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Re: Travelling to the Creuse
by moses • Fri 13 Jun 2008 00:11

we go newhaven-dieppe then through rouen deux chartres have got lost a few times in rouen always seems to be the home journey and we always go straight to the house.
have done portsmouth to le havre but i dont like it as i have trouble sleeping on ferries and it's a longer crossing.
also have tried dover calais but it seems a very long drive in france.
best regards
anthony

moses
196
Aug 2006
Re: Travelling to the Creuse
by Annik • Fri 13 Jun 2008 00:16

Rouen is notoriously hard to get through. It once took us an hour and we had a sat-nav, but it was confused too! I really loathe Rouen, even though we have started to stay the night there and are now a bit more familiar with it. I think there must be something fundamentally wrong with the signing (like in Derby and Nottingham!). We have various friends who have a phobia about it.

Annik

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Annik
1246
Jun 2007
Re: Travelling to the Creuse
by Mikeovers • Fri 13 Jun 2008 00:39

I know that for a lot of people the car is the only viable way to get to La Creuse, household goods, pets, DIY things, etc are not possible on public transport. But, if you are just travelling to and from UK to Creuse or vice versa, without a lot of surplus luggage, the train is the only way to go!

I am going to the UK at the end of July to bring our grandson down for a week with "Nana & Papa Mike", and Jan will take him back and spend a few weeks with the kids in August. It's a pleasant, relaxed journey, I usually make some filled rolls, take a couple of small carafes of red wine, buy a "Guardian" in Austerlitz, and, Bingo, before I know it, I'm on my way down the Golden Valley to Stroud.

If you don't like the idea of the Paris metro, or silly taxi fares, there is a TGV service from La Souterraine direct to Lille Europe at 08:13 each day, and it's only 1hr 15min to St Pancras from Lille. This train also stops in Juvisy, for connections to the West and also Versailles, Marne le Vallee for Disneyland, and Aeroporte CDG, for trains to Strasbourg, Frankfurt & Cologne.

Let the train take the strain, as BR used to say before it was given away!! Here's a summary of a trip:

Mike & Toms Itinery

Wednesday 30th July
Mike goes to England

Depart La Souterraine: 07:25
Arrive Paris Austerlitz: 09:58

Depart Paris Nord: 12.13
Arrive London St Pancras: 13.28

Depart London Paddington: 15.48
Arrive Stroud: 17.22

Wednesday 6th August
Mike & Tom return to France

Depart Stroud: 10.08
Arrive London Paddington: 12:02

Depart London St Pancras: 13.32
Arrive Paris Nord: 16.47

Depart Paris Austerlitz: 18.30
Arrive La Souterraine: 21:16

Kind Regards, Mike

Mikeovers
44
Nov 2004
Re: Travelling to the Creuse
by Isabel • Fri 13 Jun 2008 08:36

Very interesting - thanks for sharing that. The length of the journey is less than I would have thought. This could be another option for guests that come to visit us. (We always have things to bring in the car at the moment). Would you mind saying what the cost is please?

Isabel

Isabel
36
Nov 2007
Re: Travelling to the Creuse
by David_J • Fri 13 Jun 2008 09:29

Hi Mikeovers
Very interesting. My carless son visits us out here and has both flown and coached it to Limoges but would like to try the train. Can you let me know where you got your information about the TGV service between Lille and La Souteraine?
thanks
David_J

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David_J
230
Aug 2006
Re: Travelling to the Creuse
by Mikeovers • Fri 13 Jun 2008 12:02

Hi David,
the best info on train times and connections in Europe is the Trenitalia site,which uses the HAFAS search engine.

The SNCF sites are not to easy to use, so are best avoided, and for train times in the UK, the First Great Western site is good.

Isabel,
the journey times I quoted are for a fairly relaxed trip. I have reached a point in my life where frenetic is just a word in the dictionary, but in fact, if you got your skates on and are prepared to risk tight connection times, it is possible to catch the 06.35 train from la Souterraine, and be in London around 11.30. You could have long lunch with friends or family, and still be back in la Souterraine by 22.45, but what a day!! As to costs, much depends on what date & times you choose. Train fares in France are constant, but Eurostar is notorious for hiking up prices on popular trains. Bookings for trains in France & Eurostar open 90 days in advance, so it pays to be organised well ahead. I have a SNCF Carte Senior, so I get 50% discount, but I think a full fare return to Paris from la Souterraine is around €64.00. On Eurostar, reckon around €75.00 return if you book early, no ticket change or refunds 2nd class, as much as £350 return Business class, late bookings. Take your pick!! I forgot to say that reservations are compulsory on all but local trains in France, and on all International trains

