Explore the Opal Coast, a fabulous swathe of beach dotted with fun little towns and offering masses of entertainment for little ones. Le Touquet-Paris-Plage is very popular with the French – it got its name after becoming a playground for wealthy Parisians. As well as interesting architecture, including 1920s and 1930s villas commissioned by the likes of Noel Coward, it has such family-friendly amenities and activities as water-parks, sand-yachting, sailing, aqua-boarding and horse-riding. Like a slightly more stylish Bournemouth, Le Touquet offers good, clean fun for kids, very good restaurants and some hip nightlife for those who feel like getting a babysitter.
Le Touquet holds the Famille Plus label, meaning it's been singled out as particularly child-friendly. The same goes for Neufchâtel Hardelot.
Follow Les Sept Vallées or Seven Valleys, a charming meander through the countryside starting just north of Le Touquet and following the rivers Ternoise and Course. The route takes you through beautiful little villages, fields, woods and historical sites, by car or by bike, with trail maps available at local tourist offices. Children's attractions on the way include castles, medieval labyrinths and open farms.
Check out Boulogne with its markets, cobbled squares, cathedral and castle. The big draw here is Nausicaa, the 'National Sea Centre', a state-of-the-art aquarium complete with a sea-lion reserve, a penguin beach and giant Seychelles turtles.
Venture inland to atmospheric Azincourt, better known as Agincourt, where Henry V beat the French Army in the decisive battle of The Hundred Years' War, despite being vastly outnumbered. The good museum/centre has plenty to interest and occupy children, and you can re-enact the battle with some wooden bows picked up in the shop. Discover too the little-known World War II site of La Coupole, at St-Omer.