Getting There

On any self-drive holiday to the continent, the adventure starts with the journey! Whether it's a short hop from Dover to Calais, a more leisurely trip to one of the ports in Brittany or a mini cruise to Spain, ferries offer a relaxed way to travel and help to get your holiday off to the best possible start.

If you don't fancy the ferry, then of course there is always the Eurotunnel, which will put you on foreign soil in little more than half an hour. All of the trains are air conditioned and have plenty of room to wander around during your crossing.

Remember to check the site pages for recommended routes, too!

CrossingRouteOperatorOutbound DurationInbound DurationInsider tips
Short SeaDover - CalaisP&O Ferries90 mins90 mins 
Dover - CalaisDFDS Seaways90 mins90 minsGreat on board shopping
Dover - DunkerqueDFDS Seaways2 hrs2 hrsIdeal for Holland, Switzerland & Austria
EurotunnelFolkstone - CalaisEurotunnel35 mins35 minsFastest route to France with motorway to motorway access
Western ChannelPortsmouth - CaenBrittany Ferries6 hrs day
7-8 hrs overnight
 Caen offers easy motorway access to Paris, the Loire Valley & beyond
Portsmouth - CherbourgBrittany Ferries3 hrs3 hrsSpeed to France in only 3 hours on the most modern fast-craft operating from the UK
Portsmouth - Le HavreBrittany Ferries8 hrs overnight
5 hrs 30 mins day, 8 hrs overnight
Day and night sailings to Le Havre
Portsmouth - St MaloBrittany Ferries11-12 hrs overnight9 hrs day, 11-12 hrs overnight
St Malo is ideally placed for fast access to Brittany, the Vendée & the Dordogne
Poole - CherbourgBrittany Ferries4 hrs 15 mins4 hrs 15 mins day, 10 hrs overnight
The shortest ferry sailing across the Western Channel to France, with convenient sailing times (one sailing per day)
Plymouth - RoscoffBrittany Ferries6 hrs day
 9 hrs overnight
 6 hrs day, 9-10 hrs overnight
All campsites in Brittany are within 3 hours drive of Roscoff
Portsmouth - Le HavreDFDS Seaways8 hrs overnight5½ hrs dayLe Havre is conveniently connected to major road networks
Newhaven - DieppeDFDS Seaways4 hrs4 hrsDieppe is a handy port for Normandy, Paris and beyond
North SeaHarwich - Hook of HollandStena Line6¾ hrs day
8½ hrs overnight
 The only daytime sailing across the North Sea
Hull - RotterdamP&O Ferries11/12 hrs11/12 hrsIdeal if you're travelling to sites in Holland, Switzerland & Austria
Hull - ZeebruggeP&O Ferries13/14 hrs13/14 hrs 
SpainPortsmouth - BilbaoBrittany Ferries24 hrs24 hrsConvenient for travelling to Spain. Start your holiday with a mini cruise.
Portsmouth - SantanderBrittany Ferries24 hrs24 hrsConvenient for travelling to Spain. Start your holiday with a mini cruise.
Plymouth - SantanderBrittany Ferries24 hrs24 hrsConvenient for travelling to Spain. Start your holiday with a mini cruise.