Dordogne via London

Jan 22nd, 2006, 04:29 PM
  #1  
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Dordogne via London

Need all the help/advice etc., I can get on this problem. We need to go from San Francisco to London mid April, make an overnight visit near Portsmouth then get to Sarlat in Dordogne. Stay about a week and then return most direct route to San Francisco. Need advice about where/when to rent car, use Chunnel? Fly, etc. Cost is a consideration of course, but so is simplicity since we are approaching "over the hill." Thanks for any help.
EditorAndy is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2006, 05:34 PM
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When we stayed in the Dordogne, friends from Portsmouth joined us there. They flew from Southampton to Bergerac, which I believe is served by the low-cost airline flybe. It's probably the fastest and cheapest way for you to get there. For your return, you're best to take the train to Paris and fly home from there.
laverendrye is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2006, 05:48 PM
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That's exactly the kind of idea I'm hoping for; only problem is we have to get back to Heathrow because of RT flight from there back to states. So, how from Sarlat to Heathrow. Again, thanks to all for the help.
EditorAndy is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2006, 11:30 PM
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There are no flights beetween Bergerac and Heathrow (which, inceasingly, is becoming an extraordinary place for intercontinental flights but not as useful as London's other airports for secondary European destinations).

There are RyanAir flights from Bergerac to London Stansted, but that's pretty much as far from Heathrow as Southampton (in fact without checking, I'd say futher), and as Birmingham (BHX), which also has low-cost flybe flights from Bergerac

The next nearest French airports, Bordeaux and Toulouse, have flights only to Gatwick, and getting the train from Sarlat to CDG (the handiest airport with direct flights to LHR) will certainly be more of a pain than transferring airports within the London area. Gatwick's the easiest airport to transfer to LHR from, but getting to Bordeaux or Toulouse from Sarlat may be very inconvenient and expensive (or not, if it's just a question of dropping a hired car off at a different airport).

There are frequent (though slow and congestion-prone) direct buses from Stansted to LHR. For faster connections to the (usually cheaper) flights from Bergerac to Southampton, train from Southampton airport to Woking, whence bus to Heathrow. Or a direct, roughly hourly, bus from BHX (whose Bergerac flights are also usually a great deal cheaper than Ryanair from Stansted) to LHR.

Access details for Southampton airport at baa.com/southampton. Buses from BHX, LGW and STN to LHR at nationalexpress.com.

The prices of all these flights fluctuate hugely from day to day, vary hugely between airports, and BA's fare policy (much cheaper for return LGW-Toulouse-LGW bookings) is very different from Ryanair's or flybe's, who don't offer discounts for return trips. So you need to cost all the options pretty carefully.
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 06:58 AM
  #5  
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Very, VERY helpful. Any more? Thanks
EditorAndy is offline  
Jan 27th, 2006, 08:24 PM
  #6  
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ttt
EditorAndy is offline  
Jan 27th, 2006, 11:48 PM
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I just played around with the BA site for trips from London to Bordeaux, London to Toulouse and Southampton to Toulouse for 11 April returning 18th (just random April dates). The flights from Southampton seem to go to Manchester, then Gatwick before Toulouse or Bordeaux, take forever and cost about 350 pounds.

Can you get back to London for a flight at about 1.30 pm, getting in either to Bordeaux or Toulouse about 4.30pm. They only cost about 100 to 110 pounds and fly directly between Gatwick and Bordeaux or Toulouse. The only other flights to either place either leave to early (around 6 or 7am) or too late (around 8pm).

If you collected a car at Bordeaux, the michelin map suggests it would take you a bit less than 2hr20 to get to Sarlat via Libourne and Perigieux. From Toulouse, it is about 2hr10. In both cases you spend about 1hr on motorways (are you brave???). To avoid most motorways to Sarlat from either Bordeaux or Toulouse will take about 2hr55 but would be less terrifying - have you driven on a French motorway before?

In all cases, the correct timing of the trip would probably be shorter (at least for Bordeaux, I am not sure of the location of Toulouse Airport vis a vis Sarlat) because I put "bordeaux Airport" and Bordeaux and "toulouse airport" and Toulouse and got options which I could not identify as either airport. I therefore put in the main train station for each place as the starting point. Obviously that means driving through the city which would add time.

Note that to find a route on via michelin without or with minimum time on a motorway, you click "options" at the bottom of the "summary" box when you have keyed in your departure point and destination and searched and then "without tolls". The first recommendation is always the fastest and therefore often involves motorways.

Perhaps someone here can help you can work out which of the options Via Michelin gives for each city is nearest its airport, so you could get a more accurate timing and directions. For Bordeaux, the possible options for the location of the airport are Stade Lescure or Place de Bordeaux (I am assuming the Musee de Beaux Artes is not at the airport). For Toulouse, the starting options other than the station are Stadium Municipal, Avenue de Toulouse and rue Henri de Toulouse Lautrec.

