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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?

Twunk Thu 13-Mar-14 22:20:04

Exactly! I would never consider anything but the channel tunnel or Dover ferries. You don't want a long drive at the beginning as well.

AgaPanthers Thu 13-Mar-14 22:22:20

The tunnel is super-fab, you just turn up and get on the next train, they go every 20-30 minutes generally, and then you are at the other end in no-time and can drive off. We've 'missed' several Eurotunnel times (breakdown, bad traffic on M25, etc.) and it's no problem at all.

I can't stand the queue to get on and off a big ro-ro.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 13-Mar-14 22:24:44

We won't do anything other than the tunnel having tried ferry as well. You'll find the traffic round Antwerp can be a bit of a nightmare on occasions though.

Twunk Thu 13-Mar-14 22:25:51

Ooooo I avoid Antwerp and pay for the tunnels under the docks. We've avoided so many traffic jams that way!

bruffin Thu 13-Mar-14 22:44:08

Why are you going overnight?

PortofinoRevisited Thu 13-Mar-14 22:57:58

Yes - I don't understand why you are going overnight either. You won't be able to check into your accommodation if you arrive before lunchtime (though I think they let you park and use the facilities). London to Folkestone 1 - 1.5 hours. Use your tesco points for the shuttle. 3 hours the other side. Antwerp and the Kennedy tunnel shouldn't be that bad unless you hit it at weekday peak commute time.

PortofinoRevisited Thu 13-Mar-14 23:01:09

Leave London at 8am. Aim for a 10.30 crossing on shuttle. In Calais for 12.15, then you are CP for just after 3 and should be able to check in properly at that point.

zipzap Fri 14-Mar-14 01:06:22

If you're thinking of the tunnel sign up for their newsletter to see if they have any special deals. But often the earlier you book the better the price.

Dsis booked about a month ago for may and is only paying £10 more for her crossing than the ferry. Last year we booked about a month before we went and it was a lot bigger difference between eurostar and the ferry.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Fri 14-Mar-14 07:35:00

Twunk, please tell me more ?!

Twunk Fri 14-Mar-14 08:37:58

<taps nose>

<goes to look at a map>

Twunk Fri 14-Mar-14 08:53:19

OK, as you are approaching Antwerp on the E17, take the exit for the R2 towards Rotterdam and the "Havens"

If you have Satnav it will go bonkers and try and send you back.

You eventually come to here - if you pay by credit card it's about €5. You end up a bit further west than you do through the Kennedy tunnel but that's easily corrected on the other side.

You can do the same in reverse - just head for Anterpen Havens rather than Antwerp itself.

Once we were looking at our traffic feed on the satnav and there was 30km of jams through the middle of Antwerp - we actually missed it completely.

crunchbag Fri 14-Mar-14 12:31:14

I agree with going on the morning ferry or tunnel, you really do not want to be driving around Antwerpen or any Dutch motorways during weekday rush hour.

Twunk have they finally improved the road surface round the liefkenshoektunnel? Last time we went that way there were potholes everywhere.

Twunk Fri 14-Mar-14 12:33:12

Slowly but surely, yes. I think it was pretty smooth last time

AryaUnderfoot Fri 14-Mar-14 13:12:59

We got the Shuttle at about 9:00am and arrived in the Center Parcs near Lommel at about 2:30pm. That included a stop for lunch, and we 'lost' an hour going onto European time. At that time of day we had no trouble around Antwerp.

crunchbag Fri 14-Mar-14 13:19:28

Good to know Twunk.

Antwerp is fine outside rush hour.
OP if you decide to stay in a hotel, the ones around the ports are cheap but not very cheerful, so if you want something nicer you will need to look in the towns itself. 9pm check-in should not be a problem at all.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Fri 14-Mar-14 18:40:37

That's great, thanks Twunk. I think I was probably in that 30km traffic jam!

energyfirst Fri 14-Mar-14 20:50:59

thank you all- decided to follow advice on eurotunnel. also dutch parcs in april - it is a term time so cheaper...BUT shall I wat till last minute offers just before going? I will book Eurotunnel now and then nearer the time book the park. Now the duch park is about 230 euros mid week - do you think it might go lower if last minute please?

PortofinoRevisited Sat 15-Mar-14 08:44:19

It's unlikely to get cheaper. And holidays in Belgium are 5th to 21st April so people might travel.

bruffin Sat 15-Mar-14 09:03:29

It doesnt get that much lower. I think they have a discount for late booking but it will be applicable by now.

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