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Driving to Provence in September

Yorkshire, England
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Driving to Provence in September

Hello, would anyone have advice for 2 couples travelling together in a British car, using Portsmouth - Caan ferry in mid September.

Would we be mad to think that we could travel using the smaller roads through Loire valley down to Provence and back without booking our accommodation ahead. It would be so nice to just take our time to stop a few days when we found a place we liked or speed along though any place not so interesting. If we book accommodation ahead it is difficult to gauge how long between night halts.

Has anyone done this and can you give us any advice please.

Bjbyorkshire

provence
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1. Re: Driving to Provence in September

I love the idea of doing this as we always take the Folkestone Calais route as the drive is more direct.

We have tried not booking but found we had to start looking fairly early in the afternoon for a hotel as of course even out of peak season the good hotels book up.

Of course these days with the internet it is easy to check up on hotel availability if you have access to the web on the move we have also found that the smaller hotels are happy to make suggestions for onward accommodation and even book it for you.

If the worst comes to the worst the larger towns have the chain hotels usually on the outskirts and although they have no charm at least it is a bed for the night.

Chateaurenard...
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2. Re: Driving to Provence in September

Off the beaten track in September you shouldn't have too much difficulty. Perhaps a week or so before have a look at some hotel booking websites in the area where you think you may be and see if there is plenty of availability and be prepared to switch ideas if necessary. The only time I had a real problem was once when I arrived in Grenoble at about 9 pm in late October to find a Trade Union congress in the city meant every bed in the city & about 30 km around was sold out.

West Yorkshire...
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3. Re: Driving to Provence in September

It sounds wonderful.

I would try and scope out available hotels either before you leave, or en route . Maybe book the first night or two until you get in the swing of things.

I always have to book in advance, but we take the kids. Not so easy for us.

Enjoy your trip.

West Yorkshire...
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4. Re: Driving to Provence in September

I haven't ever crossed the Portsmouth -Caen route. My parents do it - they like the break from driving.

Me and my husband take turns driving - so prefer to use the Eurotunnel - or at a push the Dover-Calais ferry. I like to just get there.(and it is much cheaper)

I see you are from Yorkshire too. It's a fair old way down south, but once you get onto French roads you will find it much simpler than here.

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Yorkshire, England
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5. Re: Driving to Provence in September

Thanks for the information. It seems as though this is our preferred plan now so I will get the ferry booked to get the best fares and then think about the first couple of nights accommodation not too far from Caen to get a feel for driving on the wrong side of the road. Our worry is driving in heavy traffic near large towns, so the thought being that arriving in Caen means we can go by the slower routes south rather than the auto/ toll routes.

Some people we know from here travelled through France heading for Spain in December supposedly to spend the winter in their caravan but by slavishly following sat nav they made the error of going under a low bridge in or near Rouone (spelled wrongly?) and they became wedged under a low bridge with a car and caravan. They had to be towed out backwards then loaded onto a transporter and returned home. Whoopsie!!! Never trust satnav when towing a caravan, it doesn't always know your overall height and can lead you astray!

Thanks again.

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6. Re: Driving to Provence in September

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