03 October 2016
With AFerry.co.uk enjoying a record number of bookings in 2016, it's clear that ferry travel is again proving the popular choice for British families and the trend looks likely to continue through the winter months.
The most popular destinations booked from the UK this year - France, Holland, Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Wight - have plenty to offer between now and Christmas. Here are a few suggestions for ferry travel to France:
La Belle France - Dieppe
It should come as no surprise that France is one of the UK's most popular holiday destinations. From famous cities such as Paris, Rouen and Amiens, to beautiful coastal villages and hidden gems well worth the hunt, not to mention its long and fascinating artistic heritage, France has everything a tourist could ask for.
For those who are gastronomically minded be sure to follow Normandy's celebrated Cheese and Cider Route this autumn - where the only question is what nectar to sample next and how much camembert, Pont L'Évênque, Calvados and cider should you pick up along the way. Or why not visit the Fête du Cidre à l'Ancienne in Le Sap, Orne (12th and 13th November) and celebrate the ancient art of cider-making (and drinking).
DFDS ferries to Dieppe depart three times a day and takes just four hours from Newhaven.
Dunkirk - France
Dunkirk is the northernmost town in France and is just six miles from the border with Belgium making it the perfect first port of call before sampling Flemish delights. Before crossing the border and discovering the medieval charm of Bruges and Ghent or the Brussels Christmas Market which takes place from 25th November 2016 to 1st January 2017 do spend some time in the city first. Travellers will find a whole host of attractions including Dunkirk’s belfry, a UNESCO World Heritage site built in the 15th Century where visitors are rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the harbour and the city. You can also visit the Museé des Beaux-Arts with its collection of French art or the Museé Portuaire, which details harbour life in the city.
DFDS ferries to Dunkirk depart nine times a day and takes just two hours from Dover.
St. Malo - France
Walking through the cobbled streets of St Malo’s old town offers visitors a glimpse of Brittany’s important seafaring past. Watch out for the pirates however as this is sometimes referred to as the Corsair City! Their ill-gotten gains resulted in the beautiful mansions called malounières, located throughout the countryside around the port and which stand as historic evidence to the fortunes of these St Malo “ship owners”. They are unique to the area – around 100 in total - and make a lovely day out from the town.
Alternatively, take the car and head to the famous UNESCO World Heritage site of Mont Saint Michel. This most visited site in France (over 3 million visitors per year) sits on an island just 600 metres from shore which originally made it accessible at low tide for the pilgrims who visited its abbey. When the tide came in of course, it was defensible against would-be assailants – hence its later use as a jail by Louis XI. If festivals are more your thing, head inland to Rennes and the Yaouank festival (1st - 19th November). The organisers claim it's the biggest fest-noz – “a traditional evening of Breton music and dance” - in the world.
Travel to St. Malo with Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth has one crossing a day taking 11 hours or from Poole with Condor with twice daily departures taking six hours.
Why travel via ferry?
- No luggage restrictions - the kitchen sink can travel with you!
- Fido can come too!
- Huge range of routes and companies to choose from.
- Book on the move via AFerry.co.uk's apps for both Android and iPhone.
- With families expanding more, it's often more cost effective to travel by car and ferry than by air plus there's no baggage fees.
- Bookings can be amended or changed on the road with AFerry's app and iPad app access.
- Want to know what it's like to travel via AFerry.co.uk? Check out the review section; perfect for #ferryfirsttimers.