Hoping to head for Europe Next year

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Peter Ashcroft, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. Peter Ashcroft

    Peter Ashcroft Funster Life Member

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    Hi Everyone

    We are thinking of taking the family to Europe next summer holidays, in the Motorhome.

    I have been reading forums for a while, and I must say I am daunted at the whole prospect, in terms of planning it anyway.

    We have 1 daughter who will be 5 when we go, and I am thinking that booking sites would be best to giver her chance to meet other kids. I am thinking that using the AIRES a lot will be a little lonely for her.

    The wife is a little apprehensive about sites and if it will feel like "a real holiday" I am sure there are many sites with a complex and pool and maybe some entertainment on for the little one.

    As we are in the north or plan is to sail Hull to Rotterdam (I have done this route a few times in the car on business and I like it) and this saves the drive to dover. We intend on about a 3-4 week trip to take it slow and not have long days driving.

    We also wanted to do Euro Disney for 3-4 days, then head down to Spain then back up. We might even consider getting the Santander ferry back.


    Does anyone have any suggestions that might help me plan this?

    In particular if anyone had a route and itinerary that they have previously used and are willing to share, we don't have any must see places and as long as we see a bit of france and spain and some sunshine I don't mind. In fact if we found the perfect place in France we might not even get to spain!

    I also would be interested in any recommended sites that have pool, and complex etc. I know this might not be to most tastes on here, but I am afraid our little girl is priority now, and as an only child she can get a little lonely stuck with mum & dad for 4 weeks so a bit of like minded company for her along the way would be great.

    Thanks for any help, stories, experience you can share with us!

    Pete
     
  2. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    What time of year are you going? Some sites can be very busy in August but otherwise there is no need to book. I suggest get a campsite guide book, such as the Alan Rogers one, which will list lots of good campsites with pools etc. A visit to your local bookshop is bound to find one. You can find stuff on line but a book is better and doesn't need an internet connection. :)
     
  3. Peter Ashcroft

    Peter Ashcroft Funster Life Member

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    Hi DBK, thanks for the reply, this is the problem we now face as our little one starts School this September! so we are in unknown territory now and have to go in School holidays!

    She finishes on the 22nd July and I am hoping to get away asap so last week in July and 2 weeks August. peak time so I am guessing I need to plan it and book.
     
  4. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    You don't have to book but if it gives peace of mind go for it. Which is why I think a good guide book will help you choose a site as the one I mentioned has a full page description of every site. You may also find there is a minimum stay period at the popular sites at that time of year, which could well be 7 days but if travelling through France you will be able to get into the Municipal sites I think and stay for a night or two on the way down through France - and if you can't get in there will always be an aire handy which for one night would be fine. The AA do some good guides and these are probably the ones you need to find Municipal sites though again you can find information on line but when you are actually in France it would be one less thing to worry about if you don't have to find an internet connection. Which isn't to say you won't want a connection and a 3 PAYG Sim would be ideal for that.
     
  5. GeriatricWanderer

    GeriatricWanderer Funster

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    Well, if that's when you're going and you plan to stay on sites with pools etc - she is going to meet lots of French children!
    It can be very very busy, especially on the coast or at popular holiday spots.

    I'd be inclined to maybe book one or two sites to give you somewhere to aim for and a guaranteed pitch when you get there by which time you'll have a feel of how it's going. Don't dismiss rural Municipals, good value and often quite well equipped. Personally, I'd forget about Spain - Rotterdam to Benidorm for example is around a 2500 mile round trip. Plenty of nice places France.

    Planning is half the fun - well almost.

    Be sure to have a decent sat nav with a good stock of co-ords for sites and aires. And always, always, have a Plan B
     
  6. Peter Ashcroft

    Peter Ashcroft Funster Life Member

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    Thank you again


    I have just ordered a couple of Alan Rogers "best campsite" books and also a Michelin Municipal site guide for france from Amazon. I will have a good read over the coming weeks!!

    I have a second 3 phone I use while away with work with all you can eat data so we should be good for the internet, I also have a boost motorhome wifi which I haven't used yet, but hopefully it will work. I have a BT Openzone subscription for work also which I am hoping can be used on the FOn network which I have read about.

    I should also add we will be taking our little Sausage dog! so I need to look into that also.
     
  7. Peter Ashcroft

    Peter Ashcroft Funster Life Member

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    I think you are right, especially for our first trip abroad in the Van, I think we will just stick to a tour of France and maybe a stop or 2 in Holland
     
  8. Peter Ashcroft

    Peter Ashcroft Funster Life Member

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    I really hate busy sites, we went to Haven 2 weeks ago for a few days, and it was my idea of hell!! We have had some great holidays up to now all in school term time, I am dreading peak time holidays to be honest!

    I am hoping to mix it up a bit, some time on busy commercial sites and then some time in quiet spots just some family time near a beach or in the countryside.
     
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  9. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    We used to travel with the kids in a caravan in July and August, France , Italy & Germany, never found it necessary to book sites sites, so many sites in France if ones full there is always another one just down the road.
    Best to avoid main arterial roads in France around the weekend of 21st July busiest weekend of the year on French roads. I would agree Aries are probably not that good if you are traveling with children, as DBK says municipal sites are a good choice and a lot cheaper than commercial sites and if you hate large busy sites, municipals would be ideal.
     
  10. Peter Ashcroft

    Peter Ashcroft Funster Life Member

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    am I right in thinking a Municipal site is a site owned by the local council?
     
