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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.

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

Discover France’s Music World

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France is home to more than just sublime cheese and fairy tale castles. It has, for years, been the home of some of the most famous albums and musicians in the world. Find out where you can travel to be in the heart of musical history. When we think of iconic studios, our minds usually go to Sun Studio in Memphis, where the greats like Elvis and Johnny Cash recorded their iconic songs, or Abbey Road in London, made famous by The Beatles. But, what about in France? Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main St, recorded in Villefranche-sur-Mer 11 hours, 11-minutes from Calais Villefranche-sur-Mer is a beautiful Riviera fishing village, and the home of one of the greatest albums ever made This has been widely regarded as not only one of the Rolling Stones’ best albums, but one of the greatest albums ever recorded. The band created the album in three studios: Olympic Studios in London, Sunset Sound Recorders in Los Angeles, and Nellcôte in Keith Richard’s rented mansion in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France. Situated next to Nice on the French Riviera, Villefranche-sur-Mer is a fishing village, with multi-coloured houses stacked up against the crystal blue sea. Take time to get lost in its intricately small streets, climbing the staircases to catch a glimpse of the sparkling sea. Its musical history notwithstanding, the town has existed since the 14th Century. So, it’s perfect for anyone wanting embrace by French history, all while achieving a tan under the golden Riviera sun. Château d'Hérouville 3 hours, 19-minutes from Calais Château d'Hérouville in quiet village Hérouville is an iconic home of musical history A place where all music fans need to visit, Château d'Hérouville is where some of the last century’s definitive albums and singles were recorded. Known as the ‘Honky Château’, from this 17th Century mansion, David Bowie’s Pin Ups and Low, Iggy Pop’s The Idiot, Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Bee Gee’s iconic singles ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ and ‘Stayin’ Alive’ from their seminal album Saturday Night Fever were recorded here. It’s not just great music that reverberated off the walls here. It was painted by Vincent van Gogh, who’s buried in the area, so when you visit, make sure you make a trip to his grave. Despite the fact that some of the greatest musicians who ever lived roamed its halls, in 1985 the headphones were hung up, the decks stopped spinning and the château’s ghosts could finally rest. The spirits that had watched these musicians from the corners certainly didn’t want them to rest though; Brian Eno was reportedly woken every morning by a mysterious entity shaking his shoulder. Even though it’s no longer the great recording studio it once was, music fans should still visit the area. It’s not a particularly touristy area of France, so it’s ideal if you want to be immersed in French culture. Visit nearby historic towns, such as L'Isle-Adam, or La Roche-Guyon with its famous hill-top castle. Avignon, Birthplace of Olivier Messiaen and Festival d’Avignon 8 hours, 47-minutes from Calais Festival d’Avignon is the perfect trip for anyone who loves arts, culture and theatre! The French composer Olivier Messiaen, known for his love of birdsong and intricate scores, couldn’t have been born in a more apt place. Avignon is also home to the Festival d’Avignon, which is a celebration of theatre, art and all things creative. It takes up most of July, and is ideal for anyone with a love of the arts. So, Wild Horses won’t get you to France, but Eurotunnel will! It only takes 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais, so grab your guitar and Shine A (Head) Light towards France!

