Visit the UK without stepping foot in an airport

Visit the UK without stepping foot in an airport

by: Staff | .
Stripes Europe | .
published: November 10, 2016

The English Channel separates France and the U.K. connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea through the Strait of Dover.

What lies beneath is an amazing feat. A 31-mile tunnel, nicknamed the “chunnel,” opened in 1994 to carry the Eurotunnel Shuttle with roll-on/roll-off vehicle transport, as well as Eurostar passenger and freight trains. High-speed train connections and direct motorway access on both sides allow travelers to explore easily between mainland Europe and the U.K. 

Travelers may also cross via ferry services in several locations along the channel.

EuroStar
The Eurostar passenger train travels up to 186 miles per hour and clears the tunnel in 20 minutes. Connections are provided from the center of London (St. Pancras International) to Paris Gare du Nord (2 hours and 15 minutes), Brussels (1 hour and 50 minutes), Lille (1 hour and 20 minutes). Two Eurostar stations are located in Kent: Ashford and Ebsfleet International. Ashford has service to Paris, Disneyland Paris, Avignon, French Alps and Brussels via Lille. Disneyland Paris also connects to London. 

EuroTunnel
The Eurotunnel shuttle service provides high-speed auto and freight service in approximately 35 minutes, carrying vehicles and bicycles. Connecting motorways are designed for seamless transitions between right- and left-side driving. After a quick check at Passports and Customs, travelers are then on their way. Prebook your transport and arrive at least 30 minutes before departure.  transport and arrive 30 minutes before departure.

From France: junction 42 off the A16
From the U.K.: junction 11A off the M20
By phone: U.K. - 08705 35 35 35, France - 0810 63 03 04, Elsewhere - +33 (0) 3 2100 2061

Ferry crossings
Ferry crossings tend to be the cheaper than the EuroTunnel. The shortest and most frequent ferry crossings are between Dover and Calais. Service runs regularly throughout the day and night. Crossing times are around 75 to 90 minutes. Dining, shopping and entertainment can be found onboard. Arrive at least 1 hour before boarding time. Crossings are available with DFDS, P&O and LD Lines

What to bring
Tourist Passport
Visa (if required)
Military ID/SOFA card
Health insurance card

Drivers should also have the following:
Vehicle registration
Proof of vehicle insurance
International driver's license
U.S. driver's license
Military-issued driver's license
First-aid kit
Warning triangle
Reflective vests for all passengers
GPS
Stripes Road Guide U.K. 

Tags: Chunnel, Channel
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