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holiday cottages in france

(17 Posts)
bonniej Sat 26-Mar-05 11:04:43

thinking of booking one of these for a week in august as will be quite pregnant by then and don't fancy flying this year. (it's either this or butlins!!) Looking at one near Paris so we can go exploring. We've found a good website and the prices seem resonable. They include Ferry crossing. We have never been to France and haven't a clue how long it would take to drive to Paris from the port. Has anyone any tips or recommendations?? We will have a two year old with us as well,

bonniej Sat 26-Mar-05 11:43:40

does anyone even know how long it'll take to drive from Calais to paris please?

FIMAC1 Sat 26-Mar-05 13:23:28

This website will work out the driving times for you:

Hulababy Sat 26-Mar-05 18:01:17

When we stayed in a cottage in Northern France we used welcome cotages (have a website). Have used them a few times in the Uk too. Can recommend thm. Have always been pleased with the quality of their cottages.

lucy5 Sat 26-Mar-05 18:07:20

I always used to use brittany ferries, you can book ferry and gite. When preggers I stayed in normandy about half an hour away from port. You can get a fast crossing on most routes, which i think is under two hours depending where you go fom. Some of my best ever holidays were gite holidays.

bonniej Sun 27-Mar-05 10:15:26

thanks for your tips and advice. It was actually the welcome cottages website I had looked at and found a reasonably priced one for when we wanted to go. We fancy staying near Paris as I have always wanted to go. We'll also be quite near Eurodisney. Only thing is dh is a bit unsure about driving in France, I'm trying to convince him it'll be a piece of cake but he's one of these people who has a terrible fear of getting lost (especially in a foreign country)

piffle Sun 27-Mar-05 11:29:28

We did Eurocamp when I was 7 mths preggers, ferry and car to Brittany
Had a fabulous time, now want to take dd (29 ths)

Tinker Sun 27-Mar-05 12:06:14

Driving in France is a doddle. Straight empty roads, can't get lost,

tigi Sun 27-Mar-05 12:36:54

we used 'welcome cottages' in the uk, and it was spotless.

Hulababy Sun 27-Mar-05 17:24:31

DH has driven in France a few times now and finds it pretty easy going, especially as the roads are so quiet. The toll roads are virtually empty!

blossom2 Sun 27-Mar-05 18:40:18

Hi bonniej

we live in paris and it takes about 3-4 hours from Calais to Paris. The drive isn't too bad and there are about 2/3 tolls.

Normandy is 2/3 hours drive rom paris and is lovely with lots of seaside villages. We're staying in a hotel there for our August getaway!

Most people leave paris in august so there'll be lots of tourist in the centre but most of paris will be relatively empty - good for parking spaces!!!

It does get hot though but then you can lie in the sand along the river!!

Driving in France is very easy. And other motorists (from the opposite direction) will flash you if there are police checks nearby. Driving in Paris should be okay in August. Eurodisney is also great for toddlers. Our DD 3 yrs loves it.

hope that helps

moondog Sun 27-Mar-05 18:41:24

Gosh, if pg I'd rather fly than spend hours cooped up in a car!!

Tetley Sun 27-Mar-05 18:58:51

Another couple of good websites are French Life and French Connections

Driving in France - as others have said, is very easy - especially from Calais. Big empty roads. Get a route planner off AA or RAC website too before you go & you really can't get lost!

OldieMum Sun 27-Mar-05 20:07:51

We do this kind of holiday every summer, in different parts of France. We'll be doing it with a two-year old, too, this year. I can't think of a more relaxing way to spend a holiday.

Driving is a doddle, as the roads are so good (well-maintained motorways, rarely clogged except on Sats in the holiday period), very good minor roads, and also because French drivers on the whole drive much better on motorways than drivers do in Britain (eg not hogging the overtaking lane or cutting in). A couple of tips that are not obvious - the shops all close for one day on (I think) the 15th August and also at lunchtime on Sundays; if you want to eat out in provincial France, they tend to stop serving in restaurants by about 1.30.

Have a wonderful time.

samdarling Sun 27-Mar-05 20:16:58

We've been to France loads of times and never disappointed. Used "welcome cottages" website 3 times and always really pleased.
Brittany is lovely and very near the ports of St Malo and Roscoff - this means an overnight ferry from Portsmouth but that kinda adds to the holiday experience!
St Jean de Monts (Vendee area just above La Rochelle) is lovely too but helps to speak French as more rural.
Eating out in France is v relaxed and children far more welcome than most restaurants in UK. We went to Brittany when DS was 6 mths old and French couple on table opposite entertained him while we both ate!
Its helps to research the area before you go - things to do & see etc as some of the French "castles" turn out to be a few bricks!
Going again this year when DS will be 3yrs and DD 12mths. Should be fab! Hope you enjoy France as much as we do.

bonniej Mon 28-Mar-05 10:01:50

thanks everyone, i booked this morning with Welcome cottages. The cottage looks fantastic, it's even got three bathrooms (there are only four of us!) It's in a place called Montigny-le-Bretonneaux which is about 20km from Paris. I persuaded dh that he can do the drive and have been ordered to arrange route planners from Calais and then from our accommodation to Eurodisney and Paris! That'll keep me busy. We've only ever done the typical beach/pool holiday before (didn't fancy sitting in the sun when 7 months pg) so am really looking forward to this one. Off to buy a French phrase book soon. Au revoir

Hulababy Mon 28-Mar-05 10:44:51

Get a good road map book for when you are there. I am map reader on holiday - I enjoy it.

And mapblast/multimap can be used to plan your route beforehand too.

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