Best way to Brittany - drive/ fly/ train(4 Posts)
I’m going on a family holiday near Carnac next summer. Family are all starting from different locations, so I’m travelling with me and 11yr old DD. I’m trying to figure out the easiest way from East Anglia to Carnac. I’m not great on boats, so don’t fancy a long ferry crossing. Any recommendations on the easiest way to do it? I’m torn between taking my car, which will be 2 days of 6 hours driving I think. Or flying from Luton/ Stanstead to Nantes and then hiring a car, or getting Eurostar, then hiring a car.
Any views on which will be easiest/ least stressful?
Personally I prefer the ferry to flying as it enables us to load up the car.
Last year we took a ferry from Portsmouth to Caen which took 6 hours. We booked an early morning crossing at 8.00am. I was worried about how we would keep the kids occupied for so long and how tired we would all be after the long drive and early start. We decided it might be a good idea to book a cabin which included four beds and an ensuite shower, toilet and washbasin.
On our deck there were two shops, cinema, restaurant and plenty of seating. Up the main stairs to the next deck there was a large bar area with dance floor and another shop and self service restaurant.Half an hour before docking you are asked to leave your cabin to allow them to turn it round for the return crossing. As soon as the ship docks you are allowed back to your cars. You can disembark very soon after – we had expected it to take longer than it did and were really surprised how quick it was. After a short wait at customs you are then out onto the roads.
This year I we booked the fast craft which takes 3 hours. Arrival and checking in were quick and simple and as the fast craft is a much smaller boat the total loading time was much quicker. On board there are no cabins and towards the end of the journey the children were a bit tired and restless. Fortunately there was a TV screen showing a film for them to watch. Our children had good fun playing cards with other children.
On board there were two bars selling meals, snacks and drinks. The staff were really cheerful and happy to help out – excellent customer service is something we’ve always found with Brittany Ferries. The whole journey was really pleasant, efficient, and a welcome break from driving. We didn’t suffer sea sickness at all, although I know some people do. The crossing was calm and relaxing.
Although the crossing is half the time of others there is less to do onboard so take some games and books. In the future perhaps we might go back to taking the longer crossing… On the longer crossing we absolutely loved having a cabin. For us the ferry is part of the holiday so why not take a little longer to really relax and enjoy it?
If you don’t want to spend a day on the ferry, do an overnight crossing. Eat before you get on board so you can go straight to bed.
We did the fast ferry from Portsmouth to Cherbourg last year (3 hours) then we were about 3.5-4 hour drive to Vannes. We had travelled from Scotland the day before and stayed overnight in Portsmouth to get the ferry in morning
You can get a train from Norwich to Nantes (not sure where in east anglia you are...) in around nine hours. I would do that. You can then hire a car in Nantes - most French mainline stations have car hire places in the station (and more nearby usually). We used to get the train to St Brieuc each year.
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