First trip

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by wp1234, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. wp1234

    wp1234

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    Just in the first stages of planning our first motor home trip abroad to France .We both fancy the Normandy coast for our first adventurer.
    We have picked the end of May as our preferred date. I would prefer to avoid Calais and the drive to Normandy but that leaves us with two expensive options I think St Malo and Cherbourg .
    Would appreciate any advice on which option forumites would use?
     
  2. wasp

    wasp Funster

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    You could try Boulogne with LD depending on the size of your MH personally I would go St Malo we did that this year it was £170 one way and back thru Calais £40.00:thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb:
     
  3. AuldCodger

    AuldCodger Read Only Funster

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    Hi First Trip,
    We made our first trip under la manche last September, yes we went Eurotunel and couldn't recommend highly enough.
    We had a lot of trepidation and all I can say I don't know why, it was a breeze, we toured down through France in to Germany and back up through France via Burgundy which is our destination for 2010.
    We pre booked all our sites and as first timers i feel it was the way to go, next year we may book some but as we are off for the month of June I feel sure we we will be fine but obviously in the high season booking is advisable.
    Sure you will enjoy.
     
  4. meanders

    meanders Funster - Life Member Life Member

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    I would take the tunnel and then drive the couple of hours needed. It brings you straight out onto the main road and avoids Calais completely. The coast road down is lovely and if you want to stop the first night stop at one of the aires. You can avoid toll routes and still use main roads if you want to get straight into Normandy.

    We only did Aires while in Normandy. Get the 'All the Aires' book from from Vicarious Books. There are some lovely Aires, many right on the coast and a good few free. We only had one day where we couldn't get onto our target Aire, and had to drive all of 2-3 miles to the next place. That was in peak season (August).

    It's really easy, roads are brilliant and there is absolutely nothing to fret about.

    If you fancy the longer crossing for the ride, then by all means, but it tends to be a lot dearer than the fuel cost.

    Sea food is excellent and there are Boulangeries/Patisseries in just about every village however small.
     
  5. wp1234

    wp1234

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    /

    Thanks for the info so far the tunnel sounds like the way to go.
    Can you recomend a first stop or is it just a matter of finding a suitable aire
    Is mid/end of May a good time to visit Normandy ?
     
  6. steveclecy

    steveclecy Read Only Funster

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    We lived in Normandy for 18 months, which included two Mays, and yes, May is a lovely time to visit. But it is not the South of France, and just like UK, you can get poor weather anywhere in Northern France.

    As regards the channel route, I would recommend you think hard about what you want to achieve. We were seasoned Channel Tunnel users, as we had dogs and did not want to lock them away on a car deck for up to two hours, but having been in France when the Channel Tunnel fire occurred in September 2008, we were left with no choice other then Sea France Calais to Dover. The (one only) dog was absolutely fine, and when you look at the costs, now we are MH owners, I would have no hesitation in going for the surface crossing again. It can become part of the holiday.

    Steve
     
  7. motorhomer

    motorhomer Read Only Funster

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    Trouble is you can ask for opinions and everyone's may be different!

    We always go dover - calais, never the tunnel. The sea crossing is the cheapest way, and compared to the longer crossings will always save you money. Leaving calais is no problem, you do not have to go into calais itself if you do not wish to, you are pretty much straight out, if you wish, on to the motorways. We set our sat-nav to avoid toll roads so we just go on the free motorways.

    Unless, perhaps, you go mid July to mid August there is absolutely no need to book sites. And in france you can stay in the many aires, often free.

    Motorhomes are a way of life in France, and you will be welcomed in places where, in England, you would not be.

    I would get the Aires book from vicarious books, and also the ACSI cd of sites. The caravan club site book is also useful for planning.

    Enjoy it!
     
  8. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    No-one has actually mentioned LD Lines to Le Havre - friend at work took their caravan and they were well-pleased, also their Dover Boulogne (we did that in the car though in June last year when it was one week old!) fastcat do dah is excellent.

    Haven't looked at the prices though I freely admit.

    Oh and you could do a lot worse than start off at the aire at Honfleur - over the Pont du Normandie (and that's an experience in itself if you haven't done it - actually, now I think, it still is even if you have LOL) It holds 300 motorhomes so you should be able to find a spot, in walking distance of the town, harbour, shops, restaurants, fish-market etc and Honfleur is postitively beautiful just on its own.
     
  9. eirebus

    eirebus Read Only Funster

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    as you live in wales a trip via portsmouth or weymouth might be worth looking at i have travelled from ireland on these routes and found them ok dont know any prices though :Doh::BigGrin:
     
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