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France by train?

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Found 9th Jan
I would like to visit France- not Paris . Unfortunately I can't use Eurotunnel (my partner is too scared). Planning to use the ferry and then travel to some country place by train. Any suggestions? Is it really worth it? (during April)
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Eurotunnel is a lot safer than a ferry. You don't even feel it set off. It just goes dark outside for 25 minutes. I think you will find it cheaper and easier to drive than train.
There is a few things to take in to consideration when looking for bargains on French trains, it's worth reading up a bit (This sort of thing).
seat61.com/


TGV are expensive but very fast and comfortable. France is easy to get around by train, but you're not giving much info.
mas9933 m ago

https://www.seat61.com/TGV are expensive but very fast and comfortable. …https://www.seat61.com/TGV are expensive but very fast and comfortable. France is easy to get around by train, but you're not giving much info.


I thought someone would recommend me some nice places in the countryside from their own experience. I was thinking about driving to France but I'm worried about driving on the other side of the road. Isn't it a shock for the driver?
No, as long as you remember that the driver’s side is nearest to the middle of the road you’ll be fine. Your brain gets used to it pretty quickly.
Edited by: "Toptrumpet" 9th Jan
France is HUGE. What parts do you want to visit, do you want beaches, rivers, mountains, snow, hot weather.....?
windym40 m ago

France is HUGE. What parts do you want to visit, do you want beaches, …France is HUGE. What parts do you want to visit, do you want beaches, rivers, mountains, snow, hot weather.....?


We are planning to get the ferry. Once we get to France, should we get a coach instead of train ? Don't mind staying in the northern France , we were looking for a typical countryside with small villages. (We have our holidays in April.)
hemp2 h, 51 m ago

I thought someone would recommend me some nice places in the countryside …I thought someone would recommend me some nice places in the countryside from their own experience. I was thinking about driving to France but I'm worried about driving on the other side of the road. Isn't it a shock for the driver?


Most people get used to it pretty quickly. The point to be careful is junctions on empty roads - if there is plenty of traffic then you can see where everyone else is. The most likely time to get it wrong is turning left (the equiv of turning right in the UK) where you are crossing lanes onto another road.

If you want to stay near the channel ports then lots of Normandy is really nice. April could still be a bit cold so you could head a little further south to Mayenne or Orne.

We usually cross Newhaven to Dieppe. Its a longer crossing than from Dover but frankly the area around calais is a bit shit (not as shit as dover or folkstone mind...)

Lots of nice historic towns/cities, chateaux, great walking/cycling in the forests.

We usually just find a gite in the middle of a nice area and use it as a base for a week of cycling and sightseeing. Late ferry to dieppe, spend friday night in a hotel in dieppe. Get up and drive to destination on Saturday.
Edited by: "mas99" 9th Jan
why is your partner scared of eurotunnel? is it because it goes under the ocean? is it just an irational fear that she has? i assume that your partner is female (apologies if that sounds sexist).

it is not the tunnel that is dangerous, but driving in france that is dangerous as you are in unfamiliar roads and driving on a different side of the road. i have driven in france before but i felt very uncomfortable doing so and it does my head in when i get to a roundabout.

france is definately worth a visit. the ferry is a good way to get over the channel cheaply. there are lots of trains to get you around France very quickly but as someone has already said, it is not cheap. but then again, train travel in the UK is not exactly cheap either.
When I drive in country’s that drive in the right I just keep saying right, right, right to myself fo4 the first five minutes. Then it becomes automatic. The only way you will get used to it is to do it. I have now driven 12k plus miles in Europe and the states without a problem
Le Touquet if you like coastal/beaches and don't want to travel too far. The sea front had a lovely promenade that is really 'Hollywood' to walk along in sunlight or strong moonlight (done both, lovely bars and restaurants as an incentive)
If you like markets go to Montreuil, just off the D901 on a Saturday. It's in a massive square and down all the side streets too. Some real bargains, with genuinely lovely characters manning the stalls - they enjoy haggling and the price stated is just a starting point. This market had been there for many years. One stall sells local glass products, another has massive paella type dishes (about a dozen) that you buy a small dish of freshly prepared traditional French food that is cooked there in the market. We got a couple of loaves of bread, for pots of food and went to a park for a picnic. Pure heaven. The kids talk about it all the time and want to go back again. Soon.
Thanks to everyone for your advice. We have decided to go to Dartmouth in April and we'll try France end of Sept instead. More time for us to google all the mentioned locations.
The Man in Seat 61 is my first place to look for advice on alternatives to flying, anywhere in the world. Inspiring stuff and practical information. Here's his beginner's guide to train travel in France. seat61.com/Fra…htm

Also, just got an email with offers from TGV, so there may be something in there of interest. uk.voyages-sncf.com/en/…c17
Edited by: "aninginaneana" 10th Jan
Its a bit of a schlep if driving or catching the train but would recommend Carcassonne. My wife loved it, was used as the setting for one of her favourite books.
The easier option would be pick up some cheap flights to Barcelona stay there for a couple of days then catch the train to Carcassonne.

Or if they still do it pick up an inter railing pass and see what adventures you can find.
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