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Campsites in france - best way to get there from Scotland

(24 Posts)
maldivemoment Mon 22-Jan-18 13:54:19

Hello all

I'm also posting this in the 'shorthaul forum in the hope that all of you who are much more experienced than us may be able to help.

After years of holidaying here in Scotland we're desperate for some sun and need to do it on a bit of budget so I've been looking at Campsites in France.

My initial thought was to pack the car with all our own camping gear and drive to our destination. However after doing a quick search of ferry prices it's looking fairly pricey, add on the fuel and road charges and it makes it even more £££. Plus the thought of driving for days to get to a holiday destination - with 2 wee folk in the back (6&8) - does not fill me with enthusiasm! I was looking at the south of France in the hope of good weather. I can't even face googling how long such a journey would actually take! (we're West coast of Scotland)

So I'm now wondering if we should try to get cheap flights (no idea the best way/time to do that but that's a whole other thread!) and maybe hire a car at the other side and rent a caravan/chalet type thing instead?

Have any of you lovely folk done such a holiday? Do you have any advice for this novice whose eyes are spinning with the number of campsites I've been looking at. I'm just feeling a bit overwhelmed by the whole process and can't seem to find a starting point. I feel no further forward that I did 5 days ago!

So basically;
* self drive or cheap flight and car hire (if so how do I get a good deal on car hire. Where's best to look?)
* Book flights first then campsite or vice versa? From what I've seen some campsites get booked up v quickly.
* I've read some reviews comparing the heat in the caravans to be like a lobster being cooked in a pot! Would canvas type accommodation be better?

And finally, after doing a few sums, this is not going to be a cheap as I imagined, is it?

Thank you in advance?

Teabagtits Mon 22-Jan-18 13:56:31

No answers but looking to do the same so following with interest!

Jenijena Mon 22-Jan-18 13:59:44

Am I right in thinking Scottish school holidays start early July? I’d have thought that if you went in the first couple of weeks of July you’d get something just about affordable on an eg eurocamp or similar site. I don’t know about flights though (lucky enough to live v close to ferry port)

AgentProvocateur Mon 22-Jan-18 14:04:37

We always went hull-zeebrugge (after the rosyth ferry stopped) and drove to to vendee area, stopping for a night en route. We had caravans with canvas or Eurocamp. Never had A/C but decking is essential (and an extra). There are some sites you can fly to (near larochelle maybe) then get a train to site so you wouldn’t need a car st all - just bike hire. I’ll try and remember the name of it and come back to you.

To summarise - there’s no quick and easy way of getting to France from Scotland! grin

maldivemoment Mon 22-Jan-18 14:13:13

Agent "there’s no quick and easy way of getting to France from Scotland!..."

Noooooooooo sad

Can I ask how long that journey took you? Did you have wee ones in the car?

Thank you.

Brighteyes27 Mon 22-Jan-18 15:19:40

Watching with interest. I can’t for the life of me see the pleasure of being cooked up in the car together for 2 whole days!!!
We are in Cumbria so much the same trouble. The Scottish schools finish a couple of weeks earlier than the English School hols.
You can fly fairly close to some parks but it’s a pig looking at which parks you fancy and have availability then looking at flights.
You can fly to Beziers fairly close to some parks from Glasgow I found out today but their are only 2 flights a week or something.

maldivemoment Mon 22-Jan-18 17:22:35

Brighteyes I hear you.

We can just about tolerate our jaunt to the Highlands so the thought of actually driving to Europe kinda fills me with dread. Plus the car packed with every conceivable item needed for a camping trip. Urgh...

We did the Outer Hebrides last year and actually split the journey - staying overnight in Inverness - so I can't see us ever making it to France!

Still hoping more folk will come along with the answer to my prayers or some words of wisdom.

Brighteyes27 Mon 22-Jan-18 17:46:30

I phoned Eurocamp today and they were helpful. Basically, Ryanair fly to Bezier airport on Wednesdays and Sunday’s. This airport is supposedly fairly close to the following sites; Beach Garden WM080 in Langedoc, Club Farret WM023, Le Maurin WM036 and Le Sablon WM020.
Sorry I have no first hand experience of any of these sites and you would still need to factor in flights and a short transfer. Maybe others can advise on what the sites are like or you could look them up on say Eurocamp and Trip Adviser. I need I lie down was thinking of a stay in the Algarve, Croatia (which is proving too expensive) or Eurocamp which is unknown and difficult to arrange in terms of scheduled annual leave/back to school dates, campsite availability, campsite accommodation availability, looking at Park reviews, getting a feel for the local areas, booking flights and transfers. Also wondering whether we would enjoy it without a hire car etc.

Brighteyes27 Mon 22-Jan-18 17:47:19

I should have said Ryanair fly from Edinburgh to Beziers airport.

AgentProvocateur Mon 22-Jan-18 22:55:50

Well, from Glasgow to Hull is about 5-6 hours, but the overnight ferry is great. Then the next day’s drive (to Chartres or Honfleur and somewhere else) was about 6 hours, then about another five hours on day three to get to the vendee. So not a shirt trip! On the way back, we went to Bruges in a one-r and spent the night and the next day there.

