Lovely aires between Calais and Riems?

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Jac Sprat, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. Jac Sprat

    Jac Sprat Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    490
    Location:
    Norfolk
    We are landing in Calais to begin our month trip next week. Can anyone recommend any nice Aires? We are headed vaguely down the east side then going along the Dordogne valley and more or less up the west to come home. Any Aires , along the way or even nice camp sites or towns / places to explore would be appreciated. Like a lot of people on here we love walking, cycling, exploring and checking out interesting cultural places and eating well.
     
  2. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    5,437
    Likes Received:
    11,130
    Location:
    Kettering
    Just to the South of Reims, about 3 hours from Calais, is Mareuil-sur-Ay.

    The aire is in 2 parts, some lovely spaces under the trees along the river bank and with some more car park type space the other side of the square. There's a Petit Casino in the square for supplies and also a Tabac if you fancy some refreshment. There's also free Wifi along the riverbank. It's in the Champagne region and there are a few houses based in the village if that interests you.

    IMG_0024.jpg IMG_0023.jpg
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Informative Informative x 2
  3. Jac Sprat

    Jac Sprat Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    490
    Location:
    Norfolk
    Looks lovely thanks
    Which non toll roads would you suggest or is it worth taking a toll road?
     
  4. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    5,437
    Likes Received:
    11,130
    Location:
    Kettering
    We just used the direct route, the A26. If I remember correctly the tolls weren't much.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,508
    Likes Received:
    8,263
    Location:
    NW England
    Your trip sounds very similar to one we undertook a couple of years ago, although shorter in duration.

    We headed south down the east side and hung a right near Montelimar, heading for Vallon Pont d'Arc on the Ardeche, where you've got the Ardeche Gorge, the Pont d'Arc, and the Chauvet Cave reconstruction (the cave where some of the oldest known art was found). Two aires in the town, the one by the supermarket is the least pleasant of them.

    Then we went into the Auvergne stopping to see the chapel on top of the volcanic plug at Puy-en-Velay (small aire below) before moving on and going up the Puy de Dome (extinct volcano) near Clermont-Ferrand for the view. That's a goodly hike if you don't take the train up - mountain bike tracks also abound. Overnight parking appears to be tolerated in their extensive parking area - nobody challenged us or the other MHs anyway. Near to that you've got Vulcania, an unusual volcano-themed visitor attraction with its own aire.

    If you like prehistoric stuff do not under any circumstances miss Les Eyzies de Tayac Sirieul, which houses the French National Museum of Prehistory and has numerous cave/shelter sites close by. For original cave art you need to be looking at Rouffignac and/or Font de Gaume (there's also Pech Merle near Cabrerets, some distance away in the Lot gorge). Rouffignac has the Mammoth and Woolly Rhino drawings so that's a special one. For reconstruction art see Lascaux II near Montignac, tickets have to be bought at an office in town before going up to the site. Les Eyzies has a lovely grassy aire near the river - one of our favourites.

    Other places I'd visit in the general Dordogne/Vezere/Lot area are La Roque-Gageac (aire by river), Rocamadour (free parking in coach park behind chateau), Beynac et Cazenac (overnighting tolerated in bus parking area up hill), the rural life open air museum at Le Bugue (pleasant aire in park near river), Castellnaud la Chapelle (I think there's overnighting allowed in the chateau parking area but there's others nearby if not). Sarlat la Caneda has an aire at the top of the town near the cemetery, and an unusual historic town centre. The troglodyte village at Roque Saint Christophe is also a pretty much unique place to look at - overnighting tolerated in the car park but it's a bit isolated. If you like caves be sure to go down the Gouffre de Padirac.

    If I was returning up the West side I'd make a beeline for La Rochelle and the Charente-Maritime coast including Ile de Re, which is a firm favourite of ours.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
    • Like Like x 2
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  6. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,782
    Likes Received:
    6,034
    Location:
    Sarth London
    Doubt it will look like in your photos in march
    /April. ..bit early for France me thinks!
     
