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B3nnl

Family sites in the South of France

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We've got our caravan and I've convinced the other half that we should take the two kids (9 & 10)  on a 10 day trip down to the South of France.

No idea where, I just want it to be sunny/warm.  I'd happily drive all the way to Spain, but that's not fair on the family, so the compromise is S France.

I'd like for us to be near the sea or a nice lake and ideally something to keep the kids amused, water slides etc (But not essential)

I remember doing the Italian Lakes as a nipper and have great memories from that, but not sure if the extra drive heading over the Alps is worth it if there's something worth going to in France.

Does anyone have any recommendations/insights of their own that I can take a look at?

Thanks Benn.

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Mods - duplicate posting ?

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6 hours ago, Johnaldo said:

Mods - duplicate posting ?

It certainly is.

 

... Well, it is upto the last sentence in the other post where I apologise to the mods for posting into the incorrect section and ask them to remove it.

But thanks for the input all the same. ;-)

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A few things to consider.

If you are over 3.5 tonnes plated (not actual) you are stuck to 90kph on the motorways and it can seem like a long old run.

My kids are similar age and they love the water parks, we don't go near the sea as they are not fussed and prefer active sites.

I've only been as far South as the Loire Valley but every site has been virtually fully booked in school holidays, so i would book if you want an active site.

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We've always holidayed on campsites in France since our eldest son was a six month old baby.  Ten days isn't long,  so I wouldn't go as far as the Mediterranean.  The real problem is that if you book something then the weather may not be good there.  Years of thinking 'We'll go to (somewhere) this year' and then finding that (somewhere) is raining has made us never book, so that we can always go 'somewhere else' instead.  If you just want sun, and your kids would be happy with a smaller site, perhaps by a river or lake, then don't book - simply arrive in France and look at the ten day weather forecast, and head in that direction.  It's what we did for years and years.  We always found sites, even in the summer holidays - and always had a great time.

The way we did it was to hightlight those areas we might want to visit, then take a good guide to sites.  When we arrived at nice and sunny (somewhere) instead of rainy (somewhere else) we'd get out our guide books and find a site which had the facilities we wanted.  My sons were happy with a riverside site with a pool and in eighteen years of them coming with us we never failed to find a site which gave us all a happy holiday.   Our other tip was always to go the last two weeks in August when sites are very much quieter than mid-July to mid-August,  and that way we've found the sort of sites you're looking for with a pool complex, slides, and so on.

There are sites with slides - the nearest to the cheap ports at Calais are probably less than an hour's drive - and if the sun is shining there, and the forecast good, then why go any further.  Look at La Falaises, at Equihen Plage, for instance..... (http://www.camping-equihen-plage.fr/fr) and if that would suit then there are loads of similar sites scattered throughout France.  The biggest may get fully booked from mid-July to mid-August but believe me there are lots of other sites available.

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17 hours ago, B3nnl said:

We've got our caravan and I've convinced the other half that we should take the two kids (9 & 10)  on a 10 day trip down to the South of France.

No idea where, I just want it to be sunny/warm.  I'd happily drive all the way to Spain, but that's not fair on the family, so the compromise is S France.

I'd like for us to be near the sea or a nice lake and ideally something to keep the kids amused, water slides etc (But not essential)

I remember doing the Italian Lakes as a nipper and have great memories from that, but not sure if the extra drive heading over the Alps is worth it if there's something worth going to in France.

Does anyone have any recommendations/insights of their own that I can take a look at?

Thanks Benn.

Where in the UK are you based and how many days are you allowing to travel to/from the south of France?-Is 10 days just the time you intend to stay in the south of France?

This will help with responses from regular travellers on this forum.

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Thanks for the posts folks and also on my other thread Here which I placed in the wrong section (that's what happens when you don't read the instructions!)

It's been a wake up call for me, I've driven thousands of miles in a car and distance doesn't phase me, but you're all right.  I'm not just driving me, I've got the wife and kids as well as a big old van on the back!

So reality check time. 

10 days is the maximum time we can afford off as my wife and I are also taking part in the Rally for Heroes event 5th-15th August so were already stretching the holiday time.

With that in mind, scrap the Med idea and I'm now looking at getting the Portsmouth-Caen Ferry and heading off from there.  If we get the night ferry, we'll be landing around 7am and I'll go for one days drive looking to arrive at our destination late afternoon/early evening.

We'll sit and look through sites this evening, but does anyone have any gems we can look at?

