The Brits love holidays! Due to our wonderfully inconsistent weather we annually seek that guarantee of sunshine or new places to excite us.
In recent years there has been a higher demand for long haul trips to Mexico, the Caribbean, Australia and North America owing, in part, to cheaper airline prices and package deals, but I’m here to remind everybody that we have some wonderful countries right on our doorstep and for those living in the South particularly, France is simply a stones throw away.
When pricing up my weekend away I completely disregarded taking the ferry and instead looked at both Eurostar and flights to various destinations. I wanted to go to France due to its convenience but I wasn’t too fussed about my destination. I had assumed that the ferry would take forever and eat into my time away. Then a friend told me that she had gone to Calais by ferry and the journey time was 90 minutes… Wait, what!.. With the Eurostar I was looking at around 3 hours and I get trains all the time, so there wouldn’t be that ‘going away’ excitement you’d normally get. Within an hour I had the whole thing booked, ferry from Dover to Calais, train to Dover, Bob’s your uncle and off I go from London to France.
Next problem, what is there to do in Calais, I thought it was just a port? Well it is a port, but there is certainly plenty to do and see and actually it was perfect for a weekend away. Firstly you are on the coast and where there is sea there are money making ventures giving the wonderful tourists things to do, places to eat and of course, places to spend money. In terms of sights and attractions, there aren’t a weeks worth of things to do, but there are some beautiful churches and sculptures to see such as the Notre-Dame church and the famous Burghers of Calais sculptures.
If you decide on taking a car on the ferry then you can drive to Boulogne which really is a beautiful town, or you could take the 45 minute drive to Veurne in Belgium and hit two countries in one weekend. Veurne is a quaint village with some of the best beer I’ve tasted and a slow way of life that everyone can sync with.
I had a packed couple of days so, needless to say, I couldn’t wait to get back. The nature of ferries is that they are more often than not immune to traffic, there is enough sea for everyone! So I got back exactly on time and within a mere couple of hours I was resting up in bed. The only thing I would change about the way I took the trip was that I would’ve taken my car so that I could explore further without relying on buses and trains.