Apartment Rental France, U.K. ,Belgium?

Mar 31st, 2011, 09:19 AM
  #1  
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Apartment Rental France, U.K. ,Belgium?

Hello again to all Fodorites!

This time we are planning a 8-10 week stay in Europe for June to early August in 2012. At this time I am trying to plan apartment rentals, and plan the BIG picture. I am going to purchase & sell a car from a friend in France for our use.

June 2-3 weeks in the Lyon area of Southern France to be used as a base for travel.

June-July 2-3 weeks outside of London, where we can use public transportation into London for sightseeing, and as a base for travel in the U.K.

July - August 2-3 weeks possibly Belgium as a base for travel to Amsterdam and Nurburgring Germany.

Here's the big picture, We are sports car people, (me more than my wife). So, I get the 24 hours of Le Mans, Goodwood Festival of Speed and the German F1 race. My wife gets Lyon, Avion, Nice in Southern France, London, Dublin and Amsterdam.

So I need leads to apartment rental companies, one company that had apartments in all my locations would be a plus. We are also flexible as to what cities the apartments are in, as long as the apartment is central to what we want to do.

Thanks,

Wayne
wellison is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 09:40 AM
  #2  
 
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Just a quick comment right now . . .

re your 2-3 weeks outside of London for a base to see London and to travel around. For a base to see London -- the best/easiest place is IN London.

If you want to see some of London -- then consider renting a flat for a week in the city. You won't need the car there of course--but some places do have parking (harder to find but they are out there) Then rent a cottage for a week on the south coast for Goodwood and sightseeing in the area - you'llobviously pay a premium to be near Goodwood that week. Then maybe a week in the Cotswolds (You could take a tour of the Williams complex http://www.williamsf1conferences.com...d-events/tours ).

before folks can recommend properties/agencies -- we need to know your budget. Just because of your itinerary I'm guessing you have a pretty generous budget -- but some agencies specialize in various price ranges.
janisj is online now  
Mar 31st, 2011, 10:08 AM
  #3  
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Response to janisj,

Good question on budget!

We are seasoned travelers and where we sleep is not that big of a deal. Clean simple where we can live on the economy. I prefer to spend my budget doing things. Interesting you should mention the Cotswolds, my wife is bugging me to go there!

The reason to be outside of London is the car! I'll already have it by virtue of starting in France as Le Mans is first. Parking would be a killer and so would flat rentals in central London. We would prefer to not have to pack/unpack to many times but it's all a trade off!
wellison is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 10:21 AM
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depending on how much time you want to spend in London, the priority should be ease of getting into the capital as well as getting to Goodwood. How about somewhere like Brighton? very easy to get into London on the train [loads of trains all day every day], and not too far from Goodwood, loads going on, and very easy to get to other places. also near to Newhaven, which would be convenient for the car ferry to/from France.

in Holland, you might like to think about the same sort of idea eg staying outside Amsterdam in a place with easy access - Harlem immediately springs to mind.

south of france - suggest splitting it into two - somewhere near Avignon for Provence, and near Nice/Cannes for the south. alternatively, pick one, but do a long -weekend/mid-week trip to the other. ok you double up on accommodation costs, but you get more of the being at home somewhere feeling, which in a trip this long could be important.
annhig is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 10:25 AM
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You're going to drive a European car in the UK? A left-side steering wheel while under UK driving rules? Hope you've done that before because otherwise you're asking for trouble.
BigRuss is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 11:34 AM
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Response to Big Russ,

Good point, but I did live in South Africa for 2 years part of the time I hade a left hand drive car. That was when I was much younger (40 years ago), good food for thought.
wellison is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 11:51 AM
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I did drive a LHD car in the UK for a couple months before getting a RHD model (I lived in the UK for about 5 years). It is more difficult to be sure - but not horrible. It wouldn't be my first choice but if you'll already have the car, you could manage.

However - I would recommend not driving a LHD car in city centres (Brighton, Bath, London, Oxford, etc.) Most do have park-and-ride lots on the outskirts so that helps. You park outside of town and take the commute bus into the centre. And ofcourse for London you can take the train into the city
janisj is online now  
Mar 31st, 2011, 12:16 PM
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we drive our RHD car frequently in France [and have done so in Switzerland, Spain, Holland, Germany..we're gluttons for punishment]. so far, so good - we've not hit anything yet.

if you are an experienced driver, you should have no problems after the first five minutes off the ferry, and when you start off in the mornings or after stopping somewhere.

like janisj, i wouldn't recommend driving in london, [that's what's the train's for] but apart from there, you'll be fine.
annhig is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 06:32 PM
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Thanks everyone for the responses, but I was hoping for some apartment (flat) rental sources???

Are people really telling me I need to lock down the specific cities???
wellison is offline  
Apr 1st, 2011, 08:09 AM
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www.vrbo.com
www.homeaway.com Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Apr 1st, 2011, 09:04 AM
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Not sure about using Lyons to see "southern France". Where do yuo actually want to go? The true south isn;t very close - for example, from Lyons to Nice is 4.5 hours - not exactly a day trip.
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 1st, 2011, 09:52 AM
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nytraveler

I was hoping to get some economy of scale by staying in an apartment for 2-3 weeks. That does NOT seem to be the case! Now I am planning on one week per apartment, which is a compromise between pack/unpack and being closer to the regions we want to visit.
wellison is offline  
Apr 1st, 2011, 12:30 PM
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"Good question on budget!

We are seasoned travelers and where we sleep is not that big of a deal. Clean simple where we can live on the economy. I prefer to spend my budget doing things.
"

OK -- but the $/£ number is still missing. In order to give any sort of truly useful suggestions we need to know your budget. But here are some resources to get you started.

Two REALLY good agencies for the general Cotswolds area.

http://www.manorcottages.co.uk/
http://www.cottageinthecountry.co.uk/

This agency manages a few flats in St Katharine's Marina next to the Tower of London. They do have one parking place which is on a first come/first served basis. But since the VAST majority of renters wouldn't have cars, the chances are it would be available most of the time. You could park the first time the space is open and then not move the car until you leave London.

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~hamlet_uk/index.htm

W/ your needs -- I'd stay one week IN London (even w/ a car to park), one week in Hampshire or elsewhere along the south coast, and one week in the Cotswolds.
janisj is online now  

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