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Bordeaux with Kids

Hi all,

We’re visiting Bordeaux this summer with three kids in tow (8, 6, 4). We’ll be staying south of Bordeaux about 45 minutes drive from Pauillac.

We’re in the region for 12 days and I was wondering:

A) we’d like to spend one day visiting vineyards/Châteaux with the kids. Does anyone have any recommendations for any that are particularly kid friendly or a recommended itinerary? The focus being on a fun day rather than stuffing it to the gills.

B) any recommendations for kid friendly restaurants in Bordeaux or surrounding region?

C) any particular activities or places to visit with the kids?

Obviously been hitting up the Google for ideas but thought I would ask the kind folk here for ideas given it’s an area a few of you may of visited over the years.

Thanks in advance.

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For the kids a day at the beach if the weather is good? Lacanau Ocean is about an hour’s drive from centre of Bordeaux. The beach and boardwalk are lovely and very popular with all ages including surfers. There also happens to be a very fine wine shop there called Cave Chez Kiki. Don’t be put off by the name or seemingly unprepossessing exterior. The tastings are generous and the selection of wines is very good.

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It’s France. I’ve not eaten at a restaurant in Bordeaux that didn’t have familes/kids eating there. This thread has as up-to-date as currently possible advice on places to eat in the town itself.

A quick tl;dr gives suggestions of

The Barsserie Bordelais people also own a few other restaurants in the area. I’ve eaten at La Chapelle in Château Guiraud, which was also a lovely meal at a very family friendly venue (the tour was rather dry, in both senses of the word though!). Here’s the list.

As for the kids. Worlds largest sand dune!

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Bordeaux botanical gardens - not the first place you would think of, but its great - plenty of modern space for the kids to run loose. Cafe’s. good for a picnic etc.

Bdx Marche des Capucins. Covered market, loads of food places - VERY French. Not sure it’s for kiddies though.

Bdx La Flèche Saint-Michel. Flea market on Sundays, your typical big market square in the old Arabic part of the city (stayed there a couple of years ago) - THE place for cous-cous etc.

Pauillac is a dump! with an oil terminal. Margaux much nicer but blimey its gentrified.

St Emillion is lovely, but a tourist trap. Cadillac much better but not so pretty.

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Yes that sand dune at Pyla is something else isn’t it!

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In Bordeaux itself I think children would love messing about at the pavement water feature (mirror) at Place de La Bourse. Prepare for wet but delighted children.

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We took ours there too and they loved it. Almost made up with being dragged round the chateaux!

There are also fountains in the city centre next to the river to play in while adults relax….

Good call, it’s magical and kids love it. Followed by dinner (lunch?) at that restaurant Rick Stein went to. L’Entrecote or was it La Tupina ? best book months in advance - the Instagram ‘influencers’ will be there.

The good lady Lapin & I headed that way but got lost… it’s easy to do in the medieval streets after dark. A very real city, grubby and decidedly smelly in summer - and I hope it stays that way & doesn’t get gentrified.

That one. It’s the famous one for doing goose fat chips in a cauldron over a fire isn’t it?

I’m fairly certain we walked past it - there are a lot of resto’s in that street.

Maybe… a good time to leave the charming and lovely little ones with a responsible adult ?

Sorry I realise I’ve just inadvertently copied your second suggestion too… but at least it shows multiple recommendations for them!

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Amazing and please do keep the recommendations coming.

There’s a new centre Parcs just opening this month there (meaningfully cheaper than the UK) and so we’re giving that a whirl.

Unfortunately, no family travelling with us and so we’ll have to work around the kids. When we were driving Rt 1 near Big Sur, after a full California holiday dedicated to toddlers, we had a 3 month old and 2 year old asleep under the table/watching Frozen for the 15th time whilst we sneaked in a wine and cheese board at Nepenthe for an hour or two. Not a strong parenting moment… but bliss!

We still remember and talk fondly about an excellent bottle of Lucia: Wines - Lucia Vineyards that really hit the spot.

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A lot of the vineyards have invested in art and/or have nice gardens as well as the winery.

Larrivet Haut Brion has got a lovely open space and one of the best winery tours I’ve ever done (but unfortunately marred by me not being the biggest fan of their wine, especially then took against the whole experience when they palmed us off the 2013 at the end of the tour, which was one of the worst wines I’ve ever tasted. The poor woman giving us the tour knew it as well, but she’d been told that’s what she had to give us). Just round the corner, Smith Haut Laffite is also very pretty, as is personal favourite Malartic Legraviere. Remember a lot of the Grand Chateaux were also stately homes, which is a whole other thing to drag kids round (but also means gardens to run around).

To the west of Bordeaux, on the Atlantic coast, there is a famously huge sand dune called Dune Du PIlat (The Dune of Pilat). The tallest dune in Europe, if I remember correctly. There’s also camping on site, which may be fun for kids.

Definitely worth a visit. You can bring a bottle of wine and enjoy it with a picnic atop the dune :slight_smile:

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