Never Done It,,, Advice On First Trip & Code

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Dubiousp, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Dubiousp

    Dubiousp Read Only Funster

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    Im sure theres many threads but if anyones got a couple quick answers I would appreciate it.

    Around the 19th March I fancied trying our first trip to France, for about a week. Im a little worried having never driven abroad before but Im told its easier.

    1) I believe the best price is from Dover through DFDS with a code, does any one have a current code with out caravan and camping

    2) We were thinking about a week over there just tootling around has anyone any suggestions of sites or basic route. Im thinking perhaps the more comfortable sites to start ie bit of electric maybe even a couple of two night stops.
     
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  2. canopus

    canopus Funster Life Member

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    If you have any Tesco Club Card vouchers its fairly cheap to use the chunnel:thumb:
     
  3. DP_JAY

    DP_JAY Funster Life Member

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    Yes, DFDS, No code needed. Try a few different departure times to find the cheapest.
    Can't advise on sites as we use the Aires, Brilliant. Get the Aires book, you won't need leccy if your bimmbling/ touring ( moving every day or so). Our rule is if we're moving we leave straight after breakfast & arrive at next Aire by lunch. Enjoy.
     
  4. Dubiousp

    Dubiousp Read Only Funster

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    We have the Aire guide so may have a look how to use the
     
  5. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

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    Hi
    You don't have to go very far in France, the coast west of Calais to Normandy is worth a visit.

    Stay off the toll roads and dual carriageways and just take your time.

    We were in France March last year and found a lot of sites were still closed, very quiet, so look for a site or Aire before you set off each day.
    :thumb:
     
  6. meakwooders

    meakwooders Funster

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    Hi
    We stayed at Le Cateau Cambresis, page 292 in our aires book. A bit noisy, as adjacent to road, but walking distance to town. Also free unlimited electricity, (4 sockets) helpful when the weather is cold. It saved us using our gas for heating. It was a shortish drive from Calais, and lots of history. Henri Matisse was born there, and there is a museum. We were there 3 weeks ago, and it was very quiet, but a nice place to be.

    Safe travels

    Karen and Paul
     
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  7. Wildax

    Wildax Read Only Funster

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    For a week there is plenty to keep the fist timer happy in Picardy and never having to drive far from the port. See my map http://goo.gl/maps/ptZ8e and look at the sites and aires marked between Calais and le crotoy. These are mainly aires but there are some nice ones. And the great thing with an aire is if you don't like it you can move on to the next... Most important tip in my book is not to plan too much, just have a rough idea of where you are going .... Oh and enjoy :)
     
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  8. Dubiousp

    Dubiousp Read Only Funster

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    Excellent information thank you
     
  9. ukbill

    ukbill Funster

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    well worth the sub aint it have fun
     
  10. Dubiousp

    Dubiousp Read Only Funster

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    I think so,

    Just one question on the map links sent over which is really good whats the difference between blue and green
     
  11. GaryW

    GaryW Funster

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    To me the map looks like green are campsites and blue are Aires :thumb:
     
  12. grasscutter

    grasscutter Funster Life Member

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    Dubiousp don't worry about the driving. After a couple of minutes you will be fine. The roads are so much better than ours. Enjoy yourself.:thumb:
     
  13. mondo

    mondo Read Only Funster

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    This might seem obvious but what I did was write on a small piece of card/paper DRIVE ON THE RIGHT..it works however I believe they sell these clear floppy plastic stickers which say the same and have a diagram on them that shows Right Hand Drive road position couple of Euros for peace of mind..as for the Aires just use them in conjunction with maps of the area and no worries...but arrive around at the latest 3pm for a decent spot..

    A nice site we used near Miannay/Abbeyville is Le Clos Cacheleaux/Val de Trie nice site for first timing..English is spoken..the sites are sister sites and opposite each other I would say use the Le Clos Cacheleax as it is more open and the pitches are larger it opens on the 15th march...Have fun..

    EDIT: Tried putting the link in but it will not work google Le Clos Cacheleaux and you'll find it..
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  14. Bailey58

    Bailey58 Funster Life Member

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    Better brush up on your French if you ask directions for this one, they might think you need toothpaste.
    Camping Haliotis :Laughing:
     
  15. Wildax

    Wildax Read Only Funster

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    Blue ones are aires . Green are sites. Remember there are plenty more these are just places I have been. Oh, and most of the sites I visit take camping cheques which are a great way of getting a cheap but good site.
     
