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Etretat municipal and Le Tréport municipal, reviewed October 2021

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    Etretat municipal and Le Tréport municipal, reviewed October 2021

    Both these sites are conveniently located for a stopover the night before or after a Channel crossing. I stayed at them earlier this month and I thought up to date reviews might be useful for people aiming to do France again next year after the enforced long break.

    ETRETAT
    I emailed the week before I planned to arrive and very promptly received a very curt reply saying "We don't take bookings". Didn't sound too welcoming so I noted down a couple of alternatives, but when I arrived at the campsite they were perfectly friendly and they had space and all was well.
    It's a fairly small campsite, all grass, and it looks a wee bit random because pitches aren't hedged in or separated in any way, they are marked simply out by small marker pegs with numbers on them. You are given a site plan and if you take a few moments to study it the layout fairly obvious, but one tent near me had misinterpreted the marker post and pitched up in what (I am fairly sure) was supposed to be the access road between two rows of pitches. Easy done, I also had to scratch my head for a while to decide which side of my marker post was actually my pitch, and it didn't matter because a lot of the pitches were empty so it was easy enough to drive round the tent. And I suppose that if more of the pitches were occupied, it would be more obvious where the access roads are supposed to be.

    The hookup points and water points were conveniently place and the sanitary block was a perfectly adequate, if a little tired-looking.

    The site's location is ideal, very easy to find on the main road into the town and a short easy walk from the centre and the beaches. Etretat's big feature is the arches in the cliffs both sides of the beach. You can walk along the cliff tops and the views are stunning. The town itself is small and attractive, if touristy, with lots of gift shops and lots of restaurants. Also a rather good fish and chip shop!

    I had never been to Etretat before - it's only a couple of hours' drive from where I live and has been on my bucket list for many years, I'd kept planning to go and then either something cropped up or the weather turned foul - and I wasn't disappointed. The campsite was at the top end of the price range but for a tourist hotspot that is only to be expected. Lovely little town, good features and nice convenient friendly little campsite, I would go back there for sure.

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    LE TREPORT
    I emailed this campsite at the same time as I emailed the one at Etretat and received no reply whatsoever, so I assumed they didn't take bookings either. Was rather taken aback when I heard the receptionist telling the lady in front of me in the queue that normally they only accept people who have booked. The lady in question seemed to have been sent in to ask the prices before checking in and she didn't have her handbag with her so wasn't able to book and pay on the spot, and the receptionist refused to let her make an advance booking for later the same day or even to hold a pitch until she came back in half an hour, so the poor soul left looking frustrated. I was next and got the same spiel about had I booked, and I said Well I sent you an email last week but I didn't get a reply, to which the receptionist said In that case you haven't got a booking. I was tempted to pick an argument over that but decided it would be better poilcy to bite my tongue and grovel, and in the end she did condescend to let me have a pitch. So it didn't start well, to be fair the site was quite full but there were at least half a dozen pitches free. Hopefully the lady in front of me who was sent away empty handed also got one, if she still wanted one.

    It's a fairly big campsite, with an area of bungalows first and the pitches beyond that. Again I found the layout a little chaotic. The pitches are partially but not fully separated, with hedges down the sides but not at the back, and they're arranged in clusters of six or so, with one tower thingy with hookups and water points per cluster. My pitch was at the outside edge of a cluster, and the hookup point was too far away for the only cable I had with me, so I had to faff around plugging my 13-amp domestic socket jobbie into the hookup point, and my hookup cable into that via an adaptor. Another irritation was that the people on the pitch between me and the tower had in my opinion encroached a fair way onto my pitch. Assuming that the gap in the hedges at the side was meant to mark the division between the two pitches, they had pretty much filled theirs with a large motorhome plus a dining table and chairs and sunloungers, and then they had a trailer and a quad bike which appeared to me to be on the back section of my pitch because they were forward of the gap in the side hedges. Not that GAL needed all of the pitch, but having to park fairly far forward meant we were further way from the power tower, which was at the back of their pitch, and even using all my extension cables it still only just reached. The owners of the encroaching trailer watched with interest from their sunloungers to see whether my cables would stretch past their trailer or not, then when I had it all plugged in and working and had just got a plastic carrier bag out to wrap round the connections to protect them from damp, the chap helpfully shouted out that I must find a plastic bag or something to protect the connection from damp. Grrrr.

    Despite the site being more than three quarters full, with at a guess between 30 and 40 pitches occupied, only two toilets and one shower were available; the rest were all closed off, ostensibly due to Covid restrictions but I suspect more to save the bother of having to clean them. I did have to wait once for the toilets once, but not for the shower which was probably because I had an early start to get to Calais.

    The town centre is within walking distance but it probably takes a good half hour to 40 minutes.There have been changes and modernisations since my last visit, which is a good thing of course but I have to admit that to me, it's lost a little of its charm. When I had the Hymer I used to stop at Le Tréport regularly, but always on the aire de camping car where an attendant used to come round each evening and collect a couple of euros from you, and I haven't been for a good six or seven years. The aire de camping car itself has also been refurbished it's all hi tec now with an automatic pay station and an electronic sign telling you how many vacant spaces there are. From memory it now charges well over 10€, I can't remember the exact price but I remember thinking that it wasn't a lot less than the campsite. However it obviously isn't putting people off because the sign by the barrier was showing 0 vacant spaces, and camping cars were parking outside in the layby and up the road. There's a snack bar/restaurant just outside the entrance to the campsite which I didn't patronise but I think a lot of the campers did, as there seemed to be very few vans with lights on in the evening. You probably have to book your table in advance there as well.

