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Drive to Ypres

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Visiting Ypres A lot of Ypres' history is a result of the devastation caused by the battles of the First World War. Despite the ravages caused by the attacks and the young lives lost there, this is still a city that is worth visiting. Whether you are coming to pay your respects to the soldiers who died, or just want to take a break in a historic city, Ypres is the hidden gem that you have been looking for. What to see in Ypres In Flanders Fields Museum In Flanders Field Museum is an important place to visit, to understand the devastation caused by the war. When visiting Ypres, you should take the time to remember the tragedies of World War I. Ypres was the setting for some major battles during the war, with thousands of young men dying, sustaining life changing injuries, or going missing in action. In Flanders Fields Museum has carefully and respectfully collected the information and artefacts from the war, so its visitors have a full and detailed picture of the sacrifices that they made. Ypres Cloth Hall Ypres was built on the cloth industry, and in the same building as Flanders Fields Museum you can find the cloth hall. Once the most important building in Ypres, serving as both the warehouse and market place for the city, it was the beating heart of Ypres. Tragically, it was destroyed in the First World War but was rebuilt to its original structure from 1933-1967 by architects J. Coomans and P.A. Pauwels, and paid for by Germany's reparations. It is open today, and the city's tourist office is located here, so it's definitely worth a visit. Menin Gate Ceremony The Menin Gate Ceremony is a daily tribute to the soldiers who died in battle. Ypres has never forgotten the tragedies of the war. The destruction of the town and the lives lost has had a lasting imprint on the citizens. Many visitors who go to Ypres, pay a visit to the Menin Gate, to see the engraved names of the 54,389 soldiers that died in battle there and don't have a known grave. Every day at 8pm, the police halt traffic passing under the Menin Gate and the buglers play The Last Post in memory of those soldiers, followed by a minute's silence. Upon special request, you can be involved in the ceremony by laying a wreath. Around Ypres Tyne Cot Cemetery is the largest Europe’s largest military cemetery. A number of visitors pay their respects in the battlefields and cemeteries that surround the city of Ypres.  Such as the Tyne Cot Cemetery, just 9km north east of Ypres or Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, closer to the city and located in a large chateau that homes a permanent exhibition on the First World War's history. Some of these sites and others are part of a cycling trail named the Peace Route.  A 45km circular route in and around Ypres, where you can explore the countryside and significant battlefield sites.  A map of the route is available from the Tourist Information Office and there are plenty of bike rental options in Ypres too. Where to eat in Ypres De Ruyffelaer In an historic city, it's only right you dine in an historic restaurant that serves the local delicacies. De Ruyffelaer is a homely, quaint restaurant with brocante décor. Not only will you enjoy traditional Ypres meals, but you will definitely find some kooky eccentricities nestled away. Where to drink in Ypres Kaffe Bazaar As Belgium is famous for its beer, you can't possibly visit without trying a new tipple. Kaffe Bazaar has over 30 Belgian beers and 50 spirits, so even the fussiest drinker will find something they like. Try to visit on a Sunday, as that's when the bar hosts live music for a real party atmosphere. Where to stay in Ypres Main St Hotel A small, boutique hotel is the perfect place to stay in Ypres, a city known for its unusual atmosphere. Main St Hotel is beautifully decorated, close to the centre of the city with hand selected Belgian beer and a small library, you'll feel right at home. Weather in Ypres Ypres can be quite warm in summer, thanks to its location near the Belgian coast. If you're planning on visiting in its warmer months, expect highs of 22°C on average in July and August. However, those visiting in winter will experience lows of 5°C or 6°C in December, January and February. It is mainland Europe after all, so still pack a raincoat even if you're coming in summer - just in case. Getting there and around Don't be fooled into thinking that because Ypres is in a different country to Calais, it must be a long drive. In fact, it is actually only one hour, 15 minutes from our Eurotunnel Le Shuttle's Calais Terminal. Simply take the A16 to the A25, continue to D948 then take the R33 to your destination in Ypres. You will find plenty of on-street parking in Ypres, but it is pay and display, so remember to have Euros handy. The main carparks are in the town centre, and by the cathedral. Feeling inspired by Ypres? It's only 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais, and if you book your tickets with us you will get the best price.

Driving to Le Havre

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Known as one of the cooler cities in France, Le Havre is a great city to visit if you want modern chic, an optimistic post-war attitude and beautiful tourist spots. Since 2005, Le Havre has had the honour of being a Unesco World Heritage Site, thanks to its use of modernist buildings that blossomed after WWII. The Drive to Le Havre A post-war town, Le Havre sits boldly and beautifully on France's coast. If you're planning a French road trip, it is surrounded by many beautiful and intriguing cities and towns that make great stop-off points. Read through our guide on what you can find on the way to Le Havre. What to see on the way to Le Havre Rouen Rouen is a historical city, the backdrop to the legends of Joan of Arc and Richard the Lionheart. About an hour away from Le Havre, is the medieval city of Rouen. Known for being the place where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, it is a place teeming with French history. There are plenty of Joan of Arc points of reference you can visit, such as Tour Jeanne d'Arc where she was put on trial. You can also stop by Rouen Cathedral, as not only is this a beautiful building, but it is also the place where Richard the Lionheart's actual heart is entombed. Amiens Walk along the canals of Amiens, and discover the history of the Sommes. This French town is about two hours from Le Havre, and is known for its memorials to those killed or injured in the First World War, as well as its spectacular Gothic cathedral. Cathédrale Notre Dame is the largest Gothic cathedral in France, and visitors from all over the world come to see its magnificent beauty in person.  Saint-Quentin Saint-Quentin is a city rich in different architectural styles. It's not just Amiens where you can go to see beautiful architecture. The mix of Gothic and art-deco styles is one of the main draws to Saint-Quentin. Those who are fans of Gothic architecture, head to the town square, where the town hall stands intimidatingly. If you do visit, make sure you don't stand too close when the bells start ringing; with 37 of them, they definitely make quite the racket! The art-deco style on so many of the other buildings throughout the city was as a result of the destruction of the war, and much of the city was rebuilt in this style. What to See in Le Havre Inside the tower of St Joseph's Church, Le Havre St Joseph's Church Le Havre's number one must-see location is the stunning St Joseph's Church. Its highest point stands at 120 metres tall, and its position is so prominent that sailors use it as a reference point when at sea. Visitors can spot it from wherever they are in the city, and it's hard to not be blown away by its architecture and stained glass windows when up close. Where to Eat in Le Havre La Taverne Paillette   Any trip to a French town needs to feature traditional French dishes, and in this case, it's mussels. La Taverne Paillette has four different types of mussels on its menu, so there is some variety. The cosy, family restaurant also serves La Bière Paillette, a local delicacy that you should definitely sample. Where to Drink in Le Havre Marie Louise As le Havre has grown in popularity, the bars have become trendier. But, if you are looking for a taste of the old-school Le Havre, then the Marie Louise on the Quai de Saône is a great choice. Originally a docker's bar, locals still come here to drink and chat with the landlady. A real Le Havre experience. Where to Stay in Le Havre Passino Spa Hotel All that wandering around a new city, you will definitely need some proper R&R. Passino has a great spa that will both relax and rejuvenate you. After all, if you don't come back from a holiday completely refreshed, what's the point in going? Weather in Le Havre Visiting in the summer, the average weather in July and August reaches around 18°C, but it can get higher. If you're planning a winter trip, then bring a coat to combat the chilly lows of 5°C. As for rainfall, the autumn sees the most, with 70ml from September to November. Getting there and around The drive from the Calais Eurotunnel terminal to Le Havre is just under three hours, but be aware that that drive does include tolls. You just need to take the A16 to Gonfreville-l'Orcher, then the N282 and D6015 to Avenue du Général Lecler in Le Havre. There are as many as fifteen car parks in Le Havre with Coty being the largest.  An underground car park just six minutes walk from the centre and allows cars to stay short term (€1.20 an hour/€4.80 a day) or longer (€20 for one week). Will you be paying a visit to Le Havre? At only 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais, you can be there in no time. Make sure you book your Eurotunnel Le Shuttle tickets with us, to get the best price. 