  11. GeriatricWanderer

    GeriatricWanderer Funster

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    Originally, yes but some are now moving into private hands.
    I find good old-fashioned Municipals to be the overall best value. Sometimes a bit basic but often close to town centres which some of the bigger sites are not.
    I really like the small village municipals where you just go in, find a pitch, park up and sometimes they will come and collect the money - just like in the UK:LOL:
     
  12. colinw

    colinw Read Only Funster

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    Hi Peter , we used a lot of Aires and there weren't many children about but that's not to say you wouldn't enjoy them . lots of Aires next to the sea , canals , countryside etc .
    We noticed that sites near Aires did competitive prices for motorhomes especially in quieter places .
    A combination of the two could be ideal . good luck with your planning but don't worry too much as it is easy when you get there .
     
  13. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    If you want to spend some time on each site, playing in the pool, giving your daughter time to make friends, then I'm another one who is going to say forget Spain, unless you take the ferry both ways. Nothing wrong with Spain, except that you will spend half the holiday just admiring France as it goes past the window, rather than actually spending any time enjoying it.

    From Wigan & at that time of year, I would also seriously consider Poole -> Cherbourg or Portsmouth -> St. Malo & explore Brittany and the Western coast. At least it avoids driving through SE England!
     
  14. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    I would go to Calais, then to booked site at Eurodisney and then have options that you can change according to the weather; there is less need to drive to Spain if the weather in France is warm enough.

    I wouldn't book sites but I would aim to arrive at my desired location before the weekend or in Sunday afternoon,
     
  15. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    My daughter (now 7) insists that every campsite that we visit has a swimming pool and a play ground, so I can give you loads of co-ords of great kid friendly places all over Europe that we have visited. Give me an idea of countries/locations and I can chuck them over to you.
    Top tip, if you come back on the Santander ferry, you need to be on the Pont Aven with a child, it is much more child friendly than the Cap Finisterre! :D
     
  16. Peter Ashcroft

    Peter Ashcroft Funster Life Member

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    Daniel your a Gent, After a couple of hours research tonight we have now decided to Stick to France, and see how it goes then maybe look further a field. We will do 3 weeks.

    Route outbound will be Hull to Zebrugge and a couple of days in Belgium and Bruges (Wife loves it there) then we are going to head to Euro Disney for a about 3 days. We did florida in May this year and daughter loved it, Then anywhere really in France. its a country I have never been before apart from a weekend in Paris 15 years ago! So anything you can suggest would be fantastic.

    I am now thinking to keep it simple after Euro Disney maybe a week on a site with a day allowed for travel and an overnight on route if needed. then a week on a second site somewhere different, and then allow 2 or 3 days travel home with overnights at convenient points which I can deice on route. Ferry route home flexible.

    Thanks everyone again for helping with this, starting to look forward to it now rather than dreading it!
     
  17. Peter Ashcroft

    Peter Ashcroft Funster Life Member

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    Thanks for this. I was preferring the Hull Zeebrugge option, its only 2 hours to hull for us, and then an overnight crossing in a comfortable cabin. Rather than 6 possibly 7 hours to Dover. and the distance from zeebrugge to Euro disney doesn't seem to be much further than Calais to Euro Disney.

    I know its more expensive but I would rather pay more and spend less time driving with a 5 year old getting bored!

    I am doing the route in my car in 2 weeks again and find it quite enjoyable.

    The only thing I need to find out, which i have just remembered is if dogs are allowed on this route with P&O
     
  18. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    @Peter Ashcroft France is a country we don't spend much time in, especially up north. Depending on your movements after Disney (which is fantastic by the way, our little girl loves it) If you head west, I would urge you to cross the border into Luxembourg, a little site that is terrific for families is located here:
    N49.784881 E6.210633
    Their website is here: http://www.birkelt.com/
    If you wish to stay in France, we stayed at this little campsite in Nancy, location: N48.6572 E6.1404
    And their website: http://www.camping-brabois.com/
    This has no swimming pool and only basic facilities, but it is in a nice area, and has a huge kids playground. They had a bouncy castle when we were there!

    In the south of France, we have stayed here: n43.455974 e4.436081
    Website: http://www.camping-labrise.fr/
    This site is massive, and right in the middle of the camargue, so you have all the places doing the horse rides.

    There's a few to get you started :D

    [Edited just notice the camargue website was wrong!]
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
  19. Scattycat

    Scattycat Funster

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    Personally, if you are only going for 3 weeks and taking a few day to do Euro Disney, then you won't get much time to relax.
    I suppose it depends on how far you want to drive each day, but for argument sake from Paris to, say the area around Benidorm for instance, is around 1000 miles. for us that would be around 5 days.
    Okay, you can use motorways to speed up the journey but you won't be seeing much of the countryside.
    In the Past we have done the South of France from Calais to Agde in under 10 hours, but it took us 2 or 3 days to recover.
    May be a less ambitious distance for your first trip might be worth considering
     
  20. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    We have only owned our MH for a couple of months. Like yourself I feel a little daunted at travelling to Europe which is a place I have not driven in for many years. But when you read here on the forum as to whats on offer and the relatively small costs once over the water it begs the question why the hell not ?

    So I asked for and was given much information by the kind people on this forum. Two people were very kind in supplying discount codes ! I mean how cool is that !

    Anyway we depart next Sunday and head Plymouth Roscoff then down the coast south as far as we like.

    We haven't booked a return ticket and have absolutely no time restrictions or plans for when we return. It could be a couple of weeks or a couple of months. We may end up in Spain or Portugal or turn the other way and go to Monaco . We really haven't a clue and despite the fact that yes I as the driver feel daunted what the heck.

    Go for it life's just way to short. At least thats what I tell myself when I wake in the wee small hours and start to think about it..

    Cant wait now.... As the young ones say today 6 more sleeps. :):):)
     
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