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Motorhoming in France | A Chance to see a small piece of Viking History in Rouen

Motorhoming in France | A Chance to see a small piece of Viking History in Rouen

On our previous journeys towards the south of France, we’ve spent many an hour trying to find a great family friendly motorhome stop enroute /leaving Calais… the type of stop that is easy to get to within a few hours but feels like you’ve arrived in France.

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For those reading this with a motorhome, you’ll probably have your family favourite.. perhaps Gravelines (30mins up coast towards Dunkirk) or maybe somewhere a little different like a France Passion stay on the fantastic snail farm near Comines. But we’ve tried a different tack this time and headed for Pont de l’Arche.
This superb little aire (with no more than 10 spaces) is free through the winter and less than 10 euros in high season… we’ve now tried twice and been successful both times.. For those who regularly tour in their motorhome, you’ll know just how frustrating it is to pitch up at an aire only to find it full, leaving you that excruciating journey towards another site.. perhaps less well researched and maybe even a random choice…


WWith the kids bickering in the back and tempers fraying in the front… its not the ideal way to set up a quiet evening in the van…So we’re trying to be a little more disciplined and arriving earlier than we have previously… as it’s no fun to park up in the dark in possibly the worst pitch… perhaps parking next to the chemical toilet!!

So this cracking little aire at Pont de l’Ache near Rouen will certainly feature in our next ebook on Motorhome StopOvers / Places to stay across France (details of our last trip are in this ‘Exploring France Ebook‘, including prices, facilities and GPS coordinates)


Every region should have Something special

With a perfect little town to enjoy, a bustling series of small cafes and evening bars… it really is somewhere you could probably stay longer… our kids love the choice of bakeries which produce some of the best croissants we’ve tasted across France… Meanwhile the sight of the River Seine snaking it’s way lazily past the aire gives a certain feeling of peace and tranquility… For those that love a good campsite, there’s one next door, but for those that like a quiet, cheap place to rest your head… you could do worse than discover here!


Equally pretty day or night, it has a real piece of history attached to this small town, perfect for our homeschooling. It’s bigger neighbour Rouen will forever be linked to the moment the townsfolk burned the military heroine Joan of Arc on her stake in 1431. Fearing it was a farce at the time, the executioner, Geoffrey Thérage even stated that he feared he had made a mistake.. this proved to be true as she was later (1456) exonerated in a retrial and proclaimed a ‘great martyr’… all at the young age of 19!

Pont de l’Arche cannot lay claim to this, yet it played a pivotal role some 600 years earlier in 861… when the town was created as a pivotal strategic position to repel the Vikings who were invading down the Seine… the constant retaking of positions lasted some 20+ years after the Vikings settled in 1861

So if you have a little time, or a budding historian with you in the van or you just fancy a decent breakfast of some of the best croissants you’ll taste… you might just want to chance your arm and visit Pont de l’Arche on your next visit into France


pont de l'arche

so where did we park the bus for the night?

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About The Author


Ever wanted to pack your bags, just jump in a motorhome and go off and explore Europe as a family? Well, that’s exactly what my family has done since September 2015. Visiting 35 European countries, travelling over 54,000 miles and grabbing over 450 family experiences on the way… enjoying Bobsleigh in Norway, Climbing into Mt Etna in Sicily or Kayaking the River Dordogne.

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