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Towing From Yorkshire To The South Of France


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hi we are going from Yorkshire to the cote d'azur this august! I thought we would stop overnight in Dover, cross at 8am to France. Then how many overnights are needed? I was hoping for just one. We have 2 kids 10 and 6 who are fairly good travellers. ..we've done Devon/Cornwall many times towing. Any advice on sites/stops and milages in a day most welcome. Also do we need a beach front site eg. Holiday Marina or to go inland? Many say the traffic is a nightmare down there to get around. Any tips very gratefully received.

Many thanks,

Julie : :rolleyes:

Edited by redbrickbarbies
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Personally, I have overnighted twice in Dover. The next time we take the Dover Calais crossing we would overnight at La Bien Assise, it is only 20 minutes from the Ferry. I feel it would give me a better start the following morning. Others may disagree. The roads are much better in France but the Cote D'Azur is a very long drive. I would say that 2 overnight stops may be necessary.

Regards
Ian

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I'd take Jans advice and stop twice 1st in Dover CC the black horse then in France somewhere, get your self a portable DVD player that will keep the kids quiet for ages and a good thing we do now stop every couple of hours for a short break and a cuppa.

 

Have a safe journey and take it easy :D

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I'd agree with 250 miles in a day.

 

We live in York. Driving to any of the channel ports is a good day's drive, usually followed by a hasty pack up to catch the early ferry. Instead we go Hull to Zeebrugee. It's pricy but the Caravan Club were quoting good deals last year providing you stayed on their sites (£380). The ferry leaves at 7pm, weekends are cheaper. The advantages are: Hull is an hour from home, you get a great night's sleep in your own cabin, the day can start with a full English (not included in the £380), there's no packing up to do, you're on the road by 8:30am and are fired up to drive maybe in excess of the 250 mile target, you reduce your driving distance (say 280 miles each way to Dover). The return ferry leaves at about 5pm.

 

Last year we took this option to go to the French Alps. We stopped at Langres (Kawan Village-Camping Lac de la Liez) on the way to Annecy. My advice would be to leave a shorter drive on the final day to avoid missing the ferry.

 

Hope this helps

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You will be leaving Calais about 11 o'clock after adding the hour, so a drive to Rheims would be far enough and to give your children a break.

 

Next day drive to the south of Lyon, leaving you one more day to drive to the south of France, but take note it is still a long journey from say Avignon to Frejus.

 

If you are travelling from Yorkshire you will have four days of continuous travel, which your children may not appreciate.

 

As I live in Yorkshire my preferred option is to take the overnight P & O ferry from Hull to Zeebrugge, which gives you a 9 o'clock start to your journey in the morning. Even with this earlier start I don't think I could reach the south of France in 2 days without feeling the after effects of such a trashing journey. I know this crossing may look expensive, but if you add in all the extra costs of fuel to Dover, plus an extra night on a site the difference is not all that great, but I am talking here about last years prices.

 

When you reach the Cote d'Azur I would try and stay slightly inland as the prices will be cheaper. We stayed on a site near St Tropez last Autumn and the high season prices were equivalent to £50 per night and this was before the latest collapse in the value of the pound. You should try and book for definite.

Also the traffic on the coast roads is very heavy, even in the Autumn.

 

Hope this helps as the reward for a long journey can be a superb holiday experience.

 

All the best with your planning

 

John.

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hi we are going from Yorkshire to the cote d'azur this august! I thought we would stop overnight in Dover, cross at 8am to France. Then how many overnights are needed? I was hoping for just one. We have 2 kids 10 and 6 who are fairly good travellers. ..we've done Devon/Cornwall many times towing. Any advice on sites/stops and milages in a day most welcome. Also do we need a beach front site eg. Holiday Marina or to go inland? Many say the traffic is a nightmare down there to get around. Any tips very gratefully received.

Many thanks,

Julie : :rolleyes:

 

Julie

 

Its a trip we have done many times, although from MK not Yorkshire! I think it would be best to have two stops en route in France otherwise you end up driving 400 miles a day if you do it with one stop. As to where to stop it seems a nonsense to me going all that way and not being on a beach site especially as kids of that age will love playing on the beach. If you are not staying on a beach side site I don;t think I would bother to go all that way, perhaps the Ardeche or Tarn area instead. I assume the Holiday Marina is the one at Port Grimaud, if so its not exactly on the beach but perhaps a km away which is a long hike with all The gubbins and no where really to park near the beach. The traffic in the St Maxime/St Tropez area is terrible from June to September, one reason to be on a beach side site. You could have a look here as I have some info on the route south and you can see the campsite we have stayed at http://www. davidklyne. plus. com/TheRouteSouth. htm

 

David

David - Milton Keynes

Bailey Alliance 66-2 Motorhome for holidays and a Kia Venga for home.

