Northern France Aires - How busy in July/August

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by urban_biker, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. urban_biker

    urban_biker Funster

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    Hi, I'm planning our first motorhome trip to France this summer. We will be heading out via the tunnel sometime at the end of July beginning of August and staying on a site on the Cherbourg peninsula. My plan is to tour down from Calais over a couple of days stopping at Aires around Torquet or Berck and Honfleur before getting to our site for the main part of the holiday.

    My question is, how busy do those aires get on the northern coast in July/August? Am I risking it just turning up and expecting a space? I will probably be able to arrive early afternoon and am prepared to move on to the next town if one is full. Anyone got any July/August experiences they can share?

    Thanks,

    Dave
     
  2. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    Pretty busy but it's a question of scale.

    Honfleur can take about 200 vans so you can almost always find somewhere to squeeze in. If you want electric or a nice spot though get there early and be prepared to move quickly when a spot opens up

    The smaller aires fill up quite quickly, especially in popular locations so again you need to get there early.

    Saint Valery-en-Caux is another great one, right on the beach, but it's really popular so fills up quite early.

    As long as you plan your travelling properly you should be OK. We've never had a problem getting a place where we've wanted to be. We normally travel in the morning and look to be parked up by just after lunch or early afternoon. We've never stayed on a site in France - we use aires for the whole trip.
     
  3. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Very...If they are in popular locations or on the coast get there early or don't bother, and find a municipal campsite, far more pleasant anyway.
     
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  4. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    The only one i ever tried along there in August was Wissant..
    Might as well forget it. ! I think the whole of France and Belgium motorhomes were trying to be there..
     
  5. mickyc

    mickyc Read Only Funster

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    We've toured this area extensively in July and August.

    With regards to Aires, the usual advise is always to arrive around lunchtime. The Pas de Calais/Picardy coast is ok for a first time visit, but if I were limited to time I would head straight for Honfleur and then spend a cpl of days in Normandy before heading up the Cotenin Peninsular to your campsite.

    There are plenty of Aires in this area and its a bit nicer/more interesting.
     
  6. Anthea M

    Anthea M Funster

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    We have done large campsites ,small/municipal campsites and Aires in the past. Now there is just the two of us we avoid the big sites with pools etc and use a combination of Aires and small sites after a few nights . We like small aires in towns and villages . How ever we have stayed on big ones like Honfleur, Crotoy And MontSt Michel but you have to arrive lunchtime or before as it can get busy! :cool: Happy travels!
     
  7. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    rammed full..

    as said.. get there early
     
  8. Eve

    Eve Read Only Funster

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    Never had any problems! Often if an air fills there is usually room out side ,I have seen overflows along roads and in supermarkets.

    The advice given to arrive mid day is the best,but if you find yourself in a position of no room,it's not unusual for people just to park nearby.
     
  9. colinw

    colinw Read Only Funster

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    _DSC2846.JPG
    Busy , but as said above usually room somewhere . park up and wait for someone to leave , or stay where you are ! _DSC3645.JPG

    We had to wait for this one , it was worth it !

    Enjoy yourself , always room for a small one (y)
     
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  10. KeithChesterfield

    KeithChesterfield Funster

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    We were in France last year between mid-June and mid-August and easily found places to stay, usually a different Aire almost every day, although some were reasonably full most had plenty of spaces if you arrive before mid-afternoon.

    Have a look at some of my Videos and you can see most have plenty of room to stop overnight.

    If you have an Smart phone or Tablet use the App – CamperContact.com – to find the nearest Aire – wherever you are in France.

    :france::france::france::france:
     
  11. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    I think French are on holidays end of July beginning August we were out there couple of years ago at that time and the popular Aires were very busy but you could always find one a little inland that was empty.
     
  12. urban_biker

    urban_biker Funster

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    Thanks so much for all your replies. So it sounds like its doable if we arrive early and are prepared to wait for spaces to turn up and are also flexible where we stop. I guess there is always a Municipal or other campsite as an option if we get stuck and it also sounds like the French are more tolerant of you just parking up nearby.

    We are using a campsite for the main part of the holiday as we have two school age children and they like a place with a pool and time to make friends.

    I thought this way we could do a bit of ad hoc touring to split up the driving and to make the journey to the site part of the fun. If it were just the two of us we'd probably move around a lot more like a lot of folks suggest especially if we ever manage to get away out of the main holiday season. (although we have a few years to go before that looks like an option)
     
  13. colinw

    colinw Read Only Funster

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    Some aires are more child friendly than others , if you are using sites as well ,they should be well catered for . have a safe trip .
     
  14. urban_biker

    urban_biker Funster

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    Coincidentally I'd already watched your beginners guide to the tunnel Keith as I wanted to see how it works having only used ferries in the past.
     
  15. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    One thing no one seems to have mentioned is France passion,
    https://www.france-passion.com/en/
    Not much different than Aires, the book costs about £20 , forget the actual amount, then it's free parking, they can be a bit out of the way and some want some finding but they do put co ords in the book now so that has made it better but on the other hand we have never seen a full one.(y)
     
  16. orridge

    orridge Funster

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    Arras and Wissant were the only ones we couldn't get into last week of August so stayed at Vimy Ridge and Herdighen instead both of which not far away so you should always be able to find somewhere.
     
  17. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Found no problems with inland aires anywhere in France in July/August but we are not bothered about the seaside(we live near the sea). Most inland aires have nothing for the children and so as the folks with children don't stay there are pretty much the same occupancy as off peak.
    The same can't be said for any seaside aire on the Med though!
     
  18. colinw

    colinw Read Only Funster

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    Been to St Valerie en caux , it was very busy , lots of turnover though apart from a couple of " residents " .
     
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