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how to get to dutch parcs? from london- overnight journey?

(44 Posts)
energyfirst Thu 13-Mar-14 01:41:43

if I travel from London - woudl route overnight be ok? so we leave at about 7 pm on ferry, 11 pm in Calais - sleep in a car and then drive from 5 am ? to be there for 10.00 am? or leave by shuttle ? do we save petrol if going by shuttle rather than ferry?

NigellasDealer Thu 13-Mar-14 01:54:35

why would you sail to Calais if you are going to the Netherlands?
would you not sail from Harwich to the Hoek?

energyfirst Thu 13-Mar-14 08:37:43

do you mean overnight ferry it costs £200 from Harwich to Hoek?

NigellasDealer Thu 13-Mar-14 08:39:39

yes really that does sound a bit pricey but i think that includes the cabin?
lovely cabins btw, and far less driving on the other side.

energyfirst Thu 13-Mar-14 09:08:46

do you think it much more fun for kids on a ferry? yes it is including cabin. I woudl have to buy meals as well...

energyfirst Thu 13-Mar-14 09:10:46

just found tesco cc can exchange 10 for 30 pounds, so the trip of 200 pounds woudl cost about 70 pounds in tesco vouchers...

NigellasDealer Thu 13-Mar-14 09:24:07

i have done that ferry trip a few times and there is plenty for children to do.
take a picnic to avoid having to buy meals.

energyfirst Thu 13-Mar-14 09:38:51

it leaves 23.45 ti be in holland 7.15 am. so it is just sleep time?

NigellasDealer Thu 13-Mar-14 09:41:33

yes pretty much, and the cabins are lovely with en suite power shower!

PortofinoRevisited Thu 13-Mar-14 09:48:01

Which park are you planning to go to?

energyfirst Thu 13-Mar-14 10:12:58

holland hes Meerdal - comfort cottage. Also, please can I ask more tips. If we stay till Friday and have free time till Monday - can we go somewhere else - maybe another park just for 2 days or sun park or? pelase share your ideas... Thank you very much

energyfirst Thu 13-Mar-14 10:13:48

found that there is anouyther ferry to Rotterdum... not suer which one woudl be better. have to check

AnandaTimeIn Thu 13-Mar-14 10:18:44

If we stay till Friday and have free time till Monday - can we go somewhere else - maybe another park just for 2 days

This is a great place!

AstonishingMouse Thu 13-Mar-14 10:23:36

We have done similar as a daytime journey using the ferry to Dunkirk. It was only about 3 hours drive on the European side.

bruffin Thu 13-Mar-14 10:36:14

Why are you going overnight
We used to do the harwich hook of holland until they stopped the fast crossing.
Last few times we have gone via calais and its a better journey with only traffic snarl up is the kennedy tunnel in antwerp. Rotterdam has ring road after ring road which all seem to be busy.
We have sometimes added a few days.
We stayed near eftling and another time at Duinrell. We have also stayed in Brugge on the way back.

zipzap Thu 13-Mar-14 11:15:08

We went to the het heijderbos centre parc in holland a couple of years ago.

We did Dover to calais, (we live about an hour the other side of london) then drove down to Ypres (Iepers), took just over an hour and stayed there for the night - we got a good deal (£70/night for family room) on a Novotel that was just off the main central square and included parking (although we did buy breakfast from the very nice bakery over the road rather than pay for expensive in-hotel breakfast).

We then drove to het heijderbos the next day - about 4 hours away, having had a wander around the town first and having had an explore the afternoon/evening before.

Coming back we stayed in the same place - the dc were 3&6 so liked going back to a hotel they had already been to. Ypres is a lovely town to wander around, lots of it rebuilt in traditional style after the wars. Also amazing war memorial stuff. Lots of tourists go there, which means that for a town of its size there's quite a lot of restaurants and things going on. We were able to have a wander again in the evening before eating, then the next morning we had a quick walk before shooting up to Calais, where we went to the massive shopping centre to stock up on things from the hypermarket and nice French shops. We also bought stuff to have a picnic whilst we were parked up and waiting for the ferry - I think we had a nice snack at the centre (good ice cream, waffles and crepes!) so we could have a late lunch. That worked well as it meant we had something to do in the dead time enforced on you between turning up in good time for the ferry and actually being loaded on board.

It was a lot of driving but we figured we would enjoy the journey rather than have a nightmare drive of everything squashed together.

We've done similar things going to other European destinations - we've found that Novotel/ibis hotels are good for family rooms, as are holiday inn express (who include free breakfast buffet in their price, and we've always had really spacious rooms). It's worth signing up for their loyalty clubs; doesn't cost anything and often have good deals - half price if you hit it right! You just get occasional emails telling you the latest offers.

Depending on where and when we've been and other commitments, we sometimes stay in the same place on the way there and back, other times we will stay in different places. Sometimes it will be for a night, others it will be for two or three nights. But we've found that for us, aiming for a lunchtime ferry crossing and then an hour - hour and a half's drive beyond Calais in the right direction works really well. You get to the hotel with enough time to explore the town in the late afternoon and evening, if the hotel has a pool then it's great to relax and cool down before eating. Next morning a brisk walk to wear out the dc before the car trip so they're not too fidgety and you can still get to your destination by early afternoon for a late lunch.

Hope you have a lovely time on your holiday!

crunchbag Thu 13-Mar-14 11:38:10

There are quite a few cheap travelodge type hotels around Calais, probably better than sleeping in the car. Otherwise why not take an early morning ferry and just drive straight to the parc with a break half way.
Hoek van Holland is still about 2 hours drive from the parc, so not that much faster than Calais which will be just over 3 hours drive.

The tunnel is a lot faster than the ferry but usually quite a bit more expensive and there is nothing to do for the children. I don't think it makes much of a difference petrol wise.

I am sure you can easily book another parc for the other days, maybe look at Belgium as that is halfway between Meerdal and Calais.

energyfirst Thu 13-Mar-14 22:03:03

will consider ferry to Dunkirk and then hotel in Dunkirk ( what is the latest I can check in in hotel - 9 pm ok?)

energyfirst Thu 13-Mar-14 22:08:43

No, actually to Calais and then staying in hotel overnight there ( so check in 9 pm there?), then dirving in the morning for 3 hours to the ceter parc

energyfirst Thu 13-Mar-14 22:09:25

No, actually from Dover ferry to Calais and then staying in hotel overnight there ( so check in 9 pm there?), then dirving in the morning for 3 hours to the ceter parc. Si this better option than Ferery from Hull to ROtterdam for £190 overnight?

energyfirst Thu 13-Mar-14 22:09:43

ferry not ferery, sorry

bruffin Thu 13-Mar-14 22:11:03

Dunkirk is a slightly longer crossing but you have less of a drive the other side.

energyfirst Thu 13-Mar-14 22:12:11

do you think it is better option than overnight ferry?

Twunk Thu 13-Mar-14 22:13:16

I travel from Kent to Holland all the time (family in kent, I live in NL)

I always go on the tunnel. Door to door (I live near Utrecht) in 5 hours or less. Ferry takes longer but I recommend to Dunkirk as far more civilized than Calais.

Seriously, have done this hundreds of times! Well, dozens at least.

AgaPanthers Thu 13-Mar-14 22:18:16

It's really not that much closer from Hoek van Holland as from Dunkerk - 120 miles vs 180miles.

The best option is Eurotunnel. So much nicer than ferries.

Of course if you are going to south of France, then ferry from Portsmouth can be worth it. But the one to Holland isn't really that much of a timesaver unless you live in East Anglia already.

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