Normandy weather

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by wp1234, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. wp1234

    wp1234

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    Just about to book our tunnel trip but before I do does anybody know what the weather is likely to be in the Normandy region early June - is it shorts and T shirts time or is it a bit early for that ?
    Thanks all
     
  2. solitaire woman

    solitaire woman Read Only Funster

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    Think it is probably too early to say. When I was there in July one year it was torrential rain, wind and rather chilly! You will have to wait until nearer the time to see what the weather is up to!
     
  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I would agree, the weather in Normandy is not a lot different from the UK south coast .. and much the same as Brittany.

    The French climate improves dramatically below the Loire valley

    jim
     
  4. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    I totally agree with Jim :thumb:
     
  5. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    We were there last June for the 65th WWII celebrations and it was a bit of a mixed bag. First few days were a bit naff but then we had sunshine warm enough to bike around on the scooter in shorts.
     
  6. Wintonian

    Wintonian Read Only Funster

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    Hmmm. True that Normandy has similar weather to the UK South Coast. Untrue to say that it is much the same as Brittany. Brittany experiences very different weather patterns, being further south and more influenced by the Gulf Stream and the Atlantic weather systems. It is generally quite a bit warmer in Brittany, particularly in the Morbihan, to the south of the region. You can expect temperatures, on average, to be about 4 degrees warmer than England.:Smile:

    June 2009 was quite hot here in Brittany. Many people - mainly those who have never been right into the region - really have no idea what it is like. Before we came to live here, we used to drive south for our holidays and drove straight past Brittany thinking that it was just like Normandy. How wrong we were. The countryside is so varied, and so beautiful. And the roads are almost empty. Brittany is probably the most Motor Home friendly part of France, too. If you have not been here, try it. Vannes, Quimper, Brest, the Pink Granite Coast to the north - there is so much to see, much of it very spectacular. And at Carnac, see standing stones that make Stonehenge look like a pile of builders rubble!
     
  7. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    Hi. We loved Brittany so much in June on our way back we visited again in August. We wanted to come in the Winter but everyone said it would be horrible.

    I would be interested to hear your thoughts on that as a resident. Whats it like in the winter? Especially this winter! Been freezing here with loads of snow but it hasnt stopped is being out in the van for the last three weeks.

    Maybe we could come next winter!

    Cheers
    BD
     
  8. Wintonian

    Wintonian Read Only Funster

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    Having been in England between the evening of 5th January and 9th January (came over for a family funeral in N Devon, but closed roads meant that we were unable to get there in time), I know what the conditions were like. On returning to Brittany via Caen, Normandy, we ran into heavy snow between 10pm and 3am when we arrived home. The snow had been very heavy in Brittany which is extremely unusual. But the weather affected the whole of Europe, including Portugal and Spain, so cannot be taken as typical. Indeed the weather in the south of England (we used to live in Winchester) has been atypical. We virtually never saw snow in Hampshire, but this year it was very heavy.

    I would not say that Brittany would be my first choice to spend a winter, but it would be rather better than the north of England. We arrived here in January 2008 in our original C Class Hymer, looking for a house to buy. We spent several nights on the north coast where it was cold, wet and windy. The Hymer is well up to that, fortunately! Conditions improved quite rapidly, however, and February was quite mild. We moved into the house that we bought on the 1st March 2008 in Morbihan, just north of Pontivy, and Spring was very pleasant.

    The snowfall here gave a thick coating to the roads. Far fewer roads are treated with salt than in the UK (the French are very concerned to preserve the quality of the water table). The country roads have only just started to clear completely. But, unlike in the UK, the local drivers are not phased by it and they know how to drive in the conditions. In England I was unable to progress because of other cars abandoned in the roads. My X-Trail, with 4WD and all-weather tyres, was able to make good progress everywhere and in the thickest snow (where ordinary cars were coming to grief). Abandoned cars were everywhere - even on motorways. Here in France, I only saw one car at the side of the road, and he had simply broken down. People didn't panic, but just used their skill and common sense to get on with it.

