???Mrs Bundy, in her infinate wisdom has put her foot down, and said she cannot see any sense in paying mega bucks for the ferry to Spain, then driving back up to France, wish she'd said this this before I spent muchos hours working out ferry times and booking time off work. I really don't fancy driving all the way to the south west, sooooooo, any suggestions for really nice sites, not to far from a town and a beach, that will take a largeish outfit, nearly 8mtrs in the summer, within an easy days drive, from a port that has connections to Portsmouth or Poole. Have been to Normandie many times, so ideally somewhere in Brittany would be nice. Ta in advance, I know the lovely forum members will come up trumps. ;D
Senator 6 Wyoming, Jeep Grand Kareeoke, Full Wine Cellar, but still keepin' it country.
I don't know if I am teaching granny to suck eggs. If I am, please forgive me.
It is all about balancing the books. Ferry fares versus distance to travel, the cost of fuel and the cost of overnight stays en route.
Right then! Here goes.
Portsmouth/Poole departure, LD Lines do a Portsmouth/Le Havre route, Brittany Ferries do a Portsmouth/Caen route, a Portsmouth/St Malo route and, from memory, a Poole/Cherbourg route. If you want to go further west, Brittany Ferries also do a Plymouth/Roscoff route. The Portsmouth/ St Malo route adds a cabin to the cost as they will only let you go with a cabin on the overnight trip but it is the quickest/shortest route to Brittany but comparatively expensive.
Of the two companies, LD Lines is the less expensive. The ferries tend to be a bit basic, the food is basic to awful (we were expected to purchase food at 21.00 hrs which was obviously the leftovers from lunch time). We don't book a cabin when we go overnight Portsmouth/Caen. We take a pillow and a fleece blanket each and kip down on one of the benches in the bar. Roughing it I know but the least expensive way of doing it if you choose that route. Brittany Ferries vessels are by far the most modern and comfortable on the Western crossings and the food is extremely good, the crew are terrific but they are expensive compared to LD Lines. You takes your choice.
We have just booked our ferry to France for May/June next year plus Camping Cheques on a special deal with Norfolk Line on the Dover/Dunkerque route for £115.00 for car/caravan/two people and three Camping Cheques through Camping Cheques in the UK (Tel: 01580 214002). The Camping Cheques on their own are £13.95 each at the moment if you want to buy extra cheques. The deal is that you go out on a Sunday and come back on a Friday at any time of the day. The Norfolk Line ships are all nearly new and are very comfortable. You have to watch out, however. You can only use Camping Cheques at certain times of the year.
If you use that route to save a bit of money the you would be wise to look at distances from Dunkerque to your chosen site in Brittany. France is a big country and distances are further than they look. About 200-250 miles a day, say 5-6 hours max., is about right if you want to arrive at the site without being completely frazzled. We stop off at the Abbeville Camping Municipal site on the way down and on the way back. It is small and basic but perfectly adequate for an overnight stop. We paid 10 euros (about £9.34) per night which isn't going to break the bank.
We tend to use Camping Municipal sites for overnight stops and short stay stops (say 3 days). Generally speaking, they have a laid back approach. They are cheap and cheerful but generally good. Sometimes the grass is 8-10" high, sometimes it is beautifully manicured, sometimes it is non existent. Some times the facilities are almost as good as UK Club sites other times the facilities are, shall we say "tired" but for the money they are OK. You have your own facilities with you anyway if the site facilities ar not up to scratch.
I cannot help with sites in Brittany as we have never stop there. We generally go down to the Vendee or to the Mediterranian coast and stay at one or two sites for two or three weeks then spend the rest of the time travelling down and back. It all depends on how much time you can take for your hols. If you can't take more than a fortnight then Brittany is about right.
Hope that that helps. I've no doubt that the other Forum members will pitch in with helpful advice.