Category Archives: France

France 2010 – France Dave

France Dave


Dates: 11/8/2010 – 21/8/2010

For current weather, as well as monthly averages for the Loire, click here.

Overview map of the region

Campsite – Camping de la Touche

Website Reviews Run by John (ex-UK Scout leader) Ferme de la Touche, 37240 LIGUEIL, France Tel: +33 (0) 247 59 54 94

Pitch €6 People €6 EHU €5 all UK blue connections Heated showers, shop, kitchen, laundry, BBQ, plunge pool

Total €17 per couple per night 1 week €119 (7 nights per couple)

Bike hire available €5 per day or €20 per week

£20 per tent deposit paid

5mins away from Ligueil centre which is well served with bakers, restaurants and a supermarket. 15 mins away is the Market town of Loches and 50 mins away the city of Tours with its own airport and all the major stores.


From Tours/Bordeaux we are situated off junction 25 of the A10 motorway (signposted ‘St Maure de Touraine’). On exiting the toll, at the roundabout take the first exit on your right, the first exit at the next roundabout following the D760, the fourth exit at the third roundabout and then the first exit at the fourth roundabout following the D59 to Ligueil.

As you enter the outskirts of Ligueil you will come to a junction and ‘stop’ sign – turn right, then left at the next junction taking the D31 to Loches. You will pass the ancient wooden launderette on your right hand side. Head towards Loches for 2km. Follow the government signs for ‘Camping’ and turn right off the D31 at a crossroads with a white cross. After the bridges and take your first right. You will see our distinctive yellow sunflower sign marking the entrance to the site.

Ferry and travel notes

Google Maps Website

Basically: !! Avoid Paris !! E402/A16 to Abbeville then E402/A28 to Rouen then Le Mans then E502/A28 to Tours the E05/A10 and follow directions above to Ligueil

Useful Info

Nearest Hospital

Nearest Dentist

Nearest Food Shops

Nearest Gear Shops

Nearest Car Repairs

Ford Dealer: PONT AUTOMOBILES 86 Rue Charles Coulomb, CHAMBRAY LES TOURS 37170, Tel 02 47 48 69 00

Garage Grand Sud 72 Rue Saint Jacques, LOCHES 37600, Tel 02 47 59 06 60

Garage Claude Ligeard 15 Rue Rabelais, CROUZILLES 37220, Tel 02 47 58 55 12

AA European Breakdown: Tel 00800 88776611 or +33 426 298781

To do in the Loire Valley


Eating Out

Place Plum in Tours crammed with cheap cafes, bistros & restaurants of which Comme Autre Foucee is recommended by C&C – known for local dish of dough stuffed with pork or goat’s cheese.

Wine Related

Notes from Luckins: Loire Valley near Tours is known for Sancerre & Pouilly-Fume. But there are some cracking Vouvray not to be missed, expect to pay for them.

Lookout for signs to “caves”, for example “Cave des Producteurs de Vouvray”. Tastings through Vouvray, Chinon & Bourgueil can be booked via Tourist Office in Tours. Caves ouvertes toute l’année, 7 jours sur 7 :De 9h00 à 12h30 et de 13h45 à 19h00 Du 15/05 au 15/09 sans interruption de 9h00 à 19h00 – 38, “La Vallée Coquette” – 37210 Vouvray (white: Le MD de Bourgeois Sancerre – highly recommended). Shop, Restaurant & Hôtel de Charme La Côte des Monts Damnés,Chavignol, 18300 Sancerre Domaine Huet l’Echansonne, 11/13 rue de la Croix Buisée,37210 Vouvray


Sunday Amboise: morning Beaulieu-lès-Loches: 8h00-12h00 Descartes: morning Reignac-sur-Indre: 8h00-12h30

Monday Ligueil: 9h00-14h00

Tuesday La Roche-Posay (Vienne): morning Saint Quentin sur Indrois: 10h00-13h00

Wednesday Loches: 8h00-13h00

Thursday Châtellerault: morning Cormery: 8h00-12h30 Chédigny: 8h00-11h00 Le Grand-Pressigny: morning Loché-sur-Indrois: morning Manthelan: morning Preuilly-sur-Claise: morning Yzeures-sur-Creuse: morning

