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Old 04.03.2011, 18:35
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Best Route from Basel to Calais

Hi all,

Driving from Basel to Calais en route to London.

Wanted to get some feedback on what the best, quickest, toll free or even tolled up route to ensure I get to the Eurotunnel in time for my check-in

Time of departure 13:00
Eurotunnel Checkin close : 21:50

I have used the google and Tom Tom facility to plan my route but was hoping to get some stories from people who have done the route

Thanks in advance
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Old 04.03.2011, 18:39
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Re: Best Route from Basel to Calais

the best way is the quickest - it's a really dull drive.
Up the german side to Strasbourg, cross over at Offenburg.

Then Metz, Reims, Calais ...

Buy talking books, they make it bearable.

Thinking about the men who died fighting over Northern France makes it thought provoking
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Old 04.03.2011, 18:44
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Re: Best Route from Basel to Calais

I always skim Luxembourg a bit out of the way but stock up on cheap fuel along the way. Then Charleroi etc etc.

France is faster. Belgian roads and drivers are crap, although minimal police presence means you can usually tank it.
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Old 04.03.2011, 18:45
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Re: Best Route from Basel to Calais

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I always skim Luxembourg a bit out of the way but stock up on cheap fuel along the way. Then Charleroi etc etc.

France is faster. Belgian roads and drivers are crap, although minimal police presence means you can usually tank it.
Belgian drivers are frightening .....
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Old 04.03.2011, 18:48
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Re: Best Route from Basel to Calais

Dare I say it, but there have been umpteen threads/posts on this already.

Maybe use of the search function might help you find your *ahem* way?
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Old 04.03.2011, 18:51
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Re: Best Route from Basel to Calais

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Dare I say it, but there have been umpteen threads/posts on this already.

Maybe use of the search function might help you find your *ahem* way?
.... or a GPS, or route planner (Google maps, Navteq, etc.).
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Old 04.03.2011, 18:55
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Re: Best Route from Basel to Calais

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.... or a GPS, or route planner (Google maps, Navteq, etc.).


Aye, for sure, but in fairness to the OP, he did say:

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I have used the google and Tom Tom facility to plan my route but was hoping to get some stories from people who have done the route
OP: you need to do an advanced search - quick search won't yield anything but your thread.
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Old 04.03.2011, 19:05
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Re: Best Route from Basel to Calais

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Aye, for sure, but in fairness to the OP, he did say:
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I have used the google and Tom Tom facility to plan my route but was hoping to get some stories from people who have done the route
Apologies to all concerned.
[Note to self: "Learn to read properly, before posting flippant replies."]
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Old 04.03.2011, 19:12
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Re: Best Route from Basel to Calais

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the best way is the quickest - it's a really dull drive.
Up the german side to Strasbourg, cross over at Offenburg.

Then Metz, Reims, Calais ...

Buy talking books, they make it bearable.

Thinking about the men who died fighting over Northern France makes it thought provoking
After driving back from Basel to the UK 5 times last year, I can agree.

Watch out for speed traps particularly after Reims. British drivers late for their ferry connections make easy prey for the French mobile patrols. Quickest Basel to Calais I did last year was 7 3/4 hours, with just one stop for 10 mins. So your time scale is very do-able but do not hang about.

One question, Hedgehog, any reason for going up the German side? The French route is toll free until the other side of Strasbourg, so you are not saving any money. Is it quicker?
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Old 04.03.2011, 19:16
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Re: Best Route from Basel to Calais

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Quickest Basel to Calais I did last year was 7 3/4 hours, with just one stop for 10 mins. So your time scale is very do-able but do not hang about.
We manage 8 hrs without fail on average with 1 hr stop (i.e. 7 + 1). What you doing, driving at the Swiss speed limit?
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Old 04.03.2011, 19:25
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Re: Best Route from Basel to Calais

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We manage 8 hrs without fail on average with 1 hr stop (i.e. 7 + 1). What you doing, driving at the speed limit?
Alas yes!

Oh no .. not the Swiss speed limit .. the French one (remember in rain it is slower than in Switzerland)
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Old 04.03.2011, 19:41
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Re: Best Route from Basel to Calais

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Hi all,

Driving from Basel to Calais en route to London.

