Widen your horizons when travelling across the Channel

Power upgrade options for motorhomes
October 5, 2015
The Top 20 Motorhome Gifts
September 20, 2016

The journey from the UK across the Channel is part of the enjoyment of travel. You’ve planned your route, chosen the best policy from the motorhome insurance quotes to give you cover when abroad and you’re looking forward to trying different foods and experiencing other cultures.

The most popular way to reach mainland Europe is via the Dover to Calais route. It’s fast on the ferry taking around only 90 minutes and there are many crossings every day of the week. It’s been the mainstay choice of millions over the years as they look back at the white cliffs and look forward to moving from miles per hour to kilometres.

Nobody wants to pay more than they need to for a ferry crossing though and if you want to travel during busy periods such as school holidays or family times such as Easter and Christmas, even the best forward planning can only shave a little from the price of a ticket. Add in the recent additional security measures at ferry ports such as Dover and those who have been loyal to their favourite route will be wondering if there are alternatives available.

Exploring alternative ferry routes

There’s often misconceptions about travelling from home to other departure points in the UK; many feel it will add extra hours at the wheel but this is not always so. As an example, Leeds to Dover or Leeds to Poole is almost identical in the mileage and travelling times but the crossing is much less used from Poole to France and there are rarely the delays now experienced at Dover. Whilst sailing from the Dorset port to Cherbourg isn’t as fast as the journey to Calais, it’s an incredibly relaxing experience and if you’re heading south through France then you’ll embark at an advantageous point in comparison to Calais.

Ferry operators have improved the customer experience over the years whatever route you choose and vessels now have more facilities than ever as well as excellent boarding and arrival systems.

Start your journey from a new perspective

Taking the time to plan a different crossing route than the ‘express’ route of Dover to Calais could offer you the opportunity to visit, or at least travel through parts of France, Belgium or even The Netherlands you have never experienced before. If you’ve not looked at other destination options in the past, here are some to consider if you want to arrive in France:

  • Portsmouth to Cherbourg, Caen, Le Havre and St. Malo
  • Plymouth to Roscoff and St. Malo
  • Poole to Cherbourg
  • Weymouth to St. Malo
  • Newhaven to Dieppe

Of course if you decide to really break with tradition you can plan to leave south coast ports other than Dover and land in Santander or Bilbao in Spain, take an east coast route from Hull to Rotterdam or leave Ramsgate in Kent to travel to Ostend in Belgium.

Part of the fun of owning a motorhome is taking the path less well travelled to encounter unique experiences. Opting to travel from other ferry ports other than Dover may not mean you’ll arrive on the Continent as fast as if you were heading to Calais, but you’ll avoid the traffic and meet others who have also decided to see what other operators have to offer, to excitedly reset their sat nav and see where the new route takes them.