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London to Dunkirk then Bruges without a car

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Dec 5th, 2018, 08:45 AM
  #1
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London to Dunkirk then Bruges without a car

We're hiking in the South Downs south of London. From there we would like to visit Dunkirk and then on to Bruges for a few nights.

I've done a simple directions search in Google Maps and am coming up with all these crazy times and lots of transfers.

Can anyone give me suggestions for a simpler way to get from England to Dunkirk and then Bruges? There must be better websites for train or bus schedules.

I then need to get from Bruges to Boppard and do this all over again! We fly out of Amsterdam. This is going to be a challenge I think.

Am also going to do a search to see how much it would be to rent a car for a day in the Calais area (to go to Dunkirk then Bruges) , but think it will be very expensive dropping off in another country.

Thanks so much.
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Dec 5th, 2018, 08:55 AM
  #2
 
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https://www.rome2rio.com/map/South-Downs/Dunkirk

You can start our planning using Rome2rio. Great app!
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Dec 5th, 2018, 09:03 AM
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Start by going from London to Calais. At Calais you can take a train to Dunkirk for 10 euros direct. Easy.
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Dec 5th, 2018, 09:07 AM
  #4
 
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Take the Eurostar from London (or infrequently from Ashford) to Lille, then a local train to Dunkirk.

https://www.seat61.com/France.htm#Lille
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Dec 5th, 2018, 10:23 AM
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dunkirk take bus to border then trams that trundle along coast to Ostende or some other town with direct trains to Bruges. Or take train back to Lille then trains to Bruges- 2.25 hours that way may be quicker than bus/tram but that route goes thru neat towns and may not be any longer.

Bruges- Boppard - take train to Brussels then train to Cologne and change for train to Koblenz and Boppard.

Easy schedules - www.bahn.de/en for trains - book early for huge savings with limited discounted tickets - book at www.bahn.de/en site - easy to do online - yes www.seat61.com is the best site for help with booking own tickets - general train info also www.ricksteves.com and BETS-European Rail Experts.
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Dec 5th, 2018, 10:29 AM
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Get the ferry from Dover to Dunkirk, why bother with Calais?
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Dec 5th, 2018, 12:17 PM
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Dover to Dunkirk ferries don't take foot passengers.
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Dec 5th, 2018, 02:44 PM
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It seems would take much longer London to Dunkirk by slow train and ferry but I always though taking a ferry over the Channel was so neat- seeing the White Cliffs of Dover fade into distance. Or take the odd Eurostar train that stops at the Calais-Frethun station near end of tunnel in France and bus to Calais and Dunkirk.
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Dec 6th, 2018, 03:20 AM
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What do you actually plan doing in Dunkirk?

Without a car (or tbh, even with a car) there's very little to see or do there, unless a relative's actually buried in a war grave - and it's a monstro pain to get to.

From extreme SE England to Bruges is less of a pain (Ashford to Lille or Brussels then change), but even there it's often quicker to get a fast train to London, then to Brussels.
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Dec 6th, 2018, 05:48 AM
  #10
 
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I quite like Dunkerque, particularly the Malo-les-Bains section.

Malo-les-Bains (Malo-aan-Zee) on the North Sea | Any Port in a Storm
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Dec 6th, 2018, 09:48 AM
  #11
 
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If taking Eurostar book tickets as early as possible for prodigious discounts over full fare but those cheaper seats are limited so early bird gets the discount ticket worm- book yourself - www.eurostar.com.
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Dec 6th, 2018, 09:54 AM
  #12
 
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I recently booked a trip to London for January 39€ each way, which I'm sure corresponds to the 35 fare offered in London for the opposite direction.

If money is a problem, you can also take a bus from London for about 10/10€.
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Dec 6th, 2018, 04:28 PM
  #13
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Well the Dunkirk option is gone as the museum is closed for renovation...it might open by May but not certain. Am going to forget this section of the trip for now.

Just getting from the small village of Thakeham (where we're hiking with HF Holidays in the South Downs) to London is quite a journey, I'm finding.

I'm trying various options from your suggestions above, plus two more:

1. Hiring a private driver via Daytrip ($160 USD) to get from Calais to Bruges.
2. Flying from Heathrow to Brussels ($62 USD each)...but getting to Heathrow is longer and the train from Brussels airport to Bruges takes longer with this option also.

Doing Eurostar from London to Brussels is about 2 hours, then from Brussels to Bruges (not from the airport as above) is a little over an hour.

So many options, none of them particularly delightful! Thanks again for your help, everyone.
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