Another France 1st timer.

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Another France 1st timer.

Postby philat1 » 26 Mar 2013, 20:10

I’m trying to plan my first France trip, first time taking van any distance and would welcome and advise.

Know facts:

1990 T25, wife, 17 year old son & me.
Outbound ferry - Portsmouth to St Malo Sat 22nd June overnight. To cut down on miles.
Sun 23rd travel to Le Crann between Lorient & Pontivy South Brittany
Sun 23rd to Sat 29th stay with sister & family at holiday cottages.
Visit Normandy landing beaches, 4/5 day, prior to taking the ferry home.
Fri 12th July Ferry from Caen or Le Harve, depending where we stay for the last 4/5 days.
Need breakdown cover, as far only found AA who covers older vehicles.
Need all items previously covered in other forum topics.

Yet to be planned:
Where to visit/ spent time between South Brittany & landing beaches?
Where best to stay to visit landing beaches and if to split it into two stays both end of beaches, and how long required to do it justice.
Due to it being holiday time 6th July onwards in France, I would feel better booking the last stay prior to return ferry. Found what looks like a good site at Castel Camping Le Brevedment, Port Evaque, between Caen & Le Havre. Anyone stayed there?
Would like to find a discount for ferry, total cost is around £500.
To book sites or just wing it? (being a bit on the sad side I prefer to plan; but when in France)
Plus all the school boy errors yet to make.
May try and see stage 10 of Tour De France on 9th July.

Any comments or advice welcome.

Phil.
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Re: Another France 1st timer.

Postby brandonabbie » 26 Mar 2013, 22:08

hi,we have just booked 2wks,perpignan south France have been many times love it,
we drive down from Calais 1000 miles from my house to site,i like to drive roads are so much better there(toll roads)
make sure you take all the bits and bobs you need first aid kit triangle viz vest etc,
there's some good topics on France here what you need, every year we go we learn something new!
we always booked but with kids its nice to no were your staying,saying that we have stop at services once which are very good.
what ever you do its a great adventure :ok
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Re: Another France 1st timer.

Postby wee bugger » 26 Mar 2013, 22:35

South Brittany is great place to go (my great great grandfather came form Lorient, and there is apparently a statue of him but we have never found it). if out for an explore, Auray and the standing stones at Carnac and Erdeven are worth a visit. We took the van to Quiberon on the south Brittany coast a couple of years ago after doing it in the car 3 years ago, and about 10 times as a child
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Re: Another France 1st timer.

Postby keith » 26 Mar 2013, 23:10

The municipal camp site at Houlgate is a great base for visiting the landing beaches....and a lovely town too.

Highly recommended.
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Re: Another France 1st timer.

Postby trucker » 27 Mar 2013, 02:48

Also nice municipal campsite at Arromanches, great for visiting Gold beach where the remains of the Mulberry harbour are.
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Re: Another France 1st timer.

Postby thechubbsdub » 27 Mar 2013, 05:13

At £500 for a ferry from Portsmouth, I would seriously consider using the tunnel or a short dover calais crossing. Driving miles in France would be more interesting than driving to Portsmouth and much cheaper in crossing costs. We usually use the tunnel and use tesco clubcard tokens to pay.
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Re: Another France 1st timer.

Postby Ian Hulley » 27 Mar 2013, 08:54

If you go to Pont l'Eveque (which is a beautiful place :ok ) try the Pomme d'Or restaurant in the main street the Dinde Normande and Canard Pont l'Eveque were exceptional. Park in the small car park next to the large bank and there's a cracking Patisserie on the corner :pimp :cheese

We stay at Camping de la Catiniere near Honfleur.

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Re: Another France 1st timer.

Postby keith » 27 Mar 2013, 13:08

we stayed at a scruffy but ok site just on the outskirts of Honfluer.

not the nicest site...but 5 min stroll into the narrow streets. Honfluer is just one of those places that you have to go back to...again and again.

everytime we have been (3 times) its always been red hot. very expensve if you want a beer in one of the bars / restaurants in the harbour. last time i bought a Duvel...a coke and an ice cream and it was 14 yoyos. :!:
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Re: Another France 1st timer.

