am i fooling myself? Can we go to france for similar (less) than UK

(35 Posts)
needtoleaveukforsunshine Thu 06-Jun-13 13:23:56

Started a thread a while ago because wanted to go france as not confident in weather here for camping again. I know it has been warm this week but I think this could be the beginning and end of summer (voice of experience/doom).

Having said that - I am now thinking that going to northern france/loire/vendee is going to be costly. The campsite prices seem less but when I factor in all the travelling and tolls it is going to go up quite a lot.

Does anybody have any suggestions to keep costs down? I am thinking that if we do cheap dover/calais crossing and then only drive for couple of hours we shouldnt incur too many travel costs - but then the weather could also be awful. Maybe I should just book somewhere in devon/cornwall and spend the next month or two with my fingers and toes crossed. What do you all think??

Nerfmother Thu 06-Jun-13 13:41:05

Sent a pm

chicaguapa Thu 06-Jun-13 13:50:00

The general rule for weather in France is that below Lyon is fairly guaranteed sun and heat. Though there is a pocket around La Rochelle on the west coast which gets a lot of sunshine hours too.

Staying in the municipal camp sites would help keep costs down. Some have pools on site or at least a municipal outdoor pool next door. If you're happy to wing it, you don't even have to book in advance so you could just get the ferry to Calais, check the weather report and head for the sun.

We are doing exactly that this summer. Heading across the channel armed with a copy of the Michelin camping guide and Le Guide officiel camping caravaning and the weather forecast. It helps that I speak French so am confident at going off track, as it were, and if one site happens to be full, there are loads of others to choose from so it's not a problem.

Whether or not it's cheaper than the UK, I don't know. But I'm just interested in making sure we get some decent weather on our holiday so instead of hoping it comes to me, I am going to go and find it. Unless the whole of France is under a black cloud and then we're stuffed as I don't want to drive to Spain. grin

hettie Thu 06-Jun-13 13:50:35

I think for reliable (ish) weather you need to get to at least the vendee.....You can avoid tolls using via michelin
Cheapest ferry's can be had weekdays (eg monday). Food is expensive, but you can bring pasta etc with you....
umme... what else to keep costs down..... stay in a nice but municipal campsite or one with less facilities (ukcampsite forum has lots of french sites to choose from on it's web pages).

MinimalistMommi Fri 07-Jun-13 12:54:22

chic have you already booked your ferry tickets? If so, how long have yo booked over there?
We were thinking of doing something very similar so thank you for book recommendations.

HolidayArmadillo Fri 07-Jun-13 12:56:11

We're doing this. I don't know anymore than that bit will look with interest as we want to keep costs down where possible.

BranchingOut Fri 07-Jun-13 13:06:56

The only thing I would say is that I went to the vendee last year June/July and the weather was not great. See what the forecasts are doing.

MinimalistMommi Fri 07-Jun-13 13:19:16

Branching that's why I'm considering getting ferry tickets last minute, will I be able to still get on a ferry crossing? Will be it be tons more expensive do you think?

HolidayArmadillo Fri 07-Jun-13 13:23:26

My parents went to the vendee last August and are heading there and the Loire this year and they had brilliant weather around the 30 degrees mark. I'm very excited! I love sunshine!

MinimalistMommi Sun 09-Jun-13 17:48:31

How long will it take you to get to the Vendee Holiday?

WhereDoesPerryKeepHisHat Sun 09-Jun-13 18:50:25

We go early August and book tickets 3 - 7 days before we go. Never had a problem. Price doesn't seem to go up either.

MinimalistMommi Sun 09-Jun-13 19:50:24

That's great to know where, be got to check weather.

forevergreek Sun 09-Jun-13 20:03:10

What about the Netherlands? 2-4 hour drive from Calais depending on where you go, and great sandy beaches. Usually great weather in the summer ( but this summer does seem bad for whole of Europe).

chicaguapa Mon 10-Jun-13 12:53:49

We haven't booked our ferry ticket yet as we'll do this nearer the time or when I find a good deal. We will have a trailer which always puts the price up. Then if the weather looks like it might be ok in the UK, we might stay here and spending the ferry crossing on eating out.

We'll be over there for just over a week this time, but if it goes ok, we'll go for 2 weeks next year.

thonah Tue 11-Jun-13 12:49:11

I maintain that anywhere south of the Loire has much better weather than the UK. That's about 1/3 of the way down France, say 200 ish miles from Calais (1 days drive with a trailer). If you want to keep the costs down keep away from the coast and main tourist areas and head for central France. We've found even high quality campsites with pools/ children's clubs etc are significantly cheaper away from the coast. Obviously using municipals will cut the cost again. Food in supermarkets costs pretty much the same as in the UK - some items are cheaper, others more expensive. Local markets can be cheaper. If you are flexible on time, a lot of french sites reduce their rates in mid-late August, so right at the end of our school holidays it is cheaper.

Stay away from big name resorts. Cost of life can rocket in trendy places. Eg beer in small market town €2.50 but can be 3x the price in a resort.

We go to southern French alps in August and the weather is almost always fab...counting the days grin. But it is a long way. Buy petrol off the motorway, supermarket usually best.

HolidayArmadillo Fri 14-Jun-13 19:44:14

Should take around 6 or do hours I think from Calais. Really looking forward to it. Going here www.rcn.nl/rcn-la-ferme-du-latois?steID=48&catID=4462 a Dutch run site. Looks great.