Road tripping With the Evening Standard

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Are you planning a holiday to Europe, but need some tips on the best places to go? Whether you’re travelling as a family, or with your mates, the Evening Standard found the best places for you to go!  When it only takes 35 minutes to get to Calais from Folkestone, you don’t really need an excuse to go on a minibreak to France or Belgium. From visiting historical medieval sites, to brisk walks on the beaches, there is plenty to do. Our friends at the Evening Standard sent 15 curious travellers on an adventure to see just what you could get up to on a minibreak there. La Rochelle The Whittley family journeyed from Calais through to La Rochelle, an area overflowing with naval history. La Rochelle is 400 miles away from Calais and there is plenty to see and do along the way! Gabriella and Marcus (12 and 10) loved stopping off on the car ride and getting a taste of the French history - as well as a taste of the local ice cream! In Southwest France, sits La Rochelle. Since the 12th century, it has been known for its fishing and trade. Its history can still be seen when you walk through the town, past the timbered medieval houses and Renaissance architecture. On your way to taking a step back in time to La Rochelle, stop off at the towns and cities on the way and fully immerse yourself in French culture. Indulge your sweet tooth on waffles in Rouen and then walk it off with a stroll around the flower market, or get a bird’s eye view of Anges before taking a ride on a special four-person bike through La Rochelle.     Brittany There’s nothing quite like jumping in your car with your mates, and heading off on a road trip adventure to explore new places. Aimée Grant Cumberbatch and her friends did just that, and dived into a brand new side to France! From traditional thatched cottages and looming castles, to iconic art-deco buildings, there is no one side to Brittany’s culture. If you want to reconnect with nature, you can cycle by the canals, hike the sea cliffs, or even take up a bit of canoeing. Visit Parc du Marquenterre and look out for the varied fauna, such as the 300 species of migratory birds, who have made it their home. From here, make a stop at one of France’s most famous tourist spots, Mont Saint Michel. Watch the tide dramatically change, and feast on an omelette at La Mère Poulard. Once you arrive in Brittany, spend a day kicking back on the beach.     Le Touquet Travelling with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle with a young family is one of the more stress-free ways to go on holiday. But, we know that keeping little ones entertained can end up being a struggle during a long car ride. Fortunately, Le Touquet is less than an hour from our Calais terminal, and full of adventures that the whole family can get involved in. The Beck family and their children Willem (10), Delphi (eight) and Olive (four) spent a great few days exploring Northern France. For those with a young family, there are plenty of exciting things you can get up to! Discover the creatures of the deep at the National Sea Centre at Boulogne-sur-Mer. And see if you can get your little ones to try something new at one of the area’s many seafood restaurants.     Bruges It’s not just large groups that Eurotunnel Le Shuttle is ideal for, and it’s not just France you can visit. As Nadia Balme-Price and her husband Matt discovered, Belgium is a beautiful country waiting for travellers to stroll along its famous cobbled streets. Discover the ancient town of Bruges before heading to the more fast-paced Brussels. A trip up to Bruges is a great way to wander through history. Famous for its old town, markets and horse-drawn carriages, it’s one of those ‘must-see’ cities in Europe. Don’t forget to climb to the top of the Belfort tower for a spectacular view that more than makes up for the sore legs. Finish your Belgian road trip with a visit to Brussels. Known for its history, it is still incredibly cool and modern, and the streets all feature a new bar or café for you to experience. Discover the capital by cycling through the city, enjoying the juxtaposition of the old and the new architecture.     So, where will you head off to for your minibreak? Discovering Europe is easier than ever when you travel there with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. 

WWII Normandy Beaches

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D-Day and the Battle of Normandy In 1944 soldiers from around the world landed on Normandy beaches to liberate France from Nazi forces. While exploring the serene natural beauty of the beaches of Normandy, it can be difficult to imagine the scenes of chaotic conflict which unfolded on its shores 70 years ago. Seen by many to be the beginning of the end of World War Two, the Normandy landings were one of the most daring and important military operations ever executed. Today, visitors can walk along the same sandy shores, which, on 6 June 1944, more than 160,000 allied troops landed and braved enemy fire in order to begin the liberation of France from Nazi occupation. Many reminders of the conflict, from abandoned sea defences to memorials and war graves, where many come to pay their respects to the fallen, can be found tucked amongst the dunes, villages and towns. This guide includes visiting tips for some of the key Normandy beaches which were involved in the D-Day landings and other recommended sights in the area, all of which are within a short drive from the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle terminal in Calais. For up-to-date information about D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, please visit www.normandy-tourism.org/dday Sword Beach The Allies selected five strategic points along the Normandy coast to land their invading forces, each with its own codename. The furthest east of these was codenamed Sword Beach, an 8km stretch of coast from Ouistreham to Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer. The initial landings, backed up by early morning air strikes, were some of the most successful in terms of minimising casualties, with very little resistance encountered on the beach itself. British troops took only 45 minutes to move inland, and by the end of the day nearly 29,000 men had been successfully landed at the beach.   Many of the German defences are still visible on these picturesque beaches and signs of the conflict can be found scattered around the charming villages which line this stretch of Normandy coast. In the port town of Ouistreham visitors can find the small but informative Musée du Débarquement no 4 Commando, which attempts to explore the human faces behind the invasion and the important legacy of the D-Day landings. Today the town's beach is popular with tourists and locals alike as a spot for sun-bathing, relaxing or beach sports, including horse riding through the surf. But you are never far from a reminder of those who laid down their lives to make France the free country it is today. Omaha Beach Probably one of the most famous sectors of the D-Day operation, Omaha beach was the landing spot for more than 40,000 American troops who waded through the surf to face a barrage of German mortars, machine guns and artillery. Despite preliminary naval and aerial bombardment of the beach defences, very few gaps were opened up and the invading army quickly found itself incurring huge casualties. As many as 5,000 Allied soldiers are estimated to have been killed within hours of the landing. The fighting on the beaches was recreated on screen in the dramatic and bloody opening scenes of Steven Spielberg war epic Saving Private Ryan, which won praise for its historical accuracy.   Today Omaha beach has become a pilgrimage spot for families and veterans remembering the conflict and those who were lost in the line of duty. Walking across the golden sands or exploring the cliff-tops swarming with natural beauty, it can be difficult to picture the scenes of chaos and bloodshed which unfolded there. However, there are reminders everywhere of the beach's historical significance and visitors can explore abandoned concrete bunkers and gun placements and even see the craters left by falling shells which scar this otherwise idyllic coastline.   Particularly striking is the Omaha Beach Memorial, marked by a conceptual statue of giant metallic sword shapes bursting up through the surf. Here you can find a museum featuring comprehensive details of the D-Day landings, with artefacts, timelines and personal items from those involved in the fighting, helping visitors understand the human side of the conflict. Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial   On the cliff tops overlooking Omaha beach can be found the final resting place of thousands of American soldiers who lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing fighting. The rows of individual white headstones serve as a poignant reminder of the sheer number of casualties and regular tours around the cemetery give you some of the stories behind the graves. Gold Beach Stretching between Le Hamel and Ver sur Mer, this landing spot saw some of the fiercest British beach fighting, with the invading troops facing heavy German resistance. The spot was also where Company Sergeant Major Stanley Hollis earned the only Victoria Cross of the D-Day landings after single-handedly storming two enemy pill boxes and later saving two of his comrades who had been pinned down by enemy fire. Sea defences and even a gun placement can still be explored by visitors to the beach front by Ver sur Mer and a simple memorial plaque stands at the top of the beach paying respect to those who fought there. Bayeux War Cemetery A little inland can be found the Bayeux Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, which commemorates more than 4,500 Commonwealth troops, most of whom died in the Normandy landings. The graves include more than 1,800 unknown soldiers, a moving testament to the chaos of war.   The Normandy invasions were one of the most important and daring military operations in world history and a trip to the landing beaches can give a small glimpse into the events of D-Day and the bravery of all involved. Getting there From the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle terminal at Calais drive west along the coast into Normandy. Book your journey

