Driving back from France in 1 day!

(20 Posts)
ShoeWhore Wed 14-Aug-13 08:42:01

We're off to France soon and are driving down to the Dordogne, stopping overnight on the way down.

We then travel back up to the Loire for a few days before heading home. We're taking the tunnel back so it's about 4-5 hours driving either side (plus stops) Dcs are aged 6-9. Does this sound feasible or total madness? 2 drivers.

I'm quite keen to get us home as we are cutting it a bit fine for going back to school grin

MrsPresley Wed 14-Aug-13 10:12:02

Yes, perfectly do-able, with stops.

We drive from Edinburgh to Disneyland Paris in 1 go, well DP does the driving!

We leave around 9pm, drive through the night, stop for breakfast, get the tunnel over then about 3/4 hours, if i remember rightly, might not be that long but arrive around 12ish, so around 13 to 15 hours depending on traffic.

Dp will have a wee nap before getting on the tunnel train, if we have time, I take the kids rounds the shops or go for a coffee.

DP is a long distance driver though so used to very long drives.

specialsubject Wed 14-Aug-13 10:52:18

doesn't sound too bad, stop every two hours and it is only one stop either side.

those who say 'I can do long drives without stopping' are a danger to all of us. It only needs a five minute halt every couple of hours to stretch legs and refresh concentration.

mummytime Wed 14-Aug-13 11:00:47

We've done that and more on numerous occasions. The only nightmare one was when I had a stomach bug and couldn't share the driving (and was desperate for Aires with decent toilets).

Ponders Wed 14-Aug-13 12:15:50

we drove from Perpignan to Lancashire in one go once - 1000 miles - never again!

(but that was partly because I hate DH's driving style so I did most of it. we did stop every couple of hours though)

Marlinspike Wed 14-Aug-13 12:21:21

Depends when you are driving - just remember that at the end of August the entire French population will be attempting to travel north on the autoroutes.

Took us 11 hrs to get from Biarritz to Paris a couple of years ago - never, ever again!

RaspberryLemonPavlova Wed 14-Aug-13 12:28:46

We've just done DLP to North England via ferry. Long trip but fine, it takes us longer as we are towing a folding camper.

DH is the only driver as I don't like driving when we are towing.. If he doesn't drive he goes to sleep and he can't do the sleeping with one ear open thing, so I end up driving and dealing with 3 DC, which I can't do an tow. Therefore if he needs a break we planned to stop for a bit at services so he could nap in the car.

Lucycat Wed 14-Aug-13 13:20:25

The French side will be fine - use the autoroutes and even Rouen is ok. It's the drive in the UK I hate - but you should be ok to do it in that time.

ShoeWhore Wed 14-Aug-13 19:48:13

Great - thanks for all your thoughts.

It's actually early Sept when we travel back (cutting it very fine for getting back to school!) so I'm hoping by then all les francais will be safely home from their hols.

We have a friend who lives kind of en route, might see if we can call into see them late afternoon, have a quick tea and then do the last leg after rush hour...

Yonihadtoask Wed 14-Aug-13 20:13:15

We drove back from the Loire valley just last Saturday.

We left the house at 10.30am (had to check out then) and headed off towards Calais. We stopped off in Albert for lunch and a visit to the underground museum - and then stopped off in Thiepval to see the memorial.

Then an hour and a half more driving got us to Calais for our ferry. Then four hours drive home from Dover. That was the hardest. I realised how crap the roads are in England!

By incorporating a few stops it does help to keep you alert.

I won't plan any journey longer than 5 or 6 hours usually in one day. If we are going further south in France then I book us a one night stop- over. A couple of hours at a time of driving each is quite enough.

Enjoy your holiday!!

MissWimpyDimple Wed 14-Aug-13 20:35:07

We just did more or less this...

DVD players are your friends grin

SDhopeful Wed 14-Aug-13 20:53:06

the entire French population will be attempting to travel north on the autoroutes.
yes, been there, done that grin

ShoeWhore Wed 14-Aug-13 21:34:16

No we don't usually plan more than 5 or 6 hours driving in a day either.

misswimpy I am searching for new DVD players right now!

If it wasn't for school then we'd stop overnight at my friend's house but that would mean getting back the day before school starts and it will end up being a late raucous night and hangover the next morning Just thinking we might want to push on and head for home this time.

We've done a very similar journey twice in the last few years - kids aged between 5 and 12. Was absolutely fine. No DVD players, just Nintendo DSes and ipods and lots of sweets

Yonihadtoask Wed 14-Aug-13 21:44:53

We bought the twin dvd players and have used them probably only twice.

Waste of bloody money. Our two just sat with their ear phones on listening to their own music.

ShoeWhore Wed 14-Aug-13 23:16:22

Only ds1 has an ipod and we don't have DSes - playing games on the ipod seems to result in travel sickness sad They love listening to music in the car (we play it through the speakers on shuffle and play "play or skip" - family vote as to whether we listen to each track) but only for so long.

Had DVD players before but they broke. Dcs loved it though.

Sandgroper Sat 24-Aug-13 12:11:58

Hi

We drove from Lake Maggiore to Reims in one day via the Alps (3countries) last week, added another 3 hrs in to our journey but that is whole other story! Gothard Tunnel was a 2 hour delay on the way over... DH did say that next year we are flying to our summer holiday!!

Something i could recommend is a Sanef toll for the French toll booths. No more waiting around in queues or scrambling for Euros or credit card. We went straight through and it debited our UK bank account. So efficient.. I got it through Eurotunnel as they had a discount on it! A little gadget you stick on the inside windscreen next to the mirror... Fab!

Agree on the UK roads, after Italy,Switzerland and France makes you realise just how crappy they really are!!!

Your plan sounds pretty straight forward! Have a fab holiday!

HarrogateMum Wed 28-Aug-13 17:53:22

second the Sanef widget..makes for a stress free trip on the autoroutes!

SDhopeful Thu 29-Aug-13 19:07:08

Another vote for the sanef. Got my a couple of years ago after hearing about it on mumsnet grin and it is truly fantastic. No opening windows in a howling gale (we often drive to ski resorts in winter) and trying to get the ticket while not dropping the money etc - especially if you are only one adult in the car and also have to clamber across the seats to pay...

Sanef worked like a dream for us....and just booked ferry for Boxing Day !!!

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