Advice on Driving through the UK

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I'm in the process of booking my ferries for the annual trip to Spain . My preferred route is Dublin Holyhead ~ 8am crossing gets me into Holyhead at around 11.30 am-midday depending on how long it takes to disembark , plus driving through customs and security checks etc..
My usual route is across the A55, down the M6 including the M6 toll road , to get a break from the congestion and drive straight towards Folkstone Eurotunnel , I usually take the M25 above London (clockwise) over the bridge and onto the M20, arriving in Folkestone at around 20.00- 21.00
My question is for anyone with a crystal ball , I'm planning on driving down on Saturday the 4th of June , that's in the middle of your extended jubilee long weekend . I'm flexible on departure dates , but at a guess I hoped that the traffic might be a bit quieter on the Saturday, rather than the Sunday or the Friday , plus if I stay overnight in Calais, it then leaves me driving through France on a Sunday , which means less HGVs and traffic there also. So am I better driving over the holiday weekend through the UK , or would I be better leaving it a few days and driving midweek?
 
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The general statement would be - motorway driving during a bank is crap. Busy roads as there will be rail closures for maintenance etc. Would drive after the Bank Holiday.

Route wise, would say thats the best way, though I don't envy you. A55 and m6 around Birmingham not my favourite roads
 
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To be honest any of you guys who have to use the UK motorway system on a regular basis have my sincerest sympathy . The congestion is unbelievable, along with the variable speed limits, it's the most difficult and tiring leg of the journey.
I can take a direct ferry from Ireland to France or Spain but in the past it hasn't worked out well, as my dogs don't make friends easily with other dogs. So in all the Holyhead ferry and Eurotunnel are the least stressful, as they stay in the car for the crossing rather than in kennels onboard .
Thanks for the advice Applesnmore, in my innocence, I'd thought that the middle days of the bank holiday might be quieter
 
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Crystal ball gazing as it isn't a relatable holiday. If I must travel, my guess would be that the Saturday is the best day. On the normal late May Bank Holiday, the Friday is terrible, Saturday mad. Granted its the start of the getaway. Will still have some wagons on the road as supermarkets open. So their whole supply chain keeps going as normal.
 
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Your holiday is usually a week before ours , in that we have a whit weekend bank holiday on the first Monday in June . I know this because in the past the IBD brewing exams were always held on our bank holiday , as it wasn't a holiday in the UK
 

moto748

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Have you considered the South coast ferries from Southampton or Portsmouth? Dearer crossing, but avoids the hassle of the M25 etc, and would be a bit less driving in England and France.
 
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I tried Portsmouth to Bilbao last year, but it didn't work out too well , amongst other things boarding was a mess , with huge queues due to the Spanish authorities only opening 3 check in booths in Portsmouth . The crossing was very slow with the new Brittany ferries green boat , it travels at bicycle speed . At this stage I'm doing this trip for about 10 years and although I try alternatives I end up coming back to the Eurotunnel route each time
 

moto748

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I was just thiinking of going to Caen or Cherbourg or St Malo.
 
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The beauty of the Eurotunnel is that if I'm a bit early or late, then they just slot me onto the next train , and it runs 3 or 4 times per hour . Generally the ferries will accommodate you on the next ferry , but there could be hours , if not the next day before the next sailing . I've looked and some of those crossings are overnight and about 3 times the price of the Eurotunnel . I'll keep checking though
 

Dutto

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Done both Eurotunnel and Portsmouth to France.

Easiest by far is Eurotunnel BUT I always stay at Ashford Travelodge overnight and leave at about 7am UK time. (This gives me a chance to screw-up between home and Ashford AND gets me an early start on the French side.)

Next up is overnight Portsmouth to Caen, Cherbourg or St Malo. (It’s easy to get to Portsmouth for the evening sailing and a good nights sleep again sets you up for a day in France.)

This October I’m booked out Portsmouth > St Malo overnight (closest to friends at St Nazaire) and back Cherbourg > Portsmouth with an afternoon sailing (thereby hoping to do without a hotel both ways).

I will still have to fill in my “Honour” declaration for France but otherwise no Covid restrictions.

Enjoy.
:hat:
 

Haversham

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Your reference to the crystal ball is the key thing - who knows?! But to help avoid so much lorry traffic I might swing towards the Saturday option. Yes it’s a holiday weekend (Gawd bless yer Ma'am) but Saturday is likely to be the least busy day of the weekend on the roads. But the whole thing sounds horrible. Like that playground question - would you prefer to die by drowning or fire? Travel in general has become a nightmare wherever you are. Glad that I went nearly everywhere I wanted earlier in my life. I’m retiring this year and plan to finally spend more time at home, learning to brew properly.
 

AccoBrew

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We live in Scotland and visit family down in Sussex and Wiltshire. Have to go M6 but tried out a few times during day and always a nightmare. We now travel overnight and so much better. Good luck and hope your trip goes well. 😎
 

CJBrewer

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I'm in the process of booking my ferries for the annual trip to Spain . My preferred route is Dublin Holyhead ~ 8am crossing gets me into Holyhead at around 11.30 am-midday depending on how long it takes to disembark , plus driving through customs and security checks etc..
My usual route is across the A55, down the M6 including the M6 toll road , to get a break from the congestion and drive straight towards Folkstone Eurotunnel , I usually take the M25 above London (clockwise) over the bridge and onto the M20, arriving in Folkestone at around 20.00- 21.00
My question is for anyone with a crystal ball , I'm planning on driving down on Saturday the 4th of June , that's in the middle of your extended jubilee long weekend . I'm flexible on departure dates , but at a guess I hoped that the traffic might be a bit quieter on the Saturday, rather than the Sunday or the Friday , plus if I stay overnight in Calais, it then leaves me driving through France on a Sunday , which means less HGVs and traffic there also. So am I better driving over the holiday weekend through the UK , or would I be better leaving it a few days and driving midweek?

See, this itinerary is why I'd just fly. Probably cheaper too. Environment is ***ked anyway so ...
 
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It cost me almost a thousand euros the last time I flew with the dogs , it was cheap flying them to Spain ,for the return trip you've to use a handling agent , due to the veterinary restrictions on re entering Ireland (and I think it's the same for the UK )
 

CJBrewer

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It cost me almost a thousand euros the last time I flew with the dogs , it was cheap flying them to Spain ,for the return trip you've to use a handling agent , due to the veterinary restrictions on re entering Ireland (and I think it's the same for the UK )

Ah, what a pain... If you can cope with the time and stress I'm sure the drive is fine. As others have said, most likely best to do it at night. But one year I drove up to north Derbyshire from Sussex, left at 11pm; hit a 20+ mile motorway diversion somewhere on the M1 -- slow moving tail back. You can't guarantee sanity unfortunately.

I'm sure there used to be ferries from the South of Eire to France (probably Normandy?). Someone else may have mentioned those already. I've no idea how the costs mount up.
 

TonyT

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As others have said, there’s a ferry from Rosslare to Bilbao. They’ve extended the motorway almost as far as Wexford now so it’s easy to get to. You’d avoid all the brexit related hold ups in Kent too. Or you could go from Rosslare to Cherbourg which would reduce your time on the ferry, but you’d still have to drive through France.
 

TonyT

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As others have said, there’s a ferry from Rosslare to Bilbao. They’ve extended the motorway almost as far as Wexford now so it’s easy to get to. You’d avoid all the brexit related hold ups in Kent too.
 

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