The alternative guide to romance in Paris

With the annual hearts and flowers fanfare of Valentine’s Day comes the focus on all the typical romantic destinations and Paris regularly tops the polls as the favourite place to enjoy a first date, propose or have a romantic weekend away.

But if cheesy photos in front of the Eiffel Tower really aren’t your bag, then our guide uncovers an alternative way to enjoy the French capital as a couple – without all the clichés.

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Escape to France

A couple of summers ago, Mike Evans and his family took their first camping holiday together for 15 years. Looking forward to spending some quality time together, they set off for Camping la Croix du Vieux Pont at Berny Rivière, near Paris.

I stood at the top of the waterslide waiting for the plunge pool to clear. My wife and son were either side of me, ready to race.

“One, two, three” – we were off! Before I knew it, I’d hit the water at the bottom with a splash, proving you are never too old to conquer your first ever waterslide!

We always took camping holidays when the children were small, in the days before mobile homes were common place and a swimming pool onsite was a real luxury. Since they’ve grown up and flown the nest, we’ve chosen ‘adults only’ hotel resorts, and it’s been almost 15 years since we last holidayed as a family. Until my wife, Jenny, retired from teaching last year, we’ve been restricted to going away during school holidays, so a campsite in July or August wasn’t our first holiday choice.

We often reminisce about the fun we had on our camping holidays – endless days on the beach, chicken and chips from the takeaway and hours spent competing in family boules tournaments. The kids would make friends from all over Europe and disappear for hours on their bikes. We even have fond memories of taking the washing up to the sinks (although that’s probably because we made the children do it!)

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