Stop over in Luton

Jan 14, 2006
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We intend to travel to France this summer and are looking at stopping over in Luton. Can anyone recommend such a site that is not too far from the Motorway (M1)? Also what is the best time to travel on the M25 and miss the traffic jams?

Yvonne
 
Jul 31, 2010
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I am not sure, but I think that the Hemel site is closed, as it is next to the Buncefield oil depot. I would not stop there as the smell of fuel is still overpowering, you can smell it on the motorway.

Steve W
 
Dec 16, 2003
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Living near the dreaded road if a trucker asks for directions to a lorry park the locals suggest the M25!Avoid the darn road between 6am and 8-9pm.

People can laugh but having been stuck for between 2 and 6 hours on the M25 to many times and been in traffic jams on it at betwen 1am and 5am I don't find it ammusing. 16 miles from home on the M25 at 3.30pm I arrived home at 7.50pm after leaving early to make a dinner with my wife. I thought leaving at 2pm for the 44 mile jorney would be fine! We live near the M3/M25 junction and I try and head for Dover after 9pm for the cheaper P&O night time crosssings, if lucky enough to arrive early with so many crossings I have often been put on earlier ferries and we stop the night on one of the big services south of Calais and drive on in the morning.

We have had no troubles over many years and generally find that there are numerous vans and camper vans parked for the night and by the time you wake in the morning you will find yourself surrounded by more often.
 
May 4, 2005
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As far as Im aware Hemel site is open,there were vans on it a few days ago when I passed. There is no smell of oil around the area ,in fact there wasn't when the fire was burning. There is a smell on the M10 exit which is caused by a large composting facility ( a huge compost heap) which is quite unpleasant and is currently smoking because it has overheated . I think this is probably what Steve can smell from the motorway. This is very localised and should not cause a problem at the Hemel site....Brian
 
Jan 14, 2006
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thanks for your help, i have check that site but it doesnt have a toilet block which is a must for some of the group that we are travelling with (small convoy of 4 vans should be fun!!)anymore suggestions

yvonne
 
Jul 31, 2010
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I am sorry Brian but there must be something wrong with your sense of smell. I have lived within spitting distance of the Buncefield depot for 55 years and pass it on the M1 everyday going to work. I have been vehicle mechanic for 40 years so I should be able to tell the difference between fuel and compost. I must admit the composting site does smell awful almost all of the time.

Steve W
 
Oct 13, 2005
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if i was you I would avoid stopping at Luton or Hemel, I drive from newport pagnell to chertsey in surrey most days and the following hotspots are best avoided in the rush hour,

M1 south from j12 to j6a (may be bad past that but I turn onto the m25 there)

M25 from the M1 to anywhere in the rush hour, especially bad from M1 to Junc 17 and around the M40 and m4 and m3 junctions

where are you coming down from? if possible its better to come down the m40 if you are coming from birmingham way.

As for the smell in Hemel, its not been to bad the last few days but tat may be down to wind direction because some days the smell of diesel is horrible on the M1
 
Jul 15, 2005
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Hi Yvonne,

We live in the Chiltern Hills - about midway between the M40 and the M1 and about 30 miles from the M25 - and I'm in full agreement with everyone that says avoid the Southern end of the M1 - if at all possible.

If you are driving down from the East or the Midlands, then a strong suggestion is to use the A1M.

If you are coming down from the M6, then the M40 route has nothing like the traffic (outside of the commute) nor the heavy trucks that ply the M1, plus you could stay at:

Highclere Farm Country Touring Park - about 2 miles from Junction 2 (Beaconsfield) of the M40 which is the last junction before the M25 - and by travelling down the M40 it's easy to go South round London and avoid the Queen Elizabeth toll bridge.

Found this link to reviews of the site: http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/sites/reviews.asp?revid=1348

Robert
 

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Mar 14, 2005
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If you are in the CC then why not continue South on the M1 then take the M10 then A414 (still heading in the right direstion) and use the CC site Commons Wood at Welwyn Garden . Lovely site just of the A1M open 12 months and nice toilet Block.

As has been said the M25 is busy most days but try and avoid it before 09.30 and between 16.00 to 18.00.

Dont know what time you need to be at the port but I would aim to cross the Dartford Bridge around 13.00 it is approx 1 hours drive from Commons wood.
 

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