Summer in France with Your Pet

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If your heart is breaking at the thought of leaving your beloved pet behind when you head off on holiday, then don’t panic. Taking your pet on holiday to France is easier than ever, especially when you follow our tips. Taking Your Dog on Eurotunnel Travelling with your pet on Eurotunnel is easier than ever. We even have a pet playground where they can stretch their legs and go to the loo before the 35-minute journey to Calais. Your pet will need their passport to travel with us, just like you! It’s really easy to arrange one for them, check out our blog post for all the tips you need. Tips for Taking Pets in the Car Your pet should be as comfortable in the car as possible. A grumpy pet travelling in a strange, new country is not ideal for anyone. Bring toys that won’t get them too excited, non-spill water bowls, plenty of snacks and a cosy bed and blanket. Pet Friendly Accommodation in France Now it’s illegal to not allow pets in holiday rentals, there’s lots of choice. Great news if you’re planning to stay in a holiday rental in France, the French supreme court declared it illegal for holiday home owners to not allow pets. So, if you’re bringing your furry friend, you’ll still have plenty of choices for a beautiful holiday home. Pet owners definitely don’t want this law overturned, so make sure that you are a responsible pet owner whilst staying there; after all, it is someone else’s property. What Should You Look for in Pet Friendly Accommodation? Even though the holiday home is required by law to allow pets, that doesn’t necessarily mean that pets are welcome. Before signing on the dotted line, make sure you talk to the owner about their stance on pets, and anything you need to be aware of, such as if the garden is near a main road. Don’t forget to talk to them about your pet; how much space they ideally need, how many pets will be with you, and if they have any physical requirements. That way, you’ll be sure that your pet will have the best holiday possible. Most Pet Friendly Places to Visit You won’t spend your holiday in France cooped up in your holiday rental, you’ll be out exploring! Before you head off on holiday, do some research on the best places in France to bring a pet, so you know exactly where to go and don’t have to waste time researching once you’re there. Thankfully, as France is a very pet-friendly country, most restaurants and cafés allow dogs, with many offering water bowls for our four-legged friends to stay hydrated. Pet Friendly Parks in France Vallée de l'Eure, Uzès 2 hours, 45-minutes from Calais One of the most important aspects of picking the perfect park for your dog to run around in is how safe it is. In a strange country, you don’t want your pooch running off. Vallée de l'Eure in Uzès is a valley set far away from the main road, with plenty of forest space for your dogs to run around in, and grassy paths to sniff. The valley is set by a river, which is great if your dog is a confident swimmer, but if you’re a little wary, it’s best to keep them on the lead when near the water. Pet Friendly Cities in France Mougins 10 hours, 30-minutes from Calais This medieval town is surrounded by wooded areas, a doggy dream! When exploring a new city in hot weather, make sure you keep an eye on your dog’s paws on the pavement. They can be burnt if the ground is too hot. Stick to shaded areas, and don’t go out at the hottest time of the day (12pm-3pm). Make sure you always have water for your dog to keep them refreshed and hydrated, and for dipping their paws in to cool them down. If there are grassy areas they can walk on, then stick to them as much as possible. The Medieval town of Mougins, a 15-minute drive from Cannes, is an ideal place for dogs (and their owners). It sits in the middle of beautiful forests made up of gorgeous trees, like Pine, Olive and Cyprus. The town is a great place for grabbing a bite to eat, as well as experiencing some new culture in their art galleries. Grab the lead, the pet passport and all the treats you can carry and set off for your French adventure! When it’s only 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais, Eurotunnel is the perfect holiday transport.  

Unmissable Music Festivals in France & Belgium

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Don’t miss out on some of the best music festivals happening across the continent this summer. With Europe bringing in an eclectic mix of festivals in any genre, there’s an added bonus of discovering a new country on the way too! Summer marks the start of festival season for music fans worldwide, but with so many to choose from it can be hard to decide which ones to attend. The choices on offer in Europe however are definitely not to be overlooked. With typically warmer weather and cheaper tickets than the UK, driving to a music festival abroad can also double-up as a holiday! When travelling to Europe with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, there’s also no baggage limit. So loading up your car with your tent and other festival essentials is the perfect way to discover new music. See some of our top music festival picks in France and Belgium! Tomorrowland Boom, Belgium Under 2 hours, 30-minutes from Calais Immersive yourself in Belgium’s biggest Dance festival. Credit : Tomorrowland Tomorrowland is the world’s biggest dance festival and it’s no surprise why when you see it’s visually impressive stage designs. Every year has a theme that transforms the festival into an immersive experience like no other! This experience also extends to the festival camping ground too, appropriately named ‘Dreamville’! With a wide range of accommodation, this ‘city’ complete with a supermarket, a jewellery store and even a real hairdressers is the perfect place to recharge between acts. The festival takes place in late July at recreation area De Schorre, in Boom, which is easily accessible from the E19 and A12 motorways. When you are travelling on the highway, follow the signs “Festival Boom”. Once you get closer to the festival, follow the signs to “P Festival”. La Route du Rock Saint Malo, France Under 5 hours, 30-minutes from Calais Listen to the biggest alternative acts against the beautiful Brittany coast. Credit : La Route Du Rock If some of the biggest names in alternative, indie and rock music performing by the beautiful Brittany coast suits your tastes, then La Route du Rock is the festival for you. The four day festival takes place in or around the seaside town of Saint Malo in August, with big names playing the main stage inside the ruins of an old French castle. La Route du Rock is also less crowded with an attendance of 25,000 festival goers. However this doesn’t mean the acts are compromised as the festival regularly pulls in the biggest names in the industry. La Route du Rock offers ticket holders free parking on site. If you’re not in a rush there’s plenty of sights and towns to visit on the way to Saint Malo when getting there by car. So creating the perfect road trip playlist is a must! PukkelPop Kempische Steenweg, Belgium Under 3 hours from Calais Discover a wide variety of genres at PukkelPop and try to locate its secret rooms! Credit : PukklePop PukkelPop has been held at various locations in Belgium for over 30 years, before settling on a woodland site near to Hasselt. Returning every year in August, Pukkelpop offers a wide variety of artists from different genres. From rock, pop to dance music, the acts perform over eight different stages. Everything is not what it seems either, as there are ‘secret rooms’ across the site that are waiting to be discovered and explored. Festival goers can reach Pukkelpop via the E313 or E314 motorway. Which music festival will you drive to? With Eurotunnel Le Shuttle it only takes 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais, the quickest way to cross the channel to discover more music!

