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Planning family France trip - help / suggestions welcome !

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Planning family France trip - help / suggestions welcome !


I'm planning our first family France trip for this year and wondered if anyone had any decent tips or advice ?

Here are our details :

Myself & wife in our 30s with our daughter who will be 1.

We figure that with as much coastline as France has, we must be able to find somewhere with a half decent beach that isn't too crowded and a good chance of sunshine between June & September (aiming for outside of school holidays).

I figure it must be hotter south of Bordeaux ? We're open to visiting the med but am I right in thinking its gets more expensive over towards marseille & nice ?

I'm happy to train/ferry & drive from the uk but I reckon I may end up spending 2 days driving if we go that far south so we should consider flying & car hire.

Obviously it's budget dependant but we'd love our own small gite (possibly with access to a pool) and we prefer self catering.

We love French wine and food - I'm particularly keen to find somewhere that may have a market nearby. Also, I'd quite like to visit and WW2 sites as I'm very interested in the war history.

For comparison , we usually get a self catering appt in Cornwall and love it but we're hoping France has a bit more space/choice and guaranteed sun !?

Any help gratefully received !

Tours, France
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1. Re: Planning family France trip - help / suggestions welcome !


If you're currently used to Cornwall, but want something in France, why don't you start with either Normandy or Brittany. You can still have the beaches, but more space, less people and there are loads of gites to choose from at that time of year. Your drive wont be too far if you do ferry from Portsmouth or Plymouth. With a one year old (we've got a two year old) I wouldn't try driving down to the South. We live in the Loire in France and it takes us two days to get to the Med by car!

If you do go to Normandy, the ferry from Portsmouth to Caen docks right near one of the D-Day beaches so you can even roll that into the holiday.

We have gites in the Loire Valley, but of course no beaches! Plenty of lakes though with man made beaches.

You're never completely sure of the sun though, but maybe a bit surer than Cornwall!

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2. Re: Planning family France trip - help / suggestions welcome !

Hi, thank you so much for replying. I know that I could get a similar climate to cornwall in Brittany and Normandy and that I'd also get to see lots of war history however I was after something a bit warmer.

Could you recommend any towns in the south west ? I don't think any ferries go there ? Or would it be better to get the ferry to La Rochelle and drive south or even to Bilbao and drive up north ?

Thanks again.

England, United...
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3. Re: Planning family France trip - help / suggestions welcome !

There are no ferries from the UK to La Rochelle. There are some ferries to Bilbao and Santander but they take a very long time ( 24+ hours or so). You could take a ferry to Normandy or Brittany, and then drive down, but it's still a long drive to the far South West corner of France.

Given your interests you might like to stay instead in La Rochelle or nearby:


If you decide to stay in the La Rochelle area, you could visit the WW2 site of the Bunker of La Rochelle:


PS: There's no guarantee of constant sunshine anywhere in France, even during the summer months, but it should mostly be drier and warmer than the UK.

Edited: 18 January 2014, 12:27
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4. Re: Planning family France trip - help / suggestions welcome !

Not quite so far south but....

You could try St-Marc-Sur-Mer, on the north side of the Loire estuary, this is where Monsieur Hulot had his famous Holiday.

This is not far from St Nazaire, with it's famous U-Boat pens, and the Normandie dock, famously ram-raided by HMS Campbeltown during Operation Chariot....




A bit further inland is Nantes, with the amazing....



5. Re: Planning family France trip - help / suggestions welcome !

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