    It is rare for Brittany to get snow in winter, and a friend living a little further south and west (about 50 miles away near Josselin), but still in the Morbihan, has had virtually no snow.

    Warmer weather will be found in and south of the Loire Valley, however, and that, or Spain, would be our choice for the winter. We will be off there in a month or so for some warmth.

    Knowing many areas of France, however, I would choose Brittany as the place to live. Highly civilised and very peaceful. Holidays are a different matter, of course. But I could not live full time in the Costas!
     
  9. madbluemad

    madbluemad

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    Hi
    Were off to France in June for a couple of weeks, we haven't been before and dont have a clue where to go.

    I'm not really bothered as long as there's sunshine and preferabley near to the sea.

    We just know that were going to drive south but I dont want to be driving for two weeks.

    Any idea's

    Jim

    :Smile:
     
  10. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    We did three months last summer but the first two weeks saw us drive from Calais to Pegasus Bridge and the Normandy Landing beaches for the WWII 65th Celebrations for a few days before going right around Brittany. Having visited nearly every Department in France, Switzerland, Italian Lakes, Black Forest and Bavaria Brittany is still one of our favorite spots. Ok so the Alps cant be beaten for Scenery and the South of France guarentees sunshine but for a 2 week trip Normandy and Brittany would be a good place to start. The roads are quiet, its very very safe, loads of Aires and wild places to stay. You dont need to book anything, just buy an Aires book and follow the French who are motorhome mad. You will find that come the weekend in June there are almost as many motorhomes on the road in Brittany as there are cars and you can find some lovely places to stay for a couple of weeks for free. It was busier in August but we always found places to stay no problem, June is an ideal time to go though.

    Alternitively you could just hammer all the way down on the first two days to the south and then allow 2 days to get back.

    Cheers
    BD
     
  11. madbluemad

    madbluemad

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    Thanks Barry. I was toying with the idea of driving for a day, stopping over on an arie, or wilding and then driving the next day to find a destination.

    Once there, sort out my bearings and take it from there.

    I had already decided that to book was the wrong thing to do based on other peoples experiences on the forum. I'm not to bothered were I end up but I dont want to be behind the wheel all day everyday and it would be nice to see the sunshine.

    Jim
    :Smile:
     
  12. TheTwoOfUs

    TheTwoOfUs Funster

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    We've been to Normandy for the first weekend in June for the past 15 years. The weather has been very mixed, some years total sunshine, other years wet and misty. I'm afraid it's pot luck with the weather but the locals are always great.
     
  13. Wintonian

    Wintonian Read Only Funster

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    Suggestion:

    Take the ferry from Portsmouth to St Malo (or Caen if you don't want an overnight crossing). If you take the afternoon ferry to Caen you will be advised to stay there for the night before moving on. You are welcome to spend the night at the ferry port for no charge (one of the things you will love about France is the amount of free parking!). It is safe and comfortable in the car park, and you are unlikely to be alone in a camping car.

    (Follow these suggestions on http://www.viamichelin.co.uk for clarity.)

    Then drive up to Perros Guirrec on the Cote Granit Rose and have a look around the many interesting bays on the peninsula. The scenery is spectacular and there are plenty of places to spend the night (free of charge).

    Then go to the south coast of Brittany via Pontivy. The car park in the city centre is large and free, and camping cars are welcome. There are other places in the town where you can spend the night for free. Visit Vannes. Here, unfortunately, you may find difficulties parking your camper, but the car park opposite the city walls (the Ramparts) may have empty spaces and it is easy to access the city from there. The gardens beneath the ramparts are beautiful in June, and you will take photos! On Wednesday and Saturday mornings there is a very big market, so parking will be very difficult.

    Then go to Carnac, La Trinite sur Mer and the surrounding areas. It is all very quiet in June.

    After you have spent some time in Brittany drive down the motorway in the direction of Nantes (but without going to Nantes!). Visit La Roche Bernard, where you will be able to park and have lunch by the river, then continue on to La Baule - the playground of the rich. Beautiful sandy beaches and fabulous white apartments lining the bay.