Here is the via michelin site if you want to play around with it to find the details of the trip from the airports

http://www.viamichelin.co.uk/viamich...MaHomePage.htm

One other option - if you can hire a car in Sarlat - is to fly to Bordeaux on the 1.30pmish flight from London and get to Bordeaux train station by taxi for the train to Sarlat that leaves at 6.15pm and arrives in Sarlat at 8.42pm (based on Tuesday 11 April). There is no point in going to Toulouse for this as you would have to take the train to Bordeaux to get to Sarlat. Coming back (based on 18 April) the only feasible train leaves Sarlat at 7.43 am and arrives in Bordeaux at 10.11 so your flight back to London would need to leave at about 11.30am at the earliest. One plus of this option, if you can hire a car in Sarlat, is that on the train trip back to Bordeaux you would be able to see the scenery and that route is one of the most scenic in France, according to my old Thomas Cook timetables and, having taken it twice to and from Sarlat, I can confirm it is attractive. The train is a small "regional" train. For the same reason, since the non-motorway option from Bordeaux to Sarlat seems pretty much to go along a similar route to the railway, I would take that over the non-motorway route from Toulouse.

Here is the sncf site if you want to check train times for specific dates
http://www.voyages-sncf.com/
Faux is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 02:16 AM
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Wow. Now THAT's experience and a great help. I have no problem with French Motorways (did 2000 miles in Andulucia two years ago) and love small lanes and even trains.
If I can afford it I am going to try to get from SFO to London, train to Southampton, fly to Bordeaux or Bergerac and train to Sarlat then rent a car as you suggest. Then returning, all I have to do is get back to London by most direct route.
I am now going online to your suggested sites and see if this "po ole country boy" can figure it out.
I owe you a Cabernet.
EditorAndy is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 03:32 AM
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I use TLS(Toulouse) for my trips to Dordogne area. Why don't you fly back to Paris and on to London (Heathrow) and to US?
gracejoan3 is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 09:23 AM
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Would sarlat via Toulouse be a sensible way to come from Southampton UK? We HAVE to to to Southampton for one day from Heathrow for social obligation...then to Sarlat and then home best way possible.
Thanks
EditorAndy is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 09:46 AM
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Simplicity: train to Southampton, one flight, one drive.

Cost: find out where in France you can fly the cheapest from Southampton. It will probably be a fair-sized city. Rent a car there and drive to Sarlat. Even if it's Paris, the difference in fuel cost won't matter.

Paris is a 4-1/2 hour drive from Sarlat, Lyon is 3-1/2, Bordeaux 2-3/4, Toulouse 2-1/2.

Then find out where the cheapest flights back to London are. Which London airport doesn't matter, because IMO you'd be crazy to fly in and out the same day anyway. It might well turn out that returning the car to Paris and taking the Eurostar is optimal.

Happy linear programming!
Passepartout is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 09:52 AM
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If Southampton to Bergerac, as mentioned, is the best to the Dordogne area then rent the car in Bergerac and return it to TLS and go via CDG to Heathrow for your trip home.....
gracejoan3 is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 11:41 AM
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Any suggestions on airlines/flights from Southampton to Bergerack (or Bordeaux if I have to)?
Thanks
EditorAndy is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 11:50 AM
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See the first reply
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 05:20 PM
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Hi Andy, I had not focussed on the fact that the cheap flights from Southampton (SOU) were to Bergerac (EGC), which is much closer to Sarlat than Bordeaux or Toulouse. There are cheap flights on www.flybe.com - one flight a day from SOU to EGC and the time depends on the day - here are sample flights for 10-12 April and the one-way prices

Mon 10 Apr 2006 Depart 11:40
Arrive 14:15 £ 32.19

Tue 11 Apr 2006 Depart 13:40
Arrive 16:15 £ 32.19

Wed 12 Apr 2006 Depart 11:40
Arrive 14:15 £ 40.19

It appears there are flights between SOU and EGC on Saturdays and the prices vary from one day to the next, with some one way outbound April prices as low as 24.19 pounds and others up to 62.19 pounds. The price does not seem to be dictated by the day of the week.

There are no flights from Bergerac to London by flybe but there is a daily flight back to SOU around my test date 18 April

Mon 17 Apr 2006 Depart 14:45
Arrive 15:15 € 93.56 (62.80 pounds)

Tue 18 Apr 2006 Depart 16:40
Arrive 17:10 € 93.56 (62.80 pounds)

Wed 19 Apr 2006 Depart 14:45
Arrive 15:15 € 61.56 (40.80 pounds)

Note flybe's baggage condidions
Hand baggage - 10kgs in one bag only. Bags must conform to sizes shown or they will be placed in the hold and charges apply. Hold baggage - 25kgs per person- a charge applies. £2 per bag per flight if you book in your baggage and pay for it at the time of booking, or you can pay for your bags at the airport for a cost of £4 per bag per flight.

From SOU, you could take a cab to the station and the train to London. There are plenty of trains taking about 1hr20 (this search using the National Rail site's Journey Planner relates to trains around 4pm http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/

Southampton to London
Outward Journey on Tue 18 Apr 2006
Option 1 2 3 4 5
Depart 16:00 16:15 16:30 17:00 17:15
Arrive 17:20 17:37 17:50 18:22 18:44
Duration 1:20 1:22 1:20 1:22 1:29
Changes 0 1 0 0 1

Given that you can drive from from Sarlat to Bergerac by the scenic route in 1hr22 (per Via Mich) and the muchj lower prices than BA's from Bordeaux to London, you should fly back EGC to SOU and take the train to London and stay a night in London. Bergerac is one of the stops on the Bordeaux to Sarlat line so you would have the choice of hiring a car in either of those towns, although, of course, dropping the car at the airport on the way back makes you much more flexible.
Faux is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 05:33 PM
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Sorry, typo above, there are NO flights between SOU and EGC on Saturdays
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