We did it every year from the kids being 9&10 till they were about 15&16. They slept for most of the journey. It was honestly much better than I’m making it sound. We all loved these holidays.

Brighteyes27 Tue 23-Jan-18 05:51:05

AP - That journey sounds absolutely horrendous. Maybe their is an airport near the Vendee OP and you could maybe fly (to save time spent in the car) and either transfer, UBER or hire a car at the other end?
What is the Vendee like as a region it looks lovely in photos, could you recommend a particular site and where their many other English or Scottish speaking families there un put off by the lengthy car journey?

Unsure123123 Tue 23-Jan-18 06:16:04

We do Hull to Zeebrugge. Then drive. We drove one year to Dover but stopped in hotel south of London. Going was fine. Coming back was much harder as did it in one very long day.

My advice would be look for the most direct route from Zeebrugge south. Germany and Switzerland aren't too far to drive from Zeebrugge.

South of France I'd be looking at a different type of holiday. Cheap flights to any destination. Consider Nice and a few nights in a self catering airbnb. No car!

Acorncat Tue 23-Jan-18 06:26:09

We flew to Beziers last year, stayed with eurocamp in a caravan. It was great! Not sure where Ryanair fly from apart from Edinburgh though. Thinking of Newcastle ferry this year though it's still expensive and quite a drive at the other side.

AgentProvocateur Tue 23-Jan-18 08:21:06

@brighteyes27, it does look horrendous written down, but it was actually quite fun! grin

Brighteyes27 Tue 23-Jan-18 10:49:42

Yes AP I think I’d we had 16 or 17 days to get there at our leisure we might be ok but we only have a 14 day holiday so would just want to get there, also DH drives a lot too and from work and my knee gets very sorry stuck in the sitting position for too long.
Acorncat and AP can you recommend any sites in particular that you enjoyed, how old were your DC at the time and and we’re any within walking distance of a nice little town as I don’t fancy cooking the whole time or eating from the same place at the campsite the whole time.

Katkincake Tue 23-Jan-18 10:58:26

I only live in West Yorkshire and we contemplated flying to the south and hiring a car and stopping in a eurocamp / canvas holidays static to save on travel. But as it is were buying a caravan this year, so we'll be towing our home from now on and not going as far south until DS can cope with longer in the car even then we'll prob do a split holiday with two stops to break up the journey. I actually enjoy the trip though as long as the motorways are clear and we have regular stops.

There are some lovely sites near frejus (look at Domaine de la Bergerie) which is a good base to get across to places like Marseille and Aix-en-Provence or the other way to Cannes / St Tropez etc.

Anything south of the Loire should be more guaranteed sun than the northern sites, though the Vendee is a good spot. If you're flying I'd go as far south as you can.

All depends if you want to stop in one place so close to airport for transfers or want to get out and explore with a hire car?

AgentProvocateur Tue 23-Jan-18 13:13:23

@brighteyes27, have a look at la dune des sables (with carisma holidays). We went there twice, and it’s a 5 minute bike ride, along a wide path, to the nearest town. From there, you can get the ferry (literally 5 mins and 50c) over to Les Sables D’olonne, which had lovely restaurants.

There are loads of places to cycle and it’s all flat. Our children were early teens and they found others to hang about with. I can’t remember much about the site facilities because we spent so much time out and about and hardly used the car. It’s right on the beach too, but it’s rocky and rough. Les sables had a much better swimming/sunbathing beach. We went for 10 days here both times.

dolfinne Tue 23-Jan-18 19:56:57

there is some great sites in Languedoc & Roussillon area Montpellier Carcassonne, Perpignan airports are all reasonably close to selection of sites although im not sure if there will be direct flights to Scotland to them all. Girona airport might be worth looking at too, although if you are interested in Spain Eurocamp have a good few sites close to Girona airport.

dolfinne Tue 23-Jan-18 20:06:06

Sorry ive just looked and it seems Montpellier and Perpignan only seem to have flights from down south but Ryanair have flights from Glasgow to Carcassonne
I didnt fully look at Girona but know they at least have Ryan air and jet 2 flights from Glasgow and Edinburgh

Acorncat Tue 23-Jan-18 22:09:15

We stayed at camping le Méditerranée Plage but there's loads of caravan sites in that area. There was a town a 10min walk along the beach but we didn't have a good look, it had restaurants I think. My kids are younger so were happy with the play parks, beach, pool and bouncy castle everyday.

millimat Tue 23-Jan-18 23:06:59

Op which is your nearest airport?
We stayed in Spain a couple of years ago. It was a great site that you could book direct or through eurocamp, canvas etc. It was half an hour from gerona airport.
If you're desperate for sun I think Spain is a better option.

millimat Tue 23-Jan-18 23:08:29

* Girona

millimat Tue 23-Jan-18 23:10:36

This is a couple of years old but worth reading. http://blog.eurocamp.co.uk/top-6-car-free-family-holiday-destinations/

maldivemoment Wed 24-Jan-18 07:03:54

Thank you all for the great advice and suggestions. Watching with interest & taking notes!

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