Family holiday to France in our Devon

So you Devon perverts, it's finally here - the Devon specific forum - and it's in a whole new interiors section :-)
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Lovejoy
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Family holiday to France in our Devon

Post by Lovejoy » Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:56 am

We've owned our Devon for just over 6 years now, and used to use it quite a lot for holidays, we've toured the inner hebrides, driven around Belgium and Holland, and even been to Biarritz. These trips all happened before we had kids and since our first son came along nearly 4 years ago the vans only really been used for trips to North Wales and local shows. Our second son was born 10 months ago and we decided this year we'd have a family holiday in the Devon, and decided to go to Brittany. First job was to fit seatbelts in the rear (one of the reasons we hadnt used it much). After lots and lots of reading I made my own brackets similar to the ones Karl_F made. These were finished just before the Lavenham show, heres a pic I stole of our van at the show.

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Anyway back to our trip, here is a map of roughly the journey we did, in total we covered about 1700 miles including driving around visiting different places.

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we live in Cheshire and we dropped our dogs off at the inlaws house in Lincolnshire and then travelled down to Newhaven where we got the ferry to Dieppe.

Here we are waiting for the ferry, my son Sammy sat up front with me while Laura and my second son Oliver sat in the back

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As you can see it was a tight squeeze fitting everything in!

We arrived in Dieppe at about 11pm and drove approx 30km to an Aire in Saint-Valery-en-Caux, after getting a bit lost it was about midnight when we arrived, we just parked where we could and got some sleep.

The size of our van is rediculous compared to the others at the Aire!

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Saint-Valery-en-Caux is a gorgeous little harbour town, and the local bakery comes to the Aire every morning and had the best Pain au chocolat I've ever had!
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Re: Family holiday to France in our Devon

Post by Lovejoy » Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:15 am

Heres a link to the Aire

http://www.campercontact.com/en/france/ ... g-car.aspx


While I was getting the van ready to leave I met a woman taking her skunk for a walk!

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The first day was mostly spent driving as it was a 400 mile drive to Crac'h near Carnac where we were staying, we mostly stuck to motorways to get there as soon as we could, travelling at about 50-55mph it took quite a while. Ideally we really should have stopped on the way but I didnt realise quite how far it was!

Heres the campsite where we stayed, it was pretty good, especially for kids and had a great swimming pool with slides.

http://www.fort-espagnol.com/en/camping-baden/

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The photos are still uploading so I'll add more when they're done :)
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Re: Family holiday to France in our Devon

Post by Lovejoy » Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:29 am

As im sure you're all aware the Devon has a bed in the middle and a childs bed at the back, great if theres just 3 of you but not very good if theres 4. To overcome this I bought a replica westy hammock to go over the front seats, I wasnt too happy about doing this as its not original and you have to drill holes but as we wanted to use the van for family holidays it was the best solution for fitting us all in.

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We stayed at this campsite for 10 nights, the weather gradually got better and better and we had a wonderful time, the local area is great with a number of towns all within 20 mins drive, our favourite was Locmariaquer, which had a great Bakery!

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Re: Family holiday to France in our Devon

Post by Lovejoy » Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:37 am

The region is well known for it megaliths, the alignments near Carnac were very impressive but very busy. The Grand Menhir Brise, Er-grah and La Table des Marchands at Locmariaquer were equally impressive but pretty quiet which was nice.

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Re: Family holiday to France in our Devon

Post by Lovejoy » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:47 pm

La Trinité-sur-Mer was only a 10 minute drive from our campsite and was very pretty, theres was also a pretty good antique market on one of the days we were there

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Re: Family holiday to France in our Devon

Post by Lovejoy » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:54 pm

There was a Circus on at the local intermache in Crac'h, quite surreal parking in front of a camel!

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After 10 nights we started heading back.

We stayed at a campsite near to Mont St Michael for two nights and had day there. There is a park and ride service for Mont St Michael which has really cool busses, all with wooden panels and both ends are exactly the same as theres not enough room to turn around at the end of the causeway

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Re: Family holiday to France in our Devon

Post by Lovejoy » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:03 pm

From here we headed back to Saint-Valery-en-Caux for one last night, here we went out for a really nice meal and then headed to the ferry the next morning. Im not sure why but there were a few Renault alpines dotted in random areas!

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Saw this lovely old Citroen getting on the ferry.

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And once back in England we headed back to the Inlaws where the dogs had had a great time and Sammy helped wash his Grandads 1930's Morris

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All in we had an amazing two weeks away in the van, it performed faultlessly apart from a slight leak from the oil pressure switch but didnt need topping up with oil once. Everyone seemed to love the van, people either stopped to talk about the van or us leaving the EU! If anyone is thinking about doing a similar holiday I'd totally recommend it, the kids loved it and Sammy keeps asking asking when are we going to France again! It was a tight squeeze though fitting everything in and was a bit annoying having to set up the sleeping areas every night after we'd been out driving for the day. Next year we're thinking about buying an old Eriba Puck, but for now im more than happy with the four of us in the Devon :)
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ScottyN
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Re: Family holiday to France in our Devon

Post by ScottyN » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:40 pm

What a great read! Thanks for sharing.

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Re: Family holiday to France in our Devon

Post by 8 8US » Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:19 pm

Great story, we're off to France in our Devon in a couple of weeks, speak to Steve Maddison and do a write up for the mag for all those members who don't use the forum.
Richard

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Re: Family holiday to France in our Devon

Post by maddison » Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:16 pm

yes ^^^…with your permission, it would be great to use this in the mag ;-)

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Re: Family holiday to France in our Devon

Post by Lovejoy » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:06 pm

8 8us, cheers, have a great time in France, where abouts are you going?

maddison, that would be great if you put it in the mag! I can do a better write up if needed :D

Cheers guys
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Re: Family holiday to France in our Devon

Post by 8 8US » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:13 pm

We're heading for Normandy this time, stop at Moyenville on the way down and then a night in Calais on the way back with 7 nights in Port en Bessin in between, shame I've not got more holiday as we'd have done a bit more travelling, but looking forward to the break.
Richard

1960 Single Cab Pickup “Barny” (resto thread - https://www.ssvc.org.uk/phpbb/viewtopic ... 8&t=122082)
1966 Devon “Hetty”

1980 Brasilia gone :(

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Re: Family holiday to France in our Devon

Post by R32GUY » Fri Jul 29, 2016 6:16 am

An excellent adventure there, credit to you and your family / and your Devon!
We are off to France/Belgium in our Karmann Ghia next week - looking forward to some slow pace Aircooled driving :-)


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Re: Family holiday to France in our Devon

Post by henk » Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:54 am

Always nice to see those holidays/roadtrips in a with a splitbus.

Henk!!!


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Re: Family holiday to France in our Devon

Post by ted698 » Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:58 pm

Great Story & a beautiful Devon! - that's exactly how we used ours whilst our kids were small - one on the engine shelf bed, one in a cab hammock - stayed that way for a few years until they out grew the width of the van - in the awning now....all the room they like!
I actually thought you seemed to travel quite lightly! - no roof rack for start - that's normally full straightaway! LOL

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