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Trying a new route south through France…Rouen to Toulouse

Trying a new route south through France…Rouen to Toulouse

Always on the hunt for new potential routes to make our journeys through France that little more interesting… we decided to opt for a more central route rather than following the tried and tested ‘French Atlantic Route‘ towards Spain… Leaving last night’s base in Pont de l’Ache we headed towards the D154 / N154 on the basis that this is the most obvious route South.

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We’d found a great little site with plenty of travel information if you are looking at various routes through France – ‘​Driving in France – all you need to know‘ – in which they’d mentioned the 275km of free motorway from Viezon towards Toulouse… As we’d loved visiting the Dordogne earlier this year, we were more than happy to head towards Forges and another ‘Camping Car’ aire…

Our full route is below for anyone considering taking a journey south towards the Dordogne, and we can certainly say it was a very easy drive through some excellent sites… we could have visited Chartres again or even headed into Limoges!


But we wanted to enjoy this drive past achingly beautiful Dordogne valleys full of autumnal colour, farmers busy seeding their fields and the beautiful architecture that makes each Dordogne village so special…Stopping at the small site at Forges, we enjoyed waking up to the blissful sound of silence… well perhaps the odd birds singing or cows snorting!!! Before we headed back into the saddle and took the A20 south before moving across onto the D953 at Cahors…


The best part of this route is perhaps slightly north of Cahors through the Parc Naturel Regional des Causses du Quercy and its undoubted natural woodland beauty set in rolling hills that were shrouded in gentle fog. With the sun shining and with girls eyes glued to the window of the van, we passed villages with graveyards complete with greenhouses to protect their ancestors graves. Or ornately carved stone war memorials bedecked with the flowers of late autumn.


Before we descended into another family favourite the area near to Toulouse… near the Canal du Midi.. and a place we biked along during last years’ happy visit to this region to see the amazing citadel at Carcassonne. We’ve decided that if we close to live in France after this adventure ends, our top 3 places would be (in order)

1. Charente Maritime
2. Toulouse / Southern Dordogne
3. Alsace


Our journey sees us head towards Lourdes at the foot of the Pyrenees, before heading straight over the top towards our first destination in Spain at Zaragoza… Excited doesn’t come close to describing the atmosphere in the van… the next few weeks should be fantastic family fun!


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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