Most helpful critical review
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Beware. It could be better, though it is very good
on 10 September 2010
I've gone for a three star rating because I found this book extremely useful but rather frustrating. This was on a trip through the Pas de Calais, Somme, Loire, Vendee and back through Brittany.
I won't go higher than three stars for several reasons. It only features a small proportion of the campsites around and there must be more decent ones. Even so, the book is rather bulky and most of it will be useless unless you really are covering the whole of France on your camping trip but you can't bin half the book as the regions are listed in alphabetical order rather than proximity, east to west, for example. Also, the region maps only show the towns and villages that feature the campsites in the book and nothing to bear them in relation to like major cities, roads or other possible touring destinations. That's just weird. But the main problem is finding the campsites. The listing gives a grid square on the corresponding Michelin map but these grid squares are large enough to cover whole cities so they aren't going to help you find a campsite. There is a decimal grid reference given for the GPS (which seems to be fairly accurate in most cases) but of course the corresponding Michelin maps don't use a decimal grid reference as they have the degrees, minutes and seconds. So reading one from the other would require a slide rule. (There isn't a helpful little O.S. style blue tent on the map to help you either.) There are varyingly useful directions given in French in the listing which can help but often refer to streets which are as lost to you as the campsite, and don't confuse est with ouest. Doh.
So why even give it three stars? Basically, the campsites were very good. Some of the bigger ones were pricey and a bit theme park like, but they were still happy to see me with my tent and my motorbike and had nice places to pitch up. On the other hand, some of the municipal, 'simple' sites were just so positively delightful that it was well worth the price of the book just to be pointed towards them.