Postby trucker » 27 Mar 2013, 15:49

Ian Hulley wrote:If you go to Pont l'Eveque (which is a beautiful place :ok )

Ian

Absolutely agree and it's the home of possibly the stinkiest (but lovely) cheese! :ok

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Re: Another France 1st timer.

Postby jason k » 29 Mar 2013, 07:37

keith wrote:The municipal camp site at Houlgate is a great base for visiting the landing beaches....and a lovely town too.

Highly recommended.


Keith's right , houlgate is a lovely place, we're back there for a fortnight this year but staying at camping la vallee in the town. It's a great site and idealy situated for the landing beaches.
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Re: Another France 1st timer.

Postby keith » 29 Mar 2013, 08:07

jason k wrote:
keith wrote:The municipal camp site at Houlgate is a great base for visiting the landing beaches....and a lovely town too.

Highly recommended.


Keith's right , houlgate is a lovely place, we're back there for a fortnight this year but staying at camping la vallee in the town. It's a great site and idealy situated for the landing beaches.



i could happily keep going back there....La Vallee is literally 300 yards up the road.

the beach at Houlgate is famous for cockle picking....every evening hundreds of people (mostly locals) go collecting. it was one of the highlights for me.

wife would chill at the camp....me and emily would wander down...spend an hour cockle picking then wander back....wash em cook em and eat em
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Re: Another France 1st timer.

Postby philat1 » 29 Mar 2013, 12:55

Thanks for all the interesting and helpful replies.

We have booked our return ferry from La Havre, and a campsite at Le Brevedment near Pont l'Evaque for the last 4 nights.

We will look at La Vallee and the municipal sites at Houlgate.

We are amazed at the size of Brittany & Normandy & the number of camping sites in both regions, so we may be brave and wing it. Would welcome any further suggestion.

The breakdown cover is an issue, I'm with the AA and even with 30% off it's £166 for full cover. I will look into ADAC as an option along with cover via my insurance with 2Gether, also read on here about C&CC & RAC option. Does anyone have experience or alternative suggestions.

The forum has extensive info on what preparation is needed along with what to take with us. It will still be a major experience for us, not having taking the van on a long journey or driven abroad before.

Thanks again.
Phil
Last edited by philat1 on 29 Mar 2013, 14:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Another France 1st timer.

Postby Ralf85 » 29 Mar 2013, 13:25

philat1 wrote:We are amazed at the size of Brittany & Normandy & the number of camping sites in both regions, so we may be brave and wing it. Would welcome any further suggestion.


Yep it's a long way from the West of Brittany to the East of Normandy. You are going before the main part of the holiday season so you shouldn't need to book camp sites. If one site were to be full up you just pop along to the next one, but that's unlikely. The most expensive sites tend to be along the coast and tend to cater mainly to us Brits (the French head South). So travelling inland up there usually means cheaper sites.
Have fun
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Re: Another France 1st timer.

Postby sarran1955 » 29 Mar 2013, 18:18

Hello,

There is a 'camping municipale ' at

Luc - sur - mer.

http://www.campinglacapricieuse.com/en/home/

There are 2 sites

It was Torch beach,

Lovely seaside town, pretty unspoilt, fabulous loooooooong beaches at low tide.. :)

fresh market with local fishing and 'fruits de mer'

Gastronomie : Mussels in white wine sauce with chips, Pork in cream sauce.....Cider...

Culture: Caen, with its castle, home of 'one in the eye for harold' William.. :rofl :rofl

and Bayeux with the tapestry....

Enjoy.....

Take an umbrella..... :wink:

Cordialement,

:ok
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Re: Another France 1st timer.

Postby project 2006 » 02 Apr 2013, 10:57

Hi, we stayed at camping Le Brevedment a couple of years ago, realy nice place with a cool vibe for a medium sized campsite. Camping was under plumb trees so free food, bonus. The bar area on the night had Jazz / Blues one night and a string quartet the next night. All in all a pleasent place to stay. .................. enjoy it.
PS dont worry about campsites there is hundreds of them and camping municipals are great value and usually clean if sometimes a little old. my rule of thumb is the smaller the village the more delighted they are to see you, sometime language is difficult but not a real problem. If no one is about pull on pitch up and pay in the morning when / if someone shows up.
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