Manchester to France....and in between!?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by zen navigator, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. zen navigator

    zen navigator Read Only Funster

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    Further to my other post re: First timers to France in July for 3 weeks.

    I am starting to lean to doing a kinda of low plod to France and via some nice areas on the way.

    Slog from Manchester to Devon\Cornwall, then Dorset, follow the coast to the South Downs and over to Dover for the a few days in France. Now I am aware that on that basis I may never get to France. Which would not be end of the world.

    Questions are:

    I presume in July turning up on the day at the ports wont be an issue or will I be hit in the wallet for this?

    Any top tips for areas or camping sites to stay at in the aforementioned areas.

    Dave
     
  2. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Am afraid you will be hit in the wallet just turning up at any port any time.
    The cheapest way is to book via the internet.
    All ferry companys have a price hike for anyone just turning up.
     
  3. zen navigator

    zen navigator Read Only Funster

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    Would booking on the internet a few days before my crossing get me a bargain or is it as the availability becomes reduced, so the price is hiked up?

    Dave

     
  4. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    I have had bargains in the past booking a few days before sailing,am in Holland at the moment came out last Wednesday with Norfolkline,paid £20 one way 5 days before departure.
    I personaly only book one way travel as I never know when am coming back.
    There are some short trip returns on at the moment so do some searching.
     
  5. Loujess

    Loujess Read Only Funster

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    So if you just get a one way ticket, presumably you will just turn up at the port for your return journey. Do they whack you in the wallet then? We asked for an open-ended return when we went to France recently but were refused. However, we turned up early at the port the day before returning and they would have put us on the next boat if it wasn't for our dog problem.
    Ivy
     
  6. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    No..... they have internet in Europe as well as the UK.:thumb:
     
  7. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    As has been pointed out, you will be 'hit in the wallet' and pay top whack if you simply just turn up.

    Best bet is to pre book via the internet the cheapest available fare going.

    No doubt it will be some unearthly obscure hour but book it anyway.....because here is a money saving dodge. Doesn't always work but my success rate is about 99%.

    Turn up at a time more suited to yourself which may well be 3 or 4pm......peak period when most want to be crossing and those with far too much money pay whatever the rate is, just drive to the booth and tell them you got to the Port earlier than expected and ask if there is space to get you on. They usually do!

    I've made crossings at £30 - 50 where people have paid three or four times that amount for a similar size vehicle on the same time crossing.
     
  8. wildbri

    wildbri Read Only Funster

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    As long as its not with PO, they will want £ 50 off you if you try to get an earlier boat, Norfolk line dont and they usually are the cheapest. regards bri:BigGrin:
     
  9. georgio

    georgio Read Only Funster

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    Evening all,


    Ibooked last week with seafrance £110 return travelling in peak times in july aug.



    good luck georgio
     
  10. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    And I was just gonna say that Seafrance will charge you but P&O never do!!

    I expect we both speak 'as we find'.

    Having said that, I think P&O were stroppy with us coming back from France on the motorbike once, I know Pete refused to pay and we sat on a carpark for several hours as they wouldn't let us into the port !
     
  11. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    If you cant get on the internet when in France and need to book over the phone here is a number for P&O (not the stupid 0870 number they try and fob you off with in the UK which wont work abroad anyway)

    0044 1304 864008

    Or if in the uk 01304 864008.

    I booked our return leg about a week before we came back when I knew when I wanted to travel. 7.5 metre van and two adults. 9:25am sailing, £40.

    If I was you though I would get a belt on from Manchester to Calais and just go to France. You wont want to come back and will wonder why you didnt go straight there!

    Cheers
    BD
     
  12. zen navigator

    zen navigator Read Only Funster

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    I hear what you saying about go straight to France.

    I am torn between Plan A Just France and Plan B which is our Green and Pleasant Land, the Sceptred Isle and pop over to France for the last week of the 3 week sortie.

    I suppose Plan C could be France for 2 weeks and and and a slow plod home.

    But I guess you would say when you get to France you wont leave :Doh:

    Dave

     
  13. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    Im biased though having just returned from 8 weeks in France. The south coast of England is stunning and we spent a month down there at Christmas but its just not too Motorhome friendly.

    If you get down to Brittany, its motorhome city and there are free aires litterally everywhere. We did all the Normandy landing beaches on the way back home last week as well which is always interesting.

    Whatever you decide to do I hope you have a good trip and decent weather. If you want to guarentee the weather however I would get south of the Loire and maybe as far as the Dordogne which will be hot and although its a bit of a hike, well worth it.

    Cheers
    Barry
     
  14. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    I generally use Seafrance. Only once did P&O beat them on price.

    As for getting on a ferry at peak period time with a low cost ticket, it's easily done on this side.....but the French can sometimes be awkward. I once even found myself arguing some guys case who they wouldnt let on an earlier crossing time despite there being loads of empty spaces. It was crazy. Eventually they allowed him on but it wasn't without much arguing and hassling.
     
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