dorchester to eurotunnel

Discussion in 'UK Touring' started by weejohnw, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. weejohnw

    weejohnw Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    83
    Location:
    Richhill
    Hi Folks
    any advice/ opinions on best route from around the dorchester area to the channel tunnel. Sally (sat nav) is suggesting a27 across to the m25 anti-clockwise etc.
    See another possibilty of heading across country on a roads - but maybe this will take too long. We will be travelling on a Friday morning, aiming to be at checkin at around 12.30pm.
    Look forward to hearing suggestions.
    thanks John
     
  2. wivvy's dad

    wivvy's dad Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,218
    Likes Received:
    1,807
    Location:
    48.066895,12.862673
    I think you'll find that you will have to allow much more time than you think. For sheer speed and ease, the M27/M3/M25/M26/M20 are your best bet, but the M25 can sometimes be a pain on a Friday. Keep listening to local or national radio traffic updates.
    The coast road M27/A27/A259 can be a complete pain - just very very slow. I've missed booked ferries before now by being caught out by how long it can take.
    There's only one viable cross-country route, the A272 from Winchester through to Heathfield. It all gets a bit higgledy-piggledy East from there with a couple of alternative routes, all very rural and slow.

    Good luck with whatever you choose.
     
  3. oldfozzie

    oldfozzie Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    73
    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    In times gone by I used to do this trip regularly.
    Along the south coast all the way is a definite no no. The best route was along the coast to Portsmouth area and then up past Gatwick to M25 then to M20 etc.
    Make plenty of allowance for the M25 but at least this way minimises your exposure to the "Road to Hell!!"
    Good luck and enjoy the trip

    Martin:thumb:
     
  4. weejohnw

    weejohnw Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    83
    Location:
    Richhill
    Hi,
    up and across the M25, Sally is suggesting approx. 3 and half hours- is this reasonable or will it likely be 4 and a half? or more?. I really like planning to and from somewhere, in between bits are more relaxed! so would like to find out in real terms, how long it will probably take.
    Thanks John
     
  5. MrJinks

    MrJinks Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Dorchester, Dorset
    Hi John,

    Without a doubt....take the M25/M26/M20 route. I would go A35/A31/M27/M3 to the M25 although as mentioned the A27/M27 to Brighton and then A23/M23 is an option but slightly longer.

    Unless you have loads of time and enjoy the scenic route do not go across country or definately not the south coast road from Brighton onwards. Takes hours.

    The time of 3½ hours is feasible providing there are no holdups. Extremely lucky if no traffic holdup somewhere on a Friday morning so allow at least an extra hour.

    happy travels
     
  6. wivvy's dad

    wivvy's dad Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,218
    Likes Received:
    1,807
    Location:
    48.066895,12.862673
    I would definitely allow 4+, maybe even a nice round 5 hours. That way leaves you less stressed.

    Here's an example....... When we were heading along exactly the motorway route I have described, suddenly the traffic moving South along the M20 near Maidstone came to a COMPLETE standstill. Then within minutes, the traffic on the Northbound side vanished.

    After about 30 minutes I could hear loud voices outside, and going out to have a listen, a local chap on a bridge above the motorway had a handheld radio scanner, and listening to the emergency services channels, he was able to tell us that there was a "jumper" on a bridge up ahead, and was being "talked down" by the Police.

    After about another 30 minutes, the traffic on both sides started moving again. Sum total of holdup = 1hour+

    Result, getting to Dover with half an hour to spare instead of nearly 2 hours.
     
  7. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,024
    Likes Received:
    3,528
    Location:
    Zummerzet
    Would agree with everyone here head for M27 M3 M25 M26 M20 - used to do this route regularly Taunton to Ashford fastest time was 2 1/2 hours early in the morning - no stops - longest was 6 hours due to road works accidents traffic jams etc - I would always advise that people try and allow 2 or 3 hours spare then if you get there early so well and good but no matter how well you plan it is the time you arrive on the Docks ready to load that is important to catching the ferry - I have turned up with 1/2 hour to spare in the past only to find a long queue in front of me and so only just made it to load on time.
     
  8. bigfish

    bigfish Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    85
    Location:
    Eastleigh, Hants
    DONT go up the coast road, takes forever stop / go for a lot of it.

    Agree with the above route, but why not just pick up the A303, saves coming across to the M27, and then the M3, M25, M26 & M20.

    Being Friday leave early arrive relaxed, :thumb:
    Cheers.
     
  9. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3,747
    Likes Received:
    1,720
    Location:
    Mid Cornwall
    If you do go 303, you have two choices - Yeovil, or Blandford to hook up. Early in the morning, the blandford road is sweet for little traffic - but is quite winding. The Yeovil road is more direct, if going back ever so slightly.

    That said, you will make up time on the M27 commuter traffic! It gets a little busy from around 8.30 near reading, but does flow anticlockwise. Soon as you come off to go down towards M26/M20 you are at the mercy of French Fisherman! If 'stack' is in operation don't miss the turning for A249 which will pop you up to the M2. Brings you out nearer Dover, but the tunnel is between the two pretty much.

    I presume they would get there fairly early, if going to the Eurotunnel. You could always leave at silly o'clock, and have breakfast on the way.

    Whichever you decide, have a great trip - it will all be worth it! I know you are in a motorhome and have the equipment, but please - do by a coffee at the terminal queue - you would never believe me if I told you how much was in that cup!!
     
