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  #61  
Old 27.06.2007, 13:45
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

Several years ago I made it from Manchester to St.Gallen in about 12 hours using the ferry as well. I set of around 5pm from Manchester and took a late night ferry from Dover to Calais. After which I drove through the night first to Luxembourg to fill up then through to Metz then to Strasbourg and over into the German side as there's no toll's to pay and you can drive quicker, But this motorway is rather bummpy down to Basel then hang a left to Zurich > Winterthur > St.Gallen. fewww.

I'd think twice before doing it again though.
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  #62  
Old 27.06.2007, 20:32
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

Just looked at ferries, Calais Dover mid July - Dover Calais end July - Euro 110 with Sea France, bargain.
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  #63  
Old 25.07.2007, 16:57
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

Driving over to GraubŁnden from London in winter?
-------------------------------------------------------

Here goes my 2nd post on this e-forum (after introducing myself elsewhere).

Has anyone, with a young family (young kids), ever done driving trips between London and Chur in winter, particularly around Xmas? Was it relatively trouble-free - apart from the need to use winter tyres? Did see some replies in this thread, suggesting to take the Channel Tunnel not ferries in December.

We need to visit our Chur relatives at Christmas, and have to bring stuff back to London. Say 1.5 weeks, 2 days (550km per day) each way with 6 days in Chur and the canton.

Hence I'm wondering if its a good or bad idea to drive our MPV (7-seater people carrier) there - or better fly instead, and defer the task of bringing stuff back till a non-winter driving journey another time?

Your comments?

- Andrew
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  #64  
Old 25.07.2007, 17:07
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

It's about 900km to Chur once you hit mainland Europe. I've driven to Holland in winter (and snow) and it's not the most fun. Snow tyres would be essential even though we're seeing snow more in January/February (but then again weather isn't the most predictable right now).

Chunnel does not close for bad seas. It's not that often they need to close up though (IIRC)....but you might need a strong stomach.

How much driving in monsterous conditions have you done? I've done the A3 from Zurich southwards when it was a blanket of snow and you could not see where the lanes were. I've also seen them close that road and just made it down the Bernardino before they closed that road too.

You could have to factor delays and diversions into your journey.
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Old 25.07.2007, 17:32
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

Well, I've done heaps of driving cars in Snowy Mountains in SE Australia years ago. Mind you, the roads were cleared and I didn't have to use tyre chains at that time. Also, it was only the last 40km or so on the drive from Sydney that the roads start to turn slippery.

We, the 'snow-mad' Sydneysiders, were used to driving 8 hours from our city to the ski fields on Friday evenings straight after work, and again on way home from 3pm Sunday. (Unlike you all in CH, just a couple of hours or less - using rail+ski passes).

When I came to work in Switzerland in 1999, that's when I first heard of the concept of swapping summer tyres for winter tyres - and that there's no / little need for snow chains .

I would say that I'm familar with driving on slippery / icy roads, but not a seasoned driver for Swiss / European monsterous conditions. Already done occasional drives (car hires) up to Davos from Chur in winter, as well as motorbike rides around the Swiss Alps (not in winter!).

Perhaps we ought to fly? Partly because I am the sole driver - my wife can't drive yet. I really fancy the idea of driving to Switzerland in winter "just for the fun of it".

Good point about diversions & delays enroute.
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  #66  
Old 26.07.2007, 12:53
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

I drove to UK yesterday through Germany - Luxembourg - Belgium. Only problem were lots of road works but no major delays.

A good tip re the Eurotunnel - I always book the cheapest slot available some time after when I kinow I will arrive, sometimes it's half the price but usually around midnight. I always turn up earlier (once 5 hours) and I have always been put on the next available train, rarely having to wait more than an hour and never having to pay any extra.

I was given the third degree by French customs/security last night. I was in a Citroen van and they crawled all over it and under it. The lock on the back door is broken and you can't open it from outside - they wanted to know why (maybe drugs hidden in the door) - I almost replied "'cos it's French" but thought better of it!
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  #67  
Old 29.07.2007, 23:25
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

I make the journey back and forth every month to the Nord Vaudois and have tried every possible route. I know several of you are going to the Zurich area and the route will not suit but I have come to the conclusion that it is quicker/less miles and cheaper to use the Autoroute to Reims and then to go on the old RN routes. They have been upgraded in the last few years and on my route a lot of the journey is dual carriageway. The cost of tolls and the queues especially at holiday times were no fun as I do the journey in the day.( Too old to do it at night!)
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  #68  
Old 30.07.2007, 00:36
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

If any of you cross the channel frequently it is worth signing up as frequent traveller on the eurotunnel. You buy 10 "crossings" in advance and they cost 49 euros for a one way crossing. Booking the crossings is real easy you can phone as you travel or log on to their website right up to the time you want to cross. To book you will need a cc or debit card. On arrival at the tunnel you go to one of the automatic toll booths (unmanned) you simply stick your cc into the machine and it feeds out your boarding pass. It is supposed to be limited to one person (the person that buys the frequent travel) but I have found that you can bypass that by simply using the cc number of whoever is traveling. Because the machine gives the ticket when that card is inserted, nobody checks ID. As a result friends and family can use the tickets too. The crossings are valid for one year from the time of purchase.:
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  #69  
Old 30.07.2007, 22:05
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

