We're busy uploading the Motorway Walks for dogs and drivers (and passengers!) onto the site now, so if you're taking your dog to France this summer keep checking the France section as it's changing daily.
The Driving with Dogs team has spent the last two months in France researching the dog walks, dog-friendly places to eat, vet clinics, dog friendly hotels and everything else doggie and in France, all within 10km of the main motorway junctions in France.
It's been a massive drive and in the first part of the trip we covered the main tourist driving route from the ferry ports down to the south coast via Troyes and Lyon - starting on the very aptly named Autoroute des Anglais. It's an excellent road and we found some great dog walks, as well as plenty of places just off the motorway which are well worth a visit and where dogs get a really good welcome too.
We've done our fair share of belting down to the south over the years and this time it was amazing to meander from the marshes and flatlands of the north, through the champagne region, into Provence and then finally into the Med for a well-earned swim from a dog-friendly beach (naturally!).
The walks on this route are nearly all up on DwD now, and ready to use.
Along with the dog walks (green markers) you'll find veterinary clinics along the motorway route (bluey-green markers), and we're working on the dog-friendly hotels and campervan overnight places at the moment. There's a big pile of brochures and business cards from the places we stayed ourselves, and these all need to be typed up (groan, we'd rather be out there in the sun).
After all the forward planning for Jem's pet passport, it's brilliant news that the system is being simplified for 2012. A link to the new pet passport rules is here: http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2011/06/30/new-rules-pet-passports/ Note - this is for 2012, NOT this year!
The motorway walks from the ferry ports/eurostar terminal through to Spain, the Dordogne and Carcasson will be going up next. Anyone with personal recommendations for dog-friendly campsites, hotels, vets, tourist attractions that welcome dogs, and anything else for Fido on the West side of France - do email and I'll add them to the list.