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Award-winning travel writer
Amanda Statham

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Rural France

Our verdict:

With relatives living in south west France, we cross the channel regularly and love nothing more than exploring the beautiful countryside. Kayaking in the Dordogne, wild swimming in the Loire, cycling in the Languedoc and foraging in the Aquitaine. Plus it’s a great opportunity for the kids (ok, me) to practice French and indulge in the world’s tastiest cheeses and breads.

Recommended travel company: i-escape

i-escape says

From Languedoc’s dramatic gorges and valleys to Provence’s stunning lavender fields, rural France is an idyllic location for a family holiday. Whether you’re looking for a homely gîte or a stylish B&B, we’ve visited some of the best family-friendly hideaways that both adults and kids will love.

  • discover nature
  • hidden gems
  • great for young kids

On a working domaine in the Languedoc countryside, this collection of two to four bedroomed houses share tennis courts, a huge infinity pool, a spa and restaurant. With 200 acres of grounds to explore there’s plenty to keep families entertained, but historic villages and beaches are a short drive away if you need a change of scenery.

Hidden away in the picturesque Alpilles Natural Regional Park of Provençe, this former farmhouse has been reinvented as a spoiling family-friendly hotel. There’s a kids’ club, playground and heated pools to keep the little ones entertained; adults will love the Michelin-starred restaurant, golf course and spa.

In Languedoc-Roussillon, this collection of luxury apartments, sleeping from four to 12, can be booked on a self-catering or all-inclusive basis. We love the house party atmosphere and petting farm, perfect for younger kids.

Overlooking the Cévennes National Park, this gorgeous hilltop B&B is a peaceful spot with a wealth of activities to keep older kids entertained, from kayaking to caving. Or if you’re looking to self-cater, this eco-villa in the heart of the Ardèche sleeps eight, has a well-stocked kitchen and plenty of space indoors and out.

This idyllic guest house, close to the wild hilltop castles and vineyards of Carcassonne, is a perennial favourite with i-escape guests. Foodies will love the seasonal dishes and there’s a wholesome children’s menu too.

It may not be rural but we couldn’t leave out this coastal gem of a hotel in Brittany, with no road between its pretty gardens and the fabulous beach – pricey but special.

Explore our full range of family hideaways in rural France.

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