Once again, thanks for the contributions and I appreciate the honesty in managing my expectations, it is supposed to be fun for all the family, not just me on a mission!

3 hours ago, charlieboy2608 said:

Where in the UK are you based and how many days are you allowing to travel to/from the south of France?-Is 10 days just the time you intend to stay in the south of France?

This will help with responses from regular travellers on this forum.

Thanks Charlieboy, were based near in-between Taunton and Yeovil on the A303.  The 10 days are inclusive of travel,  I'm quickly learning that its much shorter than normal caravanners usually go away for.  Unfortunately this year, that's our lot, I'll definitely plan longer next year!

 

4 hours ago, ValA said:

Loads of useful stuff!

Thanks Val, I like your thinking and I'll put the idea forward, although the better half may explode at the thought of going without a booking, but I'll certainly give it a look.

 

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https://www.yellohvillage.co.uk/?&gclid=CjwKCAiA98TxBRBtEiwAVRLquwYEbM2zkZPNmpEzFM2hzjtrPOcFGPwAqwwtERloooWrLTkrWSF0exoC_pYQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

We have used this company a number of times with our grand kids. Good quality and the prices are good and they cover all parts of France

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13 hours ago, Jiffy176 said:

A few things to consider.

If you are over 3.5 tonnes plated (not actual) you are stuck to 90kph on the motorways and it can seem like a long old run.

My kids are similar age and they love the water parks, we don't go near the sea as they are not fussed and prefer active sites.

I've only been as far South as the Loire Valley but every site has been virtually fully booked in school holidays, so i would book if you want an active site.

Is that combined, car & camper? The cars almost 1800kg and I think the vans around 1400, so I'm assuming I'd be ok?  Must start reading up on these details, I'm making a lot of assumptions.

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26 minutes ago, B3nnl said:

Thanks Charlieboy, were based near in-between Taunton and Yeovil on the A303.  The 10 days are inclusive of travel,  I'm quickly learning that its much shorter than normal caravanners usually go away for.  Unfortunately this year, that's our lot, I'll definitely plan longer next year!

Sequiola pack would be doable on the atlantic coast.

Do you belong to either the caravan club or camping clubs?

Booking through these clubs normally gets a good price for ferry/campsite.

Les Castels has some good sites for kids.

Edited by charlieboy2608

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9 minutes ago, charlieboy2608 said:

Sequiola pack would be doable on the atlantic coast.

Do you belong to either the caravan club or camping clubs?

Booking through these clubs normally gets a good price for ferry/campsite.

Les Castels has some good sites for kids.


Sequoia is superb but it’s mosquito-hell.

 

If you want to try somewhere excellent, on the coast then I have no hesitation in recommending Le Littoral www.sandaya.co.uk - the park is excellent and deserves its 5 stars. We aren’t going this year just because we fancy a change but we will return.


We travelled Portsmouth Caen the first time and Portsmouth St Malo the second - the latter route is more relaxing but you might need to take more time off to arrive in time for the ferry.

 

However, France in the school holidays needs booking - by late March you’ll really struggle to get the break you want.

 

Oh, and if you weren’t aware do not drive through France on a Saturday in August. We’ve all done it (once...)

 

We are off to southern Brittany this summer for a change, Portsmouth Caen - can’t wait...

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B 3nnl

 

I have sent you a private message with a bit of information you might have a use for  in regards to ferry costs. ;)

 

Andy


Experience is an awful teacher who ends up sending you simply horrifying bills

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4 hours ago, B3nnl said:

Is that combined, car & camper? The cars almost 1800kg and I think the vans around 1400, so I'm assuming I'd be ok?  Must start reading up on these details, I'm making a lot of assumptions.

You need to check the Gross Train Weight on the door plate of the car, its nothing to do with the actual weight, though that last bit only applies to France. If it's over 3500kg, your in the slow lane I'm afraid.

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2 hours ago, Jiffy176 said:

You need to check the Gross Train Weight on the door plate of the car, its nothing to do with the actual weight, though that last bit only applies to France. If it's over 3500kg, your in the slow lane I'm afraid.


Indeed, Gross Train weight for my car is 4130kg but it’s Gross Vehicle weight (2070kg) and MTPLM of my caravan (1300kg) are only 3370kg - despite this, the 4130kg is the figure the french use.

 

The same van used to sit behind a different car which had a GVW of something like 1985kg and GTW of 3335kg - I could do over 90km/h on the autoroute.

