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Subject Topic: FRANCE!!
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Message posted by jen21 on 19/2/2015 at 5:30pm
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Hello All
Just had our first outing in the campervan this year so we've got the bug for more adventures.
We are looking at using our Tesco vouchers and travelling over from Dover to Calais.This will be our first time to France so would love some advice tips recommendations itineraries. Anything really to help us along our way.

We thought we should have some sort of itinerary as we are only going for 5 nights and don't want to do too much driving. Also the kids get bored when they are on the road for too long!
We are looking at either Easter or whit half term.
Thanks in advance


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Don't forget to leave a review of the French and other European campsites you have visited!


Message posted by Billy x on 19/2/2015 at 5:50pm
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Sounds like UK weather with a French twist then? Turn right at Calais & head down the north coast. Loads of nice little seaside resorts with well signposted campsites that you don't need to book. French campsites tend to open later in season than in UK so Whit half term will be a better bet.

You can also stop on motorhome aires but more suited to fully equipped motorhomes than small campervans though. I'd get a map of the French north coast & do a bit of planning.

Message posted by kate w on 19/2/2015 at 5:51pm
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With 5 nights I'd probably go for Normandy. Lots of history, beaches and countryside. A lovely site we stayed overnight at last summer was this one It would be a good place to go for a first time with lots of facilities.

Zoo not far away is great for kids, D Day beaches are within a reasonable drive.

Have you got DVD player in the car for the kids? They are a godsend, though I did end up driving and crying just listening to Marley & Me one holiday!

Eye spy books are great too, they do them for all sorts of things, even driving in France and camping.

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Kate
Holidays in 2016

Camping Clairvacances, Alsace, France, July 2016

Cornwall September 2016

Message posted by KeithChesterfield on 19/2/2015 at 7:13pm
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For things to keep the kids and yourselves from getting bored in Northern France
www.theotherside.co.uk/

Personally I would stay within about 100 miles of Calais and just potter around visiting and looking at the places you think might be of interest to your family.

Go too far into France and getting back to Calais will cause a panic as five days is nowhere near enough to enjoy the sights of Northern France.

You need to acclimatise to driving on the right, French roads, road signs and a multitude of new and fresh experiences not seen in the UK.

For your first visit I'd make it as simple as you can because I'll guarantee it won't be your last!

Don't forget to leave a review of the French and other European campsites you have visited!


Message posted by jen21 on 19/2/2015 at 7:19pm
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Thanks Billy and Kate W for your advice. Will dig our France map out billy. I'm starting to get excited! Yea for our trip I think it will be a French trip with uk weather!
Just had a brief look at the camp site. Think the kids would love it and yes we do have DVDs in the car!
Kate... How far is the site from Calais?

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Message posted by jen21 on 19/2/2015 at 7:25pm
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Thanks Keith very sound advice about staying within 100 miles of Calais. Your so right we've done plenty of bike rides where we've cycled for miles enjoying ourselves forgetting how far we've gone until the return journey!!

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Message posted by kate w on 19/2/2015 at 8:09pm
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The site I suggested is 180 miles or so.

Another site i've stayed at twice for a week each time is Chateau Du Gandspette, which is literally 25 minutes from the tunnel.

Lots to do in the area there too.

This is my review I posted on this site back in 2009!

Spent the last week of August here and had a fantastic holiday. On arrival we were shown to our pitch (A16) behind the swimming pools by a young man on a bike, he did this for everyone and must have cycled miles each day! The pitch was large with several apple trees dotted around we had some of the apples for pudding one night, cooked on the Cobb wrapped in foil with some sugar, delicious. We had plenty of space to play games in front of the tent and a short walk round the other side of the pool to get into it. Some pitches were more regimented, separated by hedges, I preferred ours.

The site is easy to get to from Calais, there is a Carrefour supermarket just a couple of minutes drive down the road which was handy, especially for bread and ice creams as they were a lot cheaper from the supermarket. There is a bread van that comes round in the morning between 8 and 9 oclock, which is handy and the bread was delicious, but after a couple of mornings with 4 hungry teenagers in tow I found it was costing too much (about 11 for bread, croissants and pain du chocolate for the 5 of us) so went to the supermarket instead.

The Blokhaus is nearby, down a little lane and is a good couple of hours wandering around it. La Cupola in St Omer was also a very interesting trip, 3 hours or more. The site is well situated for visiting Ypres, Poperinge etc for WW1 trips out. We went the the In Flanders Fields museum in the middle of Ypres which was also a good museum.

