Portsmouth & Plymouth to France Campervan & Ferry Tips
Taking the boat from southern England to Northern France can be a fantastic and enjoyable way to take the first leg of your journey, taking the Portsmouth or Plymouth Brittany Ferries is cheap and enjoyable, as they take sail out of two fantastic historical ports and across the channel into Northern France, also vast in history and a great place to start your journey into Europe.
Taking the boat is pretty simple and best done online at http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/ where you can simply select your closest outbound route and dates etc. Mini campervans usually costs around £100 – £150 one way for two people and boats run all year around, to Caen but stop at some point to St-Malo in the winter.
Depending on if you would like to do some sightseeing on the way over the channel or not you can either take a day trip or night trip, if you are looking to relax before the drive ahead then taking the overnight trip and booking a small cabin for the night can be fantastic, just be sure to book it in the centre of the boat if you are not a fan of being on the sea.
If you are looking for a day trip then this is also a great way to get a great view of the English coast and even get to see a variety of birds, flying fish, dolphins and whales.
The boats have everything you need from shops to restaurants, night and day entertainment, children’s play areas and a large bar with entertainment. The food on the boat is usually very good and sometimes excellent. A personal favourite of mine is taking some large Atlantic prawns for starter then enjoying my last roast dinner or fish and chips before going into Europe.
As you arrive in France depending on the route you took, there is a huge range of stuff to see and try out from day one from the history of Caen and D-Day to the seafood and Crepes of Brittany. Below we have put together some things well worth going to see and foods to try while in Northern and North-western France.
Taking this boat into northern France is one of history, arriving on the shores of Normandy where the famous second world war and D-Day happened, if you have not seen this area yet, we really recommend it, below are a few tips on MUST see and MUST eat while in Normandy !
Take a quick trip from Caen port to Colleville sur Mer and Omaha Beach where you can find a number of monuments, old ports built in the war and museums, an interesting place to see on the coast and to take a trip back in time.
Stop in the town of Caen and head for the Memorial of Caen an amazing huge museum based on all the war and starts from as early as the Romans and goes along the timeline to the latest war in Normandy, a true story well worth visiting for but give it a day trip out as its big !
While in this area of Caen be sure to try out its local liqueur a strong yet tasty alcoholic beverage (Calvados) also the name of the Caen area. It takes its name from a cluster of rocks off the English Channel coast.
St Malo Ferry
Taking the St Malo boat will take you a little more towards Brittany itself and right next to the famous Mont Saint-Michel a unique and fantastic way to start the trip if you are looking to do more of a coastal route down through France. Below we have listed some MUST do and MUST try things while in this area.
- Mont Saint-Michel, a small island commune in Western Normandy, its located just one km from North Western France, with a population of just 44 this little islands attracts enormous numbers of visitors a year.
- As you are close to Brittany it may well be worth looking into a crepes (pancakes) both sweet and salted, and also Galettes (savoury). Brittany is known to be the land of the best crepes in the world ! Be sure to look up a good restaurant in the area and try some of these!
- If you are looking to try some drink, Brittany has some really famous Cider so passing through a cider farm while here could be something worth doing especially if you want to stock up for the holiday ahead!
- If you are doing a coastal trip then this whole area is also known for its Seafood and Oysters, be sure to try the fresh oysters in Cancale, truly some of the best we have ever had!
We hope the above gives you an idea and some tips on what to do when taking the ferry from England to France, if you have any questions what so ever, feel free to pop us an email and we would be glad to help out in any way we can.
EU Campervan Hire