Like last year, we drove our Toyota from England to Italy via France. We chose different stops on the way and Michela is one year older (she's two), which meant less stuff to carry with us.
The weather was exceptionally hot, with highs of 40C in certain areas. First stop was Boulogne (near Calais), which was recommended in this blog http://hubpages.com/hub/boulogne-sur-mer-france. We combined Mike's itinerary with the information in our Rough Guide to France (good maps for most towns, so no trips to Tourist Centre needed!).
The photo above was taken on its lovely beach - you can see a fishing boat in the background. The water is quite shallow so it isn't freezing cold - no need to rub fat on me like those daredevils who swim the channel. Fresh fish is sold on the quai - great if you are in self-catering accommodation. I enjoyed a lovely pot of mussels for just 7 euros in one of the local restaurants. Michela had ham as she is too young to eat seafood.
The old town is up a hill and quite charming. In the main square there was an art installation that involved cars, mopeds and bikes in a natural setup. The greenhouse pictured at the bottom of this post is made of windshields and there is a bike decked with greenery in front of it.
While you visit the old town, spare some time for a walk on the ramparts. These are surprisingly spacious and offer good views. We also enjoyed an art exhibition in the library, which has a cloister cultivated as a veggie garden.
My top tip: visit www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/overseas/general_advice.html before you leave the UK. Read about last year's trip at www.simonecastello.co.uk/holidaywithtoddler.pdf (stops were Reims, Dijon, Troyes, Lyon and Le Touquet).
UPDATE: I'm hoping to do this trip again... Read the other blog posts in this series: http://fromrattopositiveparent.blogspot.co.uk/2009/09/travel-with-toddler-grenoble-beaune.html