The Beaujolais Run

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Fire up the Jag, it's run time! As lifestyles go, flouncing about rural France in a classic car in pursuit of world-famous wine has got to be hard to beat. Which is why here at Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, November is one of our favourite months. As the nights draw in over Folkestone, each year without fail we welcome a procession of wacky road racers onto our shuttles. These madcap motorists make up the contestants of the annual Beaujolais Run, a car race from England to France and back again, all in honour of the humble grape. Whether you're hoping to compete in the race or simply following in its tyre tracks, a road trip through the region during the local Beaujolais Nouveau day festivities is an unforgettable way to experience the true meaning of France's love affair with wine. What's it all about? The object of the racers affections is Beaujolais Nouveau. This pink-red wine celebrated its 60th birthday in 2011, having been born of a 1951 decree allowing for newly harvested wines, or primeurs, to be sold a month earlier than standard bottles. It is made from hand-picked Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc grapes that ferment for only a few weeks in the autumn. By the third Thursday of November, it is time to get your corkscrews at the ready and let festivities begin. The race to be the first to uncork the year's new vintage started off as a local phenomenon between rival bars and restaurants, but soon spread across La Manche thanks to two boozy Brits and the small matter of a bet. The Beaujolais Run mayhem dates back to 1970, when rival wine critics Joseph Berkmann and Clement Freud were sharing a meal of Coq au Vin at the Hotel Maritonnes just south of Mâcon during the Beaujolais Nouveau season. Wacky racers Somewhere along the line, restaurateur and wine distributor Berkmann found himself racing fellow foody Freud, MP and chairman of the London Playboy Club, back to London each with their respective bootloads of Beaujolais Nouveau. Berkmann won, twice. After hearing about it through the grapevine, Sunday Times columnist Alan Hall threw down the gauntlet to the public in 1973 and a new rally was born. Since then, everything from parachutes to elephants has been used in the annual race to deliver the first bottle. The Ritz Hotel in London even waived its famously strict dress code for the first time ever, to allow the treasured bottle of Beaujolais to be delivered in haste. But while speed was initially the name of the game, this soon had to be ditched when a few over-enthusiastic RAF pilots spoiled all the fun by joining the race in a Harrier jet. A good cause With all the records broken, the famous Beaujolais Run then matured into its current form - a navigational charity event pitting map reader against map reader and fundraiser against fundraiser. The winner of the race is the team that raises the most money for charity, with the runner up being the team that travels the shortest distance from start to finish. Dubbed 'Europe's biggest rolling house party', the Beaujolais Run is as much about driving enthusiasts soaking up the delights of France's D Roads as it is about the Dionysian drink-a-thon. But you don't have to be Nigel Mansell to enter, although he has – along with fellow celebrity contestants Damon Hill, Eddie Jordan and even Des Lynum. Out of the pits Meeting at a different location in England each year, the convoy of classic cars, super cars, kit cars and even plain old bangers fire up their engines for a warm up run down to Folkestone. Past sites for the starting pistol have included Brands Hatch racetrack in Swanley, Kent and the Brooklands circuit in Weybridge, Surrey. The organisers of the 'Run also won permission to become the first event ever to set off from BBC Top Gear's world famous test track. Magical mystery tour Luckily, the Channel crossing stage of the race is no longer at the mercy of the wild and wintery weather. Instead, teams enjoy a quick 35-minute ride on the Eurotunnel le Shuttle en route to Calais, before setting off on their magical mystery tour to Mâcon and beyond. The route of the race is always changing – and always top secret – but you can be sure to pass through some of the best vineyard vistas in the world. Beaujolais is a historical name given to the region just north of Lyon, which stretches from the north of the Rhône-Alpes region to the south of the Saône-et-Loire area of Burgundy. The traditional capital of the region is Beaujea, with the main town now Villefranche-sur-Saône. The area is renowned for itshistoric towns, long rural roads and riverside walks. After a day spent dashing through some of the most stunning scenery in France, the finish line:a streetparty with the locals to celebrate the first uncorking of the Beaujolais Nouveau. Once the morning after the night before has been spent recovering, the conga line of cars pick their way back home. The more leisurely pace allows for a proper exploration of the region's beauty spots – be sure not to miss the ancient towns of Fleurie, Beaune and Cluny. Where to stay The Hotel Maritonnes in Romanèche-Thorins is the place where it all began. It is a well-established four star retreat set in wooded grounds, with 21 bedrooms, two suites a pool and a Jacuzzi. The restaurant is renowned for its traditional top class gastronomy, specialising in regional dishes. Click here to visit the Hotel Maritonnes Hotel Belle Epoque is a three star establishment in the centre of historic Beaune. As former wine merchant's house, the house boasts some beautiful architectural flourishes and offers a terrace from which to take in the town. It also has a handy lock-up car park for visitors.  Click here to visit the Hotel Belle Epoque  Click here to search for other hotels in the Beaune area How to get there If you fancy taking part in this year's Beaujolais Run, visit www.beaujolaisrun.com Book your journey

Driving to Dieppe

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The drive to Dieppe Located right on the coast, Dieppe was well known in the 19th century as a seaside resort, and has a rich history as an important port; it was the setting for an allied raid on the Nazis when they occupied France. While Dieppe is a great place to visit, either to visit the beach or see the WWII history, there’s other locations not to miss on the drive there. Driving to Dieppe from our Calais terminal gives you amazing views of the coast for the entire journey, taking you through Boulogne-sur-Mer, Le Touqet and Berck. The drive is just over two hours, so really easy to do in one day. However, driving past so many coastal towns, it would be a shame not to stop off along the way for a paddle or to stretch your legs along the beach. The seaside town of Dieppe is a beautiful spot, surrounded by many picturesque villages along the way. What to see on the drive to Dieppe Saint-Valery-sur-Somme The Guillame Towers are a must-see site in Saint-Valery-sur-Somme. An hour from Dieppe, Saint-Valery-sur-Somme is one of the three Somme ports, and a popular tourist spot. Many tourists spend their time walking through the narrow streets, seeing the fishermen's colourful cottages or taking in the Medieval buildings that still stand on the streets. If visiting Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, you must take the time to see the Guillame Towers, which act as an imposing stone gateway to the town. As well as taking in the tourist sites, you should also visit the market, on either a Wednesday or a Sunday. Mers-les-Bains The Belle Époque style villas along the seafront are legendary. One of the most famous periods of French history, Belle Epoque is a huge feature of Mers-les-Bains. The intricate timber design, the narrow towers and windows can be seen on the seafront villas. The villas were built for the wealthy, just as the trend for sunbathing had begun, and they needed somewhere cutting edge to stay during the summer months. The architectural gems don’t stop with the Belle Epoque villas. Stop by the art deco church, Saint Martin, to admire its symmetrical design and pretty brickwork. Mers-les-Bains is about 40 minutes from Dieppe and makes a perfect walking spot to break up the journey from Calais. Le Treport The white cliffs of Le Treport are famous for their stunning views. At just over a half hour drive from Dieppe, Le Treport is a small port, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in flavour. Known for its seafood, it would be a real shame to miss out on the fresh catch of the day. Either stop off at a local restaurant, or stop by the harbour fish market if you can cook it yourself that evening. Le Treport has a pebbled beach, ideal for those who want a relaxing beach holiday. It is also known for its white cliffs and the views that stretch out ahead. Locals recommend summer visitors to see the cliffs at night, when they are beautifully lit up. Where to stop off to eat in Dieppe Due to its close location to the sea, you must try the fresh seafood at Dieppe. Its local dish is its most famous, marmite dieppoise. A creamy stew, made with locally caught fish, muscles and prawns. Where better to try this delicacy than À La Marmite Dieppoise, an iconic local restaurant, that is famous for the stew. Where to stop off to drink in Dieppe When visiting an historic town, you should drink somewhere with a bit of history and character behind it. Café des Tribunaux was once the haunt of artists such as Sickert, Renoir and Monet, and is even the subject of a painting by Sickert. Its connection to high art doesn't stop there, and it's rumoured that Oscar Wilde himself wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol whilst drinking there.  Where to stay when driving to Dieppe If you're looking to extend your road trip to Dieppe, and want to spend a bit more time exploring the locations on the way there, then Hotel Les Pilotes is a great place to stop off. This boutique comes with free parking, stylish rooms and is located on the beachfront, so you will always be near the peaceful water.  Weather in Dieppe The sights from Château de Dieppe make the climb worth it. Dieppe isn't famed for its scorching summers; its average hottest summer temperature is 18°C in August. Its lowest temperature is in December, at 8°C but expect temperatures to drop as low as 3°C. As for rainfall, in January there could be 80ml of rain. Does a road trip to Dieppe sound like your ideal holiday? It's only 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais, and book your tickets with us to get the best deal. Getting there and around It is just over two hours from the Eurotunnel Calais Terminal to Dieppe, but do be aware that this route contains toll roads, so have your Euros ready! In Calais, get on the A16 and continue to Route de Bosc Geffroy and exit on A28. Follow D920 to D925 in Dieppe. There are plenty of free car parking spots in Dieppe. Quai de la Marne, Quai de Carénage and Rue de Ravelin are all free. Be aware that during the winter months you can't park on the streets at night, and your car may be towed or fined if you do.

