Thursday, 31 July 2014

Day 12 – Back in Blighty – 31st July 2014


We left Montreil–Sur–Mer and headed back to the Chunnel. We checked in and cleared passport control, followed our assigned lane and went to the parking area. The board advised us that there “had been an incident and trains were delayed”. Had a quick mooch round the terminal which had a Burger King, shops and Duty Free. The “incident” was quickly resolved and we were called to embark and departed on time. The journey back under the Channel seemed quicker than ever. Soon we were back on home ground.

We had decided to break our journey (extend our holiday) with a trip to Duxford Imperial War Museum. We arrived at lunchtime and parked easily (didn’t see any allocated motorhome spaces but as the car park was not too busy we took 2 spaces).


This museum is definitely worth a visit and has something for everyone. It is a former RAF station. The historic buildings on the site have been preserved  and new modern buildings added to house this extensive collection.

The first building you enter is vast and has a huge collection of aircraft including a Lancaster, Spitfire and Vulcan Bomber – many cleverly suspended from the ceiling. It also has an interactive gallery which the kids love. Concorde is here and you can go inside this and other aircraft throughout the museum. There is also an Airborne Assault exhibition in this building.

We then went outside. We were lucky it was another sunny day. (If visiting on a rainy day, pack your poncho as the buildings have quite a walk in between). We were able to watch as airplanes took off and landed on this runway. You can also take pleasure flights in vintage aircraft. There are also more aeroplanes outside that you can go into and have a look at the cockpit and interiors.

We enjoyed looking around the other 6 buildings which housed aircraft and exhibitions featuring Air & Sea, Battle of Britain, Land Warfare & American Air Museum. In the Land Warfare museum we saw the original Montys!

31_07_2014-14_52_13-3559Duxford air iwm  31_07_2014-14_50_31-3557Duxford air iwm

31_07_2014-14_55_56-3566Duxford air iwm


The orignal Monty the Motorhome, uses by Field Marshal Montgomery.

These were the “Montgomery Caravans” used by Field Marshal Montgomery, 3 vehicles which were used for his office, map room and bedroom. His bedroom vehicle even had a little bath! There was also a tank called Monty.

31_07_2014-14_46_20-3553Duxford air iwm

Ideally you would spend a whole day here as there is so much to see. Having had a wonderful afternoon we made our purchases from the extensive gift shop and headed off towards Grafham Water Caravan Club Site.

01_08_2014-08_40_52-3567 Huntingdon CC

01_08_2014-08_41_12-3568 Huntingdon CC

A little while into the journey the sky darkened and as we arrived at the site the rain was torrential! We made a dash for the site office and booked in. It is a pretty little site with a separate  tent field. It also has an outside heated swimming pool! By now we were very hungry and sadly the mobile fish and chip van wasn’t due until the following evening. We had passed an Indian restaurant on the way to the site and as the thunderstorm had now passed we decided to set off on foot. It was about a 3/4 mile walk to the Cinnamon restaurant  - Website - which was in the nearby village (it looked as if it used be the village pub). The staff were really welcoming and we had arrived  on “Special Banquet Night”. This is every Thursday - 1 Starter, 1 Main Dish, 1 Side Dish, Any Rice or Any Nan all for £12.50 per person. The food was fabulous and really good sized portions. Totally stuffed we walked back to the site and despite the odd rumble of distant thunder, the rain held off and we settled down for the night.

It had been a wonderful holiday and despite stretching it with an extra night down south, it had now come to an end.


Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Day 11 – Wednesday 30th July – Mont St Michel

saint anne beach 1a

saint anne beach 2

saint anne beach 3

Aargh! Getting up at 6.30 was a bit of a killer. We ate our breakfast, came off the ramps and sadly left Al Kleguer. (Having made a quick detour for a photo in front of Saint Anne’s beach).

30_07_2014-11_30_42-3497Mont St Michael

Having  seen  Mont  Saint-Michel briefly on our journey we had decided to visit there on our way back. The beginning of the journey was a little overcast but by the time we were approaching Mont Saint-Michel it had turned into another lovely, hot, sunny day.

Approach to Mont Saint-Michel aire and parking area

Mont Saint-Michel is an abbey and a surrounding town built on a rock in the sea. It is so impressive to see. Originally it was just a tomb on a hill where Christians went to live in solitude and poverty. Legend has it that one night in 708, Bishop Aubert was visited by Saint Michael who ordered him to make the Mont into a shrine to him. Later it became a Benedictine abbey. Pilgrims began to flock there and taverns and hostelries formed in the village at the foot of the abbey. There is too much history to list here so skip forward over a thousand years during which time it had also been a prison. In 1874 the Mont was listed as an historic monument. It was then carefully restored to its original purpose as a spiritual centre.

