Motoring in Northern France
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  • We bought a house in Brittany 18 months ago and spent the previous 2 years driving around France to look at areas and decide where we wanted to buy

    • by Ellen W

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      As someone who has driven around England quite a bit I feel well qualified to comment that driving around France is so much more appealing. Of course France has it made with the advantages of size and population but this is not all that makes driving there more preferable. We bought a house in Brittany 18 months ago and spent the previous 2 years driving around France to look at areas and decide where we wanted to buy. To get to specific areas quickly we kept to the main roads.

      Some of these have a toll, you take a ticket when you join and pay at the booth when you leave. You can pay with cash or a card and it looks like you can even pay by phone, but

      I have not felt the need to look into that. You don’t have to use these roads but they do save time.

      Traveling from Calais to our house in Brittany costs about €22 but when I did a route finder avoiding the toll roads it added 5 hours to the journey time. There is no road tax paid in France so it seems fair that these tolls should be applied and you feel assured that your payment is going to be used for the upkeep of the road you are on. In the towns and villages and even through the countryside the roads are kept well.

      Local taxes go towards the upkeep of these roads and we have always found them to be well maintained and a pleasure to travel ...

      • on. There seems to be a lot of civic pride throughout France. It is tidy, there is no rubbish lying about, road sides are kept trimmed, even on the most deserted of roads and local areas are always well presented with flowers.

        You wont travel far along a main road in France without finding a stopping place, called an aire and these are not just restricted to motorways. They may have a large fuel station, shop and restaurant or they may just have picnic tables and a toilet block. We have always found them to be very welcoming places.

        Sometimes we take a picnic and enjoy the outside surroundings, or if the weather is poor we take advantage of the cover and hot coffee. We have done the journey by

        plane. Although you are not traveling all the time this still takes most of the day and unless you get a really cheap flight it can be more costly.

        By car we have the advantage of our own vehicle for the whole trip. We can go at our own pace, stopping whenever we want. If we have children with us we can motor on when they sleep and stop and play when they are bored.

        We can stretch our legs and go to the toilet when needed. We can carry as much stuff as our car will carry. We could get a ferry to England from a port nearer to our house, but that would mean driving more miles in England.

        For all the reasons I have just explained, we would rather do the driving in France.

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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in May, 2009. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 382505710381031/k2311a0525/5.25.09
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