Friday Abilly: 10h00-12h30 Amboise: morning Azay-sur-Indre: 11h30-12h30 La Roche-Posay (Vienne): morning

Saturday Cussay: 10h00-12h00 Loches: 8h00-13h00 Preuilly-sur-Claise: morning


Download for GPS to add all Chateaux as POIs

Chateau de Chenonceau has been described as the most beautiful of Chateaux. The Renaissance chateau stretches across the River Cher on piers. Chenonceau is one of the few Chateaux that you can view without a guide. (oh so cool – we can download the audio tour to an iPod) The Castle is open every day of the year times from July 1st to August 31st : 09h00 – 20h00. Single Entrance: 10,50 €. Audio video guided tour: 14,50 €

Chateau de Chambord was Commissioned as a hunting lodge by Francois I in 1519. It’s the largest of the Loire châteaux with 440 rooms, and if it’s second to Chenonceau in beauty, it’s a darn close second. From 11/07 to 16/08: 9am – 7pm From 17/08 to 30/09: 9am – 6.15pm Adult: 9,50 €

Chateau de Chaumont is set on a cliff above the Loire, standing on the foundations of two previous fortresses dating from the 10th and 12th centuries. What to see: the Italian tiled floor in the Salle du Conseil, furniture from the 16th and 18th centuries and the impressive stables built by the Prince de Broglie.

Chateau de Amboise was home to French King Louis XI and his wife Charlotte of Savoy. What to see: the Gothic Chapel of StHubert; are the remains of Leonardo de Vinci really buried in the north transept? Plus, the lavish Kings quarters, the Great Hall and the Tourdes Minimes, a tower providing access to the chateau to carriages.

Chateau de Villandry features one of the best examples of Renaissance formal gardens in the Loire Valley.

Chateau de Beauregard features an interesting 16th century kitchen, but most come here to see the Picture Gallery containing 363 portraits of Royal family members and aristocracy –

Chateau de Cheverny is an opulent Renaissance styled chateau from the period of Louis XIII. The main draws here are the furnishings and the small hunting museum.

Ussé – Chateau of Sleeping Beauty is a magical place built in the 15th and 16th centuries. 10h-19h Adult: 13 € 37420 RIGNY-USSE

Archive – Campsite Options

Camping Le Serpolin

Website Reviews

Tent €12 EHU €4

Total €16 per couple per night 1 week €112 (7 nights per couple) (£100 ish)

Notes / thoughts

Brief e-mail response. Seems available.

Le Chant D’Oiseau

Website Reviews

Tent €16 EHU €5

Total €21 per couple per night

1 week €147 (7 nights per couple) (£131 ish)

Bike hire available €5 per day or €25 per week

Notes / thoughts

Long e-mail from Stu & Syb, would need to go after 21 August.

Camping de la Touch

Website Reviews

Pitch €6 People €6 EHU €5

Total €17 per couple per night 1 week €119 (7 nights per couple)

Bike hire available €5 per day or €20 per week

Notes / thoughts

Good pics and facilities.

E-mail reply received. Good availability.

France 2012

Easter trip to France


Saint-Germain-de-Coulamer Google Maps

6 rue Sainte Barbe, 53700 Saint Germain de Coulamer

Travel Arrangements


Wondering about getting a toll tag thing for France. It costs a bit more, but reduces hassle. See Wish I had known about it for our previous trip.

For details of ferry discounts see e-mail from Dani.


