Cross Channel travel question...non-biking - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 14 Old May 19th, 2010, 6:06 am Thread Starter
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Cross Channel travel question...non-biking

I have a question regarding a bit of travel in the UK and the Continent. Its not bike related. I have been trying to find out elsewhere, but have been unsuccessful. So, I'll ask youse guys if you don't mind.....

I am flying into London for a two part, 6 day trip. Firstly, I am intending to visit two war graves, one near Lille, south of Dunkirk (WW1) and another between Hamburg and Hannover (WW2). From Hamburg, I return to the UK. I am giving myself 3 days to do this. After that I am heading out west to Wales for 3 days, returning to London before then flying north for a week in Shetland.

So, current plans have me renting a car in London for the whole six days covering the Continent then Wales. I'm intending to pick it up in London, drive down to Dover, cross (ferry?tunnel?) to Calais or Dunkirk, drive to the grave sites in France/Germany, return to Dunkirk/Calais, re-cross the channel (ferry/tunnel), then head for Bristol and all points west.

I realize that I don't know much about crossing the channel with a vehicle. What advice do you have? Would you have any other recommendations....one thought is from London, to catch the passenger train/ferry to Calais, rent a car there for the France/Germany sectors, drop the car off in Calais, train it to London, then pick up another one in London and do the loop out through Wales. This idea is growing on me for some reason. Are the trains regular London to Calais....is Calais the right place in fact to start from, would Dunkirk be better for travel arrangements?

I'd really appreciate some local advice as I'll be into London on the first weekend in June.

TIA

FWIW:
Grave in France....my wife's great uncle, killed in 1918 fighting with the 1st AIF. No one from the family has ever visited the grave as far as we know.
Grave in Germany....my father's very close friend, who I am named after, killed over Hamburg in March 1945, in Lancasters...49 Squadron.

Ralph
Located: Auckland, New Zealand...
but I left my biking heart along the Scenic Byways of America.....

"Come fill the cup that clears
Today of past regrets and future fears." ....Omar Khayyam
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post #2 of 14 Old May 19th, 2010, 7:19 am
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Re: Cross Channel travel question...non-biking

HI
If you are going from London then use EuroStar
If you are going with a vehicle the channel tunnel can be joined at Folkstone
Calais is not far from Dunkirk, but with a car (or bike) you can go from Dover to Dunkirk via the Norfolk Line ferry company

I have used all these methods and theya re all good. I prefer the tunnel with a bike, but if you have no bike, base it on cost, speed and method - train is faster.

If your coming to Wales, give me a shout, I can put you up and take you for an LT bike ride through some of our most undescovered valleys!

"Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" Mark Twain


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post #3 of 14 Old May 19th, 2010, 8:15 am Thread Starter
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Re: Cross Channel travel question...non-biking

Thanks Cookie...I have driven left and right...no probs, what about driving left-hand drive car on right-hand roads?

Also, you think it faster...say London to Calais via rail than car...what is the travel time, say Marble Arch area to Folkstone?

I checked out the tunnel and it looks cheaper than the train...ferries even cheaper. Plus the train is booked out already to Calais (but not to Lille).

This is getting interesting :-). Thanks

Ralph
Located: Auckland, New Zealand...
but I left my biking heart along the Scenic Byways of America.....

"Come fill the cup that clears
Today of past regrets and future fears." ....Omar Khayyam
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post #4 of 14 Old May 19th, 2010, 8:42 am
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Re: Cross Channel travel question...non-biking

It is legal to drive a left hand car on the right and visa versa, but not too sure about finding a hire car place to rent from and then taking their car abroad - never done this, they may sting you quite a bit for foreign travel. Maybe well worth using a train to France then hiring.- why take a vehicle accross and all the added expense?