    I stayed one night and am not wildly keen to go back. I got chatting to a nice lady who had been sent over by her husband, who used to be a mechanic, to ask if she could take some pictures of GAL and find out a bit about her, what year she was and how many miles she had done and was she petrol and diesel and who had converted her etc because her husband was curious, and we got chatting and she said they live in Arras, which isn't far away, and the campsite is open all year round and they very often come for weekends. Thinking about it, I got the feeling that that is the campsite's raison d'être, out of season; it is for its regulars who probably have their favourite pitch that they book for a long weekend on a regular basis and eat at the restaurant every night and meet up with the other regular visitors, rather than passing trade. The ambiance was not quite the usual friendly campsite ambiance where everyone talks to everyone else. In the evening it felt strangely deserted in spite of all the occupied pitches, and there was no sign of anybody else in the washing up area at the time when usually there are people washing up after dinner. But, very likely that is just out of season and it is different in the summer months. Prices at the top end again, even out of season.

    However it should be said that the drive from there to Calais was grand; I set my GPS to find a green route and it took me through little villages and along country lanes, sometimes with sea views, all as pleasant and relaxing as you could wish for, and just when I was thinking "I hope there's a fuel station soon because I'm only around 20km from the tunnel and I want a full tank when I get back in the UK", magically an Intermarché appeared right in front of me. So from the point of view of easy access to Eurotunnel, the site served its purpose perfectly.









    Last edited by Voyageuse; 16-10-2021, 18:28.
    Away with the Fairies

    #2
    K am disappointed with the comments about teh aire at Le Treport as we have visited a lot in the past as one of my great uncles iis in the British ware cemetery at the top of the hill

    Peter

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      #3
      A fish and chip shop in Etretat? I didn’t know the French did fish and chips, did you try it, was it battered fish and proper chips (not French fries) as in U.K.?
      Graham
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        #4
        Originally posted by peterholden View Post
        K am disappointed with the comments about teh aire at Le Treport as we have visited a lot in the past as one of my great uncles iis in the British ware cemetery at the top of the hill

        Peter
        This is the aire next to the campsite, which is the one I used to stay at. It's obviously popular so it can't be all bad, but it was the fact of it being so crowded that put me off.
        There is also an aire up by the funicular isn't there. Maybe that's the one to go to now.
        Away with the Fairies

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          #5
          Originally posted by Graham View Post
          A fish and chip shop in Etretat? I didn’t know the French did fish and chips, did you try it, was it battered fish and proper chips (not French fries) as in U.K.?
          I guess it's there to catch the Brit tourists, but yes I fell for it. I had to fill in my online pre travel forms that evening, passenger locator form for gov.uk and advance passenger information for Eurotunnel, and from what I'd heard and read I was expecting it to be a bit stressful so I promised myself that once I'd done it I would go into town and treat myself to fish and chips, because I'd spotted the shop that afternoon. Trying to do the forms did turn out stressful, not so much filling them in although that was a pain, but because my mobile internet chose the exact moment when I wanted to submit them to go on the blink and I started to panic that I wouldn't be able to send them at all. Then after half an hour or so it came back on again and all was well. It's not a typical fish and chip shop as such, it's more a quite posh fish restaurant with a sideline in fish and chips to take away. So you go in and stand at the counter and watch people at the tables being served fancy fish meals with crevettes and all while you wait. But he fish and chips wasn't bad at all. The fish was battered and the chips were proper chips and very good. The only unusual thing was that I got several small pieces of fish, rather than one large piece. It even came with a little plastic container of tartar sauce.
          Away with the Fairies

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Voyageuse View Post
            I guess it's there to catch the Brit tourists,
            I always think it sad that tourists want their own type of food when visiting another country. I had a friend who was in a bit of a panic as to whether they could buy fish fingers or beans on their trip to France in the 90s
            ____________________

            Meow is the time to chill with my cat =^..^=

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              #7
              One of my main reasons for going to France is to sample the food and drink

              Peter

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                #8
                I just looked at my bank statement to find the name of the "fish and chip shop",and see if it has a website. It's this one https://www.marieantoinette-etretat.fr/photos/ (funnily enough doesn't actually mention fish and chips to take away on its website although it does offer Bagel Fish and Chips to eat in for 21,50!)
                Away with the Fairies

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                  #9
                  I remember Etretat. It's where I tried to drown my daughter. She was in the water swimming with her sister, who came back to the beach because she was cold. Younger daughter stayed in and kept waving at us. Older daughter said she thought her sister was in trouble but I said airily she was just enjoying herself. A few minutes later older daughter insisted, I took a second look and realised she was in trouble so I waded in and dragged her out. She was very indignant. The waves kept on pulling her back and we just ignored her. Terrible mother.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Lucy's mum View Post
                    I remember Etretat. It's where I tried to drown my daughter. She was in the water swimming with her sister, who came back to the beach because she was cold. Younger daughter stayed in and kept waving at us. Older daughter said she thought her sister was in trouble but I said airily she was just enjoying herself. A few minutes later older daughter insisted, I took a second look and realised she was in trouble so I waded in and dragged her out. She was very indignant. The waves kept on pulling her back and we just ignored her. Terrible mother.
                    Oh dear 😂 shouldn’t laugh but it is a bit funny reminds me of one of our early visits to France, someone was shouting “au secours” I said I think that means help but before I could check my phrase book someone had gone to help
                    ____________________

                    Meow is the time to chill with my cat =^..^=

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                      #11
                      Great write up, i am very jealous! Who knows i could check them out next year.

                      Comment

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