The site swimming pools are both a good size, the smaller one is heated but seemed to have more chemicals in. Most people headed to this one, which was nice as I preferred the other one and on occasion had it to myself (before my kids came and invaded my peace and quiet by jumping in).

We had pizza and chips from the site takeaway which were very reasonably priced and tasty, an easy evening meal for those on stopovers. Didn't try the restaurant.

The sanitary block is kept very clean, there seemed to be cleaners around at different times of day but the facilities were kept open while they worked. There's plenty of toilets, showers, basins and washing up sinks with lots of hot water (tip: get hot water from the large tap without a sink it comes out a lot quicker than the other taps). The showers are the push button type, which is a bit annoying but not really a problem. There are baby changing rooms and washing / drying facilities.

The site is near the road through the village but most pitches were away from it so noise was not noticable. The site was quiet by about 10pm, the only noise we had was made by the swimming pool pumps and was just a background hum.

This site is used a lot for stopovers due to it being so close to the ports but is well worth spending a little longer, we had a very enjoyable week.


Post last edited on 19/02/2015 20:26:32

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Kate
Holidays in 2016

Camping Clairvacances, Alsace, France, July 2016

Cornwall September 2016

Don't forget to leave a review of the French and other European campsites you have visited!


Message posted by Baguette95 on 19/2/2015 at 8:33pm
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I got 105 worth of Tesco vouchers for our Easter chunnel after following the advice from the wonderful people on UKCS.co.UK. My suggestion?..............Ssssshhhhhhh, don't tell everyone!

Message posted by oxter on 20/2/2015 at 10:25am
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Have you read the stickies on this forum for continental first timers and driving abroad?

Don't expect wonderful weather but you might be lucky. Don't go too far for a short break but relax and enjoy

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Message posted by oxter on 20/2/2015 at 10:27am
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Oh, and get an ACSI CARD if you plan to go back again this year away from peak season

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Message posted by happybonzo on 20/2/2015 at 11:00am
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Quote: Originally posted by KeithChesterfield on 19/2/2015
For things to keep the kids and yourselves from getting bored in Northern France
www.theotherside.co.uk/




What a terrific website - Many thanks


Don't forget to leave a review of the French and other European campsites you have visited!


Message posted by sunshinetours on 20/2/2015 at 11:10am
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For 5 days I wouldn't go too far either but you could easily get down to Upper Normandy for a few days as that is in easy reach of Calais for a same day ferry arrival and back, especially if using part or all autoroute

However plenty to see in Nord area as well if you don;t fancy going that far

As a guide Honfleur area is around 180 miles from Calais and you could get there via autoroute in a MH in around 3.5 hours I would guess without pushing it

Message posted by jen21 on 20/2/2015 at 11:16am
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I agree happybonzo i need to study the site

No oxter I haven't looked at the stickies on the forum but I will do...thanks

Thanks Kate w for your review on the campsite..sounds good!

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Message posted by Kelper on 20/2/2015 at 11:46am
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This site is great for giving you a very good idea of travel times, fuel costs, motorway toll costs etc.
It'll also offer different route options, e.g. toll or not.
You can add caravan towing etc to get adjusted times.
I always find it useful for longer trips and guidance when planning ... then, with a rough idea in my head, I leave the actual trip to the sat nav, plus a handy map for reference, in case we fancy a diversion, or road works etc (though satnav will suggest ways round those ... usually!)
One other piece of advice I'd offer is to have a couple of alternative areas sussed ... in case of poor weather ... we often leave the final decision of where to go till we are actually on the ferry! .... or the day before we depart ... then look at the weather forecast for your chosen area/site. There's nothing worse than booking ahead and finding that you've hit a bad week of rain/no sun. One of the joys, and major upsides, of camping, is the ability to be flexible and make last minute alterations to suit your priorities. Better to drive an extra fifty miles inthe opposite direction, iof it guaratees better weather. IMHO.

Message posted by bbwales on 20/2/2015 at 12:53pm
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There is a very nice Municipal campsite in Pierrefonds which has a superb chateau, if you watched Merlin on BBC then you will have seen it as it was Camelot. Pierre fonds is about 150 miles south of Calais.

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Retired and living the dream touring Europe

Message posted by jen21 on 20/2/2015 at 3:17pm
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Thanks for the info sunshinetours kelper and bbwales.

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