First trip abroad to France. (1 Viewer)


Free Member
Oct 12, 2016
Funster No
Off on our first trip abroad.
Going to France for 10 days no real plan, just to get use to aries etc.
Ain to visit some WW1 sites around the Somme then head west to around La Rochelle.
Any advice on aires, what to expect and places to visit would be gratefully received.


Free Member
Apr 26, 2015
Funster No
A class
You'll find the roads a pleasure to drive on, most aires should be open, If you haven't got it yet, download campercontact.It will give you a full list of all the aires in the area's you intend to visit. La Rochelle is lovely. Enjoy..(y)


Free Member
Mar 20, 2018
Charente, France
Funster No
Burstner T-Star 695
If you are doing the battlefields then why not stop off at the submarine pens at St. Nazaire on route down the west coast? You could head down through Le Mans > Blois, check out a few châteaus such as Checonceaux while following the Loire downstream to st. Nazaire then head down the coast to La Rochelle. There is a free aire at Brissac-Quince almost opposite the château not too far from St. Nazaire.

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Rob and Val

Free Member
Oct 17, 2010
Funster No
Talbot Compass Calypso
Since July 2010
The Somme Museum is located in the centre of the town of Albert. Albert saw a lot of fighting during World War I, where huge parts of the town was destroyed. Most of this museum is located in the World War I tunnels under the town.

The Circuit of Remembrance is a route touring the Somme battlefields in France. It’s a forty mile route and starts from either the town of Albert or that of Peronne, winding through numerous battle sites, memorials and museums. It was so sad to see all the gravestones of those brave young men, some only 18 years old. What they went through was horrendous and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

The Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme is a major war memorial to 72,000 missing British and South African men who died in the Battles of the Somme and who have no known grave.

Verdun has both a memorial site and a museum. The Battle of Verdun was the largest single battle ever fought in history and it resulted in excess of three-quarters of a million casualties – such a wicked waste of life. The Verdun Memorial is set amidst the site of this battle and the surrounding landscape deliberately still bears the scars of the war, including mine and shell craters. The Memorial Museum immerses the visitor in the realities of the battle and uses multimedia presentations to guide visitors through the events of the war.

We have stayed at the aire in La Rochelle (N46°09.188, W001°08.399). No electric there but a very good location next to the Park & Ride. The fee for the aire includes return bus tickets for up to 4 people into the centre of La Rochelle. (Town parking bans motorhomes). Entry to the aire is closed on a Sunday but you are able to exit. Had a good night's sleep there and La Rochelle was well worth seeing.

Hope you have a great time.


Free Member
Oct 16, 2018
Funster No
Long enough
Do not try to go too far on your first visit. - aim to places you want to see on your way west but do things slowly and get a better feel for the French way of life.
For some ideas of Aires have a look at my videos (link below) - not all Aires are ideal but some may be what you are looking for.
With a few French phrases and a decent smile at people you'll be fine.
And don't forget to wave at other Motorhomes .......
Feb 26, 2016
Funster No
Carthago 138
Since 2001
You may find that they have been and turned the water off at the Aires. We stopped at 3 on the way back from Spain and non had the water working although you could get rid of toilet waste. Fill up when you can and don't expect to find any at the next stop.

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Jun 2, 2018
Beautiful North Wales border
Funster No
Carado T449
Since 2015
We've just done a similar trip to your plan...aimed for Bordeaux in a week. Stopped short.

Here is a quick write up of some of the lessons from our First moho trip to France. Can't wait for the next!

Thiepval very moving - we went especially to find the memorial of two great-uncles. If you arrive early you avoid the school parties (even on a Sunday start to arrive from mid-morning - mind you it was nice to see this happening).

We stayed in our first ever aire in Bapaume about 10 minutes drive away from Thipeval:

We did a slightly less westerly route than suggested above - and stayed in Nogent le Roi one night - wonderful mediaeval village with a nice aire.

Enjoy your trip.

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May 9, 2016
Titchfield Common
Funster No
Burstner iXeo
Since 2016 - UK & Europe
Morning Jands, good luck on your first foreign foray, you'll love it. Agree with other posts, don't try and cram too much travelling in, it's a holiday after all. We spent 4 months in Europe this year and found the Park4Night app invaluable, give it a go. Our Moho mantra is get up in the morning think of what you fancy seeing, fire up the apps and maps and then away you go. We have tried over planned and rigid routes before and found that way of travelling quite stressful as you are always chasing the next spot on the map. Just go and have fun and interesting experiences.


May 27, 2015
Bedfordshire, UK
Funster No
Hymer B584
Long time
We go to France a lot & use the Aires. You may find some free ones & some may require money/card.
You will find Bournes vary a lot usually when they’re called ‘custom’ the water etc is free.
As said before if you don’t like an Aire or don’t feel comfortable move on there’s always another one not far away.
Don’t plan just go & enjoy the freedom.


Free Member
Jan 2, 2017
Funster No
Coach Built
4 years
Visiting the Somme and La Rochelle sounds like two separate trips, if you want to do justice to each. There is so much to see along northern France & Belgium, that heading down to La Rochelle may stretch you a bit.

Apart from all the cemeteries along the Somme, Thiepval is a must and, if you can travel far enough east, there is so much to see around Bastogne & Luxembourg. Our next mission is to look into the scary 'Zone Rouge' near to Verdun, much of which is still too dangerous after 100 years.

La Rochelle is wonderful, and it does have a unique climate with almost Mediterranean weather for much of the year ... when are you planning to travel?

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