    After that, head for Saint Nazaire to see the famous WW2 german submarine pens. Then head for the enormous and spectacular Saint Nazaire bridge over the Loire. Look down on the shipyards (where the Queen Mary II was fitted out).

    From here you can continue south to, perhaps, Les Sables d'Olonne, La Rochelle and Bordeaux.

    That will give you plenty to do without much frenetic driving - especially if you stay off the dual carriageways and take the smaller roads.

    Many people simply cross to Calais, get on the motorway towards Paris, drive round and onto more motorways heading south to Mediterranean. After a great deal of boring driving and huge bills for the Tolls, they arrive at the Med to find just sandy beaches and a lot of people. And high prices. This can put people off France, so better to stick to the REAL France.:Smile:

    Have fun and enjoy France. You are bound to return to see more of it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  14. madbluemad

    madbluemad

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    Excellent post, thank you. We intend to have a look at the map this weekend and this will give us a good starter.

    Jim
    :thumb
     
  15. Wintonian

    Wintonian Read Only Funster

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    I forgot to mention: there are no toll roads in Brittany. Napoleon made an edict that makes it impossible for the Government to impose any. It is also thanks to Napoleon (I believe) that campers are allowed to park in any public place overnight, provided they are not causing nuisance or obstruction. Pontivy was one of Napoleon's garrison towns, and was, at one time, actually called Napoleonville! The Nantes a Brest canal runs through the town, as does the Blavet river. The town has just purchased a large Peniche (French barge) which is moored on the river close to Pontivy Castle. It is being fitted out as the new Visitor centre. Lots of parking along the river at that point.
     
  16. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    So thats why we wooped him at Waterloo then. He was too busy trying to find a nice spot for his Hymer with a sea view at Quiberon.
     
  17. Cherrybaby

    Cherrybaby Read Only Funster

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    Weather in Normandy

    Hi,

    I live in the Normandy Maine National Park / Mayenne, lower end of Normandy, yes the weather can be varied, but last 2 years May / June have been really nice, this year we hardly saw any rain from the beginning of May till October ! temperatures up at 34 Deg C for a long time, too hot to work.
    This area is often overlooked as most people head for the sea, if you want more of a relaxed time try this area.
    I am near Lassay Les Chateaux, a lovely medieval town,with Cider tasting then, there's Jublains a Roman Village, or how about Bagnoles De`l Orne, a spa town with a casino,or Domfront, I could go on. Just depends what you like to do.
     
  18. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Jim,
    I agree with all Wintoian and Barryd has had to say, but don't spend most your day driving enjoy your Holiday in France, and keep off the motorway and toll roads, when we first set of we drive about 100km for the first day, then after that it could be 10km to the next Aire or 30, 40,50, but we try not to go over the 100km.. and slowly meander down France calling as many aires as we can, some may not be suitable with my dogs or it may be in a town so I would stop for lunch, then onto a Aire for the night, ......it is so different to England, well what I mean by that it is more motorhome friendly.. the idea of of France is don't rush just take your time.....and when they say you see more motorhomes than cars they are not far wrong......if this your first trip to France I think it will not be your last..............And may I say I hope you have a lovely and sunny holiday when you come over

    If you are landing at Calais then maybe put 150km to 200km to start then take it slowly

    Mel
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  19. jaygee

    jaygee Funster

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    we toured France last August for 1 month. Started in Belgium (Ypres) then went down to Annecy, back up across to West coast via loire valley thern Normandy for last week. Weather down south was hot & sunny but when we came back to west coast & up it was far colder & ocasional riny days just like UK summer weather so we wished we had stayed south. You can get south in a couple of days if you don't use the toll roads and some nice aires on the way.
     
  20. Wintonian

    Wintonian Read Only Funster

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    That would be very typical of a Frenchman! :Smile: Having found that spot, he would settle down for a leisurely 2 hour lunch. :Cool:

    However, maybe Britain would have been better off in French hands. (At least, then, I would not be struggling to learn the language!) International Living magazine recently announced that France was the best place in the world to live, followed by Australia, Switzeland and Germany. Britain held 25th spot and Spain 17th.
    http://www.french-property.com/news/french_life/france_best_place_to_live_2010/
     

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