France - from Scotland

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by dealgan, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. dealgan

    dealgan Read Only Funster

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    I need some advice please :thumb:

    We like going to France for the main summer holiday, only 2 weeks.

    We've done direct from Cork, direct from Rosslare, via Pembroke & Plymouth, via Holyhead & Portsmouth/southampton (cant remember which), but have always shied away from the eastern UK crossings.

    Why ? Well, google maps shows 8.5 hours driving
    this route
    ... so we have always said no, thats too much driving.

    I'm now thinking about it again.
    (Irishferries around 1100/1200 euro, celtic link around 980 euro, brittany ferries around 1300/1400 euro :Eeek: )

    The main reason I've stayed away from doing long hours driving is the kids being smallish and getting irritated after a few hours. - Doesn't make for a good start to a holiday.

    What is the solution ?

    Just let them sleep ?
    Stopover on the way south somewhere ?
    Include a half-day at some UK theme park (legoland or something similar) as a start of the holidays ?

    All suggestions welcome.

    Thanks,
    Declan
     
  2. madbluemad

    madbluemad

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    I vote C. Your on holiday and both you and the kids can have a fun break.

    Jim
    :Smile:
     
  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi Declan

    it is a long haul down from Scotland and with only 14 days you are also short on time for extended breaks before reaching France..

    I would consider getting a late evening ferry from Ireland then drive through the night until reaching Dover with an early morning crossing ..you don't say where you are headed to in France, but after reaching Calais , stop on a site or aire for a couple of nights to recover then proceed with your holiday .. that's what I used to do when I was younger

    If that doesn't appeal then as you suggest, have a stop over in the UK .. but I would avoid a theme park.. just stop at a CL or site for a day before heading to Dover ..

    Nowadays I seldom drive more than four hours, often much less, as I now see the journey as part of the holiday and not just a means to an end..
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    i agree with Jim...your holiday starts when your engine starts.....make the most of it for both you and the kids.

    keep the kids amused when driving by playing good old fashioned games...i spy, spot the numberplate, spot the stobart etc.

    it'll take their mind off it for a while at least.
     
  5. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Many people thinking this, I'll say it. Doesn't sound like much of a holiday. More a route march.

    Lovely place France but as the old Irish joke goes, "If I was going there I wouldn't start from here". And once you get there it's a bit massive.

    I'll toss some nearer solutions at you....
    Anglesey, North Wales, The Lakes, The Highlands.

    Plan Z: You drive like a nutter and the kids fly out.
     
  6. violet

    violet Read Only Funster

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    You don't say how old the children are.
    We have driven very long distances with our children and now grandchildren (e.g. East England to Budapest via Europapark, Venice,Croatia, Balaton) with no problems. We play games like I spy. car cricket, making jokes up, words from car number plates, etc. We also have some music that the children choose and good stories, they love Just William on CD (and so do we). When we drove from SW Scotland we tended to leave after school so they fell asleep for some of the journey. Children are resilient and can be great travellers. We make sure there is something they are going to like at the end of each journey, stop for proper picnics with food they like and oh and we always try to have more than one day in each place.
    However I see you have only two weeks, we used to have longer -
    Violet
     
  7. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    Hi Declan

    I stay in Dumfries about 1hour 20 from Stranraer we have driven to dover several times we normally leave Dumfries about 5pm that way we miss most of the traffic at Manchester, Birm and m25. We have a couple of stops for dinner and a stretch of our legs normally Sophie (12 years old) falls asleep or watches dvds. We have stayed at the port in dover twice and got early ferry next day but most times we cross then have a sleep last year we did euro tunnel we turned up 2 hours early and got put on train no problem Sophie and her Friend Emma woke (thought they could see fish above tunnel as i told them it had glass roof :Rofl1:)for going on but feel asleep again as thought it was boring lol.

    2 years ago we did the the Hull - Zeebrugge ferry which was great but more expensive but have decieded to do it this year again.

    I dont find the drive down a problem i feel the drive back from dover seems to be worst as its during the day and loads of traffic.

    Hope this helps
    Gerry
     
  8. marymo

    marymo Read Only Funster

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    We travel each year with 4 children who are now 11, 4 and twins of 8 - very quiet camper!!!

    I have found over the last few years that the best and cheapest way to go is : -

    a)Dublin Port to Holyhead - fast ferry leaving at 8.45 in morning Arrive 10.45

    b)Channel Tunnel to Calais - usually book for sometime between midnight & 6am but f you arrive earlier no problem getting on.

    c)Cherbourg to Rosslare directly coming home - easier drive for us than through UK with all our "Shopping".

    When driving through UK we usually drive for 2 hours and stop for half hour...dvd's /books keep kids quiet. For last 2 years we have left dublin at 8.45am and have been parked in aire at Calais by 11pm irish time.

    Njoy your hols
     
  9. dealgan

    dealgan Read Only Funster

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    Some good suggestions there. Thank you all.
     
  10. MisterED

    MisterED Read Only Funster

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    Location:
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    Also driving to France from Aberdeenshire

    OK,
    We have no kids now all but one gone :Cool:
    Heading down this year to the Tunnel
    Staying on a CL near York first night then just outside Felixstowe for a sparrows fart start the next day.
    Sounds like a plan for us anyway.:thumb:
    First stop in France is Versilies.
    My 2.5%
    Take Care all
    Terry & Hilary
     
  11. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    We live in Stranraer and our best ever time to Dover was 12 hours, towing a caravan, no kids. Camper is only very marginally faster. I think you must stop over somewhere in the south before heading over.

    Happy holidays
     
  12. clwyd

    clwyd Read Only Funster

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    Dover Ferry route savings & camping

    We always used to go Portsmouth or Plymouth, but Calais now costs less than €100 and is well worthwhile.
    Dover: The promenade 1km or less west of the E. docks (head for the marina) is ideal for a free overnight stay either way - lots of M'vans stay there, but you have to choose the right spots - see signs.

    See my other post re sites near Calais. .. under "Please Help Andy"
    UK sites are dear and I have found nothing better than the Dover prom.
    Derek
     
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