By Road:
If you were in a road vehicle maintaining an average speed of 40mph (64 kmh), it would take you approximately 1.7 hours to travel to Folkestone Average Speed Overall time 40 mph 1.7 hours 55 mph 1.3 hours 70 mph 1 hours By Train: If you were in a train that averaged 100mph (160.9 kmh) it would take you around 0.7 hours to travel to Folkestone


I would Train to Folkstone, get a Plus Bus ticket to get to the eurotunnel terminal and then Euro Tunnel then Hire a car in France

"Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" Mark Twain


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post #5 of 14 Old May 19th, 2010, 3:51 pm
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Re: Cross Channel travel question...non-biking

It's possible to take a hire car from Britain to the Continent but you have to find a company that's prepared to allow it and not all are. As Cook1e suggests, it's probably going to be a lot easier to take the train over the Channel and pick up a car over there. I've driven our car abroad and it's fine but over-taking can be a problem because you can't see what's coming the other way very easily.

Keith


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post #6 of 14 Old May 19th, 2010, 4:47 pm
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Re: Cross Channel travel question...non-biking

Makes parking easier though.
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post #7 of 14 Old May 19th, 2010, 4:51 pm
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Re: Cross Channel travel question...non-biking

ROFL!

Keith


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post #8 of 14 Old May 20th, 2010, 2:52 pm
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Re: Cross Channel travel question...non-biking

If it was me I would be inclined to get the Eurostar from central London to Lille. Hire car in Lille for a couple of days. Go by train to Brussels - even Germany if possible. Hire car in Germany. It is probably okay to cross borders with a hire car in mainland Europe but one way hire is very expensive. Ryanair fly from Hamburg to London Stansted but flying is a bit problematic at the moment with the ash cloud. Another option could be P & O ferries from Rotterdam or Zeebrugge to Hull - nice overnight ferry then drive to Wales and you avoid the London crowds one way.

Shetland should be nce at this time of year. ANy specific questions let me know.

Regards

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post #9 of 14 Old May 20th, 2010, 5:16 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cross Channel travel question...non-biking

Good advice here, thanks everyone. One of the other posts did warn me also of a new English/Welsh craze....dogging. Oh, they love their dogs those English!

Ralph
Located: Auckland, New Zealand...
but I left my biking heart along the Scenic Byways of America.....

"Come fill the cup that clears
Today of past regrets and future fears." ....Omar Khayyam
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post #10 of 14 Old May 21st, 2010, 4:02 am
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Re: Cross Channel travel question...non-biking

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmg08057
Good advice here, thanks everyone. One of the other posts did warn me also of a new English/Welsh craze....dogging. Oh, they love their dogs those English!
Nah - that is just the English, in Wales we have sheep.....................pretty sheep ;-)

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post #11 of 14 Old May 21st, 2010, 6:26 am
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Re: Cross Channel travel question...non-biking

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmg08057
Good advice here, thanks everyone. One of the other posts did warn me also of a new English/Welsh craze....dogging. Oh, they love their dogs those English!
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/g...re/8660449.stm

Nothing to do with Dogs.....

Rgds
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post #12 of 14 Old May 21st, 2010, 9:35 am
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Re: Cross Channel travel question...non-biking

Thanks for the input. Now I know where to spend my next holidays.
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post #13 of 14 Old May 25th, 2010, 5:24 am
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Re: Cross Channel travel question...non-biking

Quote:
Originally Posted by c00k1e
Nah - that is just the English, in Wales we have sheep.....................pretty sheep ;-)

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post #14 of 14 Old May 26th, 2010, 5:22 am Thread Starter
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Re: Cross Channel travel question...non-biking

Thanks everyone...in the end Hertz will allow the rental to go to Europe for an extra 55 quid. So, I will be using the chunnel guys. Many thanks, using Back Roads Great Britain for the road trip in the UK....pretty nice book.

Ralph
Located: Auckland, New Zealand...
but I left my biking heart along the Scenic Byways of America.....

"Come fill the cup that clears
Today of past regrets and future fears." ....Omar Khayyam
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