How about a spring break that takes in Champagne, chocolates, boating and flowers in France and Belgium?
Spring is ready to burst here at the depot and it truly is my favourite time of year. Our motorhomes and campervans are all pristine and shiny ready for a new season of customers and I’ve got a fabulous itinerary that includes all the above and more. Here’s a great holiday for families or couples.
Beautiful Brugge, well worth a visit during your campervan trip and a great place for a boat trip
> North Eastern France and Belgium
> Seven to ten day tour (or better still if you have two weeks)
> Approximate Distance: 1085 kms
> Travelling Time: 10hrs 56mins.
> Towns: FMH Depot / Reims / Mons / Ypres / Bruges / Hautvilliers / FMH Depot
Visit Champagne twice, on the way to and from Belgium on my spring RV trip
From the depot just head towards the morning sunshine to Reims, THE centre of Champagne. The town is filled to the brim with this liquid gold and the fizz on your tongue will spark you into life! Going on the main roads (save your toll charge money for the wine) it will take you roughly 2hrs 30 mins. With your RV primed and ready to go, head straight for a France Passion site. There are at least 15 of them this side of Reims and they’re nearly all Champagne vineyards. Don’t just go to the shops and buy a bottle – go and stay in the place where it’s made. For free! There’s more information about our membership to the France Passion Network and it’s all included in your hire!
Visit the flower market at Mons for a spectacular array of spring flowers
Having stocked up on Champagne and learned all about how it is made, I would recommend your next stop being Mons, over the border in Belgium especially if you’re there on Sunday morning. There are two markets in Mons, a fabulous flower market in front of the train station. The flower market takes place every Sunday from 8am to 2pm in Place Léopold. The flowers are straight from Holland and a beautiful sight (particularly in the spring).
A short walk away, there is also the main food market in Place Nervienne. I have spent many fabulous Sundays, wandering around gathering Sunday lunch and dinner, usually consisting of a Poulet Roti (buy the potatoes that are semi-fried in a sauce sold on the same stall) and the freshest of spring salad vegetables, oh and probably I’d pick up one of their many choices of quiches, and bread of course, some brie, grapes, red wine….er..yup that’s lunch and dinner sorted.
Before you leave though, find your way to the Grande Place which has to be one of the most impressive I’ve seen, for those interested in WW1 history, this is a very significant place, here’s more information about it.
Enjoy the best Chocolat Chaud Chantilly you will ever have in Belgium this spring
I’ll let you in to a secret – outside the impressive town hall in the Grand Place is a little tiny medieval brass monkey statue. If you rub his head its supposed to bring you good luck, and it does, because if you turn around exactly opposite is the St Germain tea rooms. These guys sell the best Chocolate Chaud Chantilly in the world. In my humble opinion. They melt real bars of Chocolate, stir them with milk and then top it off with whipped cream. Lucky doesn’t come close!!
Just over an hour away, is the town of Ypres. Famous for its Menin gate that is the focus of attention during the November remembrance, Ypres town is a very pretty place to visit. Having gained a taste for chocolate, there are many chocolatiers here that truly have turned it into and art, and at Easter time, you can feast your eyes alone on the window displays. There is also the Passchendaele Museum. You can park here with your motorhome (I phoned and checked – you need to find car park 2). It’s an interactive visit as you have a chance to visit dug out trenches from the war.
Finally, an hour’s drive further north and you come to Bruges. A day or two spent here is well worth it – you can take a boat trip on the canals around the ‘Venice of the North’. The tours take around half an hour there are five landing stages around the town and a half hour tour costs as little as €10 per adult. Or you can go by horse drawn carriage (or both)! Here’s more information about what to do and see in Bruges .
On your way back to the depot, I would recommend you stop off again in the Champagne region and explore Hautvilliers (the burial place of Dom Perignon and a very pretty Champagne village) as it’s around the half way mark before coming back and staying overnight by the river at Villeneuve–sur-Yonne just five minutes away from our depot.
So, that’s a tour that’s perfect for an Easter Family holiday or a little romantic ‘couple’ time, filled with flowers, sparking champagne, chocolates and scenery!