First trip to France... Any recommendations?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Jimbob45, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. Jimbob45

    Jimbob45 Funster

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    I have managed to get some last minute time off work, which gives me 2 full weeks (not had 2 weeks off for a long time!) so, we thought we might try France for our summer holidays this year, vs the damp, wet holiday in Weymouth we had last year!

    Given the cost of the ferries I think I will use the tunnel, so I expect there will be quite a lot of driving to be done. I know it's a personal thing and everyone likes different places for different reasons, so I thought we might start with Britanny and see how it goes, subject to the weather of course. We would prefer campsites to Aires I think, as we have a 4 yr old too who loves to get out exploring, maybe 3-4 places over the course of 2 weeks? Would be nice if the site had swimming pool & local restaurants etc, but open to ideas.

    Does anyone have any recommended sites, or stop overs they could recommend? As I say, it's our first time with our motorhome abroad, but think we should take the plunge!

    If the weather is too 'british' in northern France, where or how far south should we head to get a bit of sun?

    Would appreciate any advice as we are now planning this for next weekend! :)

    Thanks
     
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  2. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

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    Head from Calais towards Brittany and take the first road that follows the coast, you don't have to drive for hours everyday to enjoy a first taste of France(y)
     
  3. Jimbob45

    Jimbob45 Funster

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    Thanks Vic

    Any recommendations along the way?
     
  4. Baggers53

    Baggers53 Funster

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    We spent a couple of days looking at places like Le Mont St Michel and Bayeux then headed for the North Vendee.
    These may not be what you would look at with a todler, but after our site seeing we headed for the sun.
    Glorious beaches, fabulous sites....and the food and wine etc,etc.
    The sprint to the sun took about half a day.....so just go and enjoy!!
    We are going for September. All I have booked is the ferry out and back....its the freedom of having a MH.
     
  5. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    Brittany has some of the best beaches and lots of campsites. Weather is a fair bit warmer than UK but we do get our share of rain.
    Southern France in the summer can be very hot, my Sister lives near Carcassonne, about 50 miles from the med and she complains regularly when it is nearing 40 degrees. Not good for a toddler who like to play outside all day!
    As Baggers above says, Vendee is nice too, lovely beaches and very warm, but it does tend to be a bit windy, they hold the sailboard championships there for that reason.
    Wherever you end up, it's France and it will be fantastic!
     
  6. Jimbob45

    Jimbob45 Funster

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    Many thanks both, do you think I should book campsites? We are going last 2 weeks of August, so are the best ones likely to be booked? Mid 20's heat is fine for us, a beach / pool and a play area for the little one and we'll be in heaven!
     
  7. Baggers53

    Baggers53 Funster

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    Last 2 weeks of August, the French will be on holiday....they tend to take all of August as such.
    With a little one you may be advisable to look on line and book somewhere.
    Brittany or the Vendee will be good at that time of year.
    Enjoy
     
  8. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Brittany and Normandy are the traditional nursery slopes for Brits taking first trips to France, but the weather is very British too. Norman rain is a standing joke with us - on some trips the only time we get rained on is driving back north through Normandy. The further south you go, the more likely it is you'll dodge the rain and feel warmer.

    Personally I'd recommend Charente-Maritime - a bit further down from Vendee but with more variety, especially on the islands of Re and Oleron and the coast around La Palmyre - if you go there be sure to take bikes. You can be there in a day and a half from Calais if you don't mind one long day's driving. It'd take you about the same amount of time to get to Brittany from Calais.
     
  9. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    I would be inclined to book if you can, there is more chance of a space at a municipal campsite though and it will be very French. We parked outside a lovely campsite next to Lac du Guerlédan yesterday, lots of spaces and right next to the lake with a beach, safe swimming and a top class restaurant nearby.
    As long as you stay away from the most popular resorts, you should find some gems with spaces available.
     
  10. gillnphil

    gillnphil Funster

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    Every time you see a Frenchie say "bonjour, comment sava" They will then like you.
    Phillipe
     
  11. Tea Bag

    Tea Bag Funster

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    Hi.
    If you do stop in Brittany,along by the Pink Granite coast,is the camp site
    Les Plages de Beg Leguer... lanion ?(Spelling)
    Indoor/outdoor pools,restaurant,parking in the trees,or on bays of 6 units behind hedges,beach about 5 mins walk,or drive down and park at first car park,with views of the beach/sea,there is a restaurant down there as well,walks,cycling.
    Have a look,it may be just what your looking for.
    Tea Bag
     
  12. Steve and Kat

    Steve and Kat Funster

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    To the OP. We did the very same thing mid June for 2 weeks... Didn't book anywhere, just roamed and found campsites, Aires, French Passions and places to park. You hear a lot on here about how good France is, and you don't expect how easy it is. Having been there for 2 weeks, we barely scratched the surface. The place IS exactly how it's commented on on here. It IS the home of the Motorhomer.. And you don't need tolls. We spent about €14 Euro's on Tolls, and a further €12 on the Millau bridge as we wanted to go across it Northbound for the whole 2 weeks. Just used their B roads

    So we went over on a Saturday about 6pm, the roads were wonderful as most of the Lorries (non refrigerated) aren't allowed to drive on a Sunday, so they were just parked up. Sunday driving was a joy.