I have been a closet railway enthusiast all my life, but I decided to come out when we moved to France! Limousin is a fantastic place to live, but you can catch a train to anywhere in Europe from a lot of local stations, for example, there is a sleeper/couchette service to Barcelona everyday at 23.56, arrives in Barcelona Sants station at 08.34. Or you could go to Geneva, via Lyon, and then take the "Cisalpina" to Milan, which goes along the shores of Lake Geneva to Lausanne, across the Alps and down to Domodossola, around the shore of Lake Maggiore, ending in Milano Centrale.If you enjoy train travel, this is a trip to take before you die!
Bon Voyage,
Mike

Mikeovers
44
Nov 2004
Re: Travelling to the Creuse
by emandem • Fri 13 Jun 2008 16:07

About Rouen - we think we've got it sorted so -not showing off but trying to help- I'll attach our directions.(No-I can't.Why?)
Approach on A28 Dual carriageway.A mile after tunnel take right-hand slip road signed Dieppe / Le Havre.
At end of slip road move to left lane at traffic lights.
Look and see the road to the left of large 2-spired church which is facing you across the dual carriageway.Take that - signed Evreux, Vernon. Get in right hand lane for the N15(D6015) for Evreux.
With luck the Seine will soon be on your right!
On your return through Elbeuf etc you'll see a large Calais sign. Just follow that route.

emandem
40
Dec 2006
Re: Travelling to the Creuse
by FionaFrance • Fri 13 Jun 2008 16:53

Mike what a mine of useful information you are! We'd love to do the trip by train one of these days and as you've quoted times to Stroud which is pretty much in our neck of the woods, I can see it's easily do-able.

The only drawback is that we need a car in France, being pretty isolated, so hire would be an extra cost - still, how lovely to sit on a train and watch the French countryside pass by instead of spending hours staring down an autoroute! We could even stop in Paris ...

And as for taking off for Barcelona on a train - well, I'm already trying to work out when we do could that trip!

As for Rouen, thanks emandem - I'll print that out and stick it to the dashboard. Relieved to know that it wasn't just us who have been fooled by the disappearing road signs! And if Annik's sat nav was flummoxed too I feel better about it all :lol:

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FionaFrance
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Oct 2007
Re: Travelling to the Creuse
by Mikeovers • Fri 13 Jun 2008 17:28

Thanks FionaFrance,
I should have said that the 23.56 train to Barcelona is from Limoges Benedictins station, and that you can also get to Geneva by going via Paris Gare de Lyon as well, with fewer changes. I'll try & attach a picture of the Cisalpina alongside Lake Maggiore, but not sure if it will work!
Cheers, Mike

Mikeovers
44
Nov 2004
Re: Travelling to the Creuse
by Ann-et-Steve • Fri 13 Jun 2008 23:17

Hi,

I could be wrong about this, but I understand that there is a 'promotional' price for the new rail service from Paris to the Creuse, say to La Souterraine, of 22 euros. I think that the 'promotion' is for 3 years.

Steve.

Ann-et-Steve
39
Mar 2008
Re: Travelling to the Creuse
by Mikeovers • Fri 13 Jun 2008 23:52

Hi Steve,
my guess, and it's only a guess, is that this promotional price is for the direct service to & from Lille Europe to Limousin. It started in December 2007, and will be reviewed regularly to check demand. To the best of my knowledge, there are no new services between Paris & La Souterraine, although there have been some minor changes to the timetables recently, and if you have more detailed info, I'd like to know, even with the oldies card, €22 sounds like a good deal to me
Regards , Mike

Mikeovers
44
Nov 2004
Re: Travelling to the Creuse
by louloutanner • Sat 26 Jul 2008 16:21

As a visitor rather than a permanent resident I'm always looking into money/time saving ways of getting to Creuse from Calais.
Some of the ideas I have been looking at are:
1. Collecting Tesco Cubcard points towards Euro Tunnel tickets.
2. P&O are having a sale at the moment with £25 crossings (but they appear to be very early ferries). You can also buy season tickets at a reasonable rate.
3. Using Airmiles for ferry crossings and the Eurotunnel.
4. Getting a smartbox to go through toll booths faster.
5. Going round Paris clockwise and travelling out of the rushhour.

