JUL 05th 2014

Le Mans Classic road trip dilemma ‑ le château or 'le camping'?

We could have pulled it off. Oh yes! Breezed into Le Mans in our Rolls-Royce Phantom like a trio of A-listers, checked into the classiest château  in town, and squeezed our credit cards until the pips squeaked.

But somehow, we didn’t think of that…

Still, isn’t there something about a Le Mans road trip that demands a weekend of ‘le camping’?


The Le Mans Classic was conceived to offer a flavour of what the Le Mans 24hrs used to be, and that’s not just on the track.

Aside from the obvious car content, the most significant difference between the historic and modern 24hrs is that at Le Mans Classic you’re quite unlikely to be drenched in lager sloshed through the open window of your pride and joy by a drunken ‘enthusiast’ upset at your disinclination to burn rubber in one of the local traffic jams.

Come to think of it, there aren’t really any proper traffic jams. Additionally the racing cars are prettier, and there’s not a diesel or a hybrid in sight (or sound) on the track. Even the inebriates are typically more charming (Hic! Ed.),all of which factors conspire to make the event a bit of a ‘must do’.

You can always camp in the public car parks and just buy yourself an entry ticket, but if you’ve driven over with lots of kit it makes far more sense to shell out a few quid for the peace of mind a secure camping compound brings – even if you’re not travelling by Rolls-Royce Phantom. (Do some people not?)

We chose to book our Le Mans trip through Travel Destinations, a not quite random choice as it was on the back of a personal recommendation and the knowledge they’re the most established player at Le Mans.

It also helped that their  site at the Porsche Curves offers direct track views. Sitting atop the banking sharing a bottle of red while GT40S, Lolas and Porsches scream past is the perfect finale to a day at the races. Yes, even when it’s raining…

We’d definitely book again. We  turned up yesterday ‘out of hours’ (2am) which – in spite of the warnings in the comprehensive literature emailed before the event – presented no problems. We just made sure we rang ahead, and the Travel Destinations on-site security team were there to welcome us, to guide us onto our pitch and make sure we didn’t flatten any other campers in the dark.

The site is more than adequately served by clean showers and loos, and the staff are helpful, friendly and informed. In case you haven’t brought a barbecue or stopped at the hypermarche there’s even on-site catering and a bar. What more could a happy camper desire?

Well, we are particularly enjoying the way staff members on gate duty throw themselves into the road to hold up Le Mans traffic as campers exit the site on forays ‘out and about’. In our Phantom it’s hard to resist a regal wave towards the waiting cars, so we’ve tended to go with it…

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