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Old 14.09.2011, 15:22
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Driving Zurich to Uk directions

Anyone done this drive, there a few options.
Drive up through basel onto Strasbourg, Luxembourg towards brugges and onto calais . Thats what google suggests . 9hr 20 mins
Bing Suggest turning west onto the N59 at Colmar just before Strasbourg and head towards nancy and then Reims etc . quoted time 7hr 30 min and 100km less .
Any thoughts on which is the best route, prefer to drive 100km less , as long as its not windy 50km roads on the N59 route to Nancy??
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Old 14.09.2011, 15:37
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Re: Driving Zurich to Uk directions

Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

Looks like the pilgrims have done it before you.....

In short, they're about the same - either hack across France or fuel up in Luxembourg and turn left at Namur.....
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Old 14.09.2011, 16:12
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Re: Driving Zurich to Uk directions

Cheapest route would be to go through Luxembourg as the petrol is substantially cheaper than anywhere else.

Currently 1.33/l, then as previously stated turn left at Namur
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Old 14.09.2011, 17:32
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Re: Driving Zurich to Uk directions

Check out the roadworks on both routes.
They were resurfacing on the German side up above Strasbourg recently, hideous queues.
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Old 14.09.2011, 17:48
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Re: Driving Zurich to Uk directions

Start at 4am no problems then and you miss most of the crap in DE.

I've done all these routes, most recent via FR, rather than Lux + Be.

Unlimited time + saving cash on fuel = Ch, De, Lux, Be, Fr

*Belgian roads/Drivers can test patience*
*Avoid Brussels at all costs, scrape the french border lower in Belgium as others have suggested*

Short on time + want to burn money on tolls/speeding fines = Ch, De, Fr.

*Tolls and boring drive, little apart from fields to see*
*You can hammer it on the tolls, but you risk your license + fines, so will be quicker if you get away with it!*

Both routes I suggest driving De until Offenburg and crossing over into France, preferably at night with little traffic. Although the french side isn't bad but has a solid 130 limit if you get me.
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Old 14.09.2011, 17:56
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Re: Driving Zurich to Uk directions

did you try google maps
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Old 14.09.2011, 18:21
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Re: Driving Zurich to Uk directions

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Start at 4am no problems then and you miss most of the crap in DE.
I second the getting up early. The tiredness from getting up early really is offset by having done most of the driving by lunchtime as that driving is stress/traffic free.
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Old 14.09.2011, 18:57
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Re: Driving Zurich to Uk directions

I did the route in March from Basel to London and it was pretty easygoing on a Friday afternoon/evening slot

So the route I decided to do was through France

Basel - Nancy - Saint Dizier - Calais

Departed at 13:00 arrived in Calais at 19:15 and managed to get my eurotunnel two hours before the booking time.

It was a pleasant cruise hardly any traffic and did not even need to refuel until Calais just made a couple of pit stops for the boys room.

Tolls were approx 30

I have also done the Basel-strasbourg-Reims-Calais and the above is easier...
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Old 14.09.2011, 19:10
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Re: Driving Zurich to Uk directions

In November I am doing a Friday late evening run to Dieppe - to catch the 5am Ferry to Newhaven.

I reckon on leaving around 19-2000ish - getting in around 2am (giving me a couple of sleep in the car). I'll grab a few more on the 4 hour ferry (arrives 8am in Newhaven).

We are in Brighton on Saturday night - so it is a 10min drive the other end - I'll find a good place for breakfast before trying to get into the hotel a bit early!!

On the way back I'm doing Portsmouth - Le Havre - 2300 from Portsmouth - 0800 in LeHavre. And then the blast across France.

I haven't done this combination before - but for the location UK side it works better for me - and the increased cost of the Ferry is less than overnight stops to break the journey.

And for the record - Calais to Zurich in 6hr15mins (5hr05mins to the border at Basel) including 2 fuel stops (10mins each) - 850km. You can do the maths!
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Old 14.09.2011, 19:27
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Re: Driving Zurich to Uk directions

The places and times to avoid are
  • the German A5 between Basel and Offenburg, most of the time. Go via France, especially if you want to avoid Strasbourg.
  • Strasbourg, anytime between 7am and 8pm. Workaround: from Basel, on the A 36 follow signs for Molsheim (D 500), then Saverne, then blue signs for Metz/Paris (not the gree signs!). Towards Basel: exit A4 at Saverne, follow signs for Molsheim, then Selestat/Colmar.
  • Metz-Luxembourg northbound, between 7am and 9:30 am. No workaround - if you have to drive it at that time, exit the A4 at Sarreguemines, follow Sarrebruck/Saarbrucken, then Luxembourg, then immediately after crossing River Moselle, exit at Schengen (yes, it's actually a place and it has its own motorway exit) and fill up on petrol there, then go back on the motorway where the worst of the traffic should have gone.
  • Metz-Arlon northbound: between 4pm and 7pm. That is a really annoying time, and the only workaround is to stay on the A4 towards Paris at Metz, and go via Rheims, but it's a toll road and of course you miss out on cheap petrol (and cheap booze and fags, if that's your thing) in Luxembourg.
  • Luxembourg-Metz southbound, between 4pm and 7:30pm, and Arlon-Metz southbound, between 6:30 am and 9:30am. Don't do it. Just don't. Stop and have a coffee and/or fill up.
  • Brussels is best avoided anytime between 6am and 10pm. At night, going Brussels (ring road) - Bruges - Dunkirk - Calais is an option. In the wee hours of the morning, you can go straight across Brussels (IF you know where you're going or have a good GPS - those tunnels are a maze and if you get lost, you're on your own).
BTW if you fill up in Luxembourg, bear in mind that there is a maximum price for fuel set by the government that changes according to wholesale prices at Rotterdam. Unsurprisingly, 99% of petrol stations charge exactly that price. That means that unlike most other countries, motorway petrol stations charge just as much or little as off-motorway petrol stations. It therefore does not pay to leave the motorway in Luxembourg to fill up.
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Old 15.09.2011, 10:07
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Re: Driving Zurich to Uk directions

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And for the record - Calais to Zurich in 6hr15mins (5hr05mins to the border at Basel) including 2 fuel stops (10mins each) - 850km. You can do the maths!
Erm yes this is not far from my time too, average 7-8 with traffic

Naughty boy! The earlier it is the better if you can cope with a 2am start you can really hammer it. No plods around.
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Old 15.09.2011, 10:29
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Re: Driving Zurich to Uk directions

I've driven ZH to the UK many times. I have done the Luxembourg route but prefer to use the French Autoroutes. Yes you have to pay tolls to use these roads but in my view it was worth it as the road quality is excellent and a it's a fast, direct route. As for scenery, it was mentioned above that there's nothing to see - I beg to differ, some of the forest landscape is beautiful, long sweeping roads going up and down hill, rolling countryside (like England only much larger) and of course, there's the whole of the World War I battle fields and memorials to take in if you want to make a few stops along the way, Verdun is well worth a visit.

As regards speeding on the Autoroutes, in theory they can of course check your speed merely be checking the toll ticket purchase time and your arrival at the next booth, in practice I don't think they ever bother. Watch out for the Gendarmes, especially when going down a long incline with sweeping bends, the cops often sit just behind bridges with they speed traps. also, don't even think about speeding any where near the borders, the cops just love to pounce there and fines can be heavy.

Safe journeys!
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