Brittany

May 10, 2020
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Hi all,
For years now we have been going to Brittany for our main holiday aboard. From the days of trailer tents to caravan we have loved camping in a rural site off the main routes and just enjoyed “ the French way” But between Covid and politics I feel that that has all finished. Even if France got onto the green list I wonder what would be left of the attractions we love, cafes and restaurants, and then the fallout from politics of Brexit and fishing would we Brits be well received or would we be resented? Difficult to know quite what to do but I’m pretty sure that travel to Brittany this year will again be cancelled. Such a shame.
Regards to all and safe caravaning
R
 
Jun 16, 2020
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We am happy to wait. We are not those people that the media keep telling us, “are desperate to get abroad“. But my guess is, if Covid is put to bed, things will return to as they were surprisingly quickly.

John
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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I share your concerns "Ferrodo".
Though the Covid issues will abate, if not this year, soon, I believe that an increasing sector of the French population, will hold a level of resentment against us "Brits". A rather different atmosphere to the lighthearted interchange that was for eons the norm, now some real anti feeling.

That is the message I get from the limited contacts I have over there, "we" have done ourselves no favours. If not from what we have done, but our charisma void "style" "we" have taken to doing so and to them.

Those whose coffers we furnish will be keen to welcome us back, but speaking for ourselves, we want a lot more of that true French way of life, than that gathered in the confines of a campsite.
 
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May 24, 2014
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I think most Europeans have a basic indifference to us British. Much of it stems from history and the arrogance with which we tried to make the whole world British. Couple that with the way the British are reported in the press with their behaviour abroad. Brexit has done us no favours in the Euros eyes. Whether we support Brexit or not is irrelevant, its how they see us.

In general though, I think most tourist areas will welcome our money if not exactly sharing the love, I dont envisage any real problems.

I think people not involved with the tourist trade may be a little less welcoming in the early days, but like anything else, it will fade.
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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I’m sure that holidays in France will once again be fine. In my experience its mainly down to how you relate to other people at an individual level.
 
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Nov 16, 2015
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Having spent 6 years touring all over France, we have now decided that if we do go back to Europe then it will be to Germany, I have found the Fench way of life, a fraction too slow, and extremley expensive. Our visits into Germany , have proved to be very nice. But it will be a couple of years, until we go over maybe 2023.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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Having spent 6 years touring all over France, we have now decided that if we do go back to Europe then it will be to Germany, I have found the Fench way of life, a fraction too slow, and extremley expensive. Our visits into Germany , have proved to be very nice. But it will be a couple of years, until we go over maybe 2023.
We also like our visit to Germany that one place we like to go back to :)
 
Oct 8, 2006
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There is much to see in Germany, whether that is the industrial heartlands in the north or the Black Forest and wine areas to the south and west. One thing to watch out for however is that most sites charge separately for electricity at enhanced rates so can be expensive.
Also consider Luxembourg which is surprisingly attractive, E and SE Belgium, the old E Germany (such as Dresden and Leipzig,) and the Netherlands.
One thing is sure however - they are all more expensive than France.
 
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May 24, 2014
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We like France very much, if we are planning a lazy holiday, Lot and Garonne are our favoured destinations. Bavaria is also high on our list but our natural choice will always be the Salzkammergut region in Austria. It has the mountains, as beautiful as any in Austria, but also has the Austrian Lakes and that gives so much more to see and do. That though is a more active holiday.

For those that arent familiar with it, the Salzkammergut really has it all, and in summer, surprisingly the lakes are very warm considering how they are fed.
 
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Reactions: otherclive
Nov 11, 2009
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There is much to see in Germany, whether that is the industrial heartlands in the north or the Black Forest and wine areas to the south and west. One thing to watch out for however is that most sites charge separately for electricity at enhanced rates so can be expensive.
Also consider Luxembourg which is surprisingly attractive, E and SE Belgium, the old E Germany (such as Dresden and Leipzig,) and the Netherlands.
One thing is sure however - they are all more expensive than France.
We toured eastern Germany solo in 2014. Excellent holiday with accommodation easy to find without pre booking and lots to do. Recommend Dresden, Saxon Switzerland and Hartz, plus Mittelbau Dora. The Ww2 underground V2 facility.

