Part of the LeisureTalk group

Late in the morning of Tuesday 24 August we left Camping Chenefleur and drove northwards on the N897 to rejoin the A4/E26/E411 autoroute at Junction 29. Near Namur we turned westward onto the A15/E42. North of Mons we took the A7/E19 and then the A2/E19 and then turned onto the A26/E15. We left the A26 at Junction 3 and joined the D942 before turning onto the D943 northwest of St Omer and then took the D300 northwards. At the roundabout on the edge of Watten we turned west onto the D207.

In the early evening of Tuesday 24 August we arrived at our final Continental Campsite - Camping Chateau du Gandspette. Camping Chateau Gandspette is situated in Eperleques on the right hand side of the D207 about 1 mile from the roundabout. We had driven 227 miles from Camping Chenefleur.

Chateau Gandspette is a popular site with British campers and caravanners because of its nearness to the ferry ports of Dunkerque and Calais and the Eurotunnel terminal. It is, also, has the added advantage of being only a few hundred yards from a local vet who can carry out the Pet Passport checks for those with animals. We have stayed there on several occasions but at 27€ per night for the 2 of us, ‘van, car and EHU I feel this site is overpriced and takes advantage of its convenient location.

Chateau Gandspette is a pleasant site located in the grounds of a small chateau. The site has tennis courts and 2 outdoor swimming pools. There is a popular restaurant in the converted stable block although we have never eaten there. The owners and staff speak fluent English and are friendly and helpful. Some of the pitches tend to be rather waterlogged and suffer from damage because of this. There are several toilet blocks all of which of are of a high standard. There are a number of static caravans on the site.

We were given a large pitch in the newer part of the site which is furthest from the Chateau and other site amenities. We spent 3 nights at Chateau Gandspette. We visited the WW2 German Blockhause where V2 rockets were made which is located in a wooded area about a mile from the campsite. We took the opportunity to visit the large supermarket in nearby St Omer and stock up on our favourite French cidre. Our activities were a bit limited because Cary twisted her ankle chasing the dog soon after we arrived! We, also, took Max to Dr Jean Paulus the local vet or his Pet Passport formalities but we felt this was expensive at €43 for a worming table, flea treatment and completion of Max's Pet Passport!!

We, also, visited the pleasant canal side village of Watten which is about a mile from the campsite. This village has 2 small supermarkets a Carrefour store, with a petrol station, and a Netto store.

Chateau Gandspette is geared up to early morning departures and does not have any gates or barriers to impede leaving early. On Friday 28 August we left Chateau Gandspette at around 06.00hrs and took the 17 mile journey via the D300 and N316 to the Norfolk Line ferry terminal at Dunkerque. We caught the 08.00hrs Norfolk Line ferry and arrived in Dover at 09.15hrs.

Despite Bank Holiday weekend traffic we made good time on our 111 mile journey mainly on the M20 and M25, anticlockwise, and reached Wyatt's Covert Caravan Club site by 13.00hrs. We regularly visit this site on the way home from our Continental holidays via Dover. Cary's Dad lives in nearby Ruislip and Wyatt's Cover makes an ideal base for visiting him. In the afternoon we visited Cary's Dad and in the evening we went out for a meal with him.

The site is primarily meant as a base for visiting London and it's ideal for that as there is a railway station just over a mile away with a direct rail link to Marylebone.
Although there is a small, private airfield next door we never really experienced any noise problems as the planes only use it during daylight hours. There is, also, a helicopter charter base on the airfield but we only heard helicopters land or take-off a few times during our stay.

The site is just rows of caravan pitches on hardstanding with some grass in between and all with EHUs. The site is surrounded by trees and hedges - no views at all. The only site facilities are the toilet block which is clean and warm. There is no play area or even anywhere for children to play. It is popular and does get booked up. I suspect some of the residents may have been working in the area as they left very early and arrived back late in vans! The wardens were friendly and helpful. There is a security barrier which is operated by a swipe card on entry /exit.

The site is very close to, and handy for, the M25 and M40/A40. The approach to site is along a main road apart from the last mile or so which is through a residential area and then a minor country road, but that is not too narrow. When visiting the site it is important to follow the route in the CC handbook as the approach from the other direction IS VERY NARROW. The site is not signed from the main road but the adjacent picnic site is. We had no access problems following the recommended route. The site entrance is not too clear especially at night. One has to turn into the entrance to the adjacent mobile home park and then immediately right into the caravan site, without actually going into the mobile home park. As one turns the Caravan Club sign can be seen on the right hand side.

There is a parade of shops, including a mini-market/newsagents/ off-licence, pubs, restaurant, petrol station and railway station in the village of Denham, just over a mile away. Quite a long walk downhill, and then uphill back to the site! There are other shops, including supermarkets, in Uxbridge, about 5 miles away. Watford shopping centre is about 10 miles away. There is a picnic area next to the site but we have never visited it. In addition to the delights of London Windsor, Becconscot model village and Legoland are in easy driving distance. There is also the very pleasant Buckinghamshire countryside to visit. Basically quite a good site if you wish to stay in the London area but it does not offer a lot in its own right

On the morning of Saturday 29 August we set out on the final 200 mile leg of our journey back to St Helens. We travelled via the M40, and M6 Toll and M6. After stopping off in Stafford to visit friends we arrived home safely in St Helens at teatime on Saturday 29 August.

HOLIDAY STATISTICS

We:

  • Were away for 34 nights
  • Visited 7 countries, excluding the UK
  • Drove 3,303 miles "home to home"
  • Used 859.58 litres of diesel costing £750.36
  • Diesel prices ranged from £1.199 (Tesco, Folkestone) to £0.717 (Berchem Services, Nr Luxembourg)
  • Stayed at 9 campsites and overnighted at 3 motorway service areas.

by BigTim

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3 comments

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  • jeremyll33
    05 June 2013 17:04 jeremyll33
    Nice aricle. I have just bought a caravan, but have been travelling to Croatia and Montenegro for the last decade from my base in S Germany. The Autobahn through Croatia is awesome. I live near to Chiemsee just off the A8 btw.
  • Big Tim
    02 May 2012 07:01 Big Tim
    Thanks R01

    I'm glad you enjoyed this.

    I both enjoyed the trip, apart from the "downs", and the happy memories writing this brought.

    Tim
  • Rossco01
    10 March 2012 20:48 Rossco01
    Thanks Tim. Enjoyed reading about your long tour...including all the ups and downs lol...they're the bits that make it all the more memorable.