Wine tasting in France

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What to know about French wine Sampling good wine is an activity synonymous with French culture. Whether you want to incorporate a little wine tasting into your holiday, or it's the sole focus of your trip, it's easy to sample some of France's finest vino. You don't have to be an expert on wine to get involved in tastings – learning is all part of the experience! But knowing a few things before you go will be handy. To start, it's important to be aware of AOCs - that is, appellation d'origine contrôlée (controlled designation of origin). French wines are particular to the region in which they are produced. As for the tasting itself, that's the easy part. Each winery will have a sommelier on hand to tell you about the way the wine is made, and what to look for when you taste it. But we've got a few top tips to help you get the most from your experience: Swirl the wine in your glass; the longer it clings to the side of the glass, the higher its alcohol content. A short, sharp sniff will give you an indication of its intensity; take a sip and suck in a little air to power up the flavours of the wine. Close your eyes to concentrate on the different tastes; notice the difference between what you taste at the back of your tongue compared to the tip. You can swallow the wine you taste, but professionals will spit into the bucket provided. Certainly drivers should take care not to swallow! Just taste and spit, be sure to drink some water and leave a good hour before getting back on the road. Take the time to wander around the area and take in the beautiful wine region – you'll want to bring your camera.    Planning your trip From Eurotunnel Le Shuttle's terminal in Calais you can get to some of the country's best wineries and châteaux in a matter of hours. Although châteaux is a term commonly used for any wine-making estate, even if only small, most châteaux will feature grand manor houses, and are almost always breathtakingly beautiful! The question is, what kind of wine-tasting experience are you looking for? If you just want a day trip from Calais, then your best bet is to head to the Champagne region, just 2 and a half hours away from Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. Or, if you are planning a more in-depth wine-tasting holiday, and would like to sample the best of various regions over a number of days, it's worth considering how long you want to drive each day and plan your route that way. Keep in mind that many châteaux are closed on particular days (Sundays are common closure days) so check ahead to ensure you're not disappointed. Here are a some of the best wine regions in France: Champagne The closest region to Calais, you can leave the terminal and be in the Champagne district in less than three hours. The little town of Epernay is at the centre of the region, and home to the major Champagne names including Veuve Clicquot, Moet et Chandon, and Dom Perignon. Reims is just 269km from Calais, heading south east on the A26. Epernay is a 30 minute drive south from Reims along the Voie de la Liberté. Burgundy South of Champagne, Burgundy wine estates tend to be smaller than in other regions, although it lays claim to well over 3000 – as such it is the region with the most AOCs in the country. Although the two major types of Burgundy wines you'll get here are reds made with pinot noir, including Beaujolais and whites made with Chardonnay, such as Chablis. Dijon is the biggest town in the region and a five hour drive from Calais, heading south east on the A26. To reach Dijon from Reims, it is just under a four hour drive along the same route. Alsace South-east of Champagne, Alsace is a lesser-known wine region with some excellent vintages. Here the AOC is simply Alsace, and interestingly, wines made here are the only ones in France which are labelled by their grape type, rather than their estate. Varieties to look for include pinot gris, pinot blanc, pinot noir, muscat, Gewurztraminer and Chardonnay. Alsace is a six hour drive from Calais heading south east on the A26 or the A4. The drive from Champagne to Alsace on the A4 takes approximately three and a half hours. The Loire Valley With nearly 90 areas of AOC, the Loire is France's second largest wine region after Champagne, and produces almost as much sparkling wine. Historically the wines of the Loire have long been some of the most coveted, and it remains one of the world's most esteemed wine-growing regions. In particular, this is the place to go for good white wines, including Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc. Head to Le Mans, which is a four hour drive from Calais, heading south west on the A28. Savoie Leaning nonchalantly against the Swiss border, the wines of the Savoie (or Savoy) region are grown in a distinctly alpine climate. The mountainous setting makes this the place to go if you're keen on going hiking in addition to picking up some great French vintage. Due to the special growing conditions, wines from the Savoie region are best for drinking sooner, rather than for keeping in a wine cellar. From Calais, head south east on the A26 (a 7.5 hour drive) to reach Chambéry. To get there from Dijon, it is just under a three hour drive on the A6. Bordeaux The largest wine-producing region in France, Bordeaux is something of a household name, at least in terms of good wine. Its success in cultivation is largely due to the calcium-rich limestone ground base and gravelly soil. There are over 8,000 châteaux in Bordeaux, and almost 90% of wine made in this region is red wine (or claret), typically made from a blend of different grapes, although other varieties (white, sparkling etc) are also widely available. Getting there and around Bordeaux city is 867km from Calais (about 7 hours 45 minutes driving time), heading south west on the A10. To get there from Le Mans, it is 446km (four hours driving time) on the same route. Book your journey

Driving to Cherbourg

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The port city of Cherbourg is a great place to visit. About four hours' drive south of Calais, there are plenty of coastal spots for you to see en route to Cherbourg. The drive to Cherbourg Driving through Normandy, there are many beautiful historic sites to stop by along the way. That is the beauty of travelling with us - the drive is a part of your holiday! Along the drive to Cherbourg there are plenty of cities and attractions for you to visit. What to see on the way to Cherbourg Bayeux Tapestry The Bayeux Tapestry is a valuable historical artefact, on permanent display at Museum of Queen Matilda. Just over an hour's drive away from Cherbourg, is the town of Bayeux. The town is famous for the Bayeux Tapestry, a huge medieval tapestry depicting William the Conqueror's invasion of England, and his subsequent victory at the Battle of Hastings. The tapestry is 70 metres in total, and is one of the most important historical artefacts from that time. It is on permanent display at the Museum of Queen Matilda, so you can see it whenever you visit Bayeux. Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives   The Medieval town of Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives is a great place to visit in Normandy.© ChBougui   This town is famous for its abbey, founded in the 11th century. The abbey is a striking example of Medieval architecture, but it isn't the only example in Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives. The Market Hall was built in the 11th century and shows what life looked like back then, when the monks would sell to the locals. If you can, visit on a Monday when there is an open-air market. Basilique Sainte-Thérèse The magnificent Basilique Sainte-Thérèse is a must-see on your drive to Cherbourg This is an incredibly important church to Roman Catholics, just under two hours from Cherbourg. Named for Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, the church is huge, and is noted for its sublime interior, made with marble, mosaics and glittering stained glass windows that tell the story of Sainte Thérèse's life. This church is one of the most beautiful monuments you can see in Normandy. What to see in Cherbourg Explore the wonders of the deep whilst comfortably on dry land, at La Cité de la Mer.© Office de Tourisme Cherbourg Cotentin La Cité de la Mer One of the must-see tourist attractions in Cherbourg is the La Cité de la Mer, an expansive maritime museum that takes visitors on a tour of the hidden depths. From exhibits featuring the Titanic, to the machinery that made it possible to explore the deepest, darkest parts of the ocean, this is a great place to visit. Where to eat in Cherbourg As you gaze out to the ocean, dine on fresh seafood. Cafe de Paris is a well renowned restaurant in Cherbourg, with picture perfect sea views. Don't miss out on the oysters, which are their speciality. Where to drink in Cherbourg For a really quirky cocktail bar, look no further than Le Shake It Café. Known for its skull emblem, great menu and hard liquor, this is a great place to hang out at night. If it's a warm evening, try and get a seat outside. Where to stay in Cherbourg Your accommodation is always incredibly important. You want somewhere clean, accessible, but also interesting and just a little bit quirky. Hotel Napoleon has all that: 20th century architecture and beautiful rooms- there's also parking available. Weather in Cherbourg   In July and August you can experience average highs of 16°C, and lows of 13°C. In the winter, expect temperatures of about 5°C. With rainfall, December is wettest month, with just over 60ml on average. Getting there and around At just over four hours from the Calais Eurotunnel Le Shuttle terminal, you will experience coastal views and amazing stop-off points throughout.  Leave Calais on the A16, take the A28 to Les Rouges Terrres, continue on Voie de la Liberté and drive to Cherbourg. (this road does contain tolls.) You can find free car parks in the city, near La Perge Verte, Place Divette or along the streets. If these spaces fill up, there are multi story car parks a bit further out of town that charge about 40 cents an hour. Have you been inspired to drive to Cherbourg? It's only 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais, and if you book your Eurotunnel Le Shuttle tickets with us, you'll get the best price.

