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We want to drive to Britanny

(13 Posts)
countdowntoxmas Thu 25-Aug-11 00:02:30

in October. Looking for the quickest and cheapest way. Final destination will be carnac (S Britanny). We live in Guildford so would prefer Portsmouth.
Can't work out what will be best out of le Havre, Cherbourg or Caen.

BizzeeBee Thu 25-Aug-11 05:39:46

The Via Michelin website is very good for comparing costs giving you both travel times, and also fuel costs and the French road tolls. You can even put in the fuel price and type you want it to use. You can have a look at the difference of the routes from the three ports.

If you look at the P&O and Brittany Ferries you will see who has the cheapest fares and which route.

I will leave you to do the detailed research for your holiday to find the costs and timings, but my own personal experience was that it wasn't much fun driving through the Normandy peninsula to get to Cherbourg, but that was several years ago so it might be better now.

rosy71 Thu 25-Aug-11 08:57:45

What about Portsmouth to St Malo? Wouldn't that be the closest to Carnac?

countdowntoxmas Thu 25-Aug-11 10:29:21

It is but the crossing is around £300 and takes 8 hours. I guess it boils down to cheaper and shorter crossing equals longer drive. A crossing to Calais at the same time is only around £60 but we then have a six and a half hour drive. I think we will aim to get to Caen or Cherbourg.

jenpetronus Thu 25-Aug-11 13:21:09

If you cross at Calais, you have around €30 worth of tolls each way, as well as the extra petrol. If you look at it gives you the approx costs including fuel & tolls too. St Malo for me every time!

Corriewatcher Thu 25-Aug-11 22:29:44

We travel fairly regularly to Brittany and now avoid Cherbourg if we can as it always takes longer than you'd think. I reckon about an hour longer than Caen. Also journey to Caen is motorway all the way from Mont St Michel, whereas some of the way to Cherbourg is still on A roads. Having said that, we prefer St Malo as it's a much better journey the other end.

countdowntoxmas Thu 25-Aug-11 23:43:42

If going to St Malo, does ticket price include berth and if not, how much extra am I looking at for family of 4? Is the 8 hour crossing not too exhausting? Are there any good websites for cheap deals or is the £300 quote the going price?

Tommy Thu 25-Aug-11 23:46:11

we were just there and sailed from Plymouth to Roscoff - about 2 hours form Carnac.

dreamingofsun Fri 26-Aug-11 22:03:59

st malo/portsmouth crossing is part of the hol for us. spend the evening in the bar, with magic shows, bands etc. def need a cabin though - each way

emkana Fri 26-Aug-11 22:06:24

We've been to carnac and always go to st malo - it's definitely a part of the holiday, they put on entertainment and we have a meal.

Sinkingfeeling Sat 27-Aug-11 23:20:04

We were in southern Brittany this summer and took the ferry from Portsmouth to Caen and spent two nights in Normandy first, then had a very relaxed drive to Brittany, stopping along the way. We took the daytime crossing back from St Malo to Portsmouth, which was pretty grim - 9 hours, totally packed, choppy sea, though the plus is that St Malo is probably only just over 2 hours drive from Carnac. Basic ticket price doesn't include a cabin, but you can sometimes book one for a daytime crossing when you arrive, as long as it isn't too busy. We don't normally bother, but if we had kids who were likely to sleep during the day then we would!

smugmumofboys Sat 27-Aug-11 23:23:49

We were in northern Britanny in the summer and did Poole to Cherbourg. It was about £400 but it only took 2 and a half hours. The drive was a bit of a drag but we didn't come across any tolls.

It was OK as we took our time and stopped when we felt like it.

We were staying on the Normandy/Brittany border this year and did the Caen crossing because it was cheap, it was the fastcat ferry and it bounced around a hell of a lot, an awful lot of people were seasick. Never had that problem on the St Malo crossing which we used to love pre-DCs, but didn't do this time on cost grounds. Friends who live near us (we are about 1/2 hour SW of Guildford, 40 mins from Portsmouth) always go Channel Tunnel and drive with an overnight in a cheap hotel they reckon even with all the petrol and hotel it works out cheaper.

If you do go St Malo, definitely worth booking a daytime cabin, you can dump bags, coats etc there, saves having to cart it all around the ferry all day, you get your own private toilet that way too.

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