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13 hours ago, FrankBullet said:


Indeed, Gross Train weight for my car is 4130kg but it’s Gross Vehicle weight (2070kg) and MTPLM of my caravan (1300kg) are only 3370kg - despite this, the 4130kg is the figure the french use.

 

The same van used to sit behind a different car which had a GVW of something like 1985kg and GTW of 3335kg - I could do over 90km/h on the autoroute.

And how slow does 56mph seem on those empty autoroutes!!

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What about the Plymouth to Santander ferry and then head north to the Biarritz area?


:excl::excl::excl:    Spanish Trip 2020 - :excl::excl::excl: - Time to bailout...

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8 minutes ago, Jiffy176 said:

And how slow does 56mph seem on those empty autoroutes!!


Very!

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15 minutes ago, Jiffy176 said:

And how slow does 56mph seem on those empty autoroutes!!

No idea...


:excl::excl::excl:    Spanish Trip 2020 - :excl::excl::excl: - Time to bailout...

Subscribe to our Blog at the website below and read the diaries of many of our expeditions.

Caravan Ramblings blog

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31 minutes ago, Jiffy176 said:

And how slow does 56mph seem on those empty autoroutes!!

 

But the difference in mpg when towing is substantial if you keep your speed down to around 56. 

 

Your on holiday, what’s the rush?? Make the journey part of the trip.

 

Andy

  • I agree completely 1

Experience is an awful teacher who ends up sending you simply horrifying bills

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40 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

But the difference in mpg when towing is substantial if you keep your speed down to around 56. 

 

Your on holiday, what’s the rush?? Make the journey part of the trip.

 

Andy

True Andy, just endless miles of motorway and bored under tens makes me wish we could move just a little quicker sometimes, especially as the roads are so good and empty.

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I know that speed limits are well enforced with cameras on local roads in France, but is the 56mph towing limit actually enforced on  French toll autoroutes?  Or is it just a paper law like the one they had for breathalysers?  The pairs of motorcycle cops who whoosh by me on the autoroutes seem completely uninterested, even though I certainly travel at more than 56 mph. Does anyone have practical experience? 

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2 hours ago, PandR said:

What about the Plymouth to Santander ferry and then head north to the Biarritz area?

Unfortunately the wife doesn't enjoy sea travel and the thought of getting the Santander/Bilbao ferry was enough to end the conversation abruptly!  It would have made life much easier though!

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6 minutes ago, moorgate said:

I know that speed limits are well enforced with cameras on local roads in France, but is the 56mph towing limit actually enforced on  French toll autoroutes?  Or is it just a paper law like the one they had for breathalysers?  The pairs of motorcycle cops who whoosh by me on the autoroutes seem completely uninterested, even though I certainly travel at more than 56 mph. Does anyone have practical experience? 

Many of the speed cameras was destroyed by the yellow vests and how would a camera know if you are above or below 3.5t?

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19 minutes ago, AndersG said:

Many of the speed cameras was destroyed by the yellow vests and how would a camera know if you are above or below 3.5t?

I wonder if anyone has had a speeding ticket (not from a camera but pulled up) in France while towing and if so what speed were you doing in what limit?

 

In response to the OP you could try Pin Parasol in the Vandee which should easily fit in with your holiday window, driving time & hopefully find some warm weather!


2020 Swift Eccles 650 towed by Range Rover Vogue SE SDV8 4.4

"What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger!"

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1 hour ago, AndersG said:

Many of the speed cameras was destroyed by the yellow vests and how would a camera know if you are above or below 3.5t?


A few years ago I got flashed by a camera on the autoroute - I was driving our DS4 with the roof box on doing and indicated 125km/h (ish) - nothing ever came of this and when I looked into it they flashed me because the height of the vehicle suggested I may not be a car but the issuing of a fine is not automatic - these are checked.  
 

In the case of a caravan you could easily check the GTW of the registered car, if it’s over 3500kg and 90km/h you will probably get a ticket!

 

I am also aware that tickets at the peage are timed too - okay not going to catch you if you do 100km/h from time to time but if the class of vehicle travels to quickly again a ticket can be checked on the GTW and issued.

 

I tend to drive at an indicated 95km/h but knock it down to 90km/h approaching obvious camera locations.

 

 

3 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

Your on holiday, what’s the rush?? Make the journey part of the trip.


This summer I’ll stick to 5th gear all the way and see if it’s more relaxing so an indicated 90km/h it will be (and Calais to Vannes isn’t exactly a massive trek!)

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