No-fly travel options to reach your Family Adventure in France
27 May 2022 12:22 by Sam Taylor
Avoid airport anguish this summer! There are so many no-fly options when it comes to getting to France for your Family Adventure Holiday. We've broken down the top 5 and highlighted the pros and cons each might present for your family. There are still some bargains to be had if you book your channel crossing now, but be quick, prices will only go up the longer you wait.
What's the quickest way to cross the English Channel?
Eurotunnel is the quickest way to cross the Channel taking around 35 minutes— about an hour faster than the Dover to Calais ferry. And, unlike the ferry, Eurotunnel is the most reliable crossing in the event of bad weather. On the other hand, the Eurotunnel happens to be the most expensive of the Calais routes and it typically books up quickly, so it's best to book well in advance to secure your place.
What's the cheapest trip across the English Channel?
Your family’s cheapest Channel crossing is by ferry from Dover. There are two ferry routes from Dover to choose from—Dover to Calais at approx. 1.5 hours and Dover to Dunkirk at approx. 2 hours. Though providing better value than other cross-Channel crossings, this option requires a longer drive to Normandy once your arrive in France, compared to sailing into Caen or St Malo. The drive from Calais to Château takes around 4.5 hours and another 15 mins on top of that from Dunkirk.
What are the closest ports to the holiday accommodation in Normandy?
If you'd prefer to have more time relaxing on the ferry and a shorter drive once in France, opt for a crossing to Caen. Brittanny Ferries run a crossing from Portsmouth to Caen that takes 5 hours 45 mins which gives you plenty of time to stretch your legs and have lunch. Once you disembark at Caen, your family will only have 1-hour to drive to the Château.
What's the most relaxing way to travel from English to Normandy?
If comfort is your biggest concern, take the overnight ferry from Portsmouth to Saint-Malo via Britany Ferries. The cabins are comfortable and there's a pleasant restaurant which feels more like a cruise ship than a ferry. Wake up refreshed at Saint-Malo and ready for your 1-hour drive to the Château. If you live in the South West of England, you can also catch a ferry from Weymouth to Saint-Malo.
Other English Channel crossings to Normandy
Another option, with equal travel time split between the ferry crossing and driving in France, is the Newhaven to Dieppe crossing. The ferry takes around 4 hours, with a further 3.5 hour drive to the Château.
Travel options summary
|Crossing time (approx.)
|Drive time (approx.)
|Portsmouth to Saint-Malo
|Portsmouth to Caen
|5 hours 45 mins
|Newhaven to Dieppe
|Folkestone to Calais
|Dover to Calais
|Dover to Dunkirk
|4 hours 45 mins
Indicative prices based on the cost of a crossing for 4 people in a standard family car travelling from Saturday to Saturday in August 2022. Prices researched on 30 May 2022.