Hi - my BIL and his wife are having a family get together in Vernon, at her parents house, it is a sort of wedding celebration and we would like to go - all a bit last minute so we are in two minds about going because I can only really get out of work on the Friday, possibly if I beg, the Thurs afternoon, and would have to be back for Monday work.
We have a 3.5 yr old DD, I have looked at the Eurostar (we are close to Ashford) and driving via Euro tunnel - a bit of a difference in price - train a bit more expensive.
Just wondering has anyone done that drive, would it be doable from Calais to Vernon, or would you recommend the Eurostar? I have taken it loads before, not with DD, and we would have to get a train (around an hour). We would have to do it without a seat on the eurostar for DD, sitting on our laps or it is a ridiculous price. I would have to do all the driving. She doesn't sleep well, but might in the car, definitely not on the train, as we would be travelling through the evening. I am leaning towards car being easier, but more tiring for me doing the driving possibly only a day apart. I don't mind too much, with some good music and a few stops I think I would be happy. DD can surprise us by hating being on the road though, which could be a nightmare. Not sure what the roads are like, have driven in france before but was a while ago.
We stayed here Le Clos De Mutigny as the last stop before heading back to Calais. Is that a similar distance? We did stop once and we left at 9am and got on earlier chunnel than booked (about 12.30?). Wasn't more than 3 hours and an easy drive. You could do it pretty easily I think. I'd also tempted to put DD in the front if it's allowed. They get bored and sick in the back I fine.
Thanks revealall it is actually to the north-west of Paris, between Rouen and but similar sort of distance I think. We could try with DH sat in the back, could probably set up pad with cartoons etc for her too.
I think the roads are pretty good, we could stop a few times too. I am trying to think of a comparison here to see if I would think of doing it in a weekend if it were the UK.
I've just AA route mapped it and they reckon 2.44hrs (which means 2.5 hrs in real life).
I am a shockingly nervous driver but found driving through France/ Austria/Italy easy enough. Less traffic and better lane management IMO. The signage also made more sense.It was only the bigger cities that were trickier and a Sat Nav helped take the panic out.
If you can go in the daylight on Friday you'd easily have an evening and all day Saturday there and have an easy drive back Sunday pm? It'll be an adventure!Don't drink too much Saturday though...
I live about 30km from Vernon and do that route to the UK fairly often. It is very straightforward and quiet motorways all the way and takes about 2 and half hours - easily doable for a weekend. Just a word of warning if you do it - the main bridge in Rouen is closed for repairs so there is a diversion which is not signposted much before the turnover - just don't panic! Have fun...
Thanks all, great advice. Have now asked for the day off on Friday and got it! Am a teacher so wouldn't usually happen, they must like me...
reveal I do love the roads in France, once I get over the terror of getting onto the train, I hate that bit! They are so easy, lots of stops too, which we have used many, many times when driving with DD with her screaming in the back of the car...
I will have to work until about 6:30, we reckon we can get the 8:30pm train, so hopefully there by midnight french time. It will mean we will wake up there and have all day Friday and Saturday there, which will be lovely. It will be dark, I don't mind driving in the dark too much - however it hopefully will mean DD will sleep all the way hollow laugh
Frozentree that is great advice, thanks, very comforting, I had heard about Rouen but didn't know if I needed to drive that way. Do I just follow the signs towards Vernon from Rouen? I am hoping my basic french will manage a detour, I am guessing our satnav won't pick it up.
I am most excited about going to Monet's house, it is next door to theirs, plus the cheeky weekend away will make the term go quicker!
Yes, probably easiest to follow the diversion signs - they just don't give you much warning that's all. I don't know about the sat nav as I don't have one - it might just direct you to the next bridge along (which is what I do anyway as it is quicker than the actual diversion, but does involve a bit of driving in Rouen city centre). You need to follow the signs for the A13 to Paris and then Vernon is junction 16 I think. Enjoy Giverny - it's beautiful. There is also a lovely old fallen-down castle at Les Andelys along the river.