So our tourist visas (you don’t actually need a physical visa for the UK) allowed us to stay for 180 days. We arrived in mid-January, so we needed to leave the country by mid-July. There are two main ways to get from the UK to France with a car: the Channel Tunnel (Chunnel) or ferry. With the Chunnel, they put the car on the train and it takes about an hour and a half to get from Folkstone to Calais. Prices range from £120 to £180, depending on the day and time you want to go.
There are multiple ferry crossings available. The shortest is from Dover to Calais. It takes about 2 hours and prices range from £55 to £160, depending on day/time and type of ticket.
We decided to take the P & O ferry from Dover to Calais since it would save some money and we would get to see the channel during the crossing. (There isn’t much to see in the Chunnel!)
We finished up our housesit in Worksop and headed to Dover on July 2 to catch the ferry to Calais.
We decided to splurge a bit and got the Club Lounge package (£24 per person). On this particular ship, it was not worth it. No WiFi, no charging plugs, a few little snacks, nothing special. The seats were comfy and it was not crowded, but the rest of the ship wasn’t very crowded either. Save your money for the Duty Free shop.
Bon Jour, France
The crossing was uneventful, weather was nice. We arrived in Calais and Mark had to adjust to driving on the right after so many months driving on “the wrong side.” A tip for travelers who will be driving in France: study the road signs, learn some basic French driving terms. Many of the road signs were unique to France and we would look them up along the way when we saw a new one.
Priorité à droite was a new one on us and could cause an accident if you don’t understand how it works. Here’s a website on French road signs and useful phrases.
And we are on our way to Chamant/Senlis and two months in France.