Any top tips out there?
Said Creusebear
I don't know if this will be of any use to you but rather than going from Calais, we always travel from Dover to Dunkerque and you can book 5 multi trip crossings, which are valid for one year for £220.00. It then takes approx 6 1/2
hour to get to the Creuse

louloutanner
9
Apr 2008
Re: Travelling to the Creuse
by moses • Sat 26 Jul 2008 16:25

thats a really good deal,
we always go newhaven to dieppe whats the trip down like from calais as we have always gone for shortest in france travel time.
have loads to do over the winter so i might look into that which company is it with.
thanks
anthony

moses
196
Aug 2006
Re: Travelling to the Creuse
by francis • Sat 26 Jul 2008 16:56

Dover to Dunkerque is with Norfolk Line.

francis
19
Nov 2007
Re: Travelling to the Creuse
by alldown • Sat 26 Jul 2008 16:58

As this topic seems to have come to the fore again I thought I would update everybody regarding the tesco deals (I promise I do not have shares in the company just, what seem lately, huge shopping bills!)

My daughter put me on to the idea of taking out a tesco credit card.

We have always cleared our credit card every month but use it a great deal of the time for convenience. By using our tesco credit card (we both share the account) we get loyalty points on every transaction no matter who we are paying

We use it for food shopping, petrol, insurance, dental/optician bills. Everything. As my husband works for himself he even thought about paying his suppliers with the card but unfortunately they then put on a 2 1/2% premium which is more than the value of the loyalty points turned to deals :(

Even so the next time we are out to France will be our 7th free trip and we have worked out that we have enough money off vouchers for 3-4 trips for the next 2 years even if we stopped shopping in tesco’s or using the credit card.

Gill

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alldown
253
Sep 2005
Re: Travelling to the Creuse
by moses • Sat 26 Jul 2008 18:08

thanks francis, will look into tesco card idea allsdown as they say every little helps.
anthony

moses
196
Aug 2006
Re: Travelling to the Creuse
by beetle • Wed 24 Sep 2008 20:44

We stopped at Rouen on our last trip.
The town is most interesting to visit, good pavement resturants in the square.
Which is also where 'Joan of Arc ' was burnt at the stake and there is a very unusual biulding there in memorium to the event.
Shopping is good and the cathederal is worth a visit. Events are also scheduled in the summer.
We used the local railway link with Paris (one and a half hour journey time) caught the six o'clock train visited the Louvre, Notre Dame, and the Pompidu Centre, back in Rouen for eight.
French trains leave on time! We had three minutes to spare on the return trip. When you get to the station, assuming you already have a ticket, you must validate the it before getting on or face a fine and record of offence. We know because the inspectors caught three people seated in front of us without tickets(well they had old ones but that did not fool him for one second)
We bought rail tickets through Rail Europe and booked the Kyria hotel (reasonably priced, plus within easy walking distance of town center and railway atation) all on the Web.

P.S. Ikea are opening a new store in Rouen end November 2008

If you never find what you seek, you never wanted it badly enough in the first place.
beetle
147
Dec 2007
Re: Travelling to the Creuse
by Creusebear • Tue 28 Oct 2008 14:14

We have just come back the Rouen way and I can see the attraction. Takes about the same time but less toll charges and a more varied journey. I'm thinking of getting a Liber-T box for the car - any pros or cons?

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Creusebear
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May 2007
Re: Travelling to the Creuse
by Annik • Tue 28 Oct 2008 18:35

We had a Liber-T box for one season about five years ago but found it was more trouble than it was worth, as we had a Seat Alhambra with a roof box on top and it was too high to go through the special Liber-T lane in the péage toll booths.

It didn't really cut down the amount of time we spent at the toll booths as over the years we have only ever had one really long wait - on a public holiday, at the big set of booths near Paris (can't remember the name off-hand).

We also naively expected that it would provide us with a bargain price for using the Liber-T lane, but not only was there no discount, we actually had to pay a fee for the privilege of using it!

Things may have changed 5 years on, though.

We too use the Rouen route from the Channel Tunnel, in fact we stay at Rouen and break the journey at a Campanile hotel there. We always used to come via Evreux, Dreux and Chartres when we took the Portsmouth-Le Havre ferry, then we switched to coming via Amiens and Paris when we started to use the Tunnel (for the dogs' sake), and now we are thoroughly fed up of the Paris route, which is also expensive, and prefer the Rouen way. But Rouen itself is a pig without a sat-nav.

Annik

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Annik
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Jun 2007
Re: Travelling to the Creuse
by Lynn • Thu 30 Oct 2008 10:47

We pay 1.99 euros per month for any month when we use the Liber-T and find it very useful to avoid the queues at the toll booths, no hunting for money and if you are travelling alone in a right hand drive car, no running around the car to pay either!!
Lynn

Lynn
321
Apr 2008
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