  10. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Messages:
    6,159
    Likes Received:
    1,970
    Location:
    Kent, garden of England
    Agree this is the route I would use

    Do not use the coast road.... The A303 is good and duel carriage way until you hit the M3 .. Can be a bit slow from Fleet Services up past Camberly and especially up to the M 25 junction ... The M 25 is hit and miss but if there are problems you can cut round many parts of it.. I.e Leatherhead exit to Dorking, back on Reigate, or if worse run on the A25 further on to Redhill then through Nutley, Brentchley and the continue on the A25 to Westerham.... Follow the A25 to Wrotham the on to the M20 .. Even across the country route it adds no more than about 45 minutes to what the motorway time takes. But it will move.. Not my first choice, but if the M25 jams up then you can get round it.

    Hope it helps

    Bob:thumb:
     
  11. weejohnw

    weejohnw Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    83
    Location:
    Richhill
    Hi all, many thanks for the advice, from our actual starting point, me thinks heading to the a303 is a good bet. Get very stressed when I see or get stuck in traffic jams. Done the m25 often, but always at night, this will be a totally different experience. Have in the past always been travelling from the Birkenhead ferry or from Stranraer, so approching from this part of the world (near Dorchester) is unknown. Might also leave late Thursday night and nightover in a pub carpark or cl en-route. Many thanks again.
    This is our first time not using the ferry, as we are taking our mut with us- thought tunnel would be better in this situation. At 52, I have never been late for a date or appointment or travel booking and I don't want to start now!

    Thanks
    John
     
  12. wivvy's dad

    wivvy's dad Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,218
    Likes Received:
    1,807
    Location:
    48.066895,12.862673
    There's only one problem with that Bob - every mofo and his dog is doing exactly the same thing, with the result that everywhere within a 10 mile radius is gridlocked. I've been not so caught out in the past with the Letherhead turning by being on a motorbike, but have seen the carnage as I sailed jauntily by, usually waving in my own inimitable style, the middle finger the only one able to be raised when wearing motorcycling gloves.........:Rofl1:

    To the OP, your idea of leaving the day before is a good one. Good luck.
     
  13. bigfish

    bigfish Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    85
    Location:
    Eastleigh, Hants
    Hi

    If you leave thurs eve / night there are loads of places for a stop over.
    Wake up fresh with only a short drive to tunnel,

    I know of some for the ferry, but somebody here will point you towards somewhere for the tunnel.

    Cheers
     
  14. weejohnw

    weejohnw Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    83
    Location:
    Richhill
    Hi Bigfish,
    It's been a few years since I have wakened up fresh!!!!
    The more I think about this the more I am convinced that we should leave Thursday evening, leaving just a shortish drive on the Friday morning along the M20 to the Tunnel.
    Maybe some suggestions will arrive for stop overs around the M20, if not I'll start a new post.
    Many thanks, I really appreciate opinions from those who are familiar with the possible pitfalls of this route.
    Thanks
    Weejohn
     
  15. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Messages:
    6,159
    Likes Received:
    1,970
    Location:
    Kent, garden of England
    The tunnel is easy with a dog

    We live less than an hour drive from the tunnel in Tunbridge Wells.. Taking a dog on the train is easy... They do not allow you to arrive more than two hours before departure time. The M20 does not have that many issues unless operation stack is on.. Then it is hell

    You can either head down the M20 direct to the tunnel or might I suggest you go down the A21 .. Turning off to Towards Gouldhurst.. Nasty double turn in the village but a camper can get through ok .. Just follow the road signed post to Ashford.. There are a fair few places you can park up on this road and the journey time to Ashford across country is about 45 minutes ..from Asford it is 20 minutes if that to the tunnel and you go back on the motorway for the last part. .. Also if you took the road from the A 21 on to the A264 there is good lay by .. With devider at Merriworth and even before that just before the hop farm ( big place that has shws and events type pace) on the right hand side a big loop lane that is often used by campers over night.. The hop farm it's self has camping facilities. The A21 is junction 5 ..On the M25 You head on to the M26 a couple hundred yards then off the slip road onto the A21.. Heading south towards Hastings.. Big lay by on left by Sevenoahs South (Weald) and even more further down before you get to Tonbridge... About 8 miles south of the M25.. You would then use A264 to cross to the M20 just past Kings Hill, West Malling.

    P.m. If you need a better fix on them.. It is only an hour or less to thetunnelfrom that area and easy.

    Bob:Eeek:
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  16. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3,747
    Likes Received:
    1,720
    Location:
    Mid Cornwall
    Don't stop at Clackett either - always seems to be some dodgy goings on there when I have stopped in the lorry! Like watching a cop program for real :BigGrin:

    http://www.broadhembury.co.uk/touringprices2011.html

    Never stayed there, but this is not far from folkestone. Probably a safer distance away and would give you 30mins-1hr drive to the tunnel.
     
  17. JayDee

    JayDee Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    1,312
    Likes Received:
    166
    Location:
    N. Devon
    If it was my journey and I had to be there by 1230 I would certainly choose A31 M27 M3 M25 M26 M20 and leave home at about 0700. If I had plenty of time I would probably opt for the much less manic, shorter, but significantly slower A272 route and allow about 7 hours. Never would I opt for the A27 route as it's both manic and slow as well as being unbelievably frustrating.
    Since you'll be hitting the M25 mid to late morning you may be lucky and have a reasonable (if that's possible on the M25) run, but not a good idea to rely on it. Better to be early and chill out for a while than panicking at the last minute or worse, missing the boat (train, whatever:RollEyes:)

    Whatever you choose, drive carefully and don't drive too fast now - doyahear!!:Wink::Smile:


    John
     
  18. weejohnw

    weejohnw Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    83
    Location:
    Richhill
    Hi Fellow Motorhomers, I think we are now going to ammend our schedule to leave Thursday evening and aim to be past the M25 so that on the Friday morning we can get up at a more holiday time than 6 or 7am, aiming to have no more than an hours drive to the Tunnel, maybe even getting an earlier "crossing" - if that's what you call it?
    Many thanks. Weejohn
     
Loading...

Share This Page