many activities on offer, ther are lots of family-friendy things to do near La Croix du Vieux Pont.
Disneyland Paris is one of the biggest tourist attractions in France with overe 16 million visitors each year. It is only 90 km from La Croix du Vieux Pont to Disneyland Paris and is easily doable on a day trip. You can do this yourself (see below for tickets) or you can ask the campsite to organise this for you.
You can buy tickets for Disneyland Paris here:
Paris Day Trip
You can’t come to La Croix du Vieux Pont and not visit Paris. Paris is a really family-friendly city and is only 100 km from the campsite. We did our own day trip to Paris but you can take an organised trip from the campsite. If you want to do it yourself, you can take a direct train from Compiègne to Paris Gare du Nord. They run frequently and take about 50 minutes.
There is so much to do in Paris with kids. Our top tips for visiting Paris with kids would be:
- vary your modes of transport to keep it interesting. We took the hop-on / hop-off Batobus (cheaper than a sightseeing cruise), the Metro, Electric Scooters and walked (a lot).
- have your restaurant planned in advance and aim to eat around 12 – 12.30. Restaurants in France tend to stop serving around 1.30.
- pick your main sights and don’t try to do too much in a day. It will be quite overwhelming for smaller kids.
- if you are taking the Metro, make sure to take line 6 for an unbeatable view of the Eiffel Tower
We picked Notre Dame (and were so lucky to see it 2 days before it was destroyed by fire!), the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the Sacre Coeur.
If you would prefer to take a tour, here are a few options:
Parc Astérix is a really fun (Astérix themed) theme park near Paris, about 70 km from La Croix du Vieux Pont. We last visited in April 2019 and the boys still talk about the spitting Medusa rollercoaster! It’s the second biggest theme park in France after Disneyland and has plenty of rides and attractions for all ages.
Château de Pierrefonds
Château de Pierrefonds is a fabulous chateau to visit with kids. It’s a real fairytale castle and has been the setting for many movies including Merlin and The Man in the Iron Mask . The kids loved exploring it and it’s only 20 km from the campsite.
In the First World War, the French army used a stone quarry for their barracks and the natural cave provided shelter for the soldiers. They were also used in the Second World War, although strategically they were less successful.
Inside the caves it is very dark and towards the end there is a chapel. It is a very sombering visit, thinking about those soldiers on the front line who would pray before heading out to do battle.
We took a tour in French but you can speak to the Vic sur Aisne tourist information office to see if there are any English tours or use this map to do your own tour. Remember to take torches.
Reims (champagne region)
The Champagne region of France is just a short (75 km) drive from the campsite. The main town in the Champagne region is Reims which is a lovely place to visit and have lunch, but if you are at all interested in champagne, you will want to head to one (or more) of the champagne houses. The area is home to some of the most famous names (Moët & Chandon and Taittinger) as well as many lesser known champagne houses.
The most family-friendly champagne tour is at Mercier Champagne in Epernay where you can take an audio tour (English is available) of the cellars by train. The basic tour lasts about 60 minutes and includes a glass of champagne at the end.
Just bear in mind that the cellars are usually kept at a cooler temperature than the outside so bring something warmer to wear during the tour.
If you want someone else to do the driving, you can take an organised tour. Here are some great options for champagne tours in the Champagne region.
Château de Chantilly
Château de Chantilly is about an hour’s drive from the campsite and is one of the most beautiful châteaux in France with the second largest collection of paintings after the Louvre. You can go inside and view the exquisite rooms and art collections or just explore the gardens.
The gardens are immense with various different sections including an Anglo-Chinese garden and a little hamlet that inspired Marie-Antoinette. For the kids there is a maze, although be aware that this is better visited in the summer when the leaves on the hedges are in full bloom.
Coucy le Château
To many people, it would appear that there isn’t much to see here but to me, it is a part of my past.
When I was 17, I visited Coucy le Château on a French exchange organised by my home town which is twinned with Coucy le Château. Both towns are of a similar size and have castles (which is presumably why they are twinned), although Framlingham Castle is in a slightly better state of repair. The castle walls in Coucy le Château were badly damaged during the Second World War. If you are interested in World War II history, this area is one of the most significant areas in France.
My mission was to help rebuild some of the ramparts that were the most affected. Twenty years on, I wanted to see if my handywork was still standing and show the kids. La Croix du Vieux Pont is just 20 km from Coucy le Château.
During the summer months there are fun medieval events and night visits by candlelight. You can also check out my handy work if you like!
Why we love La Croix du Vieux Pont
There is a lot to love about La Croix du Vieux Pont. As with most of our holiday accommodation choices, we use it as a base for exploring the wider area. It is such a bonus that it is so close to Paris, Disneyland Paris and the Champagne region and a double bonus if you can book accommodation for £10.00 a night!
We would highly recommend it if you are looking for a family campsite near Paris or as a stop on the way down the east of France.