  16. Roryboys Dad

    Roryboys Dad Read Only Funster

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    Do not make too many plans as to where you want to go and what you want to see.

    The first time, three years ago, when we went to France in a MH we had a fortnight to see as much as we could of Northern France.

    I spent months cobbling together a definitive list of where we would go, stay and see.

    Within a few hours of arriving in France the list went in the bin.

    We had been delayed by heavy traffic and a Motorway accident and arrived at Eurotunnel 4 hours later than booked, six hours later in France than expected and eventually arrived at Equihen Plage Aire at eleven at night.

    So - we were nowhere near where we'd expected to be on the first night and after that we decided just to meander along the Northern coast and stop anywhere that looked ok.

    We then stayed at Fort Mahon Plage, Veules-les-Roses, Honfleur, Luc-sur-Mer and Grandcamp Maisy before heading back via Beuvron-en-Auge, Etretat, Le Treport, Le Touquet and finally Wissant.

    We had to stay at Honfleur longer than we'd anticipated because the dog managed to cut his leg chasing rabbits (don't ask!) and he needed a Vet's attention - but we realised Honfleur offered more than just the touristy Harbour area and was a lovely place to stay.

    If you've not travelled in France before you need to get used to driving on the right (driver in gutter), road signs and where all the other traffic is because the open road really is open on most of the roads in France compared to the UK.

    Take your time, long distances are for the more seasoned visitor, and just enjoy what the 'real' France has to offer wherever you decide to go.

    Take the Rough Guide to find those places you'd never even heard of before but are well worth a visit.

    And don't worry, you'll find somewhere to stay every night – everyone else does.

    :france::france::france:
     
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  17. Wildax

    Wildax Read Only Funster

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    Long distances are for the more seasoned visitor, and just enjoy what the 'real' France has to offer wherever you decide to go.

    [/QUOTE]

    Not sure I agree. It's all about how comfortable you are and how safe you are driving long distances. The key is to take breaks and not to to do something you are not comfortable with. I can't see it has anything to do with how many times you have driven on the continent.
     
  18. Roryboys Dad

    Roryboys Dad Read Only Funster

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    As the OP said he had never driven abroad before - do you not think it would be more sensible for him to get acclimatised to French roads before attempting long distances?


    Just driving on the right for the first time takes some time to adjust, there are many unfamiliar road signs in a foreign language to understand and traffic islands are always a worry for the uninitiated.


    He only has a week's holiday and having hundreds of miles of tarmac whizzing under the tyres is not an ideal way to see the best of France, or any other country, when the main purpose of a holiday is relaxation – not a race to get as far as possible as quickly as possible.


    Give the guy a chance, you as an experienced European traveller may have forgotten the doubts and worries of that first trip, and let him into Continental driving as gently as possible.

    :france::france::france:
     
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  19. Wildax

    Wildax Read Only Funster

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    You will see from my earlier posts that I suggest there is plenty to do in Picardy. However, I don't believe, for everyone, driving in France is that big a thing. Once over the water and on the roads any experienced Uk driver should be able to judge their own ability. I agree don't make big plans but if you feel comfortable and want to head further afield you should. You shouldn't be held back thinking its not the done thing and you need experience. It is the drivers decision, who should access the risks and their own ability but without compromising their own or others safety.
     
  20. FIDGET

    FIDGET Funster

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    Hi, As already said it's so much easier to drive in france just remember to drive on the right ( very easy) , times to think!!! are if you stop for a break / cuppa when you pull away ensure you go to the right (mind being distracted for short while)other than that SIMPLES. We did our first ever trip many years ago drove down to the med in 2 days missed most of the scenery and countryside , so take your time dont use paege roads (tolls) can be expensive. again as said normandy coast or loire river, or Brittany.
    Very nice campsite south of caen
    Camping des Rochers des Parcs

    Clécy a few miles south of Thury Harcourt (normandy swiss) right on the river bank, not sure if they will be open but check out there website Sorry just checked not open till april.

    Terry:sin:
     
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