Useful Information


Useful Information for your stay in France


I have listed some information below that may be useful as there are many different laws to those in England. However, this is for guidance only - please check with official sources that the information here is correct before leaving for France.



Speed limits:


  • Towns: 50km/h


  • Open roads: 80km/h (70km/h when wet)


  • Dual carriageway: 110km/h (100km/h when wet)


  • Motorways: 130km/h (110km/h when wet)


Be aware that urban speed limits begin at the town or city sign (not always where the first 50km/h sign is situated), usually denoted by a white name panel with a red border, and the limit ends where the name panel has a diagonal black bar through it.



Driving rules:


France has strict drink driving laws, blood alcohol levels being stricter than in the UK (0.5 mg/ml rather than 0.8).


Seat belts front and rear are obligatory everywhere.


Speed limits are implemented rigorously. Radar traps are frequent. In France, anyone caught travelling at more than 25km/h above the speed limit can have their licence confiscated on the spot. Speed camera detectors are illegal.


Take care in built-up areas (Sillé le Guillaume is one of them!) where the old rule giving priority to traffic coming from the right (Priorité a droite) still applies


Children under 10 are only allowed in the front seats if there are no rear seats or the rear seats are already fully occupied with children under 10, or there are no seat belts.


Always carry your driving licence, vehicle registration document (V5), and certificate of motor insurance. If your licence does not incorporate a photograph ensure you carry your passport to validate the licence. If the vehicle is not registered in your name, carry a letter from the registered owner giving you permission to drive. There are many areas when Police often stop drivers for spot-checks.


Headlamp convertors, GB stickers, visibility vests and warning triangle are compulsory.


A Spare set of light bulbs is strongly recommended.


Breathalyzers are now required, however there are no fines if you are not carrying one!



Bank Holidays 2020:


With the exception of those associated with Easter, Public Holidays in France are fixed. In other words, Public Holidays do not move to attach themselves to the nearest weekend as in the UK. However, French Public Holidays falling on a Sunday are celebrated on the following Monday. No time off in lieu is granted when a Public Holiday falls on a Saturday as it is in the UK.


When a Public Holiday falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday, it is very common to take the Friday or Monday off to create a long weekend (faire le pont). Many businesses, especially the smaller ones are therefore closed for the entire period.


  • 1 January - New Year's Day
  • 10 April - Easter Day
  • 13 April - Easter Monday
  • 1 May - Labour Day
  • 8 May - VE Day
  • 21 May - Ascension Day
  • 1 June - Whit Monday
  • 14 July - Bastille Day
  • 15 August - Assumption of Mary
  • 1 November - All Saints Day
  • 11 November - Armistice Day
  • 25 December - Christmas Day
  • 26 December - Boxing Day



Usual shop opening hours:


Monday to Saturday: 9-12am & 2-5:30pm (supermarkets don't close for lunch)

Sunday: CLOSED ALL DAY (SHOPI is open for a couple of hours in the morning - nearest is at Sillé le Guillaume)


Tips to Ensure Stress Free Travel


Travelling can lead to the most exiting and fun times of your life, you meet new people, see world famous sights and awe inspiring views; you get to taste new flavours and discover new cultures. Travelling can also be the most stressful time of your life. Most people organise their holidays in a fit of anticipation, quickly booking flights and choosing a French city that looks to be the most exciting, fun, or even just the best deal. It is only in the wake of this excitement that you think of the hundreds of things to do, the various things that need to be sorted before you can head off and escape from the responsibilities of everyday life. Once there, the holiday itself can be stressful if you are ill prepared and don`t have certain arrangements sorted. Stress can overshadow the holiday itself; but only if you let it.


In fact it is quite simple to sort various issues in advance and make sure that you are prepared for every eventuality. Insurance is one of the main aids to modern travel; sort this little detail and you will be able to travel in the safe knowledge that if anything does go awry you will be able to quickly and easily cover your losses. Also, it is quite possible, if you shop around, to find a deal that not only suits your specific needs but is also very affordable. It is recommended that if you travel to another country you check in advance where the embassy is for your home country. Embassies can be very useful in case of emergency and are often underused by travellers who don`t realise the extent to which their home nation is there for them.


Many people wait to book a hotel or accommodation until they arrive at their destination and this can be a great way to ensure you get exactly what you want out of your hotel. However, it is advisable to book a place to stay for the first one or two nights so that when you arrive in the city you will be able to travel straight to the hotel, put down your stuff and then do a little recon from there. It is often good to acclimatise in a place before you have to head straight off and find accommodation with all your gear in hand. Hotels can also offer deals just as good as hostels, so it is worth considering all your options and not just judging on the exterior of a place.


When flying it is always best to make sure you have a few essential items in your hand luggage just in case the luggage goes missing or is just slightly delayed. The reassurance of having just a few essentials and comfortable items will not only make sure you are well prepared but also ensure that the late arrival of luggage doesn`t stress you out as much as it could. After all it is always nice to be the smug traveller who thought ahead and considered all these eventualities. That way if you do spend a night in one of the UK airport hotels you will have all the necessaries with you.

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