Best Options on Getting to South West France

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Hooflungdung, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. Hooflungdung

    Hooflungdung Funster

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    I am planning a trip to visit friends in Bordeaux region leaving 17/18 March and then on down to Northern Spain and trying to decide whether to do the short hop across the channel or head down to St Malo or similar. Her indoors is not keen on the tunnel (expects it to collapse or fill with water or other similar catastrophe!).

    We are taking our border collie for the first time so although she is generally pretty good left alone, not sure how she would react left in the MH during a long crossing - particularly with rough seas.

    We are heading from Mid Wales so will be a long starting trek whether we head for Dover or the South Coast.

    Can anyone advise on the relative financial advantages of the two options - does the potential fuel and toll saving generally outweigh the additional ferry costs of going the long way down or is does it work out significantly cheaper to do the short hop and long drive?

    All suggestions much appreciated.

    Cheers
     
  2. big map

    big map Funster Life Member

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    With the puppy take the tunnel, once your wife has been through the first time she will realise it's the best was to cross the channel in a motorhome. Enjoy your trip.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
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  3. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

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    I could be wrong and I am sure someone will be along to correct me, but I did not think dogs can be left in MH on the crossing, I think they have special kennels on board which have to be pre booked.
     
  4. big map

    big map Funster Life Member

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    Poole to Cherbourg you can leave in the vehicle or have a kennel or pet cabin. Spanish routes you must have kennel or pet cabin.
    http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/information/pets-travel-scheme
     
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  5. sdc77

    sdc77 Funster

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    We're doing what you're doing on the 19th with our border collie. Tunnel every time for us.. but then we live in London
     
  6. big map

    big map Funster Life Member

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    We live in Poole and can see the ferry port from home but would still travel and take the tunnel with a dog.
     
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  7. MikeD

    MikeD Funster

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    When we go that way we usually take the overnight ferry to Caen or St Malo and drive down to Bordeaux next day. (y)
     
  8. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    Mappy will show you mileage costs and route.
    Going by ferry via Dover you're not charged for the dog. With the higher mileage but lower fare ( though I had more animals) it worked out cheaper via Dover. Another crossing for you might be Portsmouth - Le Havre as long as your dog will be ok for 41/2 hours in the motorhome.
    Cut across country to Le Mans then south.
    A cheaper option using toll roads is down to Limoges then turn right, more or less straight road to Bordeaux. Tolls less than half that way.

    If you've not left your dog before and he's young I'd go for the tunnel, next choice shortest crossing. Stress can lead to damage.

    Look at mappy as you can put in destination, tolls or avoid, weight of vehicle and it will give you route plays estimated fuel plus tolls.
     
  9. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    If cost is a factor, land miles are always cheaper than nautical miles, so spend as little time at sea as possible.

    Dover-Calais by ferry is about 90 minutes.
     
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  10. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    As above, short ferry or tunnel will be cheapest but for less driving Portsmouth to Le Havre with Brittany Ferries with the pooch in a kennel will reduce the driving and avoid Calais!
     
  11. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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    Have a look in the resources section for toll and non toll routes in France, it has all the information you require.
    Travelling down France in your Motorhome is far cheaper than getting a ferry much of the way down. Even before the cost of fuel dropped it was much cheaper to drive down than get a ferry. My total fuel cost from Calais to Bordeaux was about £120 one way. The cheapest ferry to Santander is about £300 one way (Possible more).
    Safe Travels
     
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  12. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    I can confirm that it hardly ever does that (y)
     
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  13. The Wino

    The Wino Funster

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    Depends a bit how much time you have if lots take the short crossing and meander
     
  14. John de Manche

    John de Manche Funster

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    BF Portsmouth to Le Havre, there are cabins where you can have your dog with you on the crossing.
     
  15. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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    Reading through your post again, I picked up on your enquiry about Toll roads. Are you aware you can travel to your destination using mostly non Toll motorways and duel carriageway and through a fairly direct route, saving you a lot of money without hassle.
    It used to be called the N10 route and is still used by many motorhomes travelling from Calais to Bordeaux and beyound. All this information plus more is in the resources section 'Toll and non Toll routes for France. There is also a similar one for Spain.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
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  16. moulin 87

    moulin 87 Funster

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    An option is to exit the A20 at jnct 23 and go via Bellac, Confolens and join the N141 at Chasseneuil. All the towns are now have a bypass, pleasant route, good roads, not busy past Bellac.
     
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  17. Smith and Sharp

    Smith and Sharp Funster

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    I haven't been through it yet...! It will then.....:LOL::ROFLMAO:
     
  18. sylvester1954

    sylvester1954 Funster

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    After many travels via the ferry we are using the tunnel for the first time next Sunday because of Maggie our 4month young black curly mongrel (?). We ate heading for south west France after an initial get together with a number of motor homers in Brittany. Much rather spend time with her on a channels crossing as she gets accustomed to the long journey in the van. Fingers crossed here
     

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  19. malrider

    malrider Funster

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    Plymouth Roscoff a bit more expensive, but straight down M5 and as soon as you get off ferry you are in holiday central Brittany, take your time keep off motorways. cheers Les
     
  20. Hooflungdung

    Hooflungdung Funster

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    OK. Thanks for all that. 'er indoors has now decided that she will take the tunnel after all. - subject to certain conditions:

    1. That she can hide under the covers in the bed in the MH all the time we are on the train

    2. That I don't leave the van and wander off to find a bar/restaurant while we are on the train.:(

    3. That I only buy a one way ticket so that if she doesn't like it we can come back on the Ferry. ( I don't know what made her think we're coming back)

    Tiny tiny steps!

    I had a look at Mappy and some of the en route aires on Camper Contact and can see a bit of a plan coming together.

    Roll on Thursday!
     
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