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  #181  
Old 24.09.2014, 10:48
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Re: Driving to UK - Routes

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I stop at the B&B chain of hotels basic but comfortable and clean, breakfast is not bad as well.

The ones I us on the way back about 2hours from Calais is SAINT-QUENTIN
St. Quentin is a nice place to stop and have a stroll in the evening but seems to be devoid of decent places to eat.

Arras is a very pretty town and has better restaurants.
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  #182  
Old 24.09.2014, 10:52
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Re: Driving to UK - Routes

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St. Quentin is a nice place to stop and have a stroll in the evening but seems to be devoid of decent places to eat.

Arras is a very pretty town and has better restaurants.
I agree but I am a sucker for buffalo grills so I'm well sorted.
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  #183  
Old 24.09.2014, 21:16
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Re: Driving to UK - Routes

Similar thread with 9 pages of routes, comments etc at Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion
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  #184  
Old 27.09.2014, 14:17
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Re: Driving to UK - Routes

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Avenches - Vallorbe - Pontarlier - Salins-les-Bains - Dole - Reims - Calais

Distance: 789km
Time: 8hr 55mins including breaks/fuel (April 2014)
Tolls: Dole-Reims 29 Euros; Reims-Calais 22.20 Euros

Cheap Fuel: Pontalier is where we fill up: LA MAISON DU PNEU MARIOTTE (Siligom) (Diesel only), 19 Rue Pierre Dechanet ZA des Grands Planchants, Géant Casino, 66 Rue de Salins (D72) or E.Leclerc, Route de Dijon Houtaud. In Calais we use the Total station RUE MARCEL DASSAULT, 62100 CALAIS as it's near the ferry port and just off the A216 into Calais.

Pros: Mostly motorway except for the Avenches to Dole section. Little traffic and only two tolls to deal with. We go to Dole rather than Beçanson as we would hit the rush hour and have to crawl through the city to reach the motorway.

Cons: The Avenches to Dole part of the journey takes around 2 hrs 30 mins, even though it's under 200km. Quite a few villages to go through which slows you down and the road into/out of Salins-les-Bains is both steep and twisting so not that good for caravans or heavy loads.

Additional info:
Re fuel prices just for info: At Pontarlier we paid 1.316 Euros per litre at the Siligom station going out, 1.298 at the Leclerc coming back. Total station at Calais for their Premier diesel 1.344. Motorway prices were between 1.44 and 1.47 per litre. Petrol is about 19/20 centimes more expensive per litre in France.
Ah, quite right Glendyn, guess they should be merged if a mod would oblige us and make it a sticky too.

Just updating info on fuel and toll fees from my prevous post. Just back from a trip to the UK and at Pontarlier we paid 1.305 at the Siligom and 1.272 at Leclerc. Calais Total station was 1.334. Going up to Calais prices varied between 1.43 to 1.46, coming back down to Dole 1.42 to 1.45.

Tolls: Dole-Reims 29.30 Euros, Reims-Calais 22.20 Euros - total 51.50 Euros for a one-way trip.
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  #185  
Old 06.10.2014, 14:22
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Re: Driving to UK - Routes

Basel-Molsheim-Saverne-Reims-Calais

Usually takes 6.5 hrs with a fuel stop north of Reims.
The Molsheim-Saverne part avoids Strasbourg and cuts 30 minutes off the journey.
For places to stay- St Quentin would be one; Cambrai another. We sometimes stay at the Ibis.
Pretty soulless, but only a km or two away from the autoroute
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  #186  
Old 17.02.2015, 22:34
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Re: Driving to UK - Routes

Did a variation of this route today

Basel - Colmar - Selestat - Luneville - Nancy - St Dezier - Chalon - Reims - Calais

Basically after Nancy, I went straight for Reims on the autoroute (mainly because i missed an exit).

From Richterswil to Calais, 8hr 10min including a quick coffee break and a splash and dash.