    Our first stop was on an Aire, just short of Abbeville. Huge parking spaces, and easy. €8 overnight. And from there we just planned our route down to the Sun on the south Coast. We managed to get to Serignan-Plage and stayed for a couple of nights at an Aire, and recharged out batteries at a Campsite. Overall we stayed in Rocquet-sur-Soulzon near Millau, tried an Aire there. We drove through the town of Millau, Stopped at an Aire near Orleans, Stopped at Rocamadour (a must visit) for a day, Arnac-Pompadour for a day, and then stayed for 3 nights with Camp Parc Verger... We had a great stay there, and the hosts were incredible. An almost English Campsite in the middle of Champagnac-la-Riviere. Top marks on Trip Advisor. We over stayed there purely because it was so pleasant, but also it was almost 30 degrees for most days and we'd thought we'd chill a bit. We also met a wonderful lady there
    called Sue, who roams around in her 35ft RV, and has a blog called " the worldismylobster" which Kathryn had read before we had even met her...

    By the time we got back to the EuroTunnel, via the Pidou Superstore to top up on our beers, wines and spirits, we'd already planned our next visit in 2017. But this time we wanted a bigger van and more time. So we have invested in our future and bought a Scooter for getting about a bit whilst parked up on the Aire's, Passions and Campsites. And just traded our new AutoTrail Apache for a new AutoTrail Comanche.. Over the course of the next couple of months, we will kit it out ready for our next trip..

    The only advice I can give you with your first trip, is to prepare your vehicle, make sure you have very good maps and enjoy the experience. Kathryn and I will probably go to France now at least twice yearly until we retire. :D

    Hope you have a wonderful time... Good Travels (y)
     
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  13. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    listen to @magicsurfbus ..... he's bang on and sympathetic to your needs (y)
     
  14. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

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    All we did was drive on the coast road for maybe an hour, find somewhere for lunch, aire, car park anywhere,after lunch drive for a bit more until we passed a campsite we fancied. We did this for 5 days, then we had to dash back to Calais....took 5 hours on the dual carriageway.... 5 days out, 5 hours back.

    You don't have to travel vast distances to enjoy France
    (y)
     
  15. Dognewf

    Dognewf Funster

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    going first two weeks in September. have maps, but is it worthwhile getting ACSI or other source of locating Aires?
     
  16. Jimbob45

    Jimbob45 Funster

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    Thanks all for your advice, I'll get onto google maps and have a look!
     
  17. Jimbob45

    Jimbob45 Funster

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    Hello again!
    Well, euro tunnel now booked, this Sunday at 1pm the only time that was a reasonable price and not the middle of the night!
    Due to work commitments I have barely started to look for campsites, downloaded the ASCI app but the sites seem a bit limited.
    Wife now panicking that we don't have anything booked and we will have a similar experience we do in the UK and find that everywhere is booked and we end up in a lay-by...
    Don't really want to do Aires as would like a 'base' for a few days at a time soak up the sun (hopefully) and let my 4 yr old run around and burn off some energy!
    So, thinking we should head to somewhere around Abbeville for first night or 2, then further down once we have aclimatised. Sites I have briefly looked at say 'min stay 7 nights' which we clearly do not want to do. Any recommendations around Abbevile and then south Brittany?
    Also any other camp site app that you could recommended?

    Thanks again!
     
  18. urban_biker

    urban_biker Funster

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    There are sooo many sites in France. You will never find them all booked. Most villages have their own municipal sites.
     
  19. Jimbob45

    Jimbob45 Funster

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    Thanks, we have booked a site near Cayeux-sur-mer for the first 2 nights, gives us a chance to think about where to next!
     
  20. Camping Parc Verger

    Camping Parc Verger Funster

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    What about venturing down to us at Parc Verger. we are British owned and based in the limousin about a days drive from Caen and St Malo.

    We get a lot of Funsters come here and The Munchies Live here in the naughty corner.

    Our details are on http://www.parcverger.com or https://www.facebook.com/parcverger
     
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