 

Caravan Travels

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Although the kids are now grown up and gone . . we took them all over France for many years. My rules then (and now as it happens) are no more than 6 hours driving a day, usually in 2 hour bursts with at least an hour for lunch.

 

Why ?? I've seen too many families who have done the "mega run" arrive on site with everyone arguing, fretting and generaly upset, then get even worse trying to set up and the driver then sleeps for 24 hours (and everyone else has to tiptoe around) . .. not my idea of the way to start a holiday.

 

Long legs are fine for the driver, but very boring for others. . especially kids. Frequent stops and short days just made life far more "laid back" and enjoyable . . it is after all, supposed to be a "holiday" . . :)

 

Just my thoughts . . nowt else . . :)

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My rules then (and now as it happens) are no more than 6 hours driving a day, usually in 2 hour bursts with at least an hour for lunch.

 

Why ?? I've seen too many families who have done the "mega run" arrive on site with everyone arguing, fretting and generaly upset, then get even worse trying to set up and the driver then sleeps for 24 hours (and everyone else has to tiptoe around) . .. not my idea of the way to start a holiday.

 

Long legs are fine for the driver, but very boring for others. . especially kids. Frequent stops and short days just made life far more "laid back" and enjoyable . . it is after all, supposed to be a "holiday" . . :)

 

Just my thoughts . . nowt else . . :)

 

Spot on.

Been there, Done It and lost the T Shirt

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Spot on.

Been there, Done It and lost the T Shirt

 

Glad someone agrees with me . . many don't !!!

 

I really like to be up around 8 to leave the site around 9, having had fresh croissants for breakfast, stop for baguette and brie for lunch, then arrive at the next night stop at around 3-4 pm . .. gives a chance of a quick swim, a few beers, evening meal, and the kids could run off their excess energy. .. then the same the next day until we arrive at the holiday site. We did the same tactic on the way home. ..

 

Worked for us . . and it was so comfortable we still do the same . . but without the kids !!

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If you really want only one stop on the way down,something we have done many times then there is a good municipal site just off the motorway, exit Macon north. We did this when we were both working so didn,t have the time to take a few days to get there.

Whatever you do don,t be tempted to stop on motorway rest areas. We used to do this till one year we had an attempted break in, as did friends who were travelling with us with their van.

There are plenty of sites just off motorways or N roads.

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We've found that with our kids that every day spend travelling is a 'travelling day' regardless of whether we do 3-4 hours or 8 hours; so we have generally found doing fewer days travelling works better. Having said that we normally break up the longer journeys by stoping a couple of nights. (In fact we normally plan our summer holidays on the basis of staying three or four days in a couple of places and a week at the furthest point but that's beside the point here).

 

The kids watch a portable DVD and if you time the stops so that they watch a DVD between each one you can easily do a three DVD journey. For long runs we use the peage.

 

To the question in hand I would stop at Black Horse farm and then plan to stop somewhere half way down for a couple of nights and then do the same on the way back. (I've never stopped at Lac de la liez but it would be in the right place.)

 

On the way back I would also stop one at Bien Assise near Calais. It is much less stressful driving a long hop back to a site in France (Bien Assise reception is open till 9pm+ in summer) than driving for the Ferry and wondering if you will get there in time. A 9am Ferry from Calais has you in Dover and on the road home by 10am UK time.

 

When calculating how far/how long, we've normally worked on the assumption of 40mph average on non motorway roads, 50mph on motorway's + an hour for lunch. Taken together these times normally allow for a couple of other brief stops for toilet & leg stretch. Normally we have found we comfortably complete the journey within the anticipated time, only once have we run significantly over (a combination of roadworks / accidents on road etc).

 

Hope all that info helps.

