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  #21  
Old 19.04.2012, 19:07
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Re: A warning when you drive to the UK on the Autoroute between Reims and Calais

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Ace, the road you describe is great from Basel, but not from Lausanne/Pontarlier.
D'oh! Of course.

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We usually do the trip to Dover in one go, then stop overnight in Calais, before the crossing, and on return after crossing.
We'll probably leave on the Tuesday before Ascension, (as we get 2.5 days off that week, so I'll just use a half day holiday) and stay at a nice hotel we used once before in the forests just into Lorraine. Gives us a much more leisurely day on the Wednesday, so we can visit one set of friends for lunchtime and another in the evening. We're in London on the Saturday night, so will probably just drive down in one hit on the Sunday.
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  #22  
Old 19.04.2012, 19:19
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Re: A warning when you drive to the UK on the Autoroute between Reims and Calais

Watch out with Ascension, we tried to stop in a Hotel near Epernay with some friends from the US, and could not find anything that had free rooms - we had to drive all the way to Chateau Thierry So book ahead. Have fun - wish I could come along to see my little ones (:
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  #23  
Old 19.04.2012, 19:44
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Re: A warning when you drive to the UK on the Autoroute between Reims and Calais

I personally prefer driving with the kids ... I have driven since they were babies .. it was so hard work flying with two small children but there's nothing my two children like better than a road trip - it seems to bring out their best behaviour (heaven knows why) It is always extremely enjoyable (particularly in summer when you stop at that hotel in Reims and get to use the pool which stays open late into the evening so the kids can swim and you sit and eat dinner with half an eye on them .. really relaxing ..) .. plus as my family is up North, we get to meander up England visiting friends on the way (more pools to swim in .. we tend to go alot in the summer holidays .. ). And of course, all the things you can bring back - biggest yet being an entire TP climbing frame, tent and slide. And nappies , bags and bags of nappies.

But when I visit on my own for a couple of days, I fly.
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  #24  
Old 19.04.2012, 19:49
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Re: A warning when you drive to the UK on the Autoroute between Reims and Calais

In the 70s when mine were little - I used to come and visit my parents by train from the Midlands, a baby, a toddler and a huge suitcase (no disposable nappies then, and no wheels on suitcases) - still don't know how I did it, lol. Now that was an adventure! 5 train changes, and several tube journeys in London and Paris - Yiiiikes
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  #25  
Old 19.04.2012, 20:09
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Re: A warning when you drive to the UK on the Autoroute between Reims and Calais

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Also, ref the OP, I don't understand why you'd be going anywhere near Reims. I've always gone North from Metz, up through Luxembourg (cheapest petrol in Europe) and Belgium, sticking on the autoroutes past Namur, Charleroi and Lille, then turning left at Dunkirk.
From Basel maybe, but from western Switzerland it would be a hefty detour eastwards to go to Metz. Besanšon - Dijon - Troyes - Reims is pretty much the standard way, then either via Amiens or Arras.
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  #26  
Old 19.04.2012, 20:25
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Re: A warning when you drive to the UK on the Autoroute between Reims and Calais

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Is the tunnel open now? We did this route a few years ago and it was pretty tortuous .. but then I prefer to set the cruise control and motor gently across France rather than having to hang on for dear life round hilly bends.
Has been for a little while but still has that new tunnel smell...
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  #27  
Old 19.04.2012, 21:31
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Re: A warning when you drive to the UK on the Autoroute between Reims and Calais

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I'm surprised to see so many people opt for the driving option to the UK
Do you choose this because of price, flexibility with your own car or other reasons ?