Luxembourg Ardennes area worth visiting then cross to Trier really nice city with Roman remains.
 
May 24, 2014
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An old sergeant of mine told me once of a family his father had met whilst serving in Germany with BAOR after the war. The family were Austrian and had a Gasthof in the Salzkammergut, and he himself had been for a holiday, (this in the seventies, his father had been in the fifties. Ten years ago, this Gasthof surfaced from my memory and we googled it to find it was still owned and run by the same family, but three generations on. Deciding to give it a whirl, we had the most fantastic time with a wonderful family, and have now been three times ourselves. It surprisingly cheap, right on the side of the lake with its own jetty, and access to the warmest clearest water I have been swimming in within Europe. Right in the middle of the Salzkammergut, surrounded by mountains and about half way between Salzburg and Bad Ischl.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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Hi all,
For years now we have been going to Brittany for our main holiday aboard. From the days of trailer tents to caravan we have loved camping in a rural site off the main routes and just enjoyed “ the French way” But between Covid and politics I feel that that has all finished. Even if France got onto the green list I wonder what would be left of the attractions we love, cafes and restaurants, and then the fallout from politics of Brexit and fishing would we Brits be well received or would we be resented? Difficult to know quite what to do but I’m pretty sure that travel to Brittany this year will again be cancelled. Such a shame.
Regards to all and safe caravaning
R
Most nationalities are hard-nosed enough to value the money that tourists bring to an area, I doubt the French are any different.

European destinations will be risky this year because the EU is so far behind us in vaccination, the reason for our present low numbers of Covid, but next year should be a different matter.
 
May 10, 2020
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Yes we’ve put our French trip back to next year now. This makes the second year in a row but things are too uncertain at the present to feel relaxed about going. Really feel sad about it as our Brittany trip has become our highlight of the year for us. Still we have booked a couple of CS pitches around instead so got something to look forward to.
 
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May 10, 2021
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Have never been to France or Germany but would be interested to read about others travel experiences and compare their campsites facilities with what we have here in UK.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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We have an e toll tag that we have not been able to use since 2019 and it has come up for renewal again at a cost of £8.50. We are planning on France or Spain for next year if all goes well so might as well renew.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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We have an e toll tag that we have not been able to use since 2019 and it has come up for renewal again at a cost of £8.50. We are planning on France or Spain for next year if all goes well so might as well renew.
Keep this information in mind for future reference
 
Nov 16, 2015
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I sent my Saneff tag back this year as I haven't used it for two years, and I don't expect to use it for a few years. My route to Germany would be Belgium, and across, so no need to use the French Toll routes.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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I sent my Saneff tag back this year as I haven't used it for two years, and I don't expect to use it for a few years. My route to Germany would be Belgium, and across, so no need to use the French Toll routes.
What did you have to do to send it back?
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Just go to their web page, and click on the return tag, the instructions are there, pop it into a bubble wrap bag and send it in the post. Then the following month they will refund the €20 to your account in Sterling equivlent.
 
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Oct 8, 2006
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Have never been to France or Germany but would be interested to read about others travel experiences and compare their campsites facilities with what we have here in UK.
The most competitive sites in France are the municipals. Pretty well every village/town/city has one or more, just search www.{townname}.fr/campings
They are not always the most modern but are usually clean and well kept. There are also many CLs and some main sites in France owned and run by Brits so for a first timer it does take away some of the fears if you cannot speak at least some schoolgirl/boy French.

