If you're so averse to flights why not skip the flight?
Myself, missus, and another couple took 4 bicycles and a jetski to Jersey a couple of years ago in late April and it was great. Short ferry ride to get there, beautiful island for cycling, lots of stuff for kids to do as well as adults, great beaches and hills and countryside, and they spend pounds and speak English.
If you were staying for a couple of weeks there's no reason you couldn't get on the boat and go to France for a few days in the middle.
I've been to around 40 countries for work and play and I honestly didn't expect much but was very pleasantly surprised.