Dor

We do the drive usually once a month and have tried every single route!!
We go over at Pontarlier then onto Besancon ( new S2 route now open that bypasses Besancon)- rather than get the autoroute we go on the RN - Gray, Langres, Chaumont, then onto St Dizier - the new autoroute that bypasses Reims is now open.
There are now so many dual carriageways now open and as we try to do the journey on a Sunday - no lorries.
Although it does take a little longer there are no tolls to pay except the Reims-Calais and we like lots of stops for lunch etc.
We are fortunate that when we get over the Channel we don't have far to go - so leaving at 8.30am in CH I am back in my UK Home at about 7.30 pm
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Old 19.04.2012, 21:36
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Re: A warning when you drive to the UK on the Autoroute between Reims and Calais

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In the 70s when mine were little - I used to come and visit my parents by train from the Midlands, a baby, a toddler and a huge suitcase (no disposable nappies then, and no wheels on suitcases) - still don't know how I did it, lol. Now that was an adventure! 5 train changes, and several tube journeys in London and Paris - Yiiiikes
My sister did it with her four young children by train from the Welsh borders when my wife and I got married here.
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  #29  
Old 19.04.2012, 21:37
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Re: A warning when you drive to the UK on the Autoroute between Reims and Calais

I'd like to drive back more often but I find the journey too long for one driver with two kids. Hubby isn't happy with me driving more than six hours a day and total stops come up to about an 1 hour. This means about 4 days in the car for the kids. Not so bad for the long summer hols but for everything else it's just too much. We're staying put this summer and letting people come and see us.
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Old 20.04.2012, 01:27
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Re: A warning when you drive to the UK on the Autoroute between Reims and Calais

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I'd like to drive back more often but I find the journey too long for one driver with two kids. Hubby isn't happy with me driving more than six hours a day and total stops come up to about an 1 hour. This means about 4 days in the car for the kids. Not so bad for the long summer hols but for everything else it's just too much. We're staying put this summer and letting people come and see us.
I find its having the children in the back (I've only ever done the drive on my own without OH) that means I can't drive for more than a max of 2 hours at a go .. someone always wants to go pipi, or is hungry, or has dropped Upsy Daisy on the floor and can't reach from the car seat ....
.. otherwise if it was just me, I think I would be tempted to keep on driving.
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  #31  
Old 20.04.2012, 19:47
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Re: A warning when you drive to the UK on the Autoroute between Reims and Calais

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My sister did it with her four young children by train from the Welsh borders when my wife and I got married here.
My sister lives in Pembrokeshire... I've done it by train a few times but it's quite an adventure .

On the whole though, I prefer to go to the UK by train unless I have a specific reason to drive.
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  #32  
Old 20.04.2012, 19:49
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Re: A warning when you drive to the UK on the Autoroute between Reims and Calais

So do I - but these days, it is easy peasy with TGV and Eurostar! Another story in the 70s, I can tell you
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  #33  
Old 20.04.2012, 19:56
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Re: A warning when you drive to the UK on the Autoroute between Reims and Calais

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So do I - but these days, it is easy peasy with TGV and Eurostar! Another story in the 70s, I can tell you
Oh yes, I can well imagine. I remember a few epic train trips between Dijon and Watford at the end of the seventies, one of which took 25 hours (admittedly with the help of a lightning SNCF strike that resulted in a 9-hour wait at the Gare du Nord).

Getting off topic though...
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Old 22.04.2012, 10:33
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Re: A warning when you drive to the UK on the Autoroute between Reims and Calais

Hi there,

Just a thought....keep the receipt and claim it back. It's their mistake if they don't signal the toll booths correctly!! 60 euro, ouch!

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A warning to anyone who is driving to the UK and goes on the A26.

We drove to the UK yesterday like we do most months and on the autoroute between Reims and Calais they are upgrading the tolls where you pay - I think there are building new booths.

At the Peage when you get to Calais avoid the central booth as that seems to be for lorries. We found ourselves being squeezed towards that booth and on entering realised it was not for cars - no indication and a huge lorry was behind us. We had no option but to carry on.
When the receipt came out we were charged just under 60 euros - not the 21 odd that we normally pay.

Saw another car enter also so be careful..
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  #35  
Old 22.04.2012, 21:21
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Re: A warning when you drive to the UK on the Autoroute between Reims and Calais

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Hi there,

Just a thought....keep the receipt and claim it back. It's their mistake if they don't signal the toll booths correctly!! 60 euro, ouch!

Look at post 3 - as I did and they sent me a lovely letter and reimbursed me
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