How to Keep Your Dog Cool When Travelling in the Summer

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Most of us long for the warm sunny days of summer, but the same can’t necessarily be said for our four-legged friends. While they may enjoy joining in on the fun with camping trips, and days at the beach, dogs, cats and other pets often struggle to keep cool in the heat. We’ve put together this guide of handy tips to help you to keep your pets happy and safe as temperatures rise. Never leave your dog in a car unsupervised, especially in warm weather Never Leave Your Pets in a Hot Car This ought to go without saying, really. We’ve all seen the campaigns, and we all know that hot cars can kill. But we still often underestimate just how hot a car can get, even on a seemingly mild day. According to PETA, on a 78F (25C) day, the temperature inside a parked car can rise to between 100F (38C) and 120F (49C) in a matter of minutes; and on a 90F (32C) day, the temperature can reach as high as 160F (71C) in less than 10 minutes. If you can’t stay with your pets to supervise them, try to take them with you and find a shady place to secure them outside if you need to run into a non-pet-friendly shop. It’s also a good idea to have the air conditioning on whilst you’re driving, as well, to help them stay cool. It may look cute to see a dog sticking their head out the window, but it’s actually a breach of the Highway Code, and not safe for you, your pet, or your fellow road users. Avoid the Midday Sun Just like us, pets don’t do well in the full heat of the day, so it’s best to avoid walking your dog between the hours of 11am and 3pm. Just imagine walking around on hot pavements with bare feet to get an idea of how your pup feels! To check the temperature of the ground, rest the back of your hand on the pavement for a couple of seconds – this should give you a good indicator of what it’ll be like for your dog or cat to walk around on it. It’s really important to keep your pets well-hydrated during the summer months Keep Hydrated  Dogs don’t sweat like we do. Their much less effective method is to pant, which forces air over their tongue in an effort to cool their blood. This makes it even more important to have a supply of cool water with you at all times, as it will help to cool them down as well as keep them hydrated. Ideally, if you have access to a hosepipe or water for your pooch to paddle or swim in, all the better! This will be appreciated by all dogs, big and small alike, but particularly for our more hirsute canine friends. Maybe you could treat them to a summer haircut, as well. Know the Signs of Heatstroke  Heatstroke in dogs is really serious, which makes knowing the symptoms to look out for all the more important. Is your dog panting and/or drooling excessively? Do they appear lethargic, confused, drowsy, or uncoordinated? Are they collapsed or vomiting? If you notice these symptoms in your dog, take them straight into the shade and start to cool them down gradually. Don’t let them get too cold too quickly, though, as you can send them into shock, which is just as dangerous as heatstroke. If you can, douse them in cool (not cold) water, or apply cool, damp towels to their body. If you have a fan to hand, put them in front of that, as well. And most importantly, make sure they have a supply of cool water to drink, but in small amounts at a time. If you happen to notice these symptoms in a dog trapped inside a car, the best thing to do is to call 999, and request the police come to your aid. It does actually constitute criminal damage if you break a car window to let a dog out, so this should only be done if you don’t have another choice. If that happens to be the case, make sure you take photos and videos as evidence of the condition of the dog, as well as seek out any witnesses. Once your dog’s breathing has returned to normal, and they seem to be in a more stable condition, take them straight to a vet as a matter of urgency. Follow our hot-weather tips for a happy holiday for you and your dog Other Tips for Travelling with your Dog  Try not to feed them for an hour or two before you travel, just in case they get motion sickness. Take them for a long walk before you set off to help tire them out. Schedule in regular pit stops for walkies and bathroom breaks along your driving route. Make sure your pets are properly restrained during your trip, with a crate, harness, or guard. If they’re not, and you find yourself in an accident, you may invalidate your car insurance and end up liable for a hefty bill! Pack an emergency break-down kit for your dog, including their favourite food and toys, just in case you end up stranded for a couple of hours. Our final tip is to make sure that all their microchip, vaccinations and pet passport are up to date well in advance of your trip. We look forward to welcoming you and your furry friends aboard on your next holiday road trip with Eurotunnel!

