No 445 – La Belle France

This podcast is a simple review using the Homecamper.com service, who I interviewed at the Adventure Travel Show earlier this year.

This was at our own expense and not paid for by Homecamper.

It was also the first time we had taken a dog to France and experiencing the customs treatment for the 4 legged travellers.

We used the Le Shuttle service which was very comfortable and fairly painless once you get to Folkstone. The pet area was good and there were enough facilities to keep all ages occupied and fed.

The Shuttle itself only took 20 minutes, which is incredible. With full 3G under water! Once you leave the terminal you are immediately on the motorway and main route and within no time it seemed we were at our first host near Berck Plage, at Verton.

There is no link as they appear to be closed for winter.

However we were offered the use of a small family tent which was already erected and this suited our needs perfectly. The host was very welcoming and the clean toilet and shower was in the house, accessed via a side door. The location was very quiet and thankfully we had prepared a meal to eat and so settled in for an early night.

First night – Verton near Berck Plage. Closed for winter.

Second night – Between Le Mans and Tours

The second host near Le Mans also offered us the use of a small family tent, which again saved us having to pitch. The garden was huge, several acres full of all kinds of fruit and trees.

These people were very chatty and invited us over for an informal chat over a deliughtful Aperitif and local bottle of bubbles.

They have a small gite and separate toilet shower room which was ideal for our use. So once we had eaten and relaxed a bit reading books we settled in for the night.

All in all it allowed us to sleep well and we set of mid morning, not in a hurry, for the Bordeaux area.

Third night – Just north of Saumur near Angers

Following our weeks break with the family, we then started the return trip and headed just north of Saumur to a very remote and rural site. It took some finding, as they all did to be fair, however this one really did seem in the middle of nowhere.

They can also be found with reviews on the UkCampsites webpage.

It was the end of the holiday season in France that weekend, with the children returning to school on the Monday, so this all added to the general atmosphere of peace.

The site is owned by a British couple and is licensed for 6 units. Well shaded, flat and partly open few acres with a copse of trees. The toilet shower was clean and the water hot, with basic washing facilities outside.

We had the place to ourselves, and even when walking the dog around the lanes for an hour or so, we saw only one car.

The fourth night was to have been at this equally rural location close to the Brittany coast. It was a small holding on a slight rise and naturally had numerous farm animals wandering about. There was also a French family setting up as we arrived, but due to our dog going into hunt/kill mode, we decided to pass and move on.

It looked fine though and on a sunny day would have been very restful.

Fourth night booked but didn’t stay  Close to Vannes South Brittany

We had also booked another site near the Shuttle, but as this was also a small farm park, we decided that we didn’t want the stress or worry of our dog chasing or worse, killing anything and so after the above experience cancelled that in advance.

Even though she was on a lead at all times, if she had the slightest freedom we wouldn’t able to stop her doing what is natural in her nature. As I say in the podcast, we have tried numerous training and various courses, but we just can’t break the intense focus when she has prey in her sites.

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