Driving to Deauville

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Drive to Deauville and explore its beautiful beaches and famous racecourses. Visiting Deauville This is a commune whose pavements regularly echo with the click-clack of expensive heels. Since Napoleon's half-brother discovered it in 1861, hordes of Parisians descend on its golden beaches to soak in the sun and shop 'til they drop'.  However, there's more than just sunbathing and shopping in Deauville. Spend a few days here, and discover more of the cultural highlights of this sunny spot. What to see in Deauville Deauville-La Touques Racecourse Deauville is famous for its horseracing, so make sure you pay a visit to one of the historic racecourses. The surrounding countryside to Deauville is France's main horse breeding area, so it's no surprise that it is home to a large racecourse. Deauville-La Touques was founded by Charles Auguste Louis Joseph, the same man who founded Deauville. Since 1861, it has hosted flat races for all four seasons, so regardless of when you visit Deauville, there is a good chance you can see a race. Villa Strassburger The beautiful Villa Strassburger is open to the public throughout July and August. Villa Strassburger, originally built in 1907 for Henri de Rothschild, it was later bought by Ralph Beaver Strassburger. After his death, his son donated it to Deauville in 1980. It is open to the public in July and August, and is a fascinating insight into the luxurious life of Deauville's rich and famous. The house itself was inspired by the rural farmhouses in Normandy, a striking juxtaposition against the chic Deauville. Parc des Enclos Calouste Gulbenkian Deauville is famous for its public gardens and green spaces, and none are more beautiful than Parc des Enclos Calouste Gulbenkian. Originally it was privately owned by the businessman Calouste Gulbenkian, and like Villa Strassburger, his son donated it to the city of Deauville. The garden was his sanctuary, where he would go to escape the pressures of his work life. It is a calm, serene outdoor space where you can discover new exotic plants away from the bustling city. Where to eat in Deauville Les Vapeurs Like much of Deauville, Les Vapeurs is a historic part of the city. Since 1927 it has been serving fresh seafood, across from the seafood market. This means that the mussels and haddock are straight from sea to plate. If you aren't a fan of seafood, they also serve classic French brasserie style food too. Where to drink in Deauville One of the most luxurious hotels in Deauville, Hotel Barrière Le Normandy has had some famous guests. The Normandy Bar, Hotel Barrière Le Normandy As Deauville is so well known for its glamour, famous visitors, and stunning buildings it's only right that you treat yourself to a drink at The Normandy Bar, at one of Deauville's grandest hotels, Hotel Barrière Le Normandy. The hotel was built in 1912 and has hosted Winston Churchill and Coco Chanel, amongst other glamorous stars. Where to stay in Deauville Le Grand Hôtel Cabourg Continuing the theme of seaside glamour, Le Grand Hôtel Cabourg was a favourite of writer Marcel Proust. Built in 1907, not only is the hotel a beautiful call back to the city's past, but it also boasts a private beach, golf facilities, a gourmet sea-facing restaurant and exquisite rooms and suites. Weather in Deauville It can get quite warm in Deauville, with highs in August of 19°C and the rest of the summer is a similar temperature. Winter is obviously cooler, at about 6°C. Rainfall is really low in the summer and in the colder months it picks up, with 66ml in October. Getting there and around It's just under three hours to get from our Calais terminal to Deauville. This does include toll roads, so be sure to have Euros accessible for these. Follow the A16 and A29 to Hornfleur, then follow D79, D288 and D278 to Deauville. There are plenty of spots to park in Deauville, but expect parking spots near the seafront to get busier- especially on a sunny day. Does the idea of vintage French glamour sound appealing? Then a trip to the beautiful Deauville will be perfect. Make sure you book your tickets with us, so you get the best price.

The best vineyards for wine lovers

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From the sparkling celebration wine of the Champagne region, to the mellow deep tastes of a Bordeaux red, the heavenly wine of France has quite the reputation. Join us on a journey through some of France's best vineyards. La Tourraque 2444 Chemin de la Bastide Blanche, 83350 Ramatuelle 10 hours from Calais Two hours from one of France's most famous wine regions, Provence, you can find La Tourraque. This vineyard welcomes guests (without need for an appointment) for free wine tastings. You can sample either white, rosé or red wine that is harvested, stored and bottled here. The harvest begins in the morning and part of the process is still carried out by hand to this day. If you arrive with a large group, you can also enjoy a leisurely lunch here. What could be a better way to round off your wine tasting experience? La Source des Fees Route du May, 71960 Fuissé, Burgundy 6 hours from Calais Their wine is harvested by hand, which gives that desired, all natural taste. © lasourcedesfees.fr Harvesting is also carried out by hand here, which really makes every bottle just that extra bit special. If you're doing a tour of vineyards around France, this is truly a wonderful place to stay. A rustic villa, acres of vineyards and golden sun. What's more to want? Chateau Marsannay 2 Rue des Vignes, 21160 Marsannay-la-Côte 5 hours from Calais Those visiting Burgundy simply must try the famous red wines that put this region on the map © chateau-marsannay.com Red wine fans can rejoice knowing that you will be at your happiest when visiting Chateau Marsannay. For those who aren't necessarily prone to a glass of red, the vineyard also produces a white and rosé wine, so all is not lost. Located in the Burgundy wine region, it's not surprising that they specialise in red wine, harvesting the famous Burgundy grapes that grow in their luscious vineyards. With over twenty different types of red wine alone, even those who previously weren't red fans will definitely be converted. Blanck 32, Grand'Rue, 68240 Kientzheim 6 hours from Calais All white wine fans will love Blanck, and their range of award winning wines © blanck.com Harvested by hand and free of fertiliser, the grapes that make-up the delectable wines of the Blanck vineyards are perfectly pure, producing a heavenly bottle of wine. Blanck is made up of 85 acres of vineyard, every year they ship 220,000 bottles worldwide. Most of the wine they make here is white, with the exception of one red bottle. Their Pinot Blanc was awarded a near perfect score by Wine Enthusiast magazine, and their Gewurztraminer won silver at the Decanter Awards, 2017. Only the best wine is served at Blanck! Tips for tasting wine If you are going on a wine tasting adventure, then you should train your palette so you can experience the depth of the wine fully. There are three, quite simple, steps used by sommeliers that you should adopt: Look at the wine under the light, and note the colour. Breathe deeply in through your nose, and try to differentiate the different aromas from the wine. When you taste the wine, note if it's sour, bitter or sweet, and try to make sense of the different flavours within it.   What's one of the best things about driving from England to France? You can bring back as much wine as you like in the boot of your car! And when you book your tickets with us, you will get the best price.

European Music Facts

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Setting off on your car journey to France, Germany or anywhere else in Europe? You need a great playlist. And there’s nothing better than to have musical facts to go alongside it! Europe’s musical history is rich and varied, from classical, to 80s synths, to Swedish pop domination. Every genre of music has found a home within Europe. Join our journey of musical facts, and maybe find some places to stop off along the way! Our journey begins, as it should, with classical music. The world’s most famous classical composer, Mozart was a child prodigy who despite being loved and revered for his musical creations, died penniless and was buried in a pauper’s grave. Fortunately, his reputation did not suffer the same fate, and he remains one of the most famous musical minds in the world. Mozart Facts Mozart’s house is a great place to go and discover the history of the great man himself. He always had a head for music, even at a young age. When he was 14, he heard Allegri’s Miserere and was later able to write it down in full, completely from memory! 14 was clearly a good age for Mozart, as it was also the year when he wrote his first opera, Mitridate Re di Ponto. Starting young, he composed his first 30 symphonies by the time he was 18. In total, he created 41 before his death at aged just 35. If you want to discover more about Mozart, there is nowhere better than his birthplace in Salzburg, Austria. Ten hours from Calais, you will pass through Germany, which is perfect if you’re planning a European road trip. It’s one of the most popular museums in the world, and a Mecca for all classical music fans. Disco in Europe Urtijë is the alpine birthplace of Giorgio Moroder. From the classical sounds of Mozart to the revolutionary synth pop that was blasted all over the radio in the 1970s and 80s. One of the most famous examples of this is Donna Summer’s I Feel Love. Although Summer is American, the choice to use an entirely synthesized backing track came from revolutionary Italian music producer Giorgio Moroder. The song is regularly featured in lists of the greatest dance songs ever, and is widely recognised as one of the most influential pop songs ever made. Moroder was born in Urtijëi, in the alps of Northern Italy, but has resided in Berlin for much of his life. For those who are looking for a holiday with breath-taking natural sites and fresh, alpine mountain air, Urtijëi is a great place to stop by on your travels. The town itself only has about 4000 inhabitants, so if you’re looking for a quiet place off the beaten track, this is it! It’s three hours from Salzburg, if you’re continuing your musical journey, or 11 hours from Calais, taking you through Germany and Austria. Disco Facts The term ‘disco’ came long before the genre of music, and comes from the French word ‘discotheque’. In the 1970s, non-UK pop bands were grouped under the umbrella title ‘Euro-Disco’. Bands like ABBA, Boney M and Arabesque were all described as Euro-Disco. Europe’s Biggest Music Event… Eurovision! Did you know the first Eurovision song contest took place in Lugano, Switzerland? One of the biggest nights in Europe is Eurovision and although we haven’t been the lucky winners in recent years, many of our European neighbours have. The last time France won Eurovision was in 1977, later Belgium took the top spot in 1986 with Germany winning recently in 2010! On a long journey, fun facts are just what you need to keep the conversation flowing. Did you know for instance that the first Eurovision song contest took place in Lugano, Switzerland? Under four hours and half away from Moroder’s Urtijëi, you could even pay it a visit! Eurovision Facts It may be 40 years since France won, but their Eurovision woes aren’t quite as bad as Norway, who have finished last 11 times, and Cyprus, who have never made it into the top four. In 1969, there were no rules for what would happen in the result of a tie, and four countries won. If that happened today, it would be the country with points from the most countries who would win. That’s not the only rule. All Eurovision songs must be under three minutes, and no more than six people are allowed on stage. Do you want to make your musical journey across Europe? With Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, it is only 35 minutes to Calais, so before you know it you'll be ready to Hit the Road Jack!