Hattieboo Sat 22-Jun-13 20:42:14

What's your budget for ferry, camping and fuel? How long do you want to go for? We went last year on shoe string, so may be able to help! It was our best holiday ever! Doing it again and can't wait!!!! :-)

nkf Sat 22-Jun-13 20:45:33

But, if you want serious heat, don't you have to go to the Med? Really far down.

chicaguapa Sat 22-Jun-13 20:58:20

We can't decide what to do now.

The cheapest ferry I can find with a trailer (we have a folding camper) is £154 rtn from Dover. Plus camping costs at the municipal sites. Plus petrol driving to find the sun.

Or we can go to Pembrokeshire for a week for £100. But it'll rain, probably. confused

Hattieboo Sat 22-Jun-13 21:03:40

Hi chicaguapa. How much u wanting to spend? :-)

chicaguapa Sat 22-Jun-13 21:10:36

In an ideal world I'd like to spend £100 in Pembrokeshire and have sun for a week. wink I don't have a budget really, but think I might spend whatever it takes to get some sun. We went to Mallorca at half term and barely got any there either.

poorbuthappy Sat 22-Jun-13 21:18:12

For the last 2 years we have gone all the way done and had 2 summers of 40 degree heat. Lovely.
But this year we are only going as far as the Loire. Can't face the mammoth drive this year. confused
I am hoping for sun, but if not, then we'll cope. Actually I will be really pissed off but hey ho

nkf Sat 22-Jun-13 21:28:44

I'd love to go the Loire, mainly for the chateaux but can you guarantee sun? At the moment, I think the thought of paying for a holiday and it raining would make me vicious with rage.

lancaster Sat 22-Jun-13 21:37:18

Really interested in the answers to this thread as we are heading off to Chamonix next weekend for 3 weeks. Although the dover calais ferry is cheap it is definitely going to cost us more than 2 weeks in north devon Costs that I hadn't thought of were european breakdown cover, car insuance etc. However the price is all relative as we spent £2500 for a 1 week package holiday in majorca last year.

Hattieboo Sat 22-Jun-13 21:50:00

It cost us about £700 for 2 1/2 wks (including ferry, campsite and fuel - not living money!) The campsite was wonderful and weather fantastic in the dordogne. From door to door on way down it took 21hrs, including breaks and 4hr sleep break with caravan in an aire. Felt pretty yuck at time (air conditioning decided to die at Dover and then it was 30 degrees for most of journey) but we're doing it again this year!! We've spent £2000 plus on holidays to balerics etc and we loved this holiday most of all! :-)

chicaguapa Sat 22-Jun-13 21:55:33

the thought of paying for a holiday and it raining would make me vicious with rage.
This is our dilemma. We know its going to rain in Wales but if it rains in France and we've paid more to go there... What if it's raining all over France in August? <curses jetstream>

Hattieboo Sat 22-Jun-13 23:02:48

Gosh you sound EXACTLY like me last year! I guess our lovely holiday has softened me!!! But I agree completely and will just keep my fingers (and toes!) crossed :-)

MrsMc82 Sun 23-Jun-13 09:56:14

Just a note on ferries, we're going southern Brittany next week (so expecting warm but changeable weather).... but the ferry crossings have gone up quite considerably since I first looked at prices a few - I totally forgot to book them till last week. .... still only costing 70 odd quid return but it would have been less than 40 uf had booked when planned. ..... so the ferry prices do go up so maybe just book ferry crossings and sort where you go later. ......

Do you have any tesco vouchers? You can exchange them for triple value and use them towards a eurotunnel crossing which could help to reduce the cost

needtoleaveukforsunshine Sun 23-Jun-13 11:23:44

feeling a bit guilty as i started this thread and then forgot about it/got sidetracked/spent too much time looking at uk campsite reviews blush

Glad to see that others have contributed.

We are still undecided. I have been looking at Treen Farm in cornwall and at a campsite at corfe castle in dorset but with going mid/late august I have a feeling that we could be increasing possibility of being cold and wet.

Now - Hattieboo - your messages are pointing me back to France. How on earth did you do that length of hols for £700 with a caravan? I thought ferry costs rise a lot with caravan. I put a quote in for trailer and that increased prices a lot. Would you be willing to say which site in the Dordogne you went to?

I would leave it to the last minute but I am worried that we wont get anything decent in this country or france. Still dithering grin

We live in the Loire Valley and we've had exactly the same weather as England all spring and summer. Very depressing!

The Vendee is usually better but not so much this year, at least so far.

But it's been very very changeable so who knows what August will be like? In the past we've indeed had more sun than the UK.

My ILs live near Limoges (Limousin) and they've had lovely weather. I think it's less trendy than some other areas and supposed to be really nice.

TwasBrillig Sun 23-Jun-13 11:37:43

We've camped at corfe castle and had a lovely time. Not sure that helps your dilemma though!

MinimalistMommi Sun 23-Jun-13 13:30:05

Which campsite at Corfe? I can highly recommend Downshay just outside Corfe, it's a great campsite!

MinimalistMommi Sun 23-Jun-13 13:30:46

We're still hoping to go last minute to France, we're going to sit to book ferry though so we can check forecast.

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