Bristol To Bordeaux - The Ultimate European Road Trip

Posted on February 08, 2019

Bristol To Bordeaux - The Ultimate European Road Trip #

If you are like me then the sensation of February’s ever slightly milder weather and lighter mornings has awoken the senses and thrown you into a summer holiday planning frenzy. Albeit slightly premature, fantasising about the summer break’s endless potential is forgivable as we are just over five weeks away from spring which before we know it, will land us in the summer months. With weeks of free time at your disposal, there’s nothing quite like hitting the continent and visiting a string of wonderful locations as part of the great European road trip. Even better is doing this in a motorhome vehicle which offers the flexibility, control and home comforts so that you can live like a true continental nomad.

It goes without saying that at Newport caravans we are passionate about the recreational vehicles community and the lifestyles and experiences it generates. Recently our showroom has helped an increasingly large number of customers from Bristol find their perfect motorhome from our extensive used stock. In honour of our cross-bridge expanding popularity, we thought nothing better than to curate the legendary twin cities road trip between Bristol to Bordeaux.

Twin Cities? #

Before we start up the engine it’s time for a crash course in history. Following the second world war, France and England sought to strengthen cultural, educational and civic links with each other in the difficult aftermath of the second world war. Bristol and Bordeaux (both South West cities) became close counterparts and since 1947 have shared educational exchanges, charity support and many other cultural collaborations.

Safety First     #

You are going to be in this journey for the long haul so it’s important to organise your belongings and store them away securely so that they don’t come loose mid journey causing havoc and mess. All kitchen items like cutlery and mugs should be stored away and locked in cupboards whilst all personal items such as clothes should be stowed away.

Water #

Keeping hydrated is a necessity on long journeys and stopping at busy service stations for overpriced water will slow you down and make your wallet lighter. Make sure to keep between 4-5 litres of water for human consumption.

Leisure battery #

As obvious as it sounds, making sure that you pull off the drive with a fully charged leisure battery is essential. Again, this all comes down to being prepared and although the majority of campsites across England and Europe will have an electrical hookup, it’s good to plan for unforeseen circumstances eg. site wide fuse trips or even itinerary delays that see you take refuge in a camping spot without a hookup.  

Check weight  #

Every Motorhome vehicle will have a different load capacity limit under which it is safe to drive. This is known as the payload and it describes the total weight of the vehicle, it’s passengers, and their belongings and supplies. Before you set off, take a quick trip to a weigh station to check that you are not exceeding your vehicle’s prescribed weight. Driving overweight is a big offence and at best can land you with a huge fine and even cause a serious accident and chassis damage.

Eastwards to Dover #

With everything sorted, packed and set to go, it’s time to depart of the first leg of the trip to Dover which is a cross country drive of about four hours from Bristol depending on conditions. Much of this route pretty much comprises the M4 & M25, M26 & M20 but that’s not to say there aren't some great natural spots to spend a night. If you want to go at a leisurely pace then make sure you pull up to one of the many beautiful camp spots nestled amongst the breathtaking Surrey Hills.

Calais to Boulogne-sur-Mare #

Assuming you have survived the choppy seas and the overpowering musk of duty-free perfume shops, you will be eager to get off into France and start exploring. We recommend taking the Western coastal route which goes through some great rural settings stemming from the tip of the “Parc Naturel Régional Des Caps et Marais D'Opale” which offers some very exhilarating hiking and mountain biking trails. There are many superb motorhome campsites to choose from which gives you a huge degree of flexibility to move around the area.  Of course, there is always Boulogne-sur-Mare for its offering of quaint markets, museums and historical buildings.

Amiens to Rouon  #

Next on our list is the city of Amiens which is a one and a half hour drive from Boulogne-sur-Mare. This city is packed full of fascinating landmarks most notably the stunning Cathedrale Notre-Dame d'Amiens which is well worth a visit. For the keen thespians among us, you can also visit a museum dedicated to the life and works of legendary French novelist and playwright Jules Verne.

Moving in a southwesterly direction we arrive at Rouen which sits on the river Seine.  Just beyond the city, there is a vast national park which hugs the river all the way out to the ocean. With plenty of great camping spots close to the river you are sure to have some great views and even the chance to try some watersports!

Paris #

Moving back East you will find yourself in central France on the doorstep of one of the greatest cities on earth. Paris needs no introduction as its museums, food culture, architecture are known across the world. The city is what you make of it and we advise that you lose yourself and take in all the great sites and food the city has to offer. Logistically Paris is a bustling capital so there aren't many centrally located spots to pitch on. The best form of action to see the capital would be to use one of the many motorhome parks on the outskirts and use public transport to access the city. Camping Versailles is located a few miles to the south-east and provides full electric hookup and a very reasonable nightly rate.  

Paris To The Dordogne #

Once you have had enough of Paris it is time to take to the A10 and cruise south to enjoy intermittent stops in cities like Orléans, Tours and the picturesque La Rochelle. Once deep into the Dordogne region, why not drop into Cognac and sign up to the many Cognac tasting classes offered in the historic city. The Dordogne region is famous for its water sports and outdoor activities so you will never be bored! Golf, cycling trains, hiking, canoeing, jet skiing and even parachuting make up a fraction of the things on offer. There is also an abundance of high-spec fully equipped campsites which many say are among the best in the country. Of course, the beautiful city of Bordeaux is within half an hour’s drive from the central Dordogne region and is an experience that caters for all from charming back street cafes to magnificent cathedrals and stunning riverside views.

Used Motorhomes Bristol - Start Planning Your Adventure #

The freedom and flexibility of zig-zagging throughout France at your own leisure and making your own experiences is remarkable and is something no other form of a holiday can offer. If you want to experience your very own European road tip then you’ll be glad to know that getting a good deal on a used motorhome is well within reach! Visit Newport Caravans today to see our extensive list of used motorhomes. Call us today or browse online.