  • Webbs, Lewis, Knoxs – Folkestone to Calais – Monday 09 April 2012
    • Check-in closes 07:20
    • Departure time 07:50
    • Arrival time 09:25
  • Lewis sleeping at home, travelling to train in the morning, on the same train as the Webbs


  • Webbs – Calais to Folkestone – Sunday 15 April 2012
    • Check-in closes 13:20
    • Departure time 13:50
    • Arrival time 13:25
  • Lewis, Calais to Folkestone via a ferry, 14.20pm departure, arrival time 14.50pm

Travel Checklist

  • European car insurance
  • European breakdown cover
  • Safety kit
    • Spare bulb kit
    • Reflective jacket
    • GB sticker / magnet
    • First aid kit
    • Headlamp adjuster sticker
    • Warning triangle
  • Maps (paper or electronic)
  • Travel insurance
  • EHIC
  • Euros
  • Passports

Things to do

  • Sillé Plage is a large lake in the woods with an artificial beach, cafés, walking and boating. It is near to Sillé le Guillaume and is only 15 minutes drive away.
  • A little further away at St Léonard des Bois is a “Derbyshire style” village with restaurants, cafés, horse riding, walking, canoeing and an aerial ropeway.
  • Next to St Léonard is the picturesque village of St Céneri le Gérei much frequented by artists and with 12th century frescos in the church.
  • Castles to visit can be found at Lassay les Châteaux (North West) and Ste Suzanne (South West)
  • The old town of Mayenne with it’s river and castle are worth visiting and so is the spa town of Bagnoles de l’Orne.
  • Alencon has good shopping and an indoor swimming pool and Le Mans, about 40 minutes drive away, has shopping and the famous racing track and car museum. The old town of Le Mans, “Vieux Mans” is well worth visiting.
  • There is a garage, boulangerie and bar in St Germain de Coulamer and petrol and supermarket shopping 15 minutes away at either Villaines la Juhel or Sillé le Guillaume.

Things to take


  • Food for first day (French public holiday)
    • Steph handling first 24 hours


  • Games
  • Portable BBQ (Rich – sorted)
  • Walkie talkies (Rich – sorted)
  • Swimming towels
  • Swimming stuff

House details

  • Bed linen and towels are provided, but it would be appreciated if you could bring towels for swimming if required. There is a washing machine and tumble dryer in the utility room.
  • We will arrange the cleaning for 40 €.
  • The kitchen is fully equipped with a dishwasher, fridge, freezer, range cooker, toaster, microwave and coffee machine.
  • There is a CD player in the salon and UK sky TV (free channels or bring your own card) in the second floor children’s dormitory.
  • Oil fired central heating
  • Our home telephone number is :- 0033 2 43 03 32 38 and my mobile is :- 0033 6 21 09 42 06
  • We live about 10 minutes away outside the next village and our address is ;- La Meltière, 53700 Courcité.


Details of minibus and other options

Useful website re minibuses:

General answer, backed up by most websites, as to who can drive a minibus:

Licences for drivers of minibuses that are not operated for hire or reward, (only likely to include private or family use where the driver does not benefit in any way and there are no donations, charges or fares) and do not therefore fall under either PSV or ‘section 19 permit’ operator’s regimes, are governed by the same rules as per permit buses. The minibus must be used for social purposes, by a non-commercial body and must not be used to tow a trailer of any size.
For pre-1997 drivers, the D1 licence will be accepted for temporary visits within the EU, whereas new drivers will need to hold a D1 or D entitlement, which will involve a further test to drive on the continent. So drivers without automatic minibus entitlement on their licence are not permitted to drive minibuses outside the UK without a further test.


Looks like our best option is going to be to get to Essex on the Sunday afternoon and leave from there early on Monday morning. Some of us could possibly stay in a Premier Inn to ease showers and getting ready quickly.

Cost comparisons

Item Cars x 3 Minibus Notes
Tunnel £360 £180 Rough costs
Fuel £300 £177 From Essex – 750 miles – cars doing 45 mpg, bus 25mpg
Tolls £120 £91 Estimate from Mappy, total for both trips in 3 cars
Hire £0 £620 Current best quote
Total £780 £1068 Minibus more expensive by £288 in total or £96 per car

Other costs depend on current cover – each car will need fully comp in France, recovery in France, spare bulb kit and other minor bits.