Author Topic: Channel Crossing | reaching the continent  (Read 960 times)

Channel Crossing | reaching the continent
« on: September 06, 2018, 08:33:52 am »
Hello, looking for advice on how to best cross the English Channel, plane, ferry or eurostar, in time for PBP.

The pitfalls, the things you have to be aware of, in reality how easy (or not) is it to get to France by bicycle.

From what I have read so far it seems difficult, especially when I read the Eurostar only has 2 trains that you can catch at set times in the day, and a maximum of 6 cycles per train.  With 100s of cycles being taken over from Britain in time for PBP how is this best achieved?

Hull to Zeebrugge is an option too, (you have to pay for a cabin!) but surely getting across the channel should be far easier by design.

Thank you.
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Re: Channel Crossing
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2018, 09:49:37 am »
I'd start with some of the other threads, e.g. the Travel to PBP one below.

Beyond that, it depends on your start point and how you want to get to the channel.

If you're travelling only by bike, the most popular crossing seems to be Newhaven-Dieppe, from which it's about 200km to the start. There is usually a large group of riders doing this but I've not heard of any problems getting spaces on the ferry.

Eurostar has some irritating rules about taking bikes - see its website for chapter and verse - but has the advantage of depositing you a short distance from the start so it's feasible to travel early on the Saturday morning and still be at the start in time for the bike check.  I don't think it is so popular that you will be unable to book a place so long as you don't leave it until a few weeks before.

By car it is very easy, using either Eurotunnel or the ferries.  But you need somewhere to leave your car while you're riding, of course. (In the past, there have been official car parks)

I wouldn't imagine flying to be worthwhile unless you live in the far north of England or Scotland.

Finally (discussed in some of the other threads on this board), Baxters offer a coach and hotel package with pick-ups in several locations from Edinburgh southwards.  Pricey, but worth considering if this is your first time.


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Re: Channel Crossing
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2018, 10:06:10 am »
I wouldn't imagine flying to be worthwhile unless you live in the far north of England or Scotland.

Flying worked well for me to/from PBP in 2011. I'd have rather gone by ferry or train but I was pushed for time (I had to be back in the UK and down to the Isle of Wight (without a bike) by early afternoon the day after finishing) and none of the other options worked for me.

One other option is car/van sharing with someone else who is going. I had my bike taken out there by a YACFer in their van (along with another 3 or 4 people) as I didn't want to risk it with the baggage handlers on the flight out (I didn't care about it by the time I'd finished the ride). Might be worth asking here if anyone is planning on doing the same.
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Re: Channel Crossing
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2018, 10:17:26 am »
If going by ferry I’d recommend booking in advance as early as you can. They’ve been known to arbitrarily limit the number of bike bookings per ferry on popular weekends.

especially when I read the Eurostar only has 2 trains that you can catch at set times in the day, and a maximum of 6 cycles per train.

That’s *Eurotunnel*, the people that run the Folkestone-Calais car trains. Eurostar (the London-Paris passenger train people) have their own set of difficulties with bikes, but it’s not quite so bad.