Hi,
we are taking the ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam.Anyone else done this route? Any advice re route/stops /journey time. we are travelling to Vevey-Montreux.
Jo
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  #70  
Old 30.07.2007, 22:13
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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Hi,
we are taking the ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam.Anyone else done this route? Any advice re route/stops /journey time. we are travelling to Vevey-Montreux.
Jo
hey that sounds a good route for us going back to visit the folks in the North East, do you have any further info i.e ferry crossing time and travel time from Amsterdam - bonus with this idea is a stop off in Amsterdam
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  #71  
Old 30.07.2007, 23:07
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

I prefer Rotterdam - Hull to be honest. We take a suite and vegetate in the suite with the free minibar and tv there for us. It's better than Abba tribute bans and bingo
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  #72  
Old 30.07.2007, 23:08
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

Does the ferry journey currently take longer than normal ?

dave

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I prefer Rotterdam - Hull to be honest.
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  #73  
Old 30.07.2007, 23:13
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

Hi Nicky,
you`ll get all the info here.

http://www.dfds.co.uk/DSW/EN/TimeTable/an.htm

Think it leaves at 18.00 arriving at 9.30. Quite reasonable compared to our other alternative of rosyth-zebbrugge.
jo
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  #74  
Old 30.07.2007, 23:14
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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Does the ferry journey currently take longer than normal ?

dave
it's an overnight crossing 9pm -> 8am. Consider the fact that you avoid driving through the UK plus a hotel overnight, it's worth it.
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  #75  
Old 30.07.2007, 23:29
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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Hi,
we are taking the ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam.Anyone else done this route? Any advice re route/stops /journey time. we are travelling to Vevey-Montreux.
Jo
A bit of a grind this trip. I assume you are crossing with DFDS? The ferry is a bit odd too - they run their dining facilities like a boarding school canteen and the food is quite pricey, but cheaper if you buy a meal ticket before boarding. If you have ever caught the western France ferries (Brittany) and are used to them you will be in for a culture shock with DFDS. They always have a live band and it gets pretty raucous with North Englanders determined to have a memorable hangover in the morning.

The traffic is generally pretty heavy when you head out on the A12 towards Utrecht & Arnhem and only really eases up once you get past Dusseldorf (Cameras are bad on this section and there are also quite a few police cars with radars - if they catch you they make you pay on the spot - Visa cards accepted for payment!) If you are going to do it in one day you will have to pretty much put your head down. Depending on traffic it is usually a 10 hour run to Zurich. I usually stop at Baden-Baden for a meal and R&R. Its is beautiful, serves fabulous food and a great place to people watch and only a short diversion off the highway.

There are also ferries from Hull to the Europort (Rotterdam) with P&O. With any P&O ferry it is worth saying you are a Daily Mail reader. they always seem to be running promotions and will more times than not give you a discount (just be vague about the actual promotion you "saw")

Lower down there is Stena from Harwich to Hoek of Holland - not so good if you are heading south though.
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  #76  
Old 30.07.2007, 23:46
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

Hi,
yes it is DFDS, well its too late for me to change so I guess I`ll just have to take some ear plugs if I want an early night. It seemed like a better option than driving all the way from the west coast of Scotland and going thro` England.
jo
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  #77  
Old 02.09.2007, 19:47
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

Im thinking of doing my first drive to UK this Christmas.

Can anyone advise me on booking ferry / eurotunnel tickets?

Is it better and cheaper to book in advance (online) or buy tickets at the terminal in Calais?

Also: Will my alloy wheels on my Audi A3 be safe in North London?

Cheers

Dani
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  #78  
Old 02.09.2007, 20:05
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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Im thinking of doing my first drive to UK this Christmas.

Can anyone advise me on booking ferry / eurotunnel tickets?

Is it better and cheaper to book in advance (online) or buy tickets at the terminal in Calais?

Also: Will my alloy wheels on my Audi A3 be safe in North London?

Cheers

Dani
For convenience you can't beat the tunnel - buy tickets online and when you turn up yopu can check yourself in at a machine, drive on the train, and be in Blighty in half an hour.

If you park outside in London you have a good chance of losing your wheels (fit locks) but look on the brightside, they normally leave you a pile of bricks in exchange .
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  #79  
Old 02.09.2007, 20:40
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

Re: Rotterdam to Hull
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it's an overnight crossing 9pm -> 8am. Consider the fact that you avoid driving through the UK plus a hotel overnight, it's worth it.
It's been many years now, but when I lived in the south of Holland, I preferred the Zeebrugge to Hull route. No casino and no bands. The boat sailed at 6pm, (school dinnerish) evening meal and breakfast included, and you were generally clearing customs in Hull at around 7:30-8 am. I don't know if they still do it, but a steward would wake you up in the morning with a cup of tea!

Has anyone tried this route recently?
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  #80  
Old 04.09.2007, 16:03
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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Im thinking of doing my first drive to UK this Christmas.

Can anyone advise me on booking ferry / eurotunnel tickets?

Is it better and cheaper to book in advance (online) or buy tickets at the terminal in Calais?

Also: Will my alloy wheels on my Audi A3 be safe in North London?

Cheers

Dani

I always use the Tunnel, book on line as far in advance as possible. the night time crossings are generally much cheaper. I always book the cheapest crossing and turn up way in advance, they have always (so far) let me go on the next train for no extra charge.
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