Last week I wrote about our experience of taking the short channel crossing P&O ferry from Dover to Calais as well as our fantastic stay at the rural Hotel Du Parc near the small Northern French hamlet of Hardelot. The absolute highlight of the trip was spending the best part of a day exploring Nausicaa, Frances National Sea Centre which is celebrating it's 25th anniversary this year.
Located in the coastal city of Boulogne-sur-Mer, the sea centre sits on the sand, looking across a long beach and straight away you can feel the connection between man and the ocean. This place is so much more than just an Aquarium, they have a real passion for conservation, education and both kids despite the age difference equally enjoyed it.
As soon as you step into Nausicaa you start to get a sense of just how large this place is and can see why it attracts around 600 000 visitors a year, especially as it's only 2hrs travelling time from both London and Paris making is a fantastic day trip. On a personal level we are very conscious with places like this and make sure to only support business that put ethics and the environment at the forefront and I am glad to say Nausicaa doses it's main mission is to raise awareness of the need to manage the oceans in a sustainable way and their exhibitions carry a clear message of presented in an attractive, non-sensory way that humans are not owners of the sea but stewards and we must learn to use and manage its resources in a rational and responsible way.
So what were the highlights for Nausicaa for us?
Hands down their new tropical forest inspired exhibit which was visual so colouring and engaging for children. It's created a real space to showcase biodiversity in a fun way for children with a variety of frogs, snakes and chameleons. Both boys where also captivated by the Jellyfish display which are so mesmerising. There is also a cool balcony bar overlooking the mangrove swamp and is the perfect place to stop half way through exploring this massive centre and enjoy a drink, fish and people watching and some simple French dishes.
Nausicaa also offers seasonal events with Taste Week coming up this October which is hoping to encourage people to consume seafood responsibly and raise awareness about over fishing and the need for sustainable use of the ocean. October also hosts Shark Week and will be running a special program.
We have put together a little vlog of our Northern France adventure and we highly recommend visiting the National Sea Centre if your looking for a day trip that is not only family friendly but also inspires learning about the importance of looking after our sea and coastlines.
Thanks to Nausicaa for inviting us to visit the National Sea Centre