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  1. I haven't been on Arran for many years, although as a young child every summer holiday was spent in Brodick; my parents took a house for a month, with my dad returning to Glasgow during the month and in 1974 he returned to us in a brand new Austin Allegro.
  2. On Tuesday Calmac only had one service listed as unaffected by the weather; that service doesn't operate on a Tuesday.
  3. I am booked on Bretagne in June and I'm looking forward to travelling on her rather than Normandie for a change.
  4. We picked up UK radio no problem in my 2012 Zafira B driving from Ouistreham to The Vendee on 24th June 2016. I drove, hubby sat beside me and the kids sat in the back watching films with headphones so we were able to listen to the result of the referendum and its fallout without complaints from the back seat (we had left home too early to vote the previous day so had used postal votes).
  5. The Scottish Government has taken control of Ferguson Marine https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-50637151
  6. I used to work for a funeral director and sadly too many people assume that having a EHIC is sufficient and that everything will run smoothly while they are abroad. Even putting aside that worst case scenario, it's not inconceivable for someone to have an accident resulting in a broken leg which requires them to be repatriated by air. My working life has made me very careful about making sure that we have all necessary insurance in place before we go abroad. In another job, my duties included being fleet manager (I am an accountant who has always worked in industry in small companies so I have picked up some very varied roles over the years). One of our drivers was (unbeknown to me) taking a company vehicle to the Irish Republic for a trade event. A few miles outside Holyhead the gearbox on the vehicle went and the first I knew of his trip was when he phoned me to ask for permission to hire another vehicle to tow the trailer he was taking. He didn't have European breakdown cover or the necessary insurance and had he managed to get across the Irish Sea before the vehicle failed it would have cost the company a lot of money.
  7. We have ended up travelling to France on Normandie in the last few years because we knew which sailing we wanted and Normandie happened to be the ship on that journey. To be honest, it was a bed for the night (we parked up, went to our cabin and went to bed after a 450 mile drive) and we weren't interested in any facilities on board. We previously did day crossings before Premier Inn priced themselves out and we have once been on MSM but mainly on Normandie; travelling with small children Normandie was preferable. Next summer I intend to be on Bretagne to get a full night's sleep, a crossing we had previously avoided due to the distance we are travelling to reach Portsmouth but we could have been on Bretagne last year (MSM is scheduled for the Ouistreham crossing that night so even if Honfleur is in service by then we wouldn't be on her). We have come home on NEX in recent years so have avoided the school parties but we had a particularly horrific day crossing a few years ago where UK school groups had taped off seating on board but the kids then roamed the ship and sat where they wanted so the rest of us couldn't find seats.
  8. I drive a Vauxhall Zafira B which is based on the Astra floorplan but has van-like tendencies in some of its dimensions (the boot lid is huge). We learned many years ago to travel light in what we remove from the car on board a ship (I hit the rear spoiler of my Ford Escort off the bulkhead of one of the Superfast ships on Rosyth-Zeebrugge in 2004 trying to remove a buggy). We always have bikes on the back so the boot is closed in Glasgow and doesn't get opened until we reach The Vendee. The Zafira was bought for its boot capacity rather than the passenger capacity (it avoids the need for a roof box).
  9. On our last few trips to France we have sailed overnight to Ouistreham and always seem to end up on Normandie. They definitely pack the cars in tightly. On one crossing we returned to the car in the morning to find that the car behind me was parked almost against my back bumper which meant my highmount bike carrier was actually over their bonnet.
  10. We go to a campsite near St Gilles Croix de Vie and have only every paid tolls the year we went via Disneyland and experienced the Tunnel because we couldn't make a BF crossing work for us going out (my daughter described the Tunnel as being like a very poor simulation ride). I have contemplated crossing to Le Havre but the tolls and extra fuel more than cancel out the cheaper crossing and the longer sleep.
  11. I definitely agree that Rennes is much easier that Nantes. We have regularly come off the ferry at Ouistreham at 3pm on a Friday, heading for The Vendee and hit both at rush-hour; Rennes is slow but moving while Nantes is at a standstill. At Rennes the satnav always takes us the same way round the peripherique but at Nantes it varies which way it takes us and despite being the quicker option have been the worst bit of the 700 mile drive.
  12. There used to be Motorail from the north to various places on the south coast. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorail_(British_Rail)
  13. Thanks for your replies. The longer crossing is certainly looking very appealing and getting breakfast on board means we could still be in The Vendee for lunch.
  14. Sorry if this is the wrong forum to ask this.I have just about persuaded hubby to allow me to book next summer's holiday and I want to have all my facts straight before we get to the booking stage (we book our crossings via the holiday company rather than directly with BF). In 2001 we had the journey from hell from Glasgow to Portsmouth with a baby. We were holidaying with the in-laws and their drive to Port Solent took 5 hours less than ours did (a coffee stop in the Lake District to let baby out of the car seat cost us that time). Since then we have been reluctant to drive 450 miles to catch an overnight ferry but Premier Inn's unavailability at Port Solent/Cosham on our dates has forced us onto the overnight ferry to Ouistreham (having had the car broken into and ransacked on our way home in 2013 we won't stay overnight anywhere that parking might be an issue). Last year we drove down on the Saturday after school stopped and I was so concerned about the traffic that we left home at 7am, stopping for breakfast at Tebay services (yum!!). In fact the traffic was fine and we were at Gunwharf Quay before 5pm for an evening meal (I had bikes on a high mount carrier on the back of my Vauxhall Zafira so the car park was touch and go - the same bike carrier had me reverse off NEX the previous summer) so we could have been on Bretagne that night. We are looking at a midweek crossing for next summer due to the start of school holidays and our work flexibility. The early arrival at Ouistreham means that we have always had breakfast either close to the port or at an Aire once we have cleared Caen but I am seriously considering booking the St Malo crossing next year to give us a decent night's sleep. How early can we get breakfast on Bretagne?
  15. A friend was on Bretagne last night and it was an interesting night's sleep.
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