August 2016

Cor! It Aint ‘arf ‘ot Mum.

It was 31ºC and had been much the same for the last few days as we had lazy days on the banks of the Seine. On Tuesday we had a nice breeze from the south which, although warm, kept things comfortable. On Wednesday, it was still, sticky and airless and we kept in the shade as much as possible.

Keeping cool

Keeping cool at La Mailleraye-sur-Seine

We were back at La Mailleraye-sur-Seine and had been there for a week as we could almost live outside and just watch the river and ships drift past. Life on the aire was relaxed and peaceful and unlike some aires the pitches are marked out and well spaced and everyone puts out awnings, tables and chairs. It’s rather like a campsite without the high prices and regulation. If Kate had her way I think we might just stay there for the whole holiday.

It was almost two weeks since we left home to head south to Hastings and the Fairlight Wood Caravan Club site where we had booked in for the weekend. It was our nieces 18th birthday and they were holding a lunch party for family and friends.

Fairlight Wood is tucked away and accessed via a couple of twisty and quite narrow lanes. You wouldn’t want to meet a twin axle car/caravan outfit head-on in the last bit of the lane so keeping to the CC rule of arriving after mid-day is a good idea. The site is small with just 42 pitches and as the name implies it is in woodland which means there are no views and very little satellite reception. We also found there was no terrestrial TV reception, at least on our system, but there are TV points on the bollards. Despite being members our 3 nights cost us £82.20, a cost that seems extortionate when you are used to using aires in France. Our last French one month trip cost us a total of €93 in fees for aires, after conversion to £s it is about the same as one weekend in the UK.

On the Monday morning we left Fairlight and drove across Romney Marsh where we stopped for a long coffee break, before a steady drive to the Eurotunnel terminal. We had plenty of time and hoped they might offer us an earlier train but we were out of luck. Our booked 16.20 crossing was on time though and after arriving in France we just tootled round to Cite Europe (GPS 50.93282° 1.81111°) to spend the night.

Entrance to Cite Europe Aire

Entrance to Cite Europe Aire


How to find the Cite Europe fuel station from the aire, filmed on a previous trip.

The following day, after stocking up with a few essentials at Carrefour and topping up the fuel we headed south to Le Treport and the Aire de Camping-Car (GPS 50.05831° 1.36366°) high up on the cliffs.

Aire at Le Tréport

Le Tréport Aire de Camping-Car

The aire is in two parts, the original part seems to be mainly on grass but a newer surfaced part is next to it and has new services as well as a ticket machine. The cost was €6 per night and water was €2.30 for a fill, paid by credit card. Unfortunately, because of a high bank, there is no real view of the sea from the aire although there are plenty of cliff top walks as well as a funicular which takes you down to the town below if you don’t feel energetic enough to take the steps.


After a quiet and uneventful night we headed further south, around Dieppe, and on to La Mailleraye.

Just a little further south.

Thursday 25th August 2016 and we finally tore ourselves away from La Mailleraye and the lovely River Seine after eight nights there.

On another blisteringly hot day we drove around 75 miles south to the tiny village (hamlet?) of La Madeleine-Bouvet (GPS 48.47098° 0.90208°). Thank goodness for air con in the cab as the chilled air blasted out of the vents and right up my arms.

La Madeleine-Bouvet, Lower Normandy

La Madeleine Bouvet

We arrived in time for a cold beer from the fridge and a late lunch which was eaten on the bank of a lovely lake. This tiny village has a beautiful communal lake which is full of huge fish which we watched leaping from the water to catch flies. The lake has a large parking area to one side with facilities for motorhomes to dump waste and take on water as well as ample free parking. There is a path all around the lake with well mown grassy banks for lounging on, lots of benches for sitting on and stout wooden platforms so that disabled anglers can fish easily. At one side there is a children’s play area and the inevitable boules court. Just how such a small settlement, which has a large church, a bar but no other shops or other businesses as far as we could see, can afford all these facilities is a bit of a mystery. Maybe there is a major benefactor that we are not aware of……….the EU perhaps?

La Madeleine-Bouvet

Whatever, it was a lovely little place to stop for the night, so thank you Benefactor, whoever you are.

La Madeleine Bouvet Aire

The aire at La Madeleine Bouvet


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