30_07_2014-11_31_25-3499Mont St Michael

Major engineering works are now underway to return the Mont to its island status. Vehicles no longer have access to the causeway. A barrier directs everyone into huge car parks. We were then directed to 8 which is for motorhomes.  You took a ticket as you pulled through the barriers. This parking costs 20 euros and 60 centimes but it was for 24 hours so served as an aire if we had had the time to stay longer. You were then advised to take your ticket with you to pay at the machines at the end.


30_07_2014-11_34_53-3508Mont St Michael

If you have a dog with you (or if you would just prefer to walk) there is a footbridge which takes about 40 mins. We joined the queue for the shuttle bus . The queue  moved quickly. The shuttle buses were very modern.  They had a drivers cab at each end so there was no need to turn around – the driver just walked to the other end and we were off!

30_07_2014-10_13_02-3482Mont St Michael

 30_07_2014-10_11_32-3480Mont St Michael

30_07_2014-10_15_01-3484Mont St Michael

After disembarking we walked in and up the main street. It is quite narrow and was very busy.

 30_07_2014-09_59_14-3478Mont St Michael30_07_2014-09_59_28-3479Mont St Michael

There were shops and restaurants on either side and even a hotel. It was fabulous! The history was palpable. We made our way up an climbed the steps towards the Abbey and enjoyed the view from the North Tower. Sadly we didn’t have time to go inside the Abbey. We bought a few souvenirs and made our way back down.

30_07_2014-10_32_17-3487Mont St Michael 30_07_2014-10_32_03-3486Mont St Michael

30_07_2014-10_31_50-3485Mont St Michael We resolved to go back (at a time out of season so hopefully less busy) and spend much more time there. We took the Shuttle bus back to the car park.

A couple of people in front of us were having trouble paying with a credit card. We paid with cash and had no trouble. With the ticket now validated we exited the car park and set off again.

We were headed to Montreuil Sur Mer to break the journey and stay on a free overnight aire in the town.  After approximately another 5 hours of driving we arrived in Montreuil Sur Mer. IMAG0657The aire was signed and was a car park just off a residential street behind a bowling club. It had a service point with water, waste water disposal and even electric (2 euros for a 50 min charge). There were two other motorhomes already there. It had a toilet and urinals.

Approach to Montreuil Sur Mer aire

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Look around at the aire

The toilet was fairly clean and modern. When you were in there there was a button to press which locked the door, kept the internal light on and illuminated the occupied light on outside. After washing your hands, you pressed the button to exit and the toilet automatically flushed.



We made the short walk into town. It had a central square with a fountain and statue. A large mobile theatre tent had been set up in the square. This was for performances of Les Miserables although it wasn’t showing  on the night we were there (probably just as well as the aire was to be used as car parking for it). It was a nice, pretty town with various restaurants, cafes and bars around the square. We chose to eat outside at Le Bistrot.




The food was excellent – yummy french onion soup to start, followed by lamb for madame and pork medallions for monsieur. It was tasty, authentic french cuisine with decent portions and the staff were friendly too.

After eating we went back to Monty to find another two motorhomes had arrived. We settled down for an early night.


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Day 10 - Tuesday 29th July - Our Last day



After yesterdays showers we were back to blue skies and blazing sunshine. We got up a little earlier than we had become accustomed to and after a quick breakfast, headed into town. Today was market day! It was much bigger than we had expected. All the traffic had been stopped entering the town and the whole length of the high street, the centre of town and a few side streets as well were covered with stalls. It was a really nice, bustling market. At the top of the market there were food stalls – fruit & veg, meats, seafood, breads, meats, colourful spices as well as ready to eat stalls with paella, noodles and hog roast.



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Market day in St Pol de Leon






After our market visit we headed to the creperie by the beach. We decided to try the gallettes (savoury pancakes) and followed this with a sweet crepe.

28_07_2014-19_43_12-3335Plage sainte anne

28_07_2014-19_44_27-3336Plage sainte anne

Our time at Al Kleguer was drawing to a close and we were due to leave in the morning. We spent time in the pool and then went down to the beach for the last time.


Whilst the tide was out I decided to walk as far out as possible.

panorama from bay towards ar klegeur

Panorama – Looking at St Annes Plage from out in the bay after the tide had gone out.  Where I am stood is under water when the tide is in!

29_07_2014-13_58_31-3425TideOut PlageStAnne

To the left is St Annes Plage,  in the middle is Ar Kleguer and to the right is La Greve du Man bay.

29_07_2014-13_58_13-3424TideOut PlageStAnne

Roscoff port, just a short distance away. Brittany ferry in the harbour.


Video 360 of the bay while the tide is out

 29_07_2014-14_19_51-3448TideOut PlageStAnne

29_07_2014-14_20_45-3450TideOut PlageStAnne

That night’s entertainment was a disco in the bar – mainly attended by the youngsters at the camp. We packed away the gazebo and organized everything inside Monty ready for our travels in the morning. Then despite the disco we headed to bed for an early night.