Hello, we're planning on driving to the Ecrins (assuming the chaos around Dover subsides) in a couple of weeks time. We're going to stop off at Font on the way there but unsure what to do on the way back as want to break the drive up a bit. We plan on driving maybe 4-5 hours from the Ecrins in an evening, camping somewhere and then doing something - walking/running/possibly even touristy stuff- for a day maybe 3-4 hrs from Calais before then getting the ferry midday the following day. Does anyone have any suggestions? Really open to anything although draw the line at visiting Paris/other cities as that isn't my cup of tea at all. Just thought I'd pick UKC's collective brain.
Macon / chalon is quite nice if you like shopping for wine or vineyards. A couple of times we pulled off the road for a county lunch and sometimes found something amazing. Lyon is quite a nice city but you mentioned you weren't interested in Paris so you probably wouldn't be too interested.
The country between Troyes and St Dizier in Marne is mostly forest park so will afford miles and miles of walking/running in lovely surroundings. Lac du Der Chantoque has a say 30 mile bike ride round it and there are other lakes too. If all else fails and you resort to tourism as we did one damp day St Dizier is nice with a walk to be had on the city walls a la Chester. About 3 or 4 hours from there to Calais.
Nearly 30 years ago we used to regularly stay near Le Saussois. The municipal camp site in Merry Sur Yonne was excellent and the setting is fantastic. Climbing even then was very old school.
Vezelay in Yonne is worth a visit. It's one of the traditional starting points for the Camino de Santiago. The nearby Morvan Parc nationale is a good place for short walks and runs.
La Coupole is just off the A26 outside Calais and is an excellent way to spend a few hours. It's a giant bunker from WWII used for V2 rockets that's now converted into an impressive war museum.
The Somme battlefields (about 2 hours from Calais) - interesting places to visit include the Thiepval Memorial, The Newfoundland Memorial park where there are preserved trenches, the Lochnagar Crater one of the biggest man made craters from the First World War, the Sheffield Memorial park to the Chums Battalions, and lots, lots more, including hundreds of War Cemeteries - the British ones are laid out as beautiful gardens. A great walking and cycling area generally quiet roads and farm tracks reminiscent of the South Downs in places
Recommended book "Walking The Somme" by Paul Read ISBN 0 85052 567 5
Nearer to Calais there is Vimy Ridge (about 1 hour from Calais) with it's magnificent and poignant Canadian War Memorial, and trenches and tunnels a short distance off the Calais motorway.
Would defnitely second this recommendation, beautiful location and excellent climbing. There are many other (mostly limestone) crags in the Burgundy region as well as lots of excellent campsites.
Stop at a shop and buy wine. Lots of wine. In my experience as a general quaffeur of the ruby liquid without pretentions of buffery, a very drinkable bottle costs about 5 times as much in the UK.
> Stop at a shop and buy wine. Lots of wine. In my experience as a general quaffeur of the ruby liquid without pretentions of buffery, a very drinkable bottle costs about 5 times as much in the UK.
Hate to be the bearer of bad news & certainly don’t won’t to hijack the thread into yet another Brexit thread, but you’re only allowed to bring in 24 bottles now.
As already mentioned, macron, crus of Beaujolais & Burgundy Pinot noir are all en route, ideal purchasing locations.
> Hate to be the bearer of bad news & certainly don’t won’t to hijack the thread into yet another Brexit thread, but you’re only allowed to bring in 24 bottles now.
Oh, that's a bit crap. Honestly though, I would be pretty surprised if the police wanted to excavate and count all the bottles in a stuffed campervan to check if you were a couple over. If you had hundreds that would be different (and obvious). I'm sure you could get away with a bottle a week and if you are averaging more than that, it might be worth asking why that is!
> As already mentioned, macron, crus of Beaujolais & Burgundy Pinot noir are all en route, ideal purchasing locations.
Yeah, I didn't read the rest of the thread because I was being lazy!
Just go to Chatel-censoir camp site. Just pre lockdown it was 8 euros a night for 2 peopke and a camper van. Go cragging early befire it is too hot then bacj to campsite and swim in river. Near saussois but other crags about.