Crossing the Channel

Old Jan 7th, 2013, 12:37 PM
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Crossing the Channel

In May, we are planning to fly into Manchester, rent a car and then drive down to cross the channel. Any input as to the best way to do this would be appreciated, especially in regards to:
- the cost of ferry vs chunnel and
-dropping off our car, and renting in France, vs traveling with our car.
We could also forgo the car in England and pick up a rental in France.
Our plans are very flexible. We have 2 weeks to get to Barcelona for a cruise, with a stop in Castres for a family reunion!
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Old Jan 7th, 2013, 01:03 PM
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The Chunnel is usually slightly more expensive but much quicker than Ferry and obviously zero risk of a bad crossing. Very quick and easy during transit and in getting car on and off compared with potential to be asked to do a complicated U turn into a tiny space with everyone watching you on the deck of a ferry !

I am however doubtful as to whether you could hire a car in Manchester and drop it off in Spain prior to your cruise as I think you would need to return to UK with it. You might want to consider a cheap flight from Manchester to Spain and then some more extensive internal travel within Spain before joining your cruise.
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Old Jan 7th, 2013, 01:57 PM
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certainly you will incur very high drop off fees if you rent in England and return the car in spain; renting in france and returning in spain might be possible, you'd have to ask the rental company. probably phoning would be better than the internet.

can i ask why you are flying into Manchester? London or even Paris would make more sense with your plans to end up Barcelona via Castres.

BTW, i looked up the train journey from Perpignan, [which is not a long way from Castres] to Barcelona, and it takes about 2 1/2 hours. so you could pick up your car in France, drive down to Castres for your family reunion, and then drive onto Perpignan to get your train to Barcelona.

this would avoid you incurring any cross-border drop off fees at all.
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Old Jan 7th, 2013, 04:43 PM
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Thanks so much to both of you for your help! We are flying in to Manchester to visit with family, both at the beginning and end of the trip...we like the idea of flying into Barcelona, renting a car and driving to France for the reunion and then back for the cruise, though the train sounds like a great idea too, no backtracking!
Any suggestions for B&Bs in Manchester, Barcelona, or enroute to Barcelona from Castres? We travel with 2 teenagers?
Thanks again!
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Old Jan 8th, 2013, 12:16 AM
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Which ferry? There are a whole series along the southern/northern coast. I like the Poole to Cherbourg one.
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