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      travel choices > Self-Drive


Drive your car across the Channel to reach your walking or cycling holiday

More information
Read our self-drive page for more detailed information about the routes available to you.

Make the journey part of the adventure

There’s no denying the freedom that taking your own car across the Channel brings. You can pack as much as you can fit in the boot (though you’ll need to be somewhat more self-disciplined if you’re taking a holiday on which your luggage is transferred from hotel to hotel), and, as for the route you take, it’s entirely up to you. You can keep to the motorways if you prefer, but if time’s no object, then it’s much more fun to turn the journey into something of a road trip – by building in two or more overnight stops, you give yourself time to take slower but more scenic roads, and to visit places of interest along the way. Rather than heading straight through the Loire en route to the Dordogne or the Pyrenees, you can pause to visit one or two of its famous châteaux. Similarly, it would be a shame to pass through Burgundy on your way to Provence without stopping at some of the region’s pretty wine villages (just remember to leave space in your boot for a case or two of wine).

Your choice of crossing

Traditional ferry or Channel Tunnel, daytime or overnight crossing – again, the choice is yours. We work with P&O Ferries, Eurotunnel and Brittany Ferries, giving you a wide range of routes to choose from. If you’re travelling to northern Spain, you can cut down on driving time by taking a cruise ferry to Santander or Bilbao (keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and even whales along the way!), or, if you live in the north of England or Scotland, you can take advantage of the comfortable cruise ships which sail daily from Hull to Zeebrugge, from where you can head west into France or south into Austria, Switzerland, Italy – and beyond.


Region Approx driving time from Calais based on quickest route Suggested stop over if arriving in Calais in the morning
Dordogne 7.5hrs Loire Valley (Orléans)
Tarn 9hrs Loire Valley (Orléans)
Cévennes 9.5hrs Loire Valley (Orléans)
Basque Pyrenees 10hrs Loire Valley (Azay-le-Rideau or Fontevraud)
Provence 10hrs Burgundy (Beaune)
Roman Provence (Gard) 9hrs Burgundy (Beaune)
Bernese Oberland 8.5hrs Verdun or Luxembourg