Driving in France
In June/July 2006 we had a 9 day driving holiday in France. We caught a car ferry from Dover to Calais, drove down through Normandy, popped into Brittany and then caught the ferry back to Dover from Boulogne-sur-Mer.
We chose to take our own car over, as the cost of the ferry and petrol was significantly cheaper than flying from London and hiring a car in France. I also feel a lot more comfortable travelling in our own car as opposed to a hire car.
The only negative thing about driving our car in France is that it is a right hand drive car, and French cars are left hand drive, which means that tolls/tickets machines etc are on the wrong side of the car for the driver to operate…luckily I was able to assist in these duties from the passenger seat, but I do feel sorry for the solo traveller in these situations.
Driving in France is great. The roads are good and the sign posting is excellent. You can hoon along on the wide tollways/freeways, or travel along pretty coastal roads, soaking up the atmosphere of the French countryside. Just remember which side of the road you have to drive on if you come over from the UK.
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Parking at Touquet's beach.
Se rendre à la mer et puis se trouver dans l'impossibilité de parquer sa voiture, souvent la seule solution pour arriver à la mer avec enfants et bagages, ne semble pas devoir se produire au Touquet d'après les immenses parkings situés en bordure de la plage.
En semaine malgré le temps ensoleillé de ce mois de juin ils étaient presque vides (photo 1).
Les tarifs varient en fonction de la période.
Les parkings sont gratuits le matin (9 - 13 h) tous les jours; payants les après-midi (13 - 19 h) les week-ends et pendant les vacances scolaires et de saison (photo 2) à 1 €/heure.
Les jours payants sont bien indiqués sur les machines à payer (photo 3).
Les campings cars sont interdits.
Getting at the sea and then be unable to park his car, often the only solution to reach the sea with children and luggage, is not likely to occur in Le Touquet from the huge parking lots located along the beach.
In the week despite the sunny weather for the month of June the parkings along the beach were almost empty (Fig. 3).
The fee varies depending on the period.
The parking is free in the morning (9 to 13 h) every day, pay at 1 € / hour
in the afternoon (13-19 h) on weekends and during school holidays and the vacation seasons (Photo 1). The days with parking fee are shown on pay machines (Photo 2).
The motor homes are prohibited.
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Ferry from Dover to Boulogne, then drive
We have now travelled over to France a few times with our car from England, and have used Speed Ferries, which run between Dover & Boulogne-sur-Mer several times a day, taking around 50 minutes to cross the channel. It is then a 30-40 minute drive to Le Touquet.
There are several ferries a day, and you must check in no later than 30 mins before departure. There is a passport check at this stage.
The ferry has a few levels of cars all crammed in - it looks a bit chaotic, but seems to work. Once you have parked as instructed, you must leave your car and go to one of the 2 upper decks, where there is plenty of seating, a couple of food shops, duty free shopping and toilets.
You can also stand out on deck at the rear….watch out for spray though!
It was a very stress free way to travel to France….just remember which side of the road you have to drive on if you come over from the UK.
The cost of the ferry starts from £25.00 each way per car (with up to 5 passengers)
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