Bump to Baby Travels with Eurotunnel

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Going on holiday with your little ones can be daunting. But when you travel with Eurotunnel, you can be reassured that the journey will be easy, with the added extra of seeing the stunning sights of Europe!  The lovely Alex Gladwin, from Bump to Baby, travelled with us to France, Belgium and the Netherlands with her husband Adam, and adorable boys Ethan and Logan. It was their first big road trip as a family, and Alex’s first time in France! They really embraced the culture of these countries, visiting aquariums, castles and fairy tale wonderlands. Alex’s Tips for Keeping Children Entertained on a Road Trip Even though travelling to France on Eurotunnel only takes 35 minutes from Folkestone, children still need some distractions in the car. Alex had some great ideas for making sure Ethan and Logan wouldn’t get bored, buying new toys they haven’t played with before, and creating games for them to join in which made the car journey fly by. Boulogne-sur-Mer A great place to learn and have fun, Nausicaa is a must-see! Only half an hour from Calais, Boulogne-sur-Mer is the perfect place for little ones to stretch their legs once you arrive in France. Ethan and Logan discovered their inner marine biologists when they visited Nausicaa, one of the biggest aquariums in Europe. As it’s close to the beach, they were able to have a good play. After a busy day, they settled down in their hotel, with a well-deserved takeaway pizza. Lille Stopping off at Citadel Park, Ethan and Logan were able to use up all their energy An hour and twenty minute drive from Boulogne-sur-Mer, the family visited Lille, an ideal spot for families, as there’s so much to do here. Make sure you stop by Citadel Park, where your little ones can run around to their heart’s content. A great way to release all that built-up energy from the car ride. Like the Gladwin family, visit Lille Cathedral (Basilica of Notre Dame de la Treille), where children (and adults) can discover some of the fascinating history of Lille. Plus, the cathedral’s imposing modern structure makes the ideal backdrop for your family photos.  All that exploring got our intrepid travellers peckish, so they definitely needed a filling breakfast. Le Pain Quotidien is a gorgeous, cosy café ideal for avocado on toast and a coffee to set you up for the day. Watch Part 1 of Alex's trip here: Ghent The views from the top of Gravensteen Castle are reason enough to visit! Driving through Europe means it’s even easier to hop from country to country, so the family were able to nip across the border from France to Ghent in Belgium and take in the beautiful historic sights there. They managed to get a perfect bird’s eye view of the town from the top of Gravensteen Castle, as well as meeting a knight! There are many ways to see the city, but one of the best is via a canal tour, where you can discover the city in a unique way.   Efteling To conclude their trip, the Gladwin family experienced the magic of Efteling, the largest theme park in the Netherlands. Alex recommends taking a couple of days to see the whole park, as it’s so large. Efteling is based on magical fairy tales, and you can stop by one of the park’s shows to become fully immersed in the magical world. There are rides suitable for every member of the family, so everyone gets a taste of the adventure!   Watch Part 2 of Alex's trip here: Think your family deserves a road trip adventure? It’s even easier to discover Europe with Eurotunnel

Forest View Campsite

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In the beautiful, undiscovered Perche Region of Lower Normandy, just a 3.5 hour leisurely drive from Calais, lies Forest View: a small, rural Campsite and Chambre d’Hote with just 25 pitches, with views over the tranquil 1.5 acre Lake, or amongst the cider apple trees in the Orchard where you can watch the sunset across the fields; plus 3 cool and quiet Chambre d’Hote rooms. It’s the perfect Campsite and B&B, for your overnights en route to the South or West of France, a short break or a long holiday…Indeed, once you’ve experienced Forest View, there’s little need to drive any further.

Les golfs d’Hardelot

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With its 2 classic golf courses, Hardelot has one of the most beautiful golf settings in Europe. Just 2 kilometres apart, each with their own clubhouse, bar, restaurant and pro shop. Set within wonderful wooded surroundings, the Pines and the Dunes each retain their own character and identity.

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. 

The Best Road Trips in France

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Your holiday in France doesn’t begin when you get to your accommodation. In fact, the second your car hits the tarmac at our Calais terminal, the adventure starts! Driving through France means you can take in the amazing views, stop off at the small towns off the beaten track, and uncover French history at the many historic battlegrounds, castles and artefacts.  Route Napoléon Start your road trip at the mountainous Grenoble, one of the most beautiful parts of France. Time: 9 hours  Distance: 300km  Stop Off: Grasse, Dignes and Sisteron  Weather: Sunny First on our list is one of the most famous routes in France. If you want to feel like you’re in a car advert, twisting and turning through a mountainous landscape, then Route Napoleon is for you. The route is, unsurprisingly, named after Napoleon Bonaparte, and is the route he took in 1815 on his return from exile in Elba. Along the drive, keep an eye out for the statues of the golden French Imperial Eagle, which marks the route. If you drive from north to south, you will begin in Grenoble, venturing down to La Mure, Sisteron, and finally ending in Antibes. As well as its historic context, it is also a fantastic way to see the natural landscape change, from rocky mountains to the iconic sun-drenched views of the French Riviera. As the drive is so long, and rich in picture-perfect spots, it makes sense to break it up over a few days. This way, not only can you experience the route at a more relaxed, leisurely pace but you can spend time visiting the towns that make up the journey. French Riviera: Nice to Fréjus Before beginning your road trip in Nice, stop by the port and spot the colourful boats! Time: One