Arriving at aire after dark.

Discussion in 'France' started by stevec, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. stevec

    stevec Funster

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    When we crossed to France via the tunnel on previous trips we have arrived so we reached our first aire in daylight. Next month we shall arrive in France at 8pm French time and plan to find an aire just outside (Wissant? Boulogne? ). I'm a bit concerned about hunting around for a pitch in the dark. So probably asking about Aires that are straightforward to pitch up at....possibly less busy. I gather from another thread that Wissant can be busy at any time of year. We've been to France twice in the MH and normally head south for a couple of hours or so (Forges les Eau). I may be worrying about nothing and it will not totally be dark then anyway but just wanted to be prepared.
     
  2. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    Although it's twenty minutes in the wrong direction , gravelines is always our first stop at night , straight in off the motorway, never been when you couldn't find a place, nice town, with bars and cafes, five minute walk, supermarket and fuel five mins away.
     
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  3. Zoppydog

    Zoppydog Funster

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    Same with us
    Chris
     
  4. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Most aires have reasonable lighting
     
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  5. keith

    keith Funster

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    We have done that at night for the past few years, going to Wissant and not had a problem.
    It's a big round circle with bus lanes in the middle easy to navigate. At this time of year I doubt it will be busy and the parking is easy.
    Don't park in the middle where the buses go, and remember the hour difference, caught me out first time.
    I like to arrive late then off next morning early for a good first day run.
     
  6. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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    Like keith we find Wissant is not a problem. Not been to Gravelines, but will be stopping there to check it out in March on our way to UK.
     
  7. Clive

    Clive Funster Life Member

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    I have found the main one at Gravelines full before now but never the one at the water sports activity lake, last time there was just two of us. Boulogne Sur Mer I'd avoid given it slops quite a bit in parts and that's the last thing you want to do at night. St Vallery Sur Somme is an OK stop :)
     
  8. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    I wouldn't worry about it. The French don't, and it is their system. Many aires are lit till quite late, and if not your headlights will be fine for finding a slot and you'll only disturb people for a minute or two. They won't worry about you when they fire up to leave at 5am :)
     
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  9. Boringfrog

    Boringfrog Funster

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    Pitch up? You taking a tent? Drive in, handbrake on, blinds shut, cork out, sorted.
     
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  10. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    I arrived once at Wissant at 4.30am.. (long story).
    It was out of season in January... Only 2 vans there and one was my mate who we had planned to meet.
    Cant see any problems.. Just have a back up plan in case weather is bad etc.
    I use the Cite Europe often, some dont like it but it's easy from the ferry / tunnel, well lit and you know there is always space.
     
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  11. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    As an extra point, aires will tend to be busier at weekends, starting Friday night, for obvious reasons.

    Cite Europe is the largest available MH parking area in the Calais area that isn't too close to stowaway land. Well lit (some might say too well lit), well signposted, easily accessible and closer than Wissant or Gravelines. We've stayed in all of them, plus the two port aires. Cite Europe has the added bonus of a large supermarket for the next morning if you need it, and I've never seen their MH parking area full.
     
  12. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    Yes we've done this one as well if we are in a rush, even though you may see a few undesirables about , it seems safe enough as the police station is in the corner, and regular patrols.
     
  13. jtp890

    jtp890 Funster

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    Agree with surfbus, Cite can be better for a late meal out and supermarket. Gravelines provides a nice walk for dog into town, but bars can be closed out of season. Never had a problem at either, Cite is free!!!
     
  14. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    We (me) are thinking of staying at Cite Europe week after next. Wife is worried about immigrants. Last year we stopped for an hour or so for shopping and there were a few in the trees on the left as you drive in. Has anybody had any problems or worries when using it?

    Also does it have water and grey/black dump?
     
  15. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    No
     
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  16. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Haven't seen any migrants round there for some years. It doesn't have a service point that I know of - the nearest would be opposite the port at the eastern end of Digue Gaston Berthe.

    Only problem we had was very bright overhead lighting and some knobhead running his generator all night.
     
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  17. denisejoe

    denisejoe Funster

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    we were there after Christmas and never saw any,there were police patrols in the evening. went to auchen next day to finish shopping when we came out about 40 police surrounded our van luckily they were on a break from migrant duties

    joe
     
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  18. WynandJean

    WynandJean Funster

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    If there were any and they 'hitched a ride' you'd be going the wrong way! That'd teach 'em.

    Wyn
     
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  19. pjay

    pjay Funster

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    The new Auchan filling station on the other side of the Cite Europe building (Blvd de L'Europe) is now open and has a motorhome servicepoint.... 50.93605 1.80663

    Pete
     
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  20. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    Thanks for that. Presumably it has not got the height restriction the original underground one has?
     
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