Old May 10th, 1999, 11:30 AM
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Hi - Am planning a trip to London and then traveling to the Normandy coast. Would like to rent a car and then take several days to drive through the countryside. Am interested in experiences with Channel crossings, places to rent and return cars, and hotels along the way.
Old May 10th, 1999, 12:47 PM
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Hi Robin, If you want to travel straight to Normandy the best ferries to use are the following:- Hoverspeed who have just restarted the Newhaven Dieppe service, its a fast ferry and takes (I think ) two and half hrs. If you want to travel to a more central part of Normandy there are P&O ferries from Portsmouth to Le Havre and Cherbourg they take about 5-6hrs daytime,(though there is a super fast ferry to Cherbourg in summer which takes 2 3/4 hrs.). Also from Portsmouth Britanny ferries go to Caen and also St Malo in Brittany, have been on P&O and Brittany and they are both good, perhaps Brittany has the edge but that is my personal opinion. I can't help with car hire, we always take our own and as for hotels look at the Logis de France site for some ideas or do a search on Fodors as I remember people recommending hotels in Bayeux fairly recently. If I can help further email me.
Old May 14th, 1999, 12:18 PM
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Thanks, Jan. Am doing some additional research and will have more questions. Will be back in touch. Robin
Old May 14th, 1999, 01:59 PM
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We just returned from driving around France and one of our favorite areas was Normandy. Although I can't help with the channel crossing (we flew from Heathrow to deGaulle) nor where to rent a car in London (we used Autoeurope from Paris and were very happy), I can suggest a hotel for the Normandy beaches area. It is Hotel d'Argouges located in the town of Bayeux. I guess it is more of an inn than a hotel as it has no restaurant. (Breakfast is the only meal served) There are, however, multiple places to eat in town within wallking distance. This a charming place to stay with relatively spacious rooms, great beds and very modern bath facilities. They are members of Relais du Silence and Chateaux-Hotels Independents. We spent two nights there and loved the exposed wormeaten, ancient beams as well as our view of the garden area. The phone number is 02 31 92 88 86 if you are calling from France. From the US it is 33 2 31 92 88 86. One of the accomodations we were most pleased with on the trip. Feel free to email if I can help in any other way. CS
Old May 14th, 1999, 02:07 PM
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Last October, after 2 weeks in Italy we went to London for a few days, and rented a car and went to Normandy for 3 days. This was the second time we took the boat from Dover to Calais, and it is really easy. You can take the car on the boat, and if I remember correctly, the car and 2 passengers was around $70.00. I would reserve and buy tickets though before your planned trip, they are cheaper than just walking up to the window. The boats run every hour, and it takes about an hour and 20 minutes. Leaving or arriving at Dover is beautiful (the White Cliffs of Dover) and Calais, seems more of a real import/export place. After arriving in Calais, and driving west, within an hour you are in the Normandy region. The region itself is beautiful and full of history. My husband wanted to see things related to WWII, which turned out to be very interesting, and I wanted to go to Mont. St. Michel, we both got out wishes, and each enjoyed each others choices immensely. There are many other things to do there, and we will go back and see more. Feel free to write if you need further info.

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