The Netherlands is a fun place to visit and you won't have any language problems as a high percentage of the populous speak English (surprisingly more often the older end of the age spectrum.) Their sites are always well kept and clean and usually well spaced out. Local bus and tram services will take you everywhere you need to go, and trains (especially if you have a Eurail pass) are quick, clean, and regular, and there is parking (often free) at most suburban stations.

Germany is a great country to visit especially Berlin, parts of the old East such as Dresden and Leipzig, the Hartz mountains and all of the southern part south of (about) Frankfurt such as the Odenwald, the Black Forest, and Bavaria. You will find English widely spoken.

The one thing to watch out for in D and NL is that they often charge for electricity separately at enhanced rates and despite having blue plugs in many places there is no certainty that they are correctly wired and may be limited to 10A or more likely 6A.
In F you rarely have to pay separately for electrickery and you will usually find Schuko two-pin connections, but current is most often limited to 6A.

Finally be aware of prices. You will probably find that NL is still the most expensive in supermarkets etc with Germany next and France the cheapest although not as cheap as they used to be. Fuel follows suit. Aldi and Lidl are to be found everywhere in all three countries.
 
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May 10, 2021
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Woodentop, thanks for the further info.
It is always interesting to check out well managed affordable campsites with some good facilities and one that we could live freely without any hassles or any worries.
I think some campsites are just too big.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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Woodentop very interesting information if we get to France and i do like C/L sites and Germany is somewhere we like to explore more .
 
Oct 8, 2006
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Don't overlook what I said - "CLs run by Brits." There is a book - albeit in French - called Camping a la Ferme which will tell you a lot about the French idea of CLs, whereas anything run by a Brit will be very similar to what we have over here. At least you can be sure of a correctly wired blue socket.
For clarification on that last comment, 2-pin Schuko is wired radially from the power box not in a ring as we have here, and each outlet has its own fuse or MCB. Since anything short of major white goods (which are often three-phase) in the EU is double-insulated with a double pole switch it makes no difference which way round the outlet is wired. Having become used to this electricians just put L & N wires into the relevant holes without looking at the socket to see the embossed L or N. Hence I have stayed on a site (just inland of Boulogne when en route ferry at Calais or Dunkirk) where there were three 2-pin sockets in a line on a board; the two outer were correctly wired (French plugs also have an earth pin so only fit one way) but the middle was reversed. If your caravan has 13A sockets with a double pole switch it isn't a problem, but if it is single pole or unswitched you could have something live when you though it was off under fault conditions. A good idea (which may be disputed) is to take a blue plug and socket with about a metre of cable between and with the live and neutral reversed AT ONE END ONLY. You should also carry a mains tester plug. (Having a metre of cable means you can put the link plug/socket under the van to keep it dry.)
I would also advise that for a first trip don't overdo it. The north coast of France and round the corner as far as Le Havre and Honfleur is very attractive. If you are not a 'coaster' the area around Rouen and SE along the Seine towards Paris has much to offer (such as Monet's Garden at Giverny,) and if you go a little SW of Rouen there are some nice towns (Brionne and Bernay) and you can easily get to Honfleur, arguably one of the most beautiful towns in France. Inland another place worth visiting is Bourges which is very close to the geographical centre of France. Finally I would recommend Alsace, particularly Southern Alsace. There is a small town called Obernai (if any of you know Yorkshire it is like a very old Otley) has an excellent municipal site only 10 mins or so walk from the town centre. You can easily get to such as Colmar, Riquwihr, and Ribeauville all of which are on the Alsace Wine Route, and you can get across into Germany to visit Offenburg and Freiburg and a bit of the Black Forest. Strasbourg is interesting. They have fantastic whole-village Vide Grenier (a bit like a Sunday market/combined street market) all day on Sundays which are always worth a visit.
Belgium is interesting if a bit dull. Ghent is a good base as a starter. In NL Utrecht is also a good base. (Visit Dordrecht - beautiful and near the UNESCO windmills.) I have covered Germany I think.

Good luck.
 

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