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October travel to Northern France--early or late?

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Thanks to previous answers on this forum, my spouse and I are planning an October trip of between two and three weeks to northern France. We want good weather, the ability to "wing it" and not make reservations except for Paris and our first few days in France, and off-season or shoulder season rates if possible. Current plan is to stay just outside Paris--probably Chantilly--and visit Versailles, Chantilly and Rouen from there, then stay in Amboise or thereabout , followed by Dijon or thereabout, and ending in Paris.

We do not generally stay in B&Bs or fancy hotel, and on our last trips--to the UK--we had very good experiences with US and European branded mid-price hotels.

So, my question is would early or late October be better to achieve our objectives? Again, weather is most important, followed by flexibility.

BTW--please don't tell me we need to spend more time in Paris. As indicated, this will be our second visit to Paris, we will see a couple of Paris-related places prior to arriving in Paris so that we won't need to day-trip, and in general we prefer to stay in smaller cities, towns and villages.

Thanks for your help.

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