Planning the 2016 Summer trip

Well like most of you we’re real close to jumping in the van and heading off again. I am so excited! School boy excited! And this is why I love doing this and boring you all with my passion! So ahead of my departure on Monday with my son Archie for the first week of our 3 week trip I thought I would show you what I’ve been planning.

We live in Brighton and it’s sooooo much easier to get to central and southern Europe from Newhaven 20 minutes along the coast. Thankfully, despite the 4 hour crossing, the cost for tickets was surprisingly good and on a par with similar crossings from Dover. So to save ourselves diesel & time we’re sailing to France on an evening crossing. That night we’ll drive for an hour up the coast to a wild camping spot (technically not an aire de reste) near Saint Valery. From here we’re back up to Le Touquet where we’ll park at the free aire at the airport and cycle in with our swim stuff to the beach and to Aqualud which is an awesome aqua park right on the beach at the heart of the town – 5 great indoor water slides and more outside – great fun!

From there we have 3 days to drive south to Bordeaux to meet the girls who will fly down when Lola has finished school. En route we’ll stop at an aire in Le Mans and go to the motor racing museum there. Then we’ll camp near the southerm Brittany coast one night in a campsite with a water park, and the final night at an aire near an amazing looking water park called Oceanile (getting the theme of the trip yet?!)

After we’ve met the girls at the airport we’ll all drive over to the Ile de Re where we have a week’s stay at Camping La Grainetiere which we have stayed at before. It’s a lovely peaceful shady site with a great pool and lots of other activities, plus it’s very close to the pretty La Flotte and within easy riding of amazing beaches and lovely little ports. Bliss. We’ll get all the outdoor camping gear out for this stay.

On the return we’ve struck a deal where we have 2 nights in between each stage heading north. For the first I have booked a campsite near Coulon, which is the capital of the area known as the Venise Verte. Then we’re on up to the Loire and the chateau stopping either at Chinon or Azay le Rideau. Our last stop is a campsite near to Versailles where I will spend my birthday strolling around the chateau in the kind of luxury surroundings that I am of course used to at home!

We’ll drive back up the Seine possibly stopping at Manet’s garden or Les Andelys before a last night’s wild camp at Veules les Roses before the early afternoon Newhaven ferry home.

Watch this space for updates! Enjoy your summer 🙂

Tim Aldiss

Sharing my passion for campervans, road trips and dreaming of the next escape

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