Doesn't matter how you cut it, France is just large and boring when you have to drive across it...
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  #187  
Old 17.02.2015, 23:32
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Re: Driving to UK - Routes

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Doesn't matter how you cut it, France is just large and boring when you have to drive across it...
Unless you can afford the additional time needed to cross the country entirely on minor roads (i.e. those marked in yellow or no colour at all in the Michelin atlas). Then it becomes a real pleasure, and the route variations are infinite. The downside is of course that you need an extra day, but it's worth it if you're not in a hurry.
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  #188  
Old 17.02.2015, 23:37
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Re: Driving to UK - Routes

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Avenches - Vallorbe - Pontarlier - Salins-les-Bains - Dole - Reims - Calais.
I am curious. I used to do this route but found that these days I always get hung up behind lorries on the salins route. If mid winter I go via besancon (new bypass helps a lot as does the stretches of dual cw) or if not snowing via metabief & poligny.
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  #189  
Old 18.02.2015, 07:39
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Re: Driving to UK - Routes

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Unless you can afford the additional time needed to cross the country entirely on minor roads (i.e. those marked in yellow or no colour at all in the Michelin atlas). Then it becomes a real pleasure, and the route variations are infinite. The downside is of course that you need an extra day, but it's worth it if you're not in a hurry.
Orleans to LeMans on the D357 is not slow - in the right car

You can make excellent progress on the D roads in France if you have the power to get past slow moving traffic in a short distance.
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  #190  
Old 18.02.2015, 07:51
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Re: Driving to UK - Routes

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I am curious. I used to do this route but found that these days I always get hung up behind lorries on the salins route. If mid winter I go via besancon (new bypass helps a lot as does the stretches of dual cw) or if not snowing via metabief & poligny.
Well, can't say we've been held up too much by lorries, although we did get stuck behind a tractor/trailer going out of Salins once and that was very slow until it turned off. Lost about 20 minutes just because of it's speed and the fact we couldn't overtake it on that part of the road easily. Usually we're too early for lorries as if we make the trip in one day we leave at around 5am so hit the motorway at Dole by 7.30am. If we split it with an overnight stop at Calais we travel on the Sunday so again no lorries particularly to worry about.

We did try the Besançon route once, but we got stuck in the morning rush hour traffic coming down into the city. Stop/start all the way down and through to the motorway so we've never tried it again.
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  #191  
Old 14.04.2015, 08:49
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Re: Driving to UK - Routes

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Ah, quite right Glendyn, guess they should be merged if a mod would oblige us and make it a sticky too.

Just updating info on fuel and toll fees from my prevous post. Just back from a trip to the UK and at Pontarlier we paid 1.305 at the Siligom and 1.272 at Leclerc. Calais Total station was 1.334. Going up to Calais prices varied between 1.43 to 1.46, coming back down to Dole 1.42 to 1.45.

Tolls: Dole-Reims 29.30 Euros, Reims-Calais 22.20 Euros - total 51.50 Euros for a one-way trip.
Update on diesel prices since we're just back from another trip. Pontarlier we paid 1.19 at the Siligom and 1.17 at Leclerc. Calais Total station was 1.23 going out and 1.21 on the return for their Premier diesel. Motorway prices varied between 1.31 and 1.37. Petrol prices are around 20 centimes more. Tolls were the same at 51.50 for a one way trip - and yes, the new Liber-T tag from APRR worked great.

Pre-pay for the Dartford Crossing by setting up an account and you'll get the fee reduced from £2.50 one way to £1.67. There are still some delays there as not all the barriers have gone yet.

Stevenhaley, we missed the exit at Dole so had to go down to the next one on the return journey and did go through Poligny on the way to Pontarliar. Not sure if we hit Metabief as well - the route the satnav took us on was A391 - D 83 - N5 - D21 - D471 - D72. Did see quite a few Swiss licence plates as we went along that route.
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  #192  
Old 14.04.2015, 09:37
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

If you use the Via Michelin website to plan your route, you have some good information,

http://www.viamichelin.co.uk/web/Routes (In English, [ for French use http://www.viamichelin.fr/ ]
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  #193  
Old 14.04.2015, 09:58
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

An invaluable tool is something like Google Maps or the Free Nokia Here App (iOS, Android etc..) since they include dynamic traffic information when crossing France/Belgium. The data for the traffic info is only a few mb of roaming data at most, but it could save you a huge amount of time and money if you manage to avoid major snarl ups en route (and not miss your ferry ).
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  #194  
Old 28.09.2015, 20:49
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

Update on diesel prices since we're just back from another trip. Pontarlier we paid 1.121 at the Siligom going out and 1.078 at Leclerc coming back. Calais Total station was 1.14 going out and 1.11 on the return for their Premier diesel. Motorway prices varied between 1.24 and 1.29.
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  #195  
Old 29.09.2015, 10:31
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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140kmh - no problem on the cameras from Calais to Basel - I did it on Monday

Stick to under 170kmh and if they stop you then it is only a fine. Above that they will take your licence and post it home - which will leave you stuck on the side of the road if you are on your own.

