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Portsmouth to Charente Maritime in France and places to stay on the way

(19 Posts)
Ratatattat Sun 06-Mar-16 14:47:34


We are looking at accommodation in Charente Maritime in August. I haven't been to France since 1980 and we usually holiday in the UK so this would be a bit of a departure.

A friend said that she can't see the point in going that far when Cornwall is much nearer but we have had a couple of very wet holidays there recently.

So I am looking at getting the ferry from Portsmouth as we may spend a night there given we live in the North. Which would be the best placebo sail to and would you suggest an overnight or daytime crossing? We are a family of 6.

Also can you recommend anywhere to stop en route that would be either cheap for a quick overnight or interesting for the children? We aren't in a rush to get there so could take our time.


No1HolidayPlanner Sun 06-Mar-16 19:38:35

Hi.. We went twice to Charente Maritime.. Loved it and had fab weather.. We got ferry to Calais and broke journey both ways with a night in Le Mans in a lovely B and B - a fab place which served meals and had plenty of space for kids plus a splash

SwedishEdith Sun 06-Mar-16 19:45:37

We did this last year. Got the overnight to St Malo - great boat, get a cabin. Restaurants are good - French chefs. Wake up early to coffee and croissants. And then a 4 hour drive down. It's not that far away and roads are good so you don't really need a stop off place. It was very hot when we were there (way hotter than you'd get in Cornwall) - was lovely. But...I have been there before when it's pissed down so... What's the nearest town to where you're staying?

Ratatattat Sun 06-Mar-16 19:58:50

its called Les hiboux and is the address is Crezieres. I found it on here.

I think because of where we live makes sense to to to Caen or St Malo or Le Havre. Can you get cabins for 6? Maybe that would make it easier.

Ratatattat Sun 06-Mar-16 19:59:29

Sorry for the dreadful grammar my phone is playing up.

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Sun 06-Mar-16 20:07:12

We did an overnight ferry a few years ago (Portsmouth-Caen) and got v little sleep by the time we got everyone settled - bear in mind they start waking you up with loud announcements about 2 hours before you dock shock

Are you good sailors? Dh and I had forgotten we aren't so the daytime crossing home was pretty interesting too grin Longest 7 hours of my life.

Think cabins are for 2 or 4.

B&B hotels are a v cheap but comfortable option for overnight stops - there are loads of them. We usually want to get there ASAP so just want somewhere to get our heads down for a sleep. Lots of Aires to stop at along the motorways for food/a picnic and often a bit of space for the dc to let off steam too.

Ratatattat Sun 06-Mar-16 20:10:39

I've just looked and from what I can see it looks as though the overnight ferries are fully booked anyway.

I've no idea if I'm a good sailor as its so many years since I went near the boat. Judging by what the score are like on roller coasters I can imagine one of them may be a little sea sick.

Is there actually anything to do on a ferry? 6/7 hours with nothing to do and 4 bored children sounds tedious.

Trottersindependenttraders Sun 06-Mar-16 20:20:18

We've done Portsmouth - St Malo overnight a few times. The overnight crossing suits us as we're 4 hours from Portsmouth so can set off just before lunch and be there in plenty of time. We usually manage a good night's sleep on the boat ready for the early start the next day. There's children's entertainment in high season and there's a couple of restaurants on board. The drive the other side is relatively easy, French motorways are far better than ours!

Coming home we've stayed in Caen the night before, got the 8am boat, docked at Portsmouth early afternoon and got home tea time (ish!). Plenty of entertainment for the children on board which meant we were happy.

RueDeWakening Sun 06-Mar-16 20:35:09

Depending on the kids ages, the Portsmoth-Caen ferry has a tiny soft play with a TV in it that shows CBeebies for the whole crossing, plus colouring etc. Last year when we crossed there was a free magic show too, just round from the soft play bit, with balloon modelling etc.

There's often a cinema showing a film or two, depends on ages and whether they fancy the film though.

I managed 3 kids 8, 5 and 2 last summer for a few hours while DH slept in a 2 berth cabin - we travel early, get the 8am ferry, DH sleeps as he does all the driving, and we get to Charente-Maritime around 7pm the same day.

When we do want to stay somewhere overnight we book through airbnb and have tried a few random places grin

Ratatattat Sun 06-Mar-16 20:42:04

Thanks that's really useful. I had wondered about air bnb.
I suppose there might be an element of excitement to keep us going for a bit as its a bit of a novelty.

SwedishEdith Sun 06-Mar-16 20:53:05

What dates are you thinking of? There's entertainment on the overnight boats plus cinemas but you'll usually go to bed about 10-11? Get a 4 and a 2 cabin with one adult in each?

Ratatattat Sun 06-Mar-16 21:09:47

Overnight all fully booked which is annoying. So need to rethink really. Clearly need to book ASAP!

MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels Sun 06-Mar-16 21:13:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ratatattat Sun 06-Mar-16 21:49:43

Overnights all completely booked. Even the daytime ones have all cabins and reserved seats booked. Need to rethink. Clearly most people are more organised and book in advance!
Any more options for stopping off welcome as I think because of ferries weay need to travel 2 or 3 days before.

MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels Sun 06-Mar-16 21:57:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ratatattat Sun 06-Mar-16 22:17:10

Where does that go from/ to ?

Ratatattat Sun 06-Mar-16 22:23:19

Do you mean eurotunnel?
Easier for us to go to the south coast I think.

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Sun 06-Mar-16 22:48:49

South coast nearer for us but we always use the tunnel. Much easier overall. And a lot cheaper too.

Ratatattat Sun 06-Mar-16 23:14:14

Ok will take a look at that tomorrow thanks.

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