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Travel: Ferry to France

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There’s something nostalgic about taking the ferry to France for a holiday. Watching the gleaming Dover cliffs recede into the distance holds a certain kind of romance that I miss when we travel by train. Nowadays though it’s not only nostalgic but practical as a family with our car and all our gear. On our recent trip down to Anguloume, we opted to take the Dover to Calais route and visit some family along the way. The drive from London to Dover is 1.5 hours and the ferry crossing is also just 90 minutes. Plus at £49 each way it’s good value for money.

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What’s lovely about taking the ferry is that our holiday starts as soon as we board. My daughter heads over to the Junior Crew Kids Club, which has arts and crafts, face painting, puzzles and games, while I quickly jump onto the wi-fi to plan the rest of our road trip and finish some last-minute work. It’s great that we’re able to walk around and stretch our legs before we begin the long drive ahead. Also, any last-minute gifts can be bought in the gift shop—mustn’t forget the shortbread biscuits for the French relatives!

We like to schedule our crossing over lunch—on board there’s the Brasserie or the Food Court, plus a Starbucks—so we can limit our road stops to just loo breaks, with the goal of reaching our destination in time for dinner. After the drive down from London, it’s relaxing to look out at the rolling waves of the Channel. With lunch finished, we have time for a little walk around the ferry before France enters the horizon. On our recent crossing the lovely sandy beaches were filled with bathers, and we wondered if we could fit in a quick swim before continuing on. Let the holiday begin…

Sponsored by P&O Ferries.

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