Travelling to France and then Spain (1 Viewer)

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Aug 7, 2013
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Hi,

we're looking to travel down through France to Nice and then down Spain maybe to Benidorm. I have a couple of questions. Has anyone any idea of where we can stay before we get the ferry over to Calais. And does anyone have any suggestions of decent campsites on the way down and maybe good ones near Benidorm. We've been down before and stayed at Folkstone site, but we just need to stay for one night on the English side. We're also thinking about going through Belgium to avoid all the toll roads in France. We are just going to take our time so don't need to be getting anywhere fast. Joys of being retired. Any help would be appreciated.
 

Judge Mental

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belgium? wrong direction....:coffee:

the consensus of opinion seems to favour a westerly route via Rouen (south from Calais) mainly using N roads with short bursts of toll road to get through busy bits where there is no real fast alternatives

previous threads on topic here:

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canopus

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Theres the Caravan Club site at :-

Bearsted Caravan Club Site
Ashford Road, Maidstone, Hollingbourne, Kent, ME17 1XH
Tel: 01622 730018

We tend to stay on Aires through France and avoid tolls by keying that into the Sat Nav. The road surfaces in Belgium are atrocious and it would cost you more in fuel to go North from Calais, when in fact you want to be heading South. If you have to go into a campsite then you would be wise to get the Acsi Camping Card which offers good discounts at this time of year.

http://www.campingcard.co.uk
 
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Feb 16, 2013
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Hi,

we're looking to travel down through France to Nice and then down Spain maybe to Benidorm. I have a couple of questions. Has anyone any idea of where we can stay before we get the ferry over to Calais. And does anyone have any suggestions of decent campsites on the way down and maybe good ones near Benidorm. We've been down before and stayed at Folkstone site, but we just need to stay for one night on the English side. We're also thinking about going through Belgium to avoid all the toll roads in France. We are just going to take our time so don't need to be getting anywhere fast. Joys of being retired. Any help would be appreciated.
Best advice , don't stop on this side , get the tunnel , go round to cite Europe car park, stay there the night and be ready for off the next morning, save yourself £30
 
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Feb 16, 2013
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Loads of good aires the way you are going, that's the way we go.

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Nov 28, 2007
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You can stop at Canterbury New Dover Road park and ride it costs £3 for 24 hours and that allows you and any passengers, up to 5, free travel into town and back. There is a nice pub just on the corner and the ferry is just 20 minutes away.
We always stop here before catching the ferry, it is secure and quiet.
 
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Oct 15, 2012
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You can stop at Canterbury New Dover Road park and ride it costs £3 for 24 hours and that allows you and any passengers, up to 5, free travel into town and back. There is a nice pub just on the corner and the ferry is just 20 minutes away.
We always stop here before catching the ferry, it is secure and quiet.
Another vote for Canterbury P and R which is great if you have to stop this side of the channel.
 
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stcyr

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There's no need whatsoever to use toll roads in France, especially if you are in no hurry! There's always a good route usually following the m'way (or rather, the m'ways follow the original RN).
On our regular 360 km. trip to Dieppe we always take the cross-country route. It takes the same length of time as the toll route and is every bit as relaxed, at a comfortable 90kph. ......
There's only 1km difference between the toll route & the non-toll route, 1227/1228 but the Reims/Dijon route is only 1180kms.
 
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keith

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The Drum Inn Stamford North just off J11 M20 charge £10 last time we used it including elec
Sat Nav: 51.104840, 1.040630.
 
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MikeD

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I would recommend you get a cheap late evening crossing and stay in a aire in France.

Gravelines for us. Far enough away (20 mins) from Calais to avoid the troubles.

Parc Verger in the Limousin is open all year and always gets great reviews in MHF.

France is such an friendly country to motorhomes so an off motorway meander would not be a problem. :xThumb:

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Feb 16, 2013
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I would recommend you get a cheap late evening crossing and stay in a aire in France.

Gravelines for us. Far enough away (20 mins) from Calais to avoid the troubles.

Parc Verger in the Limousin is open all year and always gets great reviews in MHF.

France is such an friendly country to motorhomes so an off motorway meander would not be a problem. :xThumb:
Couldn't agree more , love gravelines , but suggested cite Europe as an absolute non brainer, don't even have to get on the roads , literally around the corner, maybe 3 minutes, what's the point staying this side for £30 when in half an hour you can be in france, for free
 
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LAM

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France is such an friendly country to motorhomes so an off motorway meander would not be a problem
Couldn't agree more. Our first trip (to The Loire) was easy but if you travel via Rouen watch out for 'LOW BRIDGES' !! :france::france:
 
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stcyr

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We barely need to slow down going through Rouen - except for the speed-limits obviously, straight through no problems any time of day or night. No need to go anywhere near tunnels, bridges etc. :xblink:
 
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LAM

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We barely need to slow down going through Rouen - except for the speed-limits obviously, straight through no problems any time of day or night. No need to go anywhere near tunnels, bridges etc
Apparently, a certain bridge was closed causing havoc and it was Le Mans week !!

