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Old 17.01.2010, 20:36
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Driving to the UK

Evening everyone,
I will have to drive to the UK (Leicester) soon as I don't fly. It looks like a 12hr stint (from Bulle area) so I think I would like to stop. Has anyone got any idea of where it's best to stop? I was hoping to more than half the journey in the first leg.

Cheers
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Old 17.01.2010, 20:37
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Re: Driving to the UK

If you do a search there has been quite a few threads on this subject. Can't help on where to stop, we usually drive right through and get half hours kip in the tunnel
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Old 17.01.2010, 20:39
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Re: Driving to the UK

Thanks. Thought I'd seen threads but don't appear to be finding any. Will keep searching. Half an hr. Not sure I've got that much driving in me.
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Old 17.01.2010, 20:43
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Re: Driving to the UK

I'm like you. I don't like flying but for a trip to the UK I'll bite the bullet and take the 2hour flight.
Have you done the UK to Switzerland or vice versa before?? It's a long drag
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Old 17.01.2010, 20:47
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Re: Driving to the UK

Sadly it's beyond that for me. I did fly once but couldn't get back on the plane at the other end. I usually take the train but can't do the early departure on this occasion to make it work.
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Old 17.01.2010, 21:20
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Re: Driving to the UK

In ye olden days before the Channel Tunnel, Easyjet and the like, we used to head for the Midlands going the long way round. From Basel straight up the German Autobahn to the Dutch border, keep going and turn right at the North Sea. Hoek van Holland Night Ferry to Harwich and in the morning cross country to Northamptonshire. These days you even have the A14 which should make it much quicker.

It's certainly not the shortest or the quickest, and probably not the cheapest way but it avoids the traffic round London and we found it suited us quite well!
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Old 17.01.2010, 21:20
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Re: Driving to the UK

There are quite a few reasonable, and inexpensive hotels close to the tunnel, probably about 8 hours drive from you. Depends on what you are looking for, just google Channel Tunnel Hotels and you're already half way there.
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Old 17.01.2010, 21:36
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Re: Driving to the UK

Hey cbb,
I drive twice a year to the UK from Lausanne. I normally drive up to Calais or Boulogne and take the ferry - stopping at a couple of service stations on the way for half an hour or so. I then stop over in Dover - there is a premierinn 2 minutes away from the ferry terminal and finish the journey the next day - up to Yorkshire or Merseyside.
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Old 17.01.2010, 21:37
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Re: Driving to the UK

We did the journey at Christmas, and miraculously had clear runs in each direction despite bad weather before and after each of our journeys. Basel to Calais via the French motorways is quite an "easy", if very long, journey. It's about 6.5 hours of actual driving. The way we did it was to leave Basel after work and do 2.5 hours to Metz, where we had dinner and stayed overnight in the Novotel (which I can recommend), then we did the other 4 hours in the morning and got a crossing at about 11:30. Drove up to Northampton, with 2 short stops en route, for about 3pm. On the way home we stayed with friends near Reigate on our last night in the UK, then got up early, took a 9am chunnel crossing and drove straight home, arriving about 19:30, having had 2 short stops. With 2 kids, I was very, very grateful for the 2 pack of seat-back DVD screens I had bought in Manor....didn't have any complaints as long as the movies kept on coming. Sorry I can't recommend anywhere further along the journey as you asked.
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Old 17.01.2010, 21:52
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Re: Driving to the UK

We have done it a couple of times. Stopping in or around Reims is nice. About half way, some reasonably priced hotels.Good food.
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Old 17.01.2010, 22:03
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Re: Driving to the UK

Cheers for the advice everyone. Definitely not looking forward to the drive though. Got to do it over a weekend.
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Old 17.01.2010, 22:06
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Re: Driving to the UK

Reims, Epernay (?) are both quite nice
But the express by holiday inn in Reims is a shithole !!
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Old 17.01.2010, 22:14
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Re: Driving to the UK

A few things to make sure you can make your journey easier:

* Prepare the car, make sure it is full of fuel, coolant, oil etc
* Prepare all the travel information, maps, satnav, documentation
* Prepare emergency food, drink blankets etc in case you get stuck
* Get an early night sleep
* Get up early and have a nice hot shower.
* Divide the journey up into legs based on distance/ fuel stops

You will find you can do a longer stint at first, make sure you make regular stops, walking around for ten minutes can take some of the numbness away and make you feel more refreshed.

Also try not to rush the journey, treat it as an adventure that whilst not the most life changing can be interesting.
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Old 17.01.2010, 22:22
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Re: Driving to the UK

if I was to tunnel or ferry it to Kent, I'd aim to stop on the M25 at Thurrock (Travelodge). It's also near Lakeside shopping megaplex
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Old 17.01.2010, 22:29
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Re: Driving to the UK

I've stopped at one of the hotels near the channel tunnel. Took me about 8 hours from Geneva to Calais... left late afternoon, arrived just after midnight.

A fun trip, not as long as the single days journey I did from Stockholm to Lausanne (23 hours total, 21 spent driving, about 1900km's... what a trip).
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