  7. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,508
    Likes Received:
    8,263
    Location:
    NW England
    Our last (pre-Easter) trip to the Ardeche - Auvergene - Dordogne was wall to wall sunshine. It only rained whilst driving back through Normandy, as it always does.
     
  8. Jac Sprat

    Jac Sprat Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    490
    Location:
    Norfolk
    Fantastic tips there thanks
    Yes our interests are the same.
    We've decided for peace of mind to camp in a campsite the first night off the shuttle rather than risk the aires being full. Having trouble finding one open. Any suggestions? We don't want to drive far but want to be clear of Calais.
     
  9. scousebird

    scousebird Funster

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2012
    Messages:
    13,631
    Likes Received:
    20,744
    Location:
    South East Kent
    What date are you going?
     
  10. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,044
    Likes Received:
    4,114
    Location:
    Cotes d'armor, France
    Never too early to visit France, heres Mrs A with the dogs on the beach in Brittany, 30th March a couple of years ago, and she doesnt take her coat off unless its warm!

    beach in March (1 of 1).jpg

    The Aire at Mutigny near Epernay is nice and peaceful. This is us at the air in August. It was HOT....

    Mutigny (1 of 1).jpg

    And the view from the aire overlooking the champagne vineyards

    Vines at Epernay (1 of 1).jpg
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,508
    Likes Received:
    8,263
    Location:
    NW England
    [​IMG]

    The Pont d'Arc on our last spring trip to the Ardeche, just before Easter. Note total absence of tourist hordes and flailing braying canoeists in brightly coloured hired plastic potties. We had the place virtually to ourselves for two days, and the road along the gorge was deserted.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  12. Jac Sprat

    Jac Sprat Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    490
    Location:
    Norfolk
    Going on Wednesday
    Wanted to beat the Easter holiday crowd.
     
  13. scousebird

    scousebird Funster

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2012
    Messages:
    13,631
    Likes Received:
    20,744
    Location:
    South East Kent
    The only site we've stayed on near but out of Calais is Camping Bien Assise at Guines but according to their website they don't open until 4th April
     
  14. FIDGET

    FIDGET Funster

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,876
    Likes Received:
    5,961
    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    Hi Arques aire or campsite, nice lakeside
    about 30 miles from Calais,
    aire 2 euros
    campsite I believe about 13 .open 1st april I think
    Tel.: +33321885366 | Email: camping-arques@wanadoo.fr | Website
    Description: borrowed from camper contact
    quiet place 300 m from the campsite Beauséjour-follow the signs to the camp site and the entrance is to the left of the desk-service station next to the campsite-Please note that flow only on the service station-jetons, near the camp site-sani + waste + bottle bank at camping-bakery 1 km-Centre 1 km-shower on camping-money is picked up in the evening

    General information:
    Location dedicated for motorhomes | Max. capacity: 15 | Maximum stay: 24 uur | Open: 1/4 - 1/11

    Pricing:
    Motorhome (2 persons incl. taxes): Free / € 3,50 | Waste water discharge: € 1,50 | Chemical toilet discharge: Free | Water: € 1,50 | Electricity: € 1,50 (per uur)

    Contact:
    Rue Michelet, 62510 Arques, France
    Tel.: +33321885366

    GPS:
    N 50.74665, E 2.30131
    N 50°44'48", E 2°18'05"
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  15. FIDGET

    FIDGET Funster

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,876
    Likes Received:
    5,961
    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    Nice aire at Catillon sur Sambre canalside
    upload_2016-3-21_14-3-25.jpeg
    upload_2016-3-21_14-4-14.jpeg
    small charge 5 euros I believe,
    if full theres another free aire over the road (more of a lorry park not so nice views no services)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. EssexBoy

    EssexBoy Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Messages:
    314
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    South Essex
    We're going Wednesday night. Land about 10pm off the train. Wife wants to use the aire at Wissant. If that’s full we'll try the next one along the coast (can't remember its name right now though)
     
Loading...

Share This Page