Spotlight on Normandy and Picardy

If you watched the Tour de France in 2015, you may be familiar with the stunning sights of Normandy and Picardy as the cyclists sped through the regions.

Intrigued to find out more and explore these regions for yourself? Then read on as we discover what makes this region so special.

Normandy and Picardy are both popular holiday destinations – they’re easy to get to and there is plenty to see and do in the surrounding areas. You can explore the miles of coastline, backed by stunning high cliffs and interspersed with quaint fishing ports and stretches of golden sand or venture inland where there are magnificent forests, tranquil streams and cider-producing fruit orchards.

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Car journeys with children

There are definite advantages to packing everything you need in your car. To start with, you don’t have to worry about airline luggage allowances or how much liquid you have in your hand luggage.

But does the thought of being stuck in the car with the kids for hours – and endless cries of “Are we nearly there yet?” – fill you with dread? Fear not. We’ve put together some tips on easing the stress of long car journeys.

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How to watch the Tour de France

Allez allez! The 103rd Tour de France has begun at Mont St Michel and we’re all geared up for three weeks of cycling action and stunning French scenery.

If you’re new to the Tour it can be a confusing blur of French jargon and coloured jerseys. But never fear – whether you’re an armchair fan or lucky enough to be close to the action on a Canvas holiday – our spectators guide is here to translate.

The race
The Tour has 21 stages over three weeks, with 22 teams of nine riders. Each team has a leader, who is supported by his team mates (domestiques) in his quest to finish the race in the lowest accumulated time and win the famous Yellow jersey.

As well as the overall competition there are also several sub-contests happening, such as the sprinters and mountains classifications. This means there’s always plenty of action and intrigue to watch.

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Biking brilliance in Lake Garda

“Is this fun?”, asked my brother Adam, as we cycled around another winding bend high into the mountains above Lake Garda.

The gruelling ascent had left us sweaty, fatigued and saddle sore – and unsure of our sanity in voluntarily signing up for this painful outdoor adventure.

But we were not alone in our two-wheeled mission to explore the wilder side of Italy’s biggest lake.

The northern section of Lake Garda is somewhat of a Mecca for mountain bikers.

With hundreds of miles of world class trails heading into the craggy peaks that surround the water, the local tourist board claims it is the “best bike resort in Europe”.

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Top ten campsites for a sporty holiday

Even with all the best intentions it can be hard to be as active as you like in your every day life. That’s why holidays are perfect for getting your sweat on while having fun! Chances are the weather will be more likely to play ball abroad too.

Camping la Croix du Vieux Pont, Berny Rivière, France

This Canvas favourite really does have it all and sports fans will not be disappointed. Its location, close to Paris, makes it a great base for spending a day at tennis’s French Open or catching the closing stage of cycling’s Tour de France. Plus, on site you can take part in a wide range of activities, from football to fishing, or table tennis to trampolining. Check out the FamilyExtra programme onsite for slightly more obscure sports – waterwalkerz anyone?

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Top 10 car games

Although there are an array of different electronic games and DVDs to keep children occupied on car journeys, playing games together can be fun and helps to break up the journey.

Here are some of our favourite games to keep children entertained on a car journey:

#1 Car colours

Each person is allocated a colour and has to count the number of cars they spot in their colour, gaining a point for each car. Each person can also be allocated a different bonus vehicle – e.g a fire engine or ambulance, which gets 3 points. The first person to 10 or 20 points wins.

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Anyone for tennis?

Wimbledon fortnight kicks off today. And that means I’ll be glued to the games, pondering whether it’s time to dust off my dusty racket.

While I don’t get much time to play these days, I do enjoy a game while I’m on holiday. And OK, campsite tennis courts aren’t exactly the centre court at Wimbledon – but there are advantages. You don’t have to wear white (although it is good for showing off a tan) and the nation won’t collectively hold their breath if you miss a key shot. Mind you, there’s no hawk-eye to resolve in/out arguments either…

Here’s my top 3 sites for a game of tennis. Pass the Pimms…

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We love campsites!

Call us biased but we really do love camping.

There’s something so relaxing about staying outdoors, enjoying every meal al fresco, and getting to enjoy the simple nature of a holiday on a campsite. The fact that a lot of campsites in Europe have amazing facilities means that there’s bound to be something to keep every member of the family happy. Have you seen some of the amazing waterslides?!

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Safari Tent

Why the Safari Tent is the perfect introduction to camping

For some people, the idea of a camping trip is their worst nightmare – they think it’s cold, damp, dirty and a lot of hard work. Nevertheless, there are some undeniably lovely aspects of camping: feeling at one with nature, getting back to basics and sharing some great bonding experiences as a result.

However, a stay in a safari tent has all the benefits of camping, but without any of the rigmarole. Spacious, comfortable and stylish, Canvas Holidays’ Safari Tent Deluxe has got all the comforts you’d find in a house – lounge, kitchen, dining area – with all the benefits that come with being in the great outdoors! What’s more, the tents even boast plumbed-facilities meaning you don’t have to leave your tent when nature calls and can enjoy a shower as soon as you get up.

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