Practical information

Local map with shops etc. Best viewed in full-screen (top right button).

Click on this link for local tide times.
BM = low tide; PM = high tide

The price is for the gite, not per person. It includes electricity, gas, bed-linen and towels (including beach towels), crockery, cutlery, cooker with built-in microwave, fridge, barbecue with fuel, TV / DVD / CD player, portable radio, wi-fi broadband internet access and use of a washing-machine and tumble-drier.

The TV can receive a wide range of English and French channels now that we’ve gone digital. Instructions in the gite. The radio has UK programmes as well as French. Most mobile phones work, but only outside (the walls are very thick!)..

Changeover day: flexible. Ferries midweek are much cheaper.

Check-in time is normally after 2pm and check-out time is 10am, but may be changed by prior arrangement. If you are planning to come on an overnight ferry, please liaise with us and we can come to a convenient arrangement.

Contact: our telephone numbers are 0117-946-7421 (UK) or 00-33-2-33-46-98-02 (France). Messages left on either phone will be responded to within 24 hours.

If we are not in France ourselves, our friend who will look after you is Margaret Britton (00-33-2-31-59-35-54 from a non-French cellphone).

Our e-mail is hendies_bristol@yahoo.com, and is probably the best means of communication.

Legal department:

Though our part of the world is happily and rightly fairly gendarme-free, there are various legal requirements, mostly to do with driving:

a) For your car, bring your ownership document, your insurance policy (check it’s OK for France) and your driving licence. You also need a full kit of spare bulbs, warning triangle, headlamp deflectors etc., all available at the ferry terminals [you don’t need to buy extremely expensive headlamp deflectors: a roll of black or brown tape and a good pair of scissors does the job equally well if you know where to fit them]. You also need (compulsorily) to have bright yellow jackets for all passengers, in case of breakdowns.

b) Be aware that the drink/driving limits are stricter in France than in the UK and they do random testing. It is also now compulsory to have in your car breathalyser testing kits (cheapest at Halford’s).

c) I cannot repeat too many times; beware of PRIORITÉ À DROITE. This may not apply in urban areas or on main roads, but in deepest Normandy this traditional right of way is endemic.

d) You need to have your passport or other means of identification with you at all times.

Ferries:

There is no real time difference in travelling time to La Dehayrie from Cherbourg, Caen or St Malo (or Dinard or Rennes airports); they’re all just under an hour and a half, so it’s a matter of your convenience. Brittany Ferries have a monopoly on the “Western” routes. They are very good but expensive. Check on the Brittany ferries website for times, but ask me for a special code to get a 20% discount.

The most luxurious thing to do is to take the 8.15pm Portsmouth – St Malo ferry, book in immediately for their superb dinner (and not too expensive either), have a cabin overnight and arrive at La Dehayrie at about 10.00am (but see above about check-in time).

If you don’t mind driving, you can save quite a lot of money by taking one of the short routes to France (ie Calais or Boulogne), but it’s then nearly five hours’ drive to deepest Normandy. A halfway house (in both senses) would be to go with the new LD Lines or SDPS ferries from Portsmouth – Le Havre. They go daily at about 11pm and return 5pm (arr. Portsmouth c. 9.30pm). Cheaper than Brittany Ferries but not as cheap as the very short crossings; about 2+ hours’ drive to LD.

Useful links:

www.ldlines.co.uk
www.ferrysavers.com
www.brittany-ferries.co.uk
www.autoroutes.fr
www.holidayfrancedirect.co.uk