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Morning all, quite fancy going to the Vendée next year and have already started thinking of ferries.

Due to arrival time of the Cherbourg crossing I think it will be too much in one day as we only just made Saumur this year, so I am thinking of an early Dover crossing and a stop half way or potentially the same but crossing from Cherbourg and stopping a couple of hours away from the Vendée?

 

The return sailing is 1830 from Cherbourg so I feel it would be reasonable to drive back to Cherbourg on the return leg, I did it from Saumur this year and it was pleasant. Does anyone have any experience of this?

 

Midweek club discounts on the Cherbourg crossing are good, I looked at overnight on the way out but they are almost the cost of the holiday again.

 

What have others done, is Calais to Vendée reasonable in a day?

This year we had planned on leaving at 8 the night before and stopping on the dock at Poole but due to a family emergency ended up leaving a 04. 30 but still made it in plenty of time.

We live midway down the M3 so western crossings are undoubtedly easier but Dover is similar distance to Poole.

Thanks.  

Edited by Jiffy176
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420 miles from Calais in one day? Why make a decision now? 

 

If you have two drivers and the traffic is light then have a go. If things turn out to be different and difficult then get the site guide out of the car door pocket and stay overnight somewhere.  Be flexible.  Take care.  

 

But personally, if I lived halfway down the M3 then  I would drive to Portsmouth after work and take the overnight ferry to St Malo, have dinner and a cabin on board, and go from there in the morning.

 

 

Edited by moorgate
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We have taken to spending Easter on the Ile de re. For us, one day is too much towing. Our halfway site of choice is Chartres. It is a municipal with an Intermarche very close. Out of season it is an ACSI site, but not expensive anyway.

We cross via the Tunnel.

Edited by staffordshirechina
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2 hours ago, Jiffy176 said:

What have others done, is Calais to Vendée reasonable in a day?

I have towed to the Vendée area in a day from Calais. It takes between 6 and 8 hours depending upon traffic and how many times you stop. Obviously it is your choice, and only you how how you feel about driving longer distances, but I tend get an early Dover to Calais crossing and then drive until the fuel tank is low. After filling the car I look immediately for somewhere to have a leisurely lunch break before driving on - refreshed - to arrive on site late afternoon in Les Sables-d'Olonne / Jard-sur-Mer area.

Gordon.

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

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58 minutes ago, moorgate said:

420 miles from Calais in one day? Why make a decision now? 

 

If you have two drivers and the traffic is light then have a go. If things turn out to be different and difficult then get the site guide out of the car door pocket and stay overnight somewhere.  Be flexible.  Take care.  

 

But personally, if I lived halfway down the M3 then  I would drive to Portsmouth after work and take the overnight ferry to St Malo, have dinner and a cabin on board, and go from there in the morning.

 

 

You make a very good point but we are limited to school holidays and are looking at a premium site so need to book it. In an ideal world the overnight to Caen would work on the way out and then Cherbourg back. We are also fairly limited with the amount of time I can take off so I might be able to stretch a couple of days over two weeks but not a lot else.   I'm the only driver at the minute though that might change.

Thanks for thoughts so far.  

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Luckily we are able to use the Caen crossing so arrive in Caen at about 9. 30pm.   Stay overnight at Bella Riva campsite near Caen and then an easy trip down to La Rochelle.

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8 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

Luckily we are able to use the Caen crossing so arrive in Caen at about 9. 30pm.   Stay overnight at Bella Riva campsite near Caen and then an easy trip down to La Rochelle.

 

+1.   Done Calais - Vendee in one day, solo, knackering! I wouldn't dream of attempting it towing.   Going via Caen you'll make anywhere in the Vendee by mid afternoon the next day without clogging it.

Nissan X-Trail Tekna + Coachman Festival 450

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45 minutes ago, Jiffy176 said:

You make a very good point but we are limited to school holidays and are looking at a premium site so need to book it. In an ideal world the overnight to Caen would work on the way out and then Cherbourg back. We are also fairly limited with the amount of time I can take off so I might be able to stretch a couple of days over two weeks but not a lot else.   I'm the only driver at the minute though that might change.

Thanks for thoughts so far.  

 

The timing of the overnight boat to Caen is brutal.

0645 French time arrival is  0545 UK time, so the infernal on board wake up music is 0445.  I would never use that ferry.  

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50 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

Luckily we are able to use the Caen crossing so arrive in Caen at about 9. 30pm.   Stay overnight at Bella Riva campsite near Caen and then an easy trip down to La Rochelle.

That crossing I think is always the cheapest with the club's, as is the 0830 I believe back. I think some people left the site we were on at around 10pm I presume heading for Caen and the early morning crossing.  

Is Bella Vista easy to find? Never been through Caen before.  

Thanks.  

Edited by Jiffy176
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To be honest I have looked at the short crossing before as we live almost equidistant from Portsmouth and Folkestone but it doesn’t entirely make sense.