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mikebeaches

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We found the motorway surface through Belgium awful when we tried that way last year - absolutely clapped out at the time, for mile after mile. Thought I was going to need a dentist to get new fillings. :xwink:

Mike
 
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belgium? wrong direction....:coffee:

the consensus of opinion seems to favour a westerly route via Rouen (south from Calais) mainly using N roads with short bursts of toll road to get through busy bits where there is no real fast alternatives

previous threads on topic here:

Broken Link Removed
Thanks we've been down the west and fancied the east this time, maybe go up to Bruges and down to Luxembourg and on from there. We're not in any rush, but I take your point.
 
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OP
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Couldn't agree more , love gravelines , but suggested cite Europe as an absolute non brainer, don't even have to get on the roads , literally around the corner, maybe 3 minutes, what's the point staying this side for £30 when in half an hour you can be in france, for free

Thanks for info this is definitely one to think about.
 
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mikebeaches

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Thanks we've been down the west and fancied the east this time, maybe go up to Bruges and down to Luxembourg and on from there. We're not in any rush, but I take your point.

We headed through Belgium to Luxembourg, and once we crossed the country border we thought we were driving on a magic carpet, compared to the Belgian roads - the contrast in Luxembourg could not have been more stark from our perspective - lovely and smooth. :xThumb:

Edited to add - cheapest fuel in Western Europe there too!

Mike
 
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Arnica

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Couldn't agree more , love gravelines , but suggested cite Europe as an absolute non brainer, don't even have to get on the roads , literally around the corner, maybe 3 minutes, what's the point staying this side for £30 when in half an hour you can be in
france, for free

Co-ordinates for cite Europe anyone please

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Techno

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magicsurfbus

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Cite Europe MH parking is on Boulevard du Kent, Coquelles, GPS 50.932852, 1.811132

One drawback of not using toll roads is that the novelty of driving through endless deserted french villages at 30kph soon begins to wear off, but each to their own.

A few stops we've used to break the the journey south:

Mesnil-Saint-Pere, free parking area just beyond the village beside the lake (no services): GPS 48.255665, 4.340956
Dijon, municipal camping and aire at Camping Dijon du Lac Kir. Lovely city, well worth a bit of your time. GPS 47.321357, 5.010752 - be sure to approach the entrance from the south side of the nearby river bridge, due to a very low arch on the opposite lane's exit.
Seurre, small aire with services near to the Saone river, and additional MH parking tolerated on the opposite side of the lane: GPS 47.003928, 5.143233
 
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sedge

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Fantastic very very old clock in Seurre !! It's on the front of an old school building in the main street (one street back from the road next to the river) and fascinating, plaque on the front railings of the building explaining it all in English. Very nice surprise as we didn't know about it.
 
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DanielFord

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We have stayed in Luxembourg a few times, we stay in a site in La Rochette, which is a very pretty little place. The campsite is very nice with a river running through it, and spectacular mountains surround it. It was called camping Xixerella.
A small point of note, because of the mountainous terrain in Luxembourg, SatNavs do not work particularly well in some areas of Luxembourg, make sure you have maps on standby.

When we take the route you are suggesting, we go from Luxembourg to Lausanne in Switzerland, there is a site on the north bank of Lake Geneva, Camping Le Vidy. It was a very good site, also they give you free bus tickets when you check in so that you can go into town for free :xThumb:
If you go into Switzerland you will of course have to sort out vignette, or if over 3.5 tonnes, register you vehicle at the border.
 
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chrisboyo

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Is Cite Europe a secure place to stop over
Not heard much about immigrants lately, have they all gone home ?

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Bobndebs McKay

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Belgian motorways are horrendous in the wet too, they have "trenches" (worn tyre tracks) that pull you in as you are driving, I used to really hate it when I was driving at night too, no Cats Eyes and poor road markings, half of the lighting U/S. I travelled them out of neccessity about once a month each way when stationed in RAF Germany!!
 
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Feb 16, 2013
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Is Cite Europe a secure place to stop over
Not heard much about immigrants lately, have they all gone home ?
We parked there Sunday night , never saw one, there are regular patrols there as well now but we went shopping there on Tuesday afternoon and on return to our van there was a note on the window from another mh that they had found someone trying to get under their bike cover and telling us to have a look under our van, but there was nothing, don't think there is actually any danger from them anyway, they arnt going to mug you if they want a ride, defeats the object a bit.
 
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Feb 16, 2013
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Forget going across Belgium, even the motorway if full of potholes it is disgusting.
We crossed the border the other day , it was just as if we had hit a wall or something. But heading for Brugge and ipers the motorway isn't to bad.
 
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DanielFord

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Agree, Belgian roads are the worst, and in a very poor state of repair, it's a bit like driving over corrugated steel. Shakes everything in the van, and makes it feel like the fillings are going to come out of your teeth.
Also one year driving through, there were roadworks on one motorway, which resulted in the motorway being closed, with no signs for a diversion. We ended up hopelessly lost in the middle of nowhere! Sat nav piping up every now and then, "Make a u-turn when possible!"
 
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