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Has anyone used Motorail to get to the south of France?

(27 Posts)
MissisBoot Sun 26-Oct-08 15:08:26

We're thinking about venturing further down south but can't bear the thought of the journey so are thinking about doing the Motorail.

Has anyone done it and would you recommend it?

I can't seem to get any idea of cost so if you went last year would you mind giving me a rough idea of how much it cost so I can compare to flight + car hire?


Grammaticus Sun 26-Oct-08 15:11:03

We did it 9 years ago, 4 adults and a 6 month old and it was good - easy way to get to Toulouse.

childrenofthecornsilk Sun 26-Oct-08 15:17:53

hmmm interesting. How much is it?

PuppyMonkey Sun 26-Oct-08 15:19:11

We did it two years ago and I think it cost us about £600 shock in peak time. Two adults, one child and normal size car.

Was ok, if you don't mind not sleeping at all on the train and arriving at your destination feeling like a zombie thinking it would have been much nicer and a lot cheaper to have stayed at a nice hotel en route...

But that's just my experience!

There's a French Motorail website somewhere... google it...

Grammaticus Sun 26-Oct-08 15:20:11

I slept ok - we had a cabin for 4

childrenofthecornsilk Sun 26-Oct-08 15:20:13

can you take your car on then?

CatMandu Sun 26-Oct-08 15:20:56

We looked into it this year, I think it was about £800 each way whatever the amount it was a lot and enough to put us off doing it.

We're also thinking of going further south, have you looked into good sites yet?

MissisBoot Sun 26-Oct-08 15:22:29

Ooh - thanks!

I've looked on the motorail website but they don't seem to publish prices til tickets go on sale.

Ouch - £600 - we'll be travelling end of June so just outside peak time, but I'm still tempted just as we'd get there quicker and with petrol costs it might not be much more expensive?

PuppyMonkey Sun 26-Oct-08 15:24:55

We had a cabin too and nice beds. Still didn't sleep a wink as thought I was gonna fall out of bed all the time... grin The train does go very fast...

MissisBoot Sun 26-Oct-08 15:25:43

No, haven't started looking at sites yet - I just thought the weather would be nicer further tempted back to the Vendee though!

Milliways Sun 26-Oct-08 15:53:52

We always drive. I wanted a break the other year so we costed the Motorail and I nearly passed out! We ended up flying with BA and hiring a car for the same price.

The joy of a car is taking bikes/roof box etc which you can't do on motor rail. Also, we were worried about only 1 or 2 trips scheduled each week. At least if you miss the Dover/Calais ferry there is another one in half an hout.

Milliways Sun 26-Oct-08 15:55:31

It was <£1000 to fly (4 tickets with BA) and hire a car (espace type thingy) in August. WOuld have been cheaper with Easyjet, but we thought an extra £50 total for all 4 of us was worth it for BA tickets.

tuesdayafternoon Sun 26-Oct-08 15:56:58

We are thinking of driving to Perpignan in June/July, from NW England, & the Michelin website costed the one-way trip from Calais as:

Costs 167.79 EUR
Toll 64.40 EUR Petrol 103.39 EUR
(Time 10h16 - 09h44 on motorways)
(Distance 1137km - 1110km on motorways)

So Motorail would actually be way more expensive.

Of course you could get a different ferry crossing, & start out from a bit nearer, but then you'd be paying more for the ferry.

(My family doesn't want to drive but I'm going to have to put my foot down - in terms of total time door-to-door it's not that much worse than flying, it's £100s cheaper than fly-drive, and we can bring loads of edible goodies back with us grin)

CatMandu Sun 26-Oct-08 17:31:58

MissisBoot - we've done the Vendee for a few years and love it, but the weather is hit and miss, which is why we're also planning to go further south. I haven't done any research yet about sites, but I really ought to as we might get a good pitch if we book now. We're planning to take our tent rather than Eurocamp style this time as we bought a new Wolf Lake 7 and it has to pay for itself now!

If I come across any good sites I'll post.

tuesdayafternoon Sun 26-Oct-08 18:36:55

Oo-er - MissisBoot, read this

£576 one way & appalling conditions shock - don't do it!

PuppyMonkey Sun 26-Oct-08 19:01:58

Oh yes, we had the cloudy windows problem, I'd forgotten - we moved couchet to get a better view in the end...

And when we arrived in Avignon, we were told we would get breakfast (while they unloaded the cars), but they ran out of food. We were blardy starving too.

We only went one way - we drove back. Much nicer. Flying not an option for me as I don't do planes, too scared.

hf128219 Sun 26-Oct-08 19:04:45

The way to do it is to get the Eurostar to Avignon (it only runs once a week in summer on a Saturday). Under 6 hours direct from Ashford.

Then hire a cheap car!

ladytophamhatt Sun 26-Oct-08 19:06:51

Many moons ago I used to book these when I worked for the AA.
Cheapest route then was £500+ and it was over 10 years ago.

I would never take my car on one.


PuppyMonkey Sun 26-Oct-08 19:08:43

Yep hf - but quite tricky when you're camping like we were and have to bring tents, luggage and lord knows what else.

Ooh yes, good campsite: Camping Bagatelle at Avignon - very cool.

hf128219 Sun 26-Oct-08 19:10:39

It's doable though if people really can't stand the drive.

tuesdayafternoon Sun 26-Oct-08 19:17:11

How much is Eurostar to Avignon, hf? Do they have any weight restrictions on luggage?

hf128219 Sun 26-Oct-08 19:30:00

It can be as little as £99 per person return. Children under 4 free. Under 11's £49.

You may carry with you on Eurostar trains 2 items of baggage per person, plus 1 small item of hand luggage. This does not include large items (for example trunks, bicycles etc).

PuppyMonkey Sun 26-Oct-08 19:31:43

Great idea if you are staying in a hotel I do agree...

hf128219 Sun 26-Oct-08 19:35:02

Where's your sense of adventure? Or are you all posh campers?! grin

All you need is a tent and sleeping bags after all.

My dh is military after all so I've been on some hard core camping trips!

tuesdayafternoon Sun 26-Oct-08 19:40:09

We are going self-catering; baggage restrictions are 1 bag each, max 20kg, & flights (bmibaby, including lavish extras like airport check-in hmm) will cost a minimum of £550 for 4, so if Eurostar could match or beat that it would def be worth considering.

No under-11s though - 2 adults & 2 teenagers. The website only shows fares up to the end of December atm, I will watch for updates smile

(Also we would have to get down to St Pancras. It is complicated!)

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