Traveling from France to England

Old Jan 24th, 2013, 07:25 AM
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Traveling from France to England

I am in the beginning stages of planning a trip for myself and family for later this year. We would like to see the northern coast of France and then travel to England for a few days. Looking for advice on where exactly to go in Northern France & then the best way to get to England. We will have a rental car while in France and then not sure if we should take that car into England (I would imagine that it would be alot of $ to drop off a rental car in another country). Thank you in advance!
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 07:33 AM
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Where in northern France will you be - if in Normandy then you can hop fast ferries that in a few hours will deposit you in southern England - like Portsmouth or Southampton, with rail links everywhere or where you could pick up a rental car.

Otherwise you'd have to go back to Paris to catch the Chunnel (Eurostar) trains to London and they may cost more than the ferries which have fares from around 29 euros I believe - ferries go from Cherbourg and Oustreham (near Caen and the D-day beaches).
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 07:36 AM
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The best route will be dictated by your locations - where will you be leaving from exactly and where do you plan to go. Trains, planes, or ferries may all be the best option depending on your locations.

On to of the large cost of picking up a rental and dropping it in another country, France drives on the right side of the road and the UK drives on the left - so the steering wheel will be on the 'wrong' side in the UK if you pick it up in France. That would be enough to deter me from doing this even if the cost didnt.

If you provide more details we can give you better answers.

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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 07:59 AM
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If you don't want to take a ferry, you can certainly board the Eurostar in Calais as well as Paris and travel direct to London.
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 07:59 AM
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Thank you both for replying.

I have not made any plans I am open to anything.

We are interested in visiting the D-day beaches and surrounding areas...
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 08:07 AM
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you really should take in some of the many WWI battlefields and memorials > I found them much more interesting and moving than the WWII
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 08:21 AM
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Dont eliminate flying - there are cheap flights from Brittany/Normandy to English airports...once you have your itinerary then you can figure out how to get between the two countries.
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 08:35 AM
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Thanks for the input so far everyone!

I don't have an itinerary just yet...need to establish where we'd like to go first in Northern France...and then how to get to England from there.

Where should we go? Looking for all input...thanks!
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 09:20 AM
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"Where should we go? Looking for all input..."

Presumably you didn't pick northern France out of a hat -you decided to go there for some reason. Where do you want to go? What are you interested in? WWII sites? Mont St Michel? Something else? We can help you w/the details - but we need more input from you.
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 09:21 AM
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Maybe do England first and ferry from Southhampton to Caen or Le Havre? It is often cheaper to return home out of Paris than London due to airport fees. I think it's also more fun to leave (or arrive) England by boat that a train in a tunnel. ;^)
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 09:24 AM
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Why on earth are you asking us where YOU want to go? How did you come to decide on "northern France?"

There are myriad ways to get from France to England, but we need some info from you as to where you'll be before explaining the logistics.
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 10:32 AM
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Thanks everyone...

The reason I picked Northern France was because I have heard from others that it is a great area AND my daughter wanted to visit England as well on this trip, so staying somewhere in N. France makes most sense for us. At first we were going to just go to England, but my heart is longing for more France. So we are all compromising.

I am not overly familiar with what N. France offers...I have seen a few things but I am open to all suggestions on what to see, where to stay, etc. Mont St Michel interests me greatly as well as the D-day sites.
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 10:40 AM
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To many tourist the most luring part of northern France is indeed the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy and also Mont-Sain-Michel in neighboring Brittany - they are not far apart so if driving it is easy to see both.

Normandy itself is one of the most quaint parts of France and the Cotentin Peninsula is where many tourists enjoy bopping around - Bayeux is IMO the nicest city from which to base for the D-Day/WW2 sites strung along the nearby coast - a relatively short area - then drive over to Mont-Saint Michel thru such nice cities as Coutances (known especially for its great cathedral) - actually you may want to go to Mont-Sain Michel first then end up in the Caen-Bayeux area, ditch the car and hop either planes or fast ferries to Britain (there are also overnight slow boats if you want that experience).

Near Mon-Saint-Michel are some lovely places in Brittany, like St-Malo, a cute port and Dinan, ditto.

Some folk like the old resort towns lining the coast just east and north of the Caen/Bayeux area - fabled resorts like Deauville, Trouville and Honfleur - a city associated with many artists, set right where the Seine empties into the North Sea - these towns would make a good drive along the coast.

Northern France proper - the area between Paris and Belgium IME has little of special interest for the average tourist - oh some nice towns like Amiens and Lille but the landscape is scarred by lots of detritus of industrial remains, old slag heaps from mining activities, etc.

So the classic northern France for tourists is IMO the Normandy D-Day beaches area and Mont-Sain-Michel area.

And the Cotentin Peninsula makes a wonderful driving area - I have done it several times by car and bike - neat back roads lined by the famous thick hedgerows hemming in these roads on both sides - hedgerows that proved to be such a problem for Allied tanks.

so if you end up in the Bayeux-Caen area ditch the car and ferry or hop a flight to Britain is a good strategy IMO.

And Bayeux is a great town itself - one of the few towns in this area not reduced to rubble in WW2 - has a great cathedral and the famous Queen Matilda's Tapestry, woven shortly after the Norman Invasion of 1066 to document the activities here and in Britain - a very famous thing on show in a special museum. Bayeux is a smallish big city and many folk rave about staying there.
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 10:56 AM
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PalenQ...wonderful information...thank you very much indeed!
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 12:32 PM
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Wanting to visit the D-Day beaches means Normandy. Mt St Michel is about 1.5 hours' drive from Bayeux and well worth the trip. Bayeux is close to Utah and Omaha beaches, where the US soldiers landed. The American cemetery at Omaha Beach is especially interesting.
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