Grapes at Domaine Leduc-Frouin

ripening grapes in the Loire

ripening grapes in the Loire


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France by Bus, Train, Road – but not by plane!

The recent shutdown of the skies across the UK, France and much of northern Europe has led to consideration of alternative modes of  transport – train is probably the most obvious, but there is heavy demand for Eurostar seats between London and Paris or Brussels and getting a reservation  at short notice will be difficult.

clear skies with no planesHowever you can still get to France by train and ferry – Train from London to Dover Priory, then transfer bus to Dover Eastern Docks, foot passenger ticket from Dover to Calais and then train Calais to Paris – that’s 3 or 4 separate tickets but if needs must…… It will take much longer than the Eurostar – up to 10 hours compared to 2½ and will not always be particularly cheap  at busy periods or short notice

Taking the car is also likely to be subject to heavy demand and delay.

Another option is to look at the long-distance bus services run by SNCF’s Ouibus – London to Paris city centre to city centre takes 10+ hours and standard cost varies by date and how far in advance you can book – although cheaper fares are available for advance booking. Once you’be got to Paris then you have more options available for getting to your final destination – which are unlikely to be so overwhelmed by excess demand as the French are not so reliant on flying for domestic travel. Again train is often a good option – and whilst the TGV lines are fast there are usually cheaper and slower regional trains (TER) on many routes – car hire is another option as is onward travel by bus with Eurolines offering destinations such as

Agen , Aix en Provence,  Angers , Avignon, Bordeaux, Chamonix , Chalon-sur-Saône, Dijon , Grenoble, Lille  Lyon, Marseille, Metz,  Montpellier, Mulhouse, Nancy, Nantes, Nîmes , Niort, Perpignan,  Poitiers, Reims , Rennes, Saintes,  Strasbourg , Toulon, Toulouse , Tours ,Valence  and Paris
For more info on long-distance buses to and within France see SNCF’s Ouibus

For Ferries see P&O Ferries or DFDS (to Calais & Dunkerque)

also DFDS (portsmouth-le havre, ramsgate – ostend, dover – boulogne, Newhaven -Deippe)

Brittany Ferries (Portsmouth and Poole  – Caen, Cherbourg, Plymouth – Roscoff (Britanny), Santander (northern Spain), Cork (Ireland) to Roscoff

Condor Ferries (Weymouth – Cherbourg and the Channel Islands)

Stena Line(Harwich – Hook of Holland)

Sail to France with P&O Ferries and Hull – Zeebrugge (Belgium) and Rotterdam (Holland)

DFDS Ferries Newcastle – Amsterdam

For train travel in France bookable from the UK see Voyages-SNCF for Train, Eurostar, TGV

For car hire in France see Sixt Rent-a-car

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