France First Timers

Discussion in 'France' started by DJSteward, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. DJSteward

    DJSteward Read Only Funster

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    We are planning to take our Autotrail 840d to Brittany for 2/3 weeks in the summer holidays. Looking to visit three or four all singing all dancing family sites.

    Wondering about the ferry routes and whether a cheap Dover Calais crossing then driving down is better than overnight Portsmouth St Malo. We live in North Kent about 45 mins from Dover. Portsmouth is a 2.5 hour drive.

    Dover Calais is about 25% of the Portsmouth St Malo price. But obviously more fuel and perhaps tolls to drive down to Brittany.

    All advice gratefully accepted.

    David
     
  2. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

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    Condor ferries are about half price of Brittany ferries.
     
  3. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Dover makes more sense, tunnel or ferry..we prefer the tunnel. Carnac and Benodet + north coast lovely, although its more wild. book in advance as best sites book up early

    just pay short toll section on A16 out of Calais for speed..then free routes....
     
  4. Serendipitous

    Serendipitous Funster

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    Hi. Also would take tunnel and drive. You have 2.5 trip in any case, much better to incorporate the journey into your holiday and visit another site or two on the way. Saving ferry crossing cost is more than the fuel cost including a couple of nights on the way.

    Even if not using the CC or CCC to book use the websites to find an all singing site if that's what your after.

    You can always return via oistreham-Portsmouth and visit the Normandy wine warehouse whilst there.

    Good luck
     
  5. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    Use the tunnel. Driving in France is nicer, more relaxing and cheaper than driving in the UK. We paid just under a £1 per litre.
    We travel down the A16 then A28 A29 to Le Havre then via Caen towards Dinan. Tolls cost about £20 or so, worth it for us to save time. No tolls in Brittany!
    Don't know many campsites as we always use aires, and there are some lovely ones in Brittany. There is a nice campsite at http://www.campingmunicipallafalaise.com Its near Carnac and other standing stones. We used the aire next to the beach, but the campsite looked nice, almost on the beach too.
    Don't miss Josselin, Concarneau and Quimper.
    And if we are at home, pop over to St Herve for a glass of vino.....
    Allan
     
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  6. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Road miles are usually cheaper than ferry miles, especially if you use aires on the way. Calais to just south of St Malo is about 300 miles, roughly 6 hours' travel by autoroute.

    We're 6-7 hours from Dover and still cross to Calais every time.
     
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  7. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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  8. scousebird

    scousebird Funster

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    Hi David

    We met at the Oak & Ivy in Hawkhurst if you remember.

    We always use the Tunnel to cross, using our Tesco vouchers to pay for the ticket and I think part of the trip is driving through France, it's lovely and the driving is easy. Can't help you with the sites in Brittany as it's a long time since we've been there but the town of Vannes is lovely to visit. But as said above you will probably have to book, get the CC holiday brochure, if you go on their website you can pre-order it http://www.caravanclub.co.uk/shop-and-offers/overseas-travel/continental-caravanning-brochure-2015.

    Whatever you do I'm sure you'll enjoy it (y)
     
  9. DJSteward

    DJSteward Read Only Funster

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    I thought about the tunnel but our 5 tonne van plus 8 year old child seems to make it a no go. Happy to be told different.

    Have done a lot of Normandy in my past life as a floating gin palace owner. A stop or two at Rouen to break the journey would be nice.

    On the other hand the idea of getting an overnight ferry and waking up in St Malo does appeal. But the £600 cost is a bit off putting!

    Thanks for your help.
     
  10. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Tunnel: same price whatever the weight/length/ number of occupants. from a panel van to a 7 + ton RV

    towing extra
     
  11. FIDGET

    FIDGET Funster

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    Hi, Personally use dfds ferry then use an aire at either St nicolas de Bliquetuit or La Mailleraye sur seine,
    Last trip to Brittany stopped at Campeneac aire & fougeres aire.
     
  12. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    Tunnel won't be a problem for you a 5 tonne van or the 8 year old. You drive on, stay in the van, half an hour later drive off in France. Couldn't be simpler!
    You might find the toll charges are a little higher than a smaller (3.5 tonne ) van, but I think its still worthwhile driving the longer distance in France.
    We can get to mid Brittany or on a beach / site having a beer, in less than 6 hours. If you travel via Portsmouth, you will be about half way to St Malo in those 6 hours.
     
  13. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    Well I assume Dover is a fairly near port to you as you are in Kent so wherever you plan on landing in France, starting the crossing from Dover makes sense. If you use Tesco, the tunnel using your 'Rewards' would be first choice for speed, otherwise whoever's ferry has the cheapest prices for the time you wish to travel sounds spot-on to me.

    I agree that stopping at least once on the way makes sense with a 8 yo so how about somewhere in Normandy - thousands of campsites from basic to luxurious (same as all of France LOL) plenty inland as well as coastal everywhere so just have a general route planned and then Google eg 'campsites near whatever town' and you'll be spilt for choice. Or look that town up on the web, it will probably have a website - if it's only in French, look for 'Hebergements' and they will show Hotels, Gites and Campsites - maybe even the local Aire!

    Can't suggest any as we don't normally stay on sites and those we do are specialist naturist ones (quite a number of good ones in Brittany) - which most Brits are not looking for LOL
     
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  14. dabhand

    dabhand Funster Life Member

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    Not in Paris it's not!!:france:::bigsmile:
     
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  15. stcyr

    stcyr Funster

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    Dieppe - Newhaven is best for us - only 4 hours on ferry & cheaper than BF...
     
  16. Serendipitous

    Serendipitous Funster

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    If your a tag axle! Avoid toll roads or pay swinging charges as the automated toll sees you as an HGV.
     
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