Visiting Nantes

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Some people think that Paris has a huge magnetic pull, dragging all points of French culture to its hallowed avenues. But, that just isn’t the case, and Nantes is the city that proves it. Just under six hours from our Calais terminal, Nantes is a quirky and trendy city to spend a few days. From free galleries set up by international artists to a robotic museum, to beautiful gardens, there is plenty to keep you occupied. La Villa Ocupada Established by twenty artists from around the world, La Villa Ocupada features dazzling bright art, covering the ceiling, walls and floor. The art reflects their political views, so take your time there to study the art to see what it represents. It’s free to enter, which is ideal if you’re travelling on a budget. Les Machines de l’ile de Nantes Don't be surprised if you see a robotic elephant in Nantes! Credit : DominiqueBillaud/LVAN This is a real fantasy world, completely different to anything else you will come across in France, or possibly anywhere else in the world. The giant carousel, huge spiders and caterpillars, and other mind-blowing machines show just what can be achieved from science and engineering. But the star of the show is The Grand Éléphant. This is a huge elephant that can take up to 50 passengers on a 40-minute ride through Les Machines de l’ile de Nantes, stopping off at the carousel and workshops along the way. The elephant ride really is a must, but remember to book tickets far in advance, as it’s understandably in high demand. Jardin des Plantes Come to the Jardin des Plantes for beautiful greenhouses and unusual plants. On a warm day, make sure you spend some time walking through Jardin des Plantes. The garden was established in 1806, and its current form was developed in 1900. With over 11,000 species of plants and greenery, there’s plenty to see and do in the gardens. The greenhouses are also full of unusual and beautiful fauna, but be aware that there’s a charge to enter. Cathédrale St-Pierre et St-Paul The stunning cathedral is a must-visit, but make sure you also pop by the secret garden too. Obviously, a trip to a French city isn’t complete if there isn’t a cathedral stop on the itinerary somewhere. Cathédrale St-Pierre et St-Paul is a gothic style cathedral, looming over Nantes. As well as a place of worship, it is also a tomb for François II, Duke of Brittany and his wife Marguerite de Foix. There is also a secret garden at the back of the cathedral you can rest in. Musée d'Histoire Naturelle From tiny insects to a ginormous whale skeleton, all creatures large and small are on display at Musée d'Histoire Naturelle. There are lots of permanent collections on display, but there are also frequent temporary exhibitions too, so make sure you check what will be on when you visit Nantes. What will you do first in Nantes? Head off on a robotic elephant ride, or go see a whale skeleton in real life? Whatever you choose, there won’t be a long wait as it only takes 35 minutes to get from Folkestone to Calais. Book your tickets with us to receive the best price.

An Autumn in Champagne

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Planning an autumn break? The beautiful region of Champagne is one of the most popular areas to visit in France, and in autumn the area is especially beautiful. Find out what you can do in the Champagne region during autumn. The city of Champagne is only a three hour drive from our Calais terminal. Palais du Tau 45-minute drive from Champagne The stunning Palais du Tau has been the setting to many a celebration. If you’re visiting Champagne, it’s only right you partake in a bit of luxury. You don’t get much more luxurious than Palais du Tau, a palace that was once used by French princes before their coronation, and has been the setting of more than one raucous post-coronation party. It was originally a home for the Archbishop of Reims, but is now a Unesco World Heritage Site and museum. There are plenty of treasures displayed in the halls here - make sure you visit the Gothic Great Hall when you stop by. Troyes 1 hour from Champagne Multi-coloured ancient houses line the narrow cobbled streets of Troyes.  This ancient city has stayed pretty much the same since the 16th century, despite some renovations in the 1950s to make it more hygienic. If it wasn’t for the phone you’re using to snap photos of the streets, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped back in time when you see the narrow, cobbled roads and rickety timber houses. Avenue de Champagne 25-minute drive from Champagne No trip to Champagne is complete without a journey down Avenue de Champagne, where the creators of the wine reside. The avenue is made up of 19th century and Classical style buildings that appear modern when compared to those of Troyes. But underneath the street is where it gets really interesting. Below the depths, there are over 100km of galleries dug out, which house millions of bottles of champagne. Champagne Aspasie 1 hour from Champagne A beautiful 18th century family run vineyard, with champagne to try. Credit: Champagne Aspasie Not only should you visit the coveted Avenue de Champagne, but a trip to an historic vineyard is definitely on the cards. Champagne Aspasie is a family vineyard, passed down by generation, that has been making Champagne since 1794. With five generations of wine making in its past, this is a family that knows all there is to know about the art of winemaking. Wander through the 12 hectares of vineyard, try the various types of champagne that are made there, and be a part of the history of this region. Top Five Must-See Vineyards in Champagne Champagne Barnaut Since 1874, this vineyard has been creating fine wine, by using game changing techniques. La Cave Aux Coquillages Not only can you see how the beautiful wines are made, but you can also discover the preserved geology that helps create this champagne. Champagne Tribaut Located in the birthplace of champagne, you can come here to get first-hand experience working the grape harvest. Parva Domus The owners are known locally as mamie et papy, and love to welcome guests into their beautiful stately home, encased by acres of vineyards. Pre En Bulles Biodynamic wines, horses working the vineyard and jazz concerts. This is a vineyard that stands out from the rest. Do you want to be sampling champagne, in Champagne? It’s easier than you think, as it’s only 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais with Eurotunnel. Book your tickets with us, for the best price.

Driving to Rennes

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Visiting Rennes The medieval town of Rennes may not be the first place in France that travellers tend to visit, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be explored. Known for its medieval buildings, stacked crookedly together, the impressive Rennes Cathedral, and the rose garden of Parc du Thabor, there are plenty of places to explore here. What to See in Rennes Rennes Cathedral The striking architecture of Rennes Cathedral stands out amongst the quirky Medieval streets. When visiting a French town, you must take a trip to the local church or cathedral, and Rennes is no different. The site has been home to a cathedral since the 6th century, and despite collapsing in the 15th century and being badly damaged during WWII, the Rennes Cathedral still stands. Its restoration was completed in 2014, and so it’s in beautiful condition. Head inside to see the Roman high altar and the works of art that cover the walls. An important piece of historical importance for Rennes, you should definitely visit to get a better understanding of the town’s history. Parc du Thabor The beautiful park is a great place to visit, either for a picnic or run around. In the centre of the town, Parc du Thabor is the perfect place to come for a homemade picnic or a wander through the rose garden, and during the summer, you can take in the outdoor events put on by the local bands and theatre groups. La Place des Lices This square is a great place to have a look at any time, but make sure you pay a visit on Saturday morning and have a wander around its market. Fresh food aplenty, it’s your chance to try local produce and delicacies, such as Breton cider and salted butter. Musée des Beaux-Arts During the French Revolution, there was a great number of artworks that were confiscated from public buildings. Instead of hiding these artworks away, hidden from view, the Musée des Beaux-Arts was founded in 1794 to display them. Today, you can see work by Claude Vignon, Léon Cogniet and Georges Lacombe. Where to Eat in Rennes La Saint Georges Tasting a piece of traditional Breton galette in Rennes is a must! When in Brittany, it’d be a crime not to sample a couple of crêpes and galettes. The area’s famous delicacy has benefitted from hundreds of years of careful thought and preparation put into its recipe, and is still as popular as ever. We’re all familiar with a crêpe, but a galette is slightly less common, at least in the UK. Galettes are made with buckwheat flour, making theme similar in texture to a potato pancake. Head to La Saint Georges to try their traditional Brittany crêpes and galettes. Will you choose sweet, or savoury? Where to Drink in Rennes Couleurs Cafe Exploring a new place can be exhausting, so you deserve a drink! Couleurs Cafe is a bright, lively spot for a cocktail or two. With a wide range of homemade rums, you will want to spend as much time as possible here. Where to Stay in Rennes Marnie & Mister H When you’re visiting a medieval city, you should fully embrace the architecture and style. Marnie & Mister H is a stylish bed and breakfast, housed in a 16th century building. Chandeliers, private balconies, and a sunny outdoor terrace make this a beautiful little spot to call your temporary Rennes home. Weather in Rennes The warmest months are July and August, with average highs of 24°C. Typically, December, January and February are the coldest months, averaging maximum temperatures of about 8°C. December has the highest level of rainfall, reaching 80ml, and the lowest is in April at 40ml. Getting there and around Rennes is just over five hours from our Eurotunnel terminal in Calais, but bear in mind that some of these roads (A16 and E402) are tolled. Take the A16/E402 to the A28, continue to Rue Saint-Malo, then continue to Rennes. There are plenty of car parking spots around Rennes, with many of the spots in the city centre. Make sure you always have some spare Euros on you, as some of the parking spaces charge. Hoche Car Park is a paid car park just a short walk from the city centre at €1.60 an hour. Want to discover more about Rennes? It only takes 35 minutes to get from Folkestone to Calais. Remember to buy your Eurotunnel tickets with us, to get the best deal.

