It is only 26 miles that separates Blighty from its Gallic neighbour. That means you can bundle your family into your car and hop on a ferry at Dover or catch the Eurotunnel from Folkestone and within 90 minutes you can hop off at Calais.
Drive a little further and there is a clutch of pretty towns. Here’s our choice of five fabulous destinations just across the channel:
This is a medieval market town, famed for its tapestries. It was destroyed in the war but so well restored that the Grand Place and the Place des Heros look very much the historic part. Flemish gabled buildings, quaint squares, fine restaurants, a rich heritage and lively vibe combine to offer an interesting Flemish-Gallic experience. Visit the fine arts museum, Musée des Beaux-Arts (entry €7.50) to see an ornate collection of horse drawn carriages donated by the Chateau de Versailles in Paris.
The town is also known for its underground tunnels, such as Wellington Quarry where 1500 soldiers lived during the First World War.
From Calais: 90 minutes via A26 motorway