Wanted to get some feedback on what the best, quickest, toll free or even tolled up route to ensure I get to the Eurotunnel in time for my check-in

Time of departure 13:00
Eurotunnel Checkin close : 21:50

I have used the google and Tom Tom facility to plan my route but was hoping to get some stories from people who have done the route

Thanks in advance
Trip Tip with Eurotunnel, if you turn up early they usually put you on the first available triain.

For toll free, turn left towards belgium then take the free autorout to Lille, then Aachen, Koblenz, Frankfurt Basel. It is about an extra 2 hours, unless you get light traffic in Germany where around 300kms of the trip is speed limit unencumbered.

Personally I usually cross into France and stop in Calais, before driving via Belgium and Germany. The direct trip via France is about EUR75 for a car in tolls. The worst bit appears to be between Rheims and Strasbourg.

check the prices on http://www.autoroutes.fr/ watch out for speed cameras and cops. they also surcharge you if you arrive to quickly ata peage point.
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Old 04.03.2011, 19:59
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Re: Best Route from Basel to Calais

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Trip Tip with Eurotunnel, if you turn up early they usually put you on the first available triain.
Interesting. 4 years or so ago I would have agreed (common knowledge that people booked the cheapest crossing then turned up whenever) but in the last few years this has never happened to us and we have ended up frequently waiting for our booked slot. I have asked more than a couple of times if we could be put on an earlier departure and always get the same answer "you can go on the next one, if you pay". So "usually " is very definitely not my experience.

But totally agree, always worth asking ..
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Old 04.03.2011, 20:17
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Re: Best Route from Basel to Calais

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Then Metz, Reims, Calais ...
Once you get north of Reims and reach St Quentin, there are two possible routes. If you follow the signposts to Calais, they will take you up the extremely busy and monotonous A1 via Arras.

Much better, in my opinion, is to go via Amiens and Abbeville. It's a bit longer in terms of kilometres, but the road is pretty much empty and scenically more interesting.
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Old 04.03.2011, 21:12
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Re: Best Route from Basel to Calais

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Interesting. 4 years or so ago I would have agreed (common knowledge that people booked the cheapest crossing then turned up whenever) but in the last few years this has never happened to us and we have ended up frequently waiting for our booked slot. I have asked more than a couple of times if we could be put on an earlier departure and always get the same answer "you can go on the next one, if you pay". So "usually " is very definitely not my experience.

..
I use the Eurotunnel at least once a month. If you have pre booked your ticket online and get there early( and use the machine check in) you are usually allowed to get an earlier crossing -up to 2 hours for nothing. I think only once I had to get my original booked time but that was at a very busy time!!
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Old 04.03.2011, 21:22
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Re: Best Route from Basel to Calais

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I use the Eurotunnel at least once a month. If you have pre booked your ticket online and get there early( and use the machine check in) you are usually allowed to get an earlier crossing -up to 2 hours for nothing. I think only once I had to get my original booked time but that was at a very busy time!!
Then it must just be me

(although I don't use the machine check ins so next time (in 5 weeks) I will try
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Old 04.03.2011, 21:33
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Re: Best Route from Basel to Calais

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Then it must just be me

(although I don't use the machine check ins so next time (in 5 weeks) I will try

Yes, you put the CC in the machine, it then spits it out and then gives you an option of taking an earlier crossing - no charge!!!

Let us know how you get on!!!
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Old 04.03.2011, 21:50
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Re: Best Route from Basel to Calais

Yes, this definitely still happens with the machine check-in. I drove over to the UK at Christmas and was put on an earlier shuttle in both directions.
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Old 04.03.2011, 22:10
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Re: Best Route from Basel to Calais

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Yes, you put the CC in the machine, it then spits it out and then gives you an option of taking an earlier crossing - no charge!!!

Let us know how you get on!!!
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Yes, this definitely still happens with the machine check-in. I drove over to the UK at Christmas and was put on an earlier shuttle in both directions.
Thanks guys! I am definitely going to give that a go. Eurotunnel
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Old 04.03.2011, 23:25
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Re: Best Route from Basel to Calais

I always go through Germany because of the lack of speed limits and the whole toll business - money etc. If you time it right to avoid the rush hour round Brussels it can go pretty quickly even though it is longer in distance. Also if you get tired you can stop and have a couple of hours sleep at German service stations more safely than in France.
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