Normandy & Brittany | August 2018
This August Ed and I spent ten days camping in France. The first half of our trip was spent in Brittany and then we drove south to Jard-sur-Mer in the Vendée. Two years ago we went on holiday to Brittany to make the most of travelling to Roscoff for a family wedding. It was a really lovely trip, so we wanted to go back again this year and stay for a little longer.
We didn’t book our travel or campsites until a few weeks before we travelled and by the end of July the ferries were really expensive so we took the Eurostar instead, and factored in a couple of extra days travelling across Normandy and northern France. In hindsight, we should have just booked sooner and taken the ferry. Once we’d included péage fees, fuel and the cost of a couple of budget hotels it wasn’t any cheaper. That said, I’ve no regrets. We wouldn’t ordinarily go on holiday to Normandy and we got to see some sights that we had both been looking forward to seeing. Next time though we’ll get the ferry if we’re going to western France. The following pictures are a mix of film and digital.
The first stop we made after arriving in Calais was Le Touquet. We were only there an hour or two, but explored the streets, found a supermarket to buy bits and pieces for lunch, and had a look around the stalls at the covered market. My favourite part of Le Touquet was the seafront with the old fashioned French carrousel and tricycle hire for children.
After Le Touquet we carried on west, and stopped at Étretat which, despite driving along empty roads and across quiet fields to reach, was jam packed with campervans and motorhomes. We couldn’t find a parking space in the town or on either side of the cliffs, so we bailed and carried on along the coast to Phare d’Antifer instead, which was blissfully peaceful. While we didn’t get to see the chalk arches at Étretat we did enjoy a quiet walk along the cliffs by the lighthouse, which was probably more enjoyable.
After spending a night in Caen we visited Le Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy. It’s been interesting to see both the English St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall and the French Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy in the same summer. The French mount wins for view from a distance. It’s a bigger island, and the landscape surrounding it is less built up so you can see it from a long way off when approaching across the fields. The English mount is much better managed as a tourist attraction though. We walked along the new bridge to Mont-Saint-Michel but didn’t go in as it was too busy, too hot to bother with the crowds. The best view is from a distance though, and it was definitely worth visiting to enjoy the walk and see the island in person.
We stayed at our first campsite (Camping Les Pins on Presqu’île de Crozon) for four nights. It was the perfect base for exploring the Crozon Peninsula, especially the heather clad cliffs down at La Pointe de Dinan.
The road from the north of Brittany to Crozon goes through the pretty village of Le Faou where I tried to make friends with two cats. One of them returned my affections, while the other (their brother or sister) said meow from a distance but wouldn’t come over and say hello in person.