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Thread: France - advice please for April.

  1. #1

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    France - advice please for April.



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    We are going to France for four weeks at the end of March and most of April this year and would like some help deciding which area of France to visit.

    Reasonable weather is high on the list - but as we all know it varies year on year.

    Heading south from Calais seems a decent option but we don't fancy going to the Med coast probably too crowded and expensive even at that time of year.

    We've 'done' the west coast down to the Spanish border a couple of times and somewhere inland seems preferable.

    We normally use Aires, remote if possible, and don't need campsite facilities.

    We do quite a bit of walking, dog in tow, and prefer walking along river sides or lake sides and the old railway tracks such as the green ways (Avenue Verte or similar) but not mountains or very hilly country.

    Being close to village or small towns with a bar/restaurant in reasonable walking distance would be a bonus but we do eat in and cook most of our meals so, not essential.

    We tend to meander around, a few miles to the next stopover some days or perhaps stay for a few days if we really like the place, once we get to an area a month should be long enough to get deep into France and explore but any suggestions to help us would be appreciated.

    For Youtube videos of Aires and other stuff - www.youtube.com/user/keithchesterfield
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  2. #2

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    Why not get a disc of some description and just do the random throw on a map scenario and just visit whatever lies under the disc area

  3. #3

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    Don't think you can go far wrong with central southern France, I guess the Massif Central. All the Parc national areas are stunning, Parc national Cevennes, Volcans d' Auvergne, both beautiful areas. Good for little villages, walks etc. Then over west towards the Dore valley.
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  4. #4

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    We would head for the Loire and then look at the 15 day weather forecast before deciding which way to head next.
    Dave
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  5. #5

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    One reason I would suggest Brittany is that, even in March/April, the weather can be very good. Central Brittany (where we live) generally has better weather than Finistere in the West. Another reason is that it has many rivers and lakes, together with forests. All of these things are provided with extremely well maintained walking and cycling routes - Voies Vertes. And for wild camping it really cannot be bettered. There are numerous aires de service where you can empty tanks and take on fresh water and parking overnight is not usually a problem more or less anywhere. We often park up on a suitable riverside spot, often well away from any houses and where we can find ourselves completely alone. Or it is always possible to park up in a village car park where you would be able to enjoy the atmosphere of the local bar and the boulangerie (if it has one).

    And, whilst we are in the centre of Brittany, we are only 50 minutes from both the north and south coasts. The coasts all have some spectacular views and rugged rocks or sandy beaches for walking.

    There are many marked routes for walking and riding, this web site showing many of them: Enjoy over 1,500km of cycle routes around Brittany! ? Cycling routes in Brittany We live near Pontivy, on Route 1.

    At that time of the year roads and places of interest will not be busy, though Easter (Paques) falls on the 16th April 2017.
    David
    Central Brittany (Morbihan), France.
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  6. #6

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    I agree about Brittany,it ticks all our boxes.A superb coastline that I find similar to the rugged Cornish coastline,the locals are generally friendly and there are some excellent eating places,it's a fish dish lovers paradise.Lots of aires,wild camping spots,municipals and ACSI sites although the latter two will most likely be closed in March/April.

    The only problem at that time of year could be the weather,it could be rough.As you have 4 weeks,travelling across France shouldn't be a problem,I would look at the forecast closer to the date and follow the sun,if I'd got a 4 week break I would be prepared to travel as far south as the mediterranean coast if the weather was good down there.
    cheers,Steve
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  7. #7

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    I agree about Brittany, varied scenery, everything easy to get to, great food, love Brittany
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    Hi Keith, sorry can't attach a link to our trip, but if you put in the search box, Lab report, Lechlade on Thames to Briancon, it may give you some ideas. Also agree with David regarding Brittany, love the place. Good luck
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by wakk44 View Post
    I agree about Brittany,it ticks all our boxes.A superb coastline that I find similar to the rugged Cornish coastline,the locals are generally friendly and there are some excellent eating places,it's a fish dish lovers paradise.Lots of aires,wild camping spots,municipals and ACSI sites although the latter two will most likely be closed in March/April.

    The only problem at that time of year could be the weather,it could be rough.As you have 4 weeks,travelling across France shouldn't be a problem,I would look at the forecast closer to the date and follow the sun,if I'd got a 4 week break I would be prepared to travel as far south as the mediterranean coast if the weather was good down there.
    Yes, one can never be certain about the weather. During 2016, though, Brittany enjoyed really good weather. We managed to be by-passed by so many of the storms that afflicted virtually all of the rest of the country - particularly the south and the Cote d'Azur. As always, though, the poorer weather tended to be in the west, north west and north of the region (Finistere and Cote d'armor). But if the weather starts to turn poor it is an easy, and pleasant, drive down the coast to the Charente. We actually spent Christmas 2015 on the north bank of the Gironde estuary in the Hymer and had beautiful weather.
    David
    Central Brittany (Morbihan), France.
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  10. #10

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    Many thanks for the advice.

    I love Brittany as much as most of you seem to do but we spent about a month there last year and a month a couple of years earlier and we'd prefer to visit a different region in March/April.

    We've also travelled up and down the West coast a couple of times in the last few years and think that inland might be a good idea this year.

    The Massif Central seems a good option but I worry it may be a bit too hilly for our liking as we prefer easier flat walks rather than uphill and down dale type walking.

    loulou enjoyed reading your report I'll look at some of the places you visited.

    For Youtube videos of Aires and other stuff - www.youtube.com/user/keithchesterfield
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