France recommendations ?

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Spike941
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Re: France recommendations ?

Post by Spike941 » Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:02 pm

If it’s pure riding pleasure you’re after, anywhere in the east and the south you can’t go wrong. Obviously the Alps and the Pyrenees are a must. The north and the Atlantic coast I find a real bore. yes there are a few nice places to visit in those areas, just riding in between is nothing special. The traffic in and out of St Trop can be a PITA. May/June & September/October I find best.

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daveuprite
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Re: France recommendations ?

Post by daveuprite » Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:00 am

Obviously living here, I could go on and on - but you're better off looking through the guide books.

But one thing, if you like visiting cathedrals Gary.... On your way south, stop at Chartres cathedral. It is by far the most impressive gothic cathedral in France, IMO, and was at one point the tallest building in Europe. It is just awesome when you walk in there. It's not a tourist mecca like Notre Dame, but try to pick a quiet time and you will be struck by the scale, and the medieval work that went into it.

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chunky butt
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Re: France recommendations ?

Post by chunky butt » Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:11 am

daveuprite wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:00 am
Obviously living here, I could go on and on - but you're better off looking through the guide books.

But one thing, if you like visiting cathedrals Gary.... On your way south, stop at Chartres cathedral. It is by far the most impressive gothic cathedral in France, IMO, and was at one point the tallest building in Europe. It is just awesome when you walk in there. It's not a tourist mecca like Notre Dame, but try to pick a quiet time and you will be struck by the scale, and the medieval work that went into it.

Image
I'd second that Dave, chartres you can see the spires a long way off, very impressive. If it was me, time depending, have your certain regions you've researched with poi, but be flexible, and book your accommodation on a daily basis. Open the map of an evening, weather depending, make a decision.....ish, and head off, its a huge geographically diverse country. Happy days.

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Re: France recommendations ?

Post by daveuprite » Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:07 am

I've never done the AirBNB method, like Chunky has, but I always used to use the tourist offices when touring. Just arrive in a decent sized town by about 5pm and the tourist office (which is usually well sign-posted) will show you through a book of all the local accommodation. You pick a chambre d'hote, hotel or whatever and they will ring them for you and book you in, give you directions etc, and you're sorted for the night.

We've also used this guide in the past:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Alastair-Saw ... SwUERclAnl

It contains some brilliant and unusual B&Bs, hotels etc. It's cheaper than you might think to spend a night in a huge chateau or an old mill or wherever. Worth a look. We once stayed in a house in Normandy full of fantastic antique furniture, including the desk owned by Jules Verne when he wrote Journey to the Centre of the Earth. And another from this guide was a room at the top of a tall circular tower in a stone castle. Only 50 euros for the night.

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Re: France recommendations ?

Post by Stewie » Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:21 pm

For me in France, if it's the north for a short break lots of resent history sites, I'm not big on cathedrals and the like, i'll pop in if i see one, but won't make it the destination.
Where ever I'm heading I always put the topography overlay on the map, then plot the most interesting route with as many views, vistas and valleys and the all importantly twisties i can get in, love mixing it up with D roads and trails, it's amazing what you come across on some of the trail.
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Elmer J Fudd
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Re: France recommendations ?

Post by Elmer J Fudd » Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:00 pm

Looking at a few of the replies, you will get the sense that France is a country where you don't just go once, but need to go back again a few times to get any kind of idea what there is to see.

Everyone says stick to the D roads, but don't be afraid of using a motorway to get some distance when needed, especially if time is limited or weather closing in. Just pick out what you want to do and make it work.

Places to Visit? Too many, but remember that the places you just stumble on are always the best, such as:
Le Lion Verd - Putanges-le-Lac - ordered an Orangina and a cake in my best French only to discover it was run by English Settlers.
Le Chêne Rond, Coullons - I do a bit of clay shooting so popped in on the off chance when passing the sign and spent a whole morning shooting and chatting.
Sancerre - not far from Coullons, saw it in the distance and detoured there. Enchanting, but confusing road layout.

My only don't would be don't stay in a large city, they are the same the world over, visit them, of course, but stay in a small town or village.

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garyboy
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Re: France recommendations ?

Post by garyboy » Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:08 am

Spike941 wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:02 pm
If it’s pure riding pleasure you’re after, anywhere in the east and the south you can’t go wrong. Obviously the Alps and the Pyrenees are a must. The north and the Atlantic coast I find a real bore. yes there are a few nice places to visit in those areas, just riding in between is nothing special. The traffic in and out of St Trop can be a PITA. May/June & September/October I find best.

I always thought the west was the best :? .. Bordeaux beaches in a thunderstorm are something! .. and i like La Rochelle, and Brittanie .. also the motorway down is great .. or at least it was before all these speed camera things :roll:
But i suppose you are right .. i will have to check the maps to see if the east is best?

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Re: France recommendations ?

Post by garyboy » Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:10 am

daveuprite wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:00 am
Obviously living here, I could go on and on - but you're better off looking through the guide books.

But one thing, if you like visiting cathedrals Gary.... On your way south, stop at Chartres cathedral. It is by far the most impressive gothic cathedral in France, IMO, and was at one point the tallest building in Europe. It is just awesome when you walk in there. It's not a tourist mecca like Notre Dame, but try to pick a quiet time and you will be struck by the scale, and the medieval work that went into it.

Image
Yeah .. cheers Dave ..
Chartres is now on my `to do ` list .. :)

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garyboy
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Re: France recommendations ?

Post by garyboy » Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:16 am

daveuprite wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:07 am
I've never done the AirBNB method, like Chunky has, but I always used to use the tourist offices when touring. Just arrive in a decent sized town by about 5pm and the tourist office (which is usually well sign-posted) will show you through a book of all the local accommodation. You pick a chambre d'hote, hotel or whatever and they will ring them for you and book you in, give you directions etc, and you're sorted for the night.
thanks for the tips Dave … but, as always, I will be on a shoestring budget .. as usual :? :lol: 8-)
I dont think i would even know how to book into a hotel :o
now, kipping on a bench .. yes .. experienced :oops: :lol:
.. mostly `campings` it will be .. as long as not too dear.
.. and that will be bare minimum gear .. or try to be :oops:
but thanks for the advice.

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garyboy
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Re: France recommendations ?

Post by garyboy » Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:22 am

Stewie wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:21 pm
For me in France, if it's the north for a short break lots of resent history sites, I'm not big on cathedrals and the like, i'll pop in if i see one, but won't make it the destination.
Where ever I'm heading I always put the topography overlay on the map, then plot the most interesting route with as many views, vistas and valleys and the all importantly twisties i can get in, love mixing it up with D roads and trails, it's amazing what you come across on some of the trail.
yeah .. good idea that .. to find out where the views are from a topo map .. never thought of that … perhaps just head for the hills eh?

and yes … for me too, France is mostly about the views .. [and hopefully, the weather]

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