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Daytrip to Dunkirk From London

Daytrip to Dunkirk From London

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Old Jul 31, 18, 9:31 am
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
Probably was, but little is more likely to sink the spirits further, after contemplating Dover, than thinking about Dunkirk.
Agree, although I suspect for different reasons to council houses.
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Old Jul 31, 18, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by TomMM View Post
During my next trip to London I am thinking about doing a daytrip to Dunkirk. The plan would be to take the train to Dover, hop on the ferry, spend a few hours in Dunkirk and return. Looking at the train and ferry schedules I could make it work although it might be a long day. Has anybody done this?
My recommendation is Eurostar from London to Lille, which takes about 90 minutes, and then a return train trip from Lille to Dunkirk, which takes 45 - 75 minutes each way depending on whether you take the fast train from Lille Europe, or the slower train from Lille Flandres.

You can combine a few hours in Dunkirk with a bonus visit to Lille (well worth a stop) in a single day trip.
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Old Jul 31, 18, 9:52 am
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Originally Posted by Mizter T View Post
In years past, the cross-channel day trip of choice was to Boulogne, an interesting ancient town 30km south down the coast from Calais. Unfortunately since 2010 Boulogne hasn't had any cross-channel ferry services, which is a shame.



Ouch! That is a lengthy wait... for just one ship? I wonder if there's any sort of timetable.
It was a double-riser lock, IIRC. If you can imagine how much water it takes to fill a lock catering to ocean-going vessels, you can probably imagine how slow the whole process is.

From a quick Google, most of the swing bridges work on schedules, but those over locks tend to be operated on demand. It's not like it's a major route or anything - the path along the sea wall is barely there!
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Old Aug 3, 18, 3:20 pm
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It's Paris, as opposed to Dunkirk, but this website gives you an idea of how to travel as a foot passenger.

https://www.seat61.com/London-Paris-ferry.htm

Sadly, it's not as romantic or whimsical as it used to be. It's a right pain, involving several trains, shuttle buses and long walks. A timetable that doesn't join up, and expensive tickets.
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Old Aug 3, 18, 9:00 pm
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Basically, so few people want to do it these days because you have a train that goes directly through the tunnel instead, and flights to other places that cost tuppence ha'penny.

There are still port stations with connections (Harwich International, Pembroke Dock, Holyhead, Ardrossan Harbour, etc) but the services are a shadow of their former self (although the Harwich-Hook of Holland service is rather good - Hook of Holland Haven being on the Rotterdam metro if that conversion is complete.

I'm old enough to remember when there were stations at Dover Western Docks (aka Dover Marine), Folkestone Harbour, Newhaven Marine and Weymouth Docks, and correspondingly at Calais Maritime (effectively, you'd get off the boat and there'd be a bunch of railway carriages right opposite, on some tramlines), Boulogne Maritime, the wonderfully named Boulogne Aéroglisseurs (for the Hoverport) and Dieppe Maritime.

The journey down to Weymouth Harbour was pretty bizarre, as it involved coupling a diesel locomotive to the front of the (electric) train, and taking it down tramlines through the town to the harbour. In later years, with an infrequent summer service, it would be accompanied by railwaymen whose job it was to walk in front of the train and bounce cars that had parked too close to the tracks out the way.
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Old Aug 4, 18, 4:40 am
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...if we're strolling down memory lane about crossing the channel I had the experience of using the Night Ferry during its later years
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Ferry
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Old Aug 4, 18, 6:47 am
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https://youtu.be/x6XEVvVRB_4

​​​​​
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Old Aug 4, 18, 11:55 am
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@stut brilliant link, have to copy/paste it into browser though as it is not hot (an observation, not a moan!) and it amazes me that 116 sad souls gave it the thumbs down! I miss BR for all its warts over the privatised money grab it has become now. Great link!
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Old Aug 4, 18, 12:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Silver Fox View Post
Agree, although I suspect for different reasons to council houses.
Dover is awful. From Smeeth to Walmer we have to go right through Dover.

My sister witnessed a stabbing a few months ago while she was driving through.

Horrible place and all the seedy hotels look quite dodgy at best.

I am having a good day though.
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Old Aug 4, 18, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
Dover is awful. From Smeeth to Walmer we have to go right through Dover.

My sister witnessed a stabbing a few months ago while she was driving through.

Horrible place and all the seedy hotels look quite dodgy at best.

I am having a good day though.
I last went to Dover with the Army. I think we were underarmed compared to the locals.
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Old Aug 5, 18, 5:25 am
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
I'm old enough to remember when there were stations at Dover Western Docks (aka Dover Marine), Folkestone Harbour, Newhaven Marine and Weymouth Docks, and correspondingly at Calais Maritime (effectively, you'd get off the boat and there'd be a bunch of railway carriages right opposite, on some tramlines), Boulogne Maritime, the wonderfully named Boulogne Aéroglisseurs (for the Hoverport) and Dieppe Maritime.
Boy, trip down memory lane, this. Have I not used those stations countless times when I was young... I could not recall "Boulogne Aéroglisseurs" as the name of the station though, as I suspect that it existed only in written French and not in spoken French, as even my Boulogne-resident non-English speaking French relatives referred to the thing as "l'hovercraft" (pronounced "l'overcraft", bien sûr ) rather than "l'aéroglisseur"
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Old Aug 5, 18, 10:32 am
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
I'm old enough to remember when there were stations at Dover Western Docks (aka Dover Marine), Folkestone Harbour, Newhaven Marine and Weymouth Docks, and correspondingly at Calais Maritime (effectively, you'd get off the boat and there'd be a bunch of railway carriages right opposite, on some tramlines), Boulogne Maritime, the wonderfully named Boulogne Aéroglisseurs (for the Hoverport) and Dieppe Maritime.
I did this in 1993 , just before the tunnel opened. Boat Train (slam door carriages obviously) non-stop London Victoria to Dover Western Docks, Jetfoil to Ostend, train to Brussels. Took about 6 hrs all in.
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Old Aug 5, 18, 10:33 am
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
https://youtu.be/x6XEVvVRB_4

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And, I was intrigued by the name of the loco, so found this that I found interesting: Captain Bill Smith RNR
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Old Aug 5, 18, 11:10 am
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
Boy, trip down memory lane, this. Have I not used those stations countless times when I was young... I could not recall "Boulogne Aéroglisseurs" as the name of the station though, as I suspect that it existed only in written French and not in spoken French, as even my Boulogne-resident non-English speaking French relatives referred to the thing as "l'hovercraft" (pronounced "l'overcraft", bien sûr ) rather than "l'aéroglisseur"
Didn't the French bound hovercraft depart Ramsgate? I have vague memory of leaving from there in the 1970's as a child. My mom's family at that time lived in lovely Cliftonville
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Old Aug 5, 18, 2:40 pm
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Ramsgate had the Ostend ferries, but only after the Jetfoil service from Dover ended. It traditionally only had the Dunkirk service.

Dover Western Docks, after Eastern Docks opened, had the boat trains and the fast ferries, including a separate hovercraft site. Otherwise, Dover Eastern docks and Folkestone (also with a boat train via a very awkward line at Folkestone Harbour) both competed for both Calais and Boulogne traffic.

Newhaven served Dieppe.
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