Where to stop overnight with 3 kids, Calais to Dordogne

(16 Posts)
tab Sun 12-May-13 22:52:26

We've driven to Vendee a couple of times straight through daytiime without need ing to stop overnight but this time we're starting journey early evening from London and planning to stop overnight somewhere once in France.

I know there's been a few of these threads but need advice on
a) route youve found easiest/quickest from calais eurotunnel heading down to Dordogne
and
b) we want to stop overnight and having a lot of probs deciding where (thinking cheapish nr motorway hotel but not really tacky/no soundproofing!).

Just general advice really. We come off chunnel around 8pm french time. DH and I cannot decide how far we should try and get with 3 lovely Ds's. Do you think to try and get south of Paris is over optimistic? Have you stayed anywhere you'd recommend? Our other problem seems to be that french hotels dont do family rooms for 5.

thankyou lovely mumsnetters.

Portofino Mon 13-May-13 11:36:53

I would not go via Paris for a start. Rouen would be better. That would be about a 2 hour drive from Calais in normal traffic. I am struggling to find anywhere that sleeps 5 en route though. You might be better going for 2 rooms an an Ibis or similar.

And get a toll doodah to save queuing/fiddling for change etc.

tab Mon 13-May-13 14:00:09

Thanks portofino. I thought via rouen would add on hours but maybe worth it. Im presuming youve had nightmares round paris. We'renovices so really up for any advice going! Yes Dh has just found out apparently in France its agsinst the law for hotel rooms to sleep more than 4 to a room!! Aargh! Does anyone know is there s a good website that recommends hotels slong the route youve planned / kind of on screen.

Portofino Mon 13-May-13 14:21:06

The Accor website I linked to above let's you search by map. Otherwise I always use booking.com, which also lets you view places on a map and has reviews.

Portofino Mon 13-May-13 14:22:39

Where abouts are you going in the Dordogne? We were there last summer. Loved it.

outtolunchagain Mon 13-May-13 14:28:52

We did this last Summer, have to say we did it in one go with loo stops and stretch legs and it was fine , we were in Carlux . Going Rouen much quicker , roads better no jams , there are a few ibis etc on the outskirts of Rouen.

Portofino Mon 13-May-13 14:29:44

Oh www.viamichelin.co.uk also lets you search along a route.

jenster1976 Mon 13-May-13 17:03:35

We did this trip loads when our DDs were babies, although we live near Dover, which makes timings easier. We always found leaving early in the morning to be the best tip (if you've got the option still)

We would get a train at about 7am, be in France for 9 (losing the hour). Aim to do 4 hours driving ( 2 lots of 2 hours, or roughly 2dvds!) and then stop. We stayed in a lovely village in the Loire (chenonceau) at a little inn called the |Rosiere I think. (adds about 15 mins to the journey) Its got a big family room ( living room and 2 beds) in a separate suite). Nice restaurant and a little pool and gardens. There's a beautiful chateux to walk too as well, so just gave the kids time to stretch and let off steam. Basically make an afternoon / night of it, set of after breakfast and be in the Dordogne at lunch time.

FWIW, we always did the return trip in a day. Seems much easier, when you gain an hour in your favour. Again, we'd leave really early (6) and aim to get 2 hours in before stopping for breakfast, and make it to Calais by late afternoon. But we are only a skip home on the other side.

outtolunchagain Mon 13-May-13 17:47:23

Coming back last year we left bang on the dot of 9.00 am and walked through front door at about 11.00pm ,we are in East Anglia about 1.30 north of M25.Ling day but perfectly doable .

tab Mon 13-May-13 22:06:41

Wow! Thankyou for your replies. We're going to eurocamp 'avit des loisirs' ! Just feeling a bit apprehensive at the moment. Will look on the accor website - thanks for that portofino! And thanks for advice about how to break journey. I was wondering if journey back might be more manageable . Wow - out to lunch again - that journey sounded impressive. Not sure we'd quite manage that. Jenster- yes that sounds like a good way to do it - unfortunately cant do it this tme. We're getting early evening train hence need to stop. Hopefully 3ds will sleep in car for a while before we stop.

Portofino Tue 14-May-13 09:44:31

Oh - I had St Avit on my list but we ended up booking a Gite complex near Les Eyzies instead. I'd be interested to hear what it is like. There is LOADS to do. The Aquarium and mini golf in Le Bugue are worth a look. On Wednesday evenings in the summer the main square in LB has a food festival with tables and chairs set up. You can go buy a bottle of wine at one stall, paella etc from another, fresh bread etc Twas lovely.

Other recommendations. Sarlat is lovely but go really early to park for the market. Domme, Castelnaud castle, canoeing on the Dordogne, views from the Jardins des Marqueyssac are stunning. My daughter loved Parc Jacquou rides and a little water park. We did the caves at Rouffignac where you go underground on a little train and there are real cave paintings. The grotte du padirac was recommended but we never go round to it.

We also went to the Dinosaur Park at Le Conquil where there are rope walks through the trees. Les Eyzies is worth a visit too - the museum is good and gives you access to the rock shelter under the cliff. Lots and lots of lovely food. I want to go on holiday now wink

tab Tue 14-May-13 12:53:23

Thanks Portofino for all the great suggestions. flowers Journey planning still stressing me out - but hey I bourght a big map today so how bad can it be!! it sounds brilliant when we do actually get there! Im really glad that you liked it so much that you went back again!! Just out of interest how old are your children. Mine are 10, 7, and 5 . thanks for the names of parcs/ recommendations.
right I just have to conquer this hotel/overnight stop palava.....!
smile

Portofino Tue 14-May-13 16:55:26

My dd is 9, so 8 last summer. We are not going back this year, but to La Rochelle, fancied some seaside this year, but we will probably go back next year as we have friends who live near Domme.

outtolunchagain Tue 14-May-13 17:45:49

We were just outside Sarlat , my children are older but the youngest was 9 at the time. We loved the kayaking / canoeing on the Dordogne , lots of great castles and the gardens with the fantastic views that Portofino mentioned.
The market in Sarlat was a big hit, but my children are quite foodie smileWe tried to go to the underground cave but the queues were horrendous hmm. We also went to a small medieval town on the river where you went into the caves from some steps in the market place I can't remember the name but that was a big hit ( will ask dh when he gets home)
It's a great area lots to do and very green , you will have a great time

balderdashed Tue 14-May-13 17:50:22

We have stopped off in Troyes after visits to Reims before completing our journey to the Dordogne a few years ago. It was well worth it and an unexpected highlight!smile

sweetestcup Sat 18-May-13 13:40:35

We have drove to the Dordone in a day, long day obviously but worth it! We actually start from Glasgow and drive to Folkestone, stay overnight and then get an early tunnel, cant remember the exact times but think we were in France for 8 am and at our cottage for 6ish pm.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now