Golfy

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Golfy is the leading network of golf courses and hotels in continental Europe. It boasts more than 100 golf courses across four countries, including France, Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg. You will come across stunning locations and hotels and first class service wherever you go. Golfy offer a loyalty card which can be used at 163 golf courses and 130 hotels giving you access to exclusive benefits: The Golfy Indigo e-card offers: 25% discount on green fees. 15% off accommodation. Discounts on Golfy Breaks. A loyalty programme. Exclusive Golfy benefits.

Carrefour Cité Europe

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Your Day Trip to France wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Carrefour Cité Europe! Stock up on lots of fantastic French favorites and get rewarded. Spend a minimum of €100 and receive a gift card for €10. Don't miss out on this great offer, exclusive to you. Carrefour Cité Europe is one of the largest hypermarkets in the region, located just outside our Calais terminal! Make sure you take advantage of this offer and fill up with lots of traditional food and day-to-day items. Load your car up with lovely products from all over France, (just in time for Christmas!) such as: waffles, flavored coffee, Burgundy snails, cheese, patisseries, chocolates and much more... You can even pay in £ or €!

The Best Music Venues in Europe

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When you drive through Europe, you need a good playlist. But what’s better than live music? Check out our favourite music venues located around Europe. France It’s not just Paris that has the best music venues in France! There are lots of different spots away from the capital that host brilliant bands, and cultural highlights. Palais Nikaia Nice: 11 hours from Calais Palais Nikaia is a striking bird-like venue, in the Nice Riviera. Credit : Renzo Giusti Under the perfect blue sky, on the palm-tree-lined streets of Nice, you can find the 9000 capacity Palais Nikaia. It has hosted bands such as Depeche Mode, as well as comedy and theatre shows. As it is located so close to the sea, the architects designed the hall to look like a magnificent bird, stretching its wings. Opening in 2001, it’s unique as it’s located right next door to Stade Charles-Ehrmann, adjoined with a sliding glass door. So, for huge concerts of 50,000 or more, the two can comfortably host. Le Chabada Angers: 5 hours from Calais John Cale performing at the cultural epicentre of Angers, Le Chabada. Credit : Simon Bonaventure Based in an old slaughterhouse, Le Chabada is the cultural beating heart of Angers. For over a decade it has supported local artists, and hosted concerts featuring a variety of genres. They also run musical workshops, conferences and educational concerts, all with the aim to promote music in the local area. The Netherlands Venture further from France, to Amsterdam. The Netherlands may not be the first place you think of when you’re looking for great music venues, but don’t be put off by first impressions! Concertgebouw Amsterdam: 4 hours from Calais The beautiful Concertgebouw is perfect for any classical music fan, or anyone who just wants to chill in a beautiful setting! Credit : Lydia z Opilik Concertgebouw is slightly different to the French venues, as its construction began in 1883, and it has been bestowed the honorary title of ‘Koninklijk’ on its 125th anniversary by Queen Beatrix, which is the equivalent to an English Royal Warrant. You can go behind the scenes of the concert hall, and discover the secrets to its long and influential history. For classical music fans, this is the perfect place to visit, to hear the great sounds of Beethoven and Mozart. Even if you’re not a huge classical music fan, there’s no better place to start your musical journey. Or, just stop by for delicious cake and coffee in the café. Belgium It’s not just chocolates and cobbled streets that make Belgium a great place to visit. It’s got a great cultural scene too, that people travel from far and wide to visit. The Roma Antwerp: 2 and a half hours from Calais The Roma is an iconic part of Antwerp, and of the Belgium music scene. Credit : Paulien Verlackt For a music venue with a twist, The Roma is a must-visit. It sits in the Moroccan suburb, in a 1920s cinema. During the week (Monday-Wednesday), head there to see vintage films played on the big screen, but for the rest of the week, it becomes a foot-stomping concert venue. Since the 1970s, huge stars have been queuing up to play The Roma. Artists like Iggy Pop and Paul McCartney have taken to the stage, so when you visit here you’ll definitely be seeing a part of musical history. Ready to pack your dancing shoes? It’s only 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais when you travel with us. Make sure you book your tickets with us, to get the best fairs. Top image Credit: Jordi Huisman

Driving to Liège

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Visting Liège If you enjoy visiting cities juxtaposed with their surroundings, then Liège should be high on your list. An industrial town that is steeped in culture it is considered the capital of the lucious green Ardennes region. Liège sits at the crossroads to an important motorway network linking Paris, Amsterdam and Cologne. However this city shouldn't be overlooked to reach the bigger locations. When you walk through the city, feeling small between the looming buildings, you’ll see why it is an unexpected treasure. What to See in Liège Do you dare climb all the way to the top of Mountain of Bueren? Montagne de Bueren An uphill battle in more ways than one, the Montagne de Bueren is a staircase of 374 steps, sandwiched between the city’s buildings. The staircase was built in 1881 as a means to get Liège’s soldiers from the hilltop to the centre of the city without having to walk past bars and various other illicit properties. For anyone interested in the military history of the city, or who just want to put their legs to the test, it’s a must see. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Liège Like we said, you need to be within the city to discover its culture. On the outside, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Liège doesn’t look like an art galley, but it actually houses some of the finest pieces of art by French-speaking Belgian artists. Regardless of whether you prefer a particular school of art, or are a novice looking for an overview of the developments in the Belgian art scene, this is the gallery for you. Collegiate Church of St. Bartholomew Collegiate Church of St. Bartholomew amongst the cityscape of Liege.  Liège is certainly the city of juxtaposition. Although the outside off Musée des Beaux-Arts de Liège is not as seems, the Collegiate Church of St. Bartholomew is the complete opposite. Painted in a bright red and white design in the traditional Mosan style of the area, it is considered one of the seven wonders of Belgium. Festival Outremeuse If you’re visiting in the summer, we recommend joining in the celebrations of Festival Outremeuse. The celebration ends in a joyous occasion in mid-August, where everyone drinks the local gin pékèt, joins in traditional dances, and reads sermons in a Walloon dialect. Look out for puppets, firecrackers, and the procession of giants. What to Eat in Liège A Liège waffle still warm from the oven is a treat we could all do with more of.  Boulet à la Liégeoise Translated to English, it’s a dish of meatballs and fries in a rabbit sauce. But don’t panic, it’s not made from real rabbit; the dish was created by Géraldine Lapin, and so is named after her. It’s a rich sweet and sour sauce covering hearty meatballs, and as it’s Belgium, they can’t forget the frites. Liège Waffle Another classic dish from Liège is their waffles. Belgium invented the waffle, but Liège went the extra mile by adding sugar crystals to theirs. You won’t have to look too far to find these dreamy waffles, as many market stalls and cafes sell them. Smaller and sweeter than the traditional Belgian waffle, they can be eaten as an afternoon snack, held in the hand. Where to Drink in Liège Place du Marché Place du Marché in the centre of the city is where locals come together.  This square is not only home to city hall and iconic fountains, but also a huge variety of bars. At night, the Place du Marché comes alive, with people having a quick drink before dinner, and those wanting to make a night of it. On a warm summer’s night, sitting out on the square with a Belgian beer is a real treat. Where to Stay in Liège Amosa There’s no better place to stay than in an achingly cool hotel, right in the heart of the city. Amosa takes the industrial look of Liège and stylishly uses it to create a unique hotel. Amongst the shining chrome and exposed pipes are 18 comfortable guestrooms, with the main sites of Liège only a short walk away. There is parking nearby too, so perfect for those driving through Europe. Weather in Liège The weather in Liège is similar to the UK, with the warmest months being July and August, where the temperatures reach an average of 22.7°C. January is the coldest month, with an average of just 5.0°C. We would recommend bringing a raincoat, just in case, and a lightweight jacket for the summer months, as the warmer temperatures aren’t guaranteed. Getting there and around:  From our Calais terminal to Liège, it’s just under three hours’ drive. You simply take the A16 and E40 to to Jardin Jean-Bernard Lejeune/N607 in Liège. Then continue your journey to your first destination. There are plenty of parking spaces around Liège, with some parking spots being free. The free parking spots are located at Place du Parc, Colruyt, Carrefour and Delhaize (but the last three are for cusomters only). The free spaces tend to get filled up quickly, but it’s only about €3-€4 for two hours elsewhere. It won’t take you long to start exploring the unique city of Liège. It’s only 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais, so start planning your break away!