Between Reim and Metz there have been a number of radar traps in recent months - tucked under a bridge with the radar, and a Subaru parked about 1km further up the road.

2 110kmh cameras to watch for - Forbach - in a dip between 2 hills; the North side of Strasbourg - just as the 110kmh zone starts (or ends if you are going South to North).
From experience listen to the above in bold also be careful M20 side unmarked plods.

The bridge radar traps are a common French police ploy. The speeding fines in Belgium are higher than France.
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  #196  
Old 29.09.2015, 10:42
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

Following on from Tom's comment on St Quentin - I wish to counter:
We stayed at Le Florence which is cheap and close to the centre.

Lunch here was good but not as cheap as I had hoped.

Happy Hour in the pub was good - with a nice selection of beers - which are good value on the fixed price happy hour.

Dinner here was more than adequate considering our "thirst" that day
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  #197  
Old 29.09.2015, 10:52
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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Following on from Tom's comment on St Quentin - I wish to counter:
We stayed at Le Florence which is cheap and close to the centre.

Lunch here was good but not as cheap as I had hoped.

Happy Hour in the pub was good - with a nice selection of beers - which are good value on the fixed price happy hour.

Dinner here was more than adequate considering our "thirst" that day
Things may have changed since I was last there and some of the places look to be quite new such as the last place but it does have pretty mixed reviews.

But, to be honest, after living in Switzerland for a few years, I'm finding almost any restaurant abroad more appealing than the majority here.
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  #198  
Old 18.11.2015, 14:36
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

For reference our Christmas trip this year is using a "split" route. It would seem that there the ferry companies are pricing each leg separately and there is no penalty for having 1-way tickets.

As such we are doing an overnight Le-Havre-Portsmouth and an overnight Newhaven-Dieppe.

I have done the former in reverse (once) and the cabins are perfectly OK and the journey time allows a reasonable rest - ideal if you are heading "up North" once in the UK. And for those with Pets they have a limited capacity for taking pets but they do have pet friendly cabins!!

The Newhaven-Dieppe journey is much shorter and the recliner seats are adequate for the crossing - you won't get a load of sleep but it is OK. No pet cabins though - but all LeHavre pet cabins are booked up between Christmas and the 30th. The big advantage of the Dieppe crossing is that you can be underway in France by 5am - meaning you can be back at home before rush hour (if you go on a weekday).

The above is noticeably more expensive than the Calais ferries but for us it nicely splits the journey and if you are already budgeting for a hotel then it is time efficient!
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Old 18.11.2015, 14:57
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

Would be interested to know if there are any die hard over-nighters??
All but one of my last 10 trips to blighty have been overnight drives, where I leave Basel at around 10pm and aim to catch the 6am boat from Calais/Dunkirk. I usually have a short kip on the ferry and then a lunchtime nap when I get to London but other than that I don't feel like I've wasted a whole day driving.

The one time I did drive during the day, I was caught in various snarl-ups around the big French towns and an accident around Reims caused over an hours worth of delays. I ended up missing my ferry and I was so knackered when I arrived, that I slept through to the following lunchtime

Never again.
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Old 18.11.2015, 15:15
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

I always try and drive on Sundays and public holidays, leaving early, around 7 am.

It really pays to have an up to date SatNav. I bought a 'cheap' "TomTom Go 60" which warns about traffic delays ahead,
sorts out an alternative route, and (often illegally) it warns about fixed radar speed cameras.

It comes with 4 free map updates per year "for life" (Not sure if they mean the inanimate SatNav or mine )

http://www.toppreise.ch/prod_365442.html
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