 

You are right it’s expensive to do a western crossing and it looks like we are spending just as much on the crossing as the stay for two weeks but once I’d factored in the extra fuel and peage we would take for those extra miles the saving is down to about £150 - okay, that’s a healthy sum but having done Portsmouth the St Malo and Portsmouth to Caen I know it’s money well spent; it really is so much more relaxing.

 

We have booked St Malo return for next year but I am thinking of saving a few quid and returning via Cherbourg instead - we stop in Normandy/ Brittany for a few days on the way Home too.

 

I think anyone doing Les Sables from Calais in 6 hours towing is definitely hoofing it - it is over 400 miles! I’ve done in a car solo in that time 

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1 hour ago, Gordon said:

I have towed to the Vendée area in a day from Calais. It takes between 6 and 8 hours depending upon traffic and how many times you stop. Obviously it is your choice, and only you how how you feel about driving longer distances, but I tend get an early Dover to Calais crossing and then drive until the fuel tank is low. After filling the car I look immediately for somewhere to have a leisurely lunch break before driving on - refreshed - to arrive on site late afternoon in Les Sables-d'Olonne / Jard-sur-Mer area.

Gordon.

+1

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3 hours ago, Jiffy176 said:

That crossing I think is always the cheapest with the club's, as is the 0830 I believe back. I think some people left the site we were on at around 10pm I presume heading for Caen and the early morning crossing.  

Is Bella Vista easy to find? Never been through Caen before.  

Thanks.  

Dead easy. On the D84 heading out of Ouistreham and is signposted on a roundabout. It is about five miles from Caen which has a bypass for the next morning.

Edited by LongTimeCaravaner

Kia Sorrento towing a Coachman VIP 575/4

 

Our blog: jennyandjohngocaravanning. wordpress. com

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11 hours ago, MalH said:

Done Calais - Vendee in one day, solo, knackering! I wouldn't dream of attempting it towing. 

It's not for everybody so for those who wish to break the journey there are a number of caravan sites near to Alençon which is around half way to the Vendée from Calais. Personally I'm perfectly relaxed behind the wheel and have towed almost to the Med from Calais in a day - something that is no longer viable with our outfit given the reduced speed restrictions now imposed throughout France.

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

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Jiffy

We’ve been going to the Vendee for the past 4yrs. We live on the m4/a34 junction, so for us we drive down to Portsmouth. Overnight ferry to st malo, and then a leisurely drive of 170 miles to the heart of the vendee. Coming back we leave at 8. 30am and drive to Caen for the 4. 15pm crossing.

little tip, get the Saturday night crossing, it’s cheaper and the roads on the Sunday are dead quiet.  

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1 hour ago, Gordon said:

It's not for everybody so for those who wish to break the journey there are a number of caravan sites near to Alençon which is around half way to the Vendée from Calais. Personally I'm perfectly relaxed behind the wheel and have towed almost to the Med from Calais in a day - something that is no longer viable with our outfit given the reduced speed restrictions now imposed throughout France.

90kph felt so torturous on the way down to the Loire on the motorway, not that I'd want to drive at 130 but a little bit quicker would have been nice. I managed with three 10 minute stops in 5 hours. As it happens I think we've found a site South Brittany that we might go for So that may be achievable in one day. Thanks for the thoughts folks lots of options.

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23 hours ago, FrankBullet said:

To be honest I have looked at the short crossing before as we live almost equidistant from Portsmouth and Folkestone but it doesn’t entirely make sense.

 

You are right it’s expensive to do a western crossing and it looks like we are spending just as much on the crossing as the stay for two weeks but once I’d factored in the extra fuel and peage we would take for those extra miles the saving is down to about £150 - okay, that’s a healthy sum but having done Portsmouth the St Malo and Portsmouth to Caen I know it’s money well spent; it really is so much more relaxing.

 

We have booked St Malo return for next year but I am thinking of saving a few quid and returning via Cherbourg instead - we stop in Normandy/ Brittany for a few days on the way Home too.

 

I think anyone doing Les Sables from Calais in 6 hours towing is definitely hoofing it - it is over 400 miles! I’ve done in a car solo in that time 

Previously we have booked Portsmouth to St Malo and then return Caen to Portsmouth which then allows us to get back to the West Midlands easily.   Now we just use the Caen crossing and Rive Bella and taking into consideration the €17 for the night as the saving is about £300 by not using the St Malo ferry.   No rush to get up in the morning either when the klaxon sounds at 5am!  :D

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We did return from Caen this year, staying in Port En Bessin Huppain for three nights on the way home - we then get the 4:30pm ferry which meant we were leaving Portsmouth at 9:45pm and arrived home at half midnight which worked for us. In 2019 we are going to have a few days in Brittany on the way Home hence St Malo (or possibly Cherbourg) - the return price was only £70 more from St Malo than Caen.  

 

St Malo was better on the way out, more expensive than Caen but the boat to Caen was delayed last year which meant our son didn’t get to sleep until 11pm - the alarm in the morning didn’t bother me but a 7 year old shouting ‘turn it off, turn it off!’ I could do without!

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