Experience the V8 Hotel & Autobahn

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For those of you who are fans of cars, nothing is better than an open stretch of road, a beautiful day and a tank full of petrol. But why not really experience a car-lover’s dream and drive the autobahn and rest for the night in the V8 Hotel? Driving through Europe is a holiday in itself. Motoring through the different European cities and countryside provides a completely different driving experience. But, what is the icing on the cake for the real car fans out there? V8 Hotel and Motorworld 7 hours from Calais Located at Motorworld in Stuttgart, the V8 Hotel is the ultimate place to rest your petrol head. Before you get to your motor-themed room (more on that later) there are lots of activities you can get involved in at the ultimate place for car lovers. What to do at Motorworld Discover the history of your favourite car brands at Motorworld. Credit: Frank Hoppe Go back to where it all began, 125 years ago, at the Mercedes Benz Museum, and discover the history of the world-famous brand. For fans of speed, the Porsche Museum is the first place to go to immerse yourself in the supercar brand. Or, take to the skies and fly to your dream destination on the flight simulator. With lessons from a professional pilot, you can discover what it’s like to be in control of a plane. If the rest of your family aren’t quite as car-mad as you, there are still plenty of activities for them to get involved in. Outlet City Metzingen is near the V8 Hotel, and is packed with shops selling top designer brands. So, after your stay at the hotel you can drive away with a head full of memories and a car full of souvenirs. The Rooms at the V8 Hotel Love Mercedes? Spend the night in the ultimate Mercedes shrine. Credit: Frank Hoppe While the car-activities are reason enough to visit the V8 Hotel, it’s the accommodation that makes you stay. Every room is car based, but some are a little more special than others. Take the Mercedes Suite for example: four floors of Mercedes madness, including a panoramic bathroom and sauna! Go back in time to the 1950s and sleep in a vintage gas station. Credit: Frank Hoppe If the Mercedes Suite is out of your budget but you still want to stay somewhere a bit special, there are plenty of other options for you. Spend a night in one of the themed rooms, from Route 66, to a drive-in cinema, and even an automatic carwash, there are lots of fun options. Drive the Autobahn One of the most famous road systems in Europe, the autobahn is any speed lover’s dream. While there are many roads that motorists long to drive down in Europe (such as Route Napoléon and Col de Turini for example) there is one very famous road system that is of course, the autobahn. Rather than just one road, the autobahn is the German motorway, and stretches over the whole country, totalling about 8000 miles. The reason why so many people want to drive these roads, is due to their lack of speed limit. German authorities insist you must drive at the recommended 80mph, but you can drive faster if you wish. It’s good to always be aware of the other drivers on the road, as it’s not uncommon for cars to zoom past you at 100mph, or faster. So, are you eager to put the peddle to the metal? It won’t be long before you’re in Germany, the home of fast cars and precision engineering. It’s just 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais, so start planning your route now. Top image credit: Frank Hoppe

Driving to Caen

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Visiting Caen The historic city of Caen has quite a dramatic story behind it, from being founded by William the Conqueror, to being destroyed during the Battle of Normandy. It’s one of the main points of interest for history fans, or those with a connection to the devastating effects of the World War II. Nowadays, Caen still has tributes to those who fought and lost their lives in the war. But it is also known for its art, boutiques and markets. If you’re looking to drive to a French town with a rich culture, history and plenty of off-the-beaten-track spots to visit, then look no further than Caen. What to See in Caen The stunning interior of Abbaye aux Hommes Abbaye aux Hommes This is the resting place of William the Conqueror. Although, all that is left now is his thigh bone after Calvinists ransacked the building in the 1700s. When you visit the abbey, you can see that its architecture was inspired by English buildings; in fact, Abbaye aux Hommes wouldn’t look out of place in a British town. Fortunately, the abbey wasn’t damaged by the bombing in 1944, and you can still tour it today. Chateau de Caen Just over a ten-minute walk away is William the Conqueror’s home, Chateau de Caen. It was one of the most important castles during Norman times, where much of the strategy and policy that defined the era took place. It was severely damaged during World War II, and prior to that, during the French Revolution. But you can still visit the site, and wander through history. Caen Memorial Museum For a detailed and sobering account on the effects of World War II and the Battle of Normandy, the Caen Memorial Museum is one of the best memorials in Europe. The museum contains original artefacts from the war, so you can accurately see what life was like during those years. After visiting the museum, take a walk through the Souvenir Gardens, where you can see the memorials erected in memory of those who lost their lives. Beuvron en Auge If you are looking for a typical Norman village to visit on your drive to Caen, then Beuvron en Auge is a wonderful example. Just walking around the quaint streets, you’re immediately transported back in time, as you pass 17th and 18th century houses, with their low roofs and classic timber beams. Many people who visit do so to explore the Cider Route, a 40km route that delves into the cider making tradition of the area. The route passes through Beuvron en Auge, so make sure you stop by if you’re following it. The rich and famous have been flocking to the beaches of Deauville for decades. Deauville North-east of Caen is one of the more upscale parts of Normandy, where the rich and famous have graced its beach for decades. If you are visiting from April to September, you can rent one of their famous beach umbrellas, only made in Deauville, which will keep you completely protected from the sea breeze. This is also an area that anyone who is passionate about horses should visit. Flat races, jumping, polo and horse riding on the beach are all available. Honfleur One of the most popular places to visit in Normandy, come to Honfleur on your drive down to Caen for bustling streets, galleries and narrow houses, tightly packed against the River Seine. The town is nestled between two hills, Côte Vassale and Côte de Grâce, from the latter you can expect a glorious view of the Honfleur below. This is a great place to come to explore the shops and seeing the beautiful, brightly coloured boats floating along the river. Where to Eat in Caen La Galletoire For a classic Normandy dish of crêpes and galettes, head to La Galletoire. If it’s a warm, sunny day, try to get a seat outside so you can have your crêpes under the golden sun. L’Atelier Dine on rich, juicy burgers with a twist at L’Atelier. They are usually piled high with guacamole and onions, which makes them great for your Instagram feed. L’Atelier has quite a relaxed feel, where you can order and pay at the counter. Where to Drink in Caen Le Vertigo Cocktails in a cosy atmosphere, great music and friendly bar staff. Le Vertigo is one of the most popular bars in Caen, and for good reason. Either come here for a pre-dinner drink, or make a night of it. Where to Stay in Caen Chez Laurence Du Tilly Want a stylish, chic place to rest your head after a long day driving through France? Chez Laurence Du Tilly is the perfect choice. A townhouse in Caen which features three beautiful apartments and a cottage. The chic design has resulted in a hotel that wouldn’t look out of place on the cover of an interior design magazine. Caen is an ideal city to visit for a minibreak Weather in Caen Caen’s hottest months are in July and August, where it reaches average highs of 22C. Unsurprisingly, its coldest are December, January and February, where it’s usually about 7C. There is quite a high amount of rainfall all year round, so make sure you pack an umbrella and waterproofs. Getting there and around Driving to Caen from our Calais terminal is really easy and takes just over three hours. You can take the A16/E402 to A26, A29/E44 and A13/E46 to Boulevard Jean Moulin. Please note these roads contain tolls. Once you hit Boulevard Jean Moulin, just continue to your first destination in Caen. Caen is ideal for drivers, with plenty of places to park your car. Most parking is on the street, so give yourself time to find a space. The most popular places to park are on Port De Plaisance, Passage du Grand Turk and Rue des Fossés du Château. Many of the car parking areas accept credit cards, so no need to worry if you’re running low on cash. The history and culture of Caen isn’t far away. With Eurotunnel, you can get to Calais from Folkestone in just 35 minutes.

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