 

 

Neil

Neil

VW Tiguan + Sterling Europa 520

http://neilbrighton. typepad. com/distinct_reflections/

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Kid less, so maybe my post won't apply, but! we only live 2 hrs from dover (but as SWMBO don't do boats, the tunnel it is!) from Calais we drive to Burgundy and stop at Chalon Sur Soane overnight then take a leisurley drive to Frejus. .. Calais to Chalone 6 hrs, Chalone to Frejus 6 hrs. ... suits us!

GeorgeB Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult

When I said I was normal. .....maybe I exaggerated somewhat!

Skoda Superb MK3 190ps DSG 4X4 estate closely followed by a Swift Challenger 580 Alde

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How long are you planning to spend on the Cote d' Azur? It's just with two children, and if you only have two weeks, it seems a shame to spend a lot of it travelling. There are many other places with beaches that aren't so far.

Mine: Fiesta; his Mondeo Estate; ours Bailey Olympus534, DD1's Poppy the cocker but she comes with us!

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How long are you planning to spend on the Cote d' Azur? It's just with two children, and if you only have two weeks, it seems a shame to spend a lot of it travelling. There are many other places with beaches that aren't so far.

Hi thanks for all the advice. I think you are right it will take about 3 days to get there. ..then 3 home again. So we may go for Brittany again. My husband has to have it hot & be by the beach. :)

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Hi thanks for all the advice. I think you are right it will take about 3 days to get there. ..then 3 home again. So we may go for Brittany again. My husband has to have it hot & be by the beach. :)

Look at sites in Vendee, thats where we are off to.

Regards
Ian

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The Vendee is supposed to have the same sort of climate as the med. When we were there I had to keep popping into the car to switch on the aircon to cool down.

Mine: Fiesta; his Mondeo Estate; ours Bailey Olympus534, DD1's Poppy the cocker but she comes with us!

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The Vendee is supposed to have the same sort of climate as the med. When we were there I had to keep popping into the car to switch on the aircon to cool down.

I don't actually like the heat, too much. I have to keep everyone else happy :rolleyes:

Regards
Ian

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I done the 450 + miles on the first day with a few stops en route down to Dover

 

Stayed over night in Sutton

 

Stayed in La Bien Assise after the crossing the down to Paris the next day .

 

Because we were in holiday mode it was fine

 

On the way back we broke the journey up coming back up to Scotland

 

1st experience touring over the water would do it again

Hyundai Santa Fe

 

SWIFT Oronsay 570

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would echo the earlier reply - do Hull-Zeebrugge instead of via Dover.

 

We live 45 minutes from Hull, and it's so relaxing having the morning to pack evrything up, leave home mid-afternoon, board the ferry about 5pm, and arrive in Zeebrugge the next morning.

 

French motorways are so much more relaxing to drive on the ours, with a lot less traffic, so we find we can do a much greater distance in a day in France than in the UK. You'd still need to do an overnight stop in France though. Try one of the small municipal campsites - they're very cheap and have good basic facilities.

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Just seen this and we have done the same thing some years ago - and I have just been reading the holiday diary of what we did.

We left York - for the Dover - Calais Ferry and then down to the South of France . . staying at Camping la Vieille Ferm near to Nice for ten days.

 

We drove down from York to Dover [ about 280 miles] leaving home just after lunch time and arriving in Dover at about 8 pm we were catching the 10. 30 pm boat to Calais. .

 

When we arrived in Calais Dockside at just after midnight we went into the departures car park and put our feet down and slept. . we left the docks at about 9 30 ish -- after having had a good breakfast. .

 

Then we travelled down --A26 --to a site near to Troyes [260 miles] camping Terres Rouges and stayed the night, leaving at about 10ish the following morning.

 

Going down the A31 -- A6 to Lyon to a Municipal site near by called Villefranche [210 miles] no rush we are on holiday. leaving again about 10 am.

 

Setting off on the A7 - A8 and we arrived at our site near to Nice [303 miles]- Camping la Vieille Ferm at about 3. 30 pm -- just right for setting up. .

 

The whole journey from York down to the South of France was just under 1100 miles

 

We stayed in two over night campsites in France as well as when we got off the ferry at midnight. . [that saved us a day]

 

We took it easy and had a great trip down and back.

 

Hope this might help -- it is what we did. .

 

Maurice

Volvo S60 D5 (now sold 😥) new Vauxall soon
Happy to meet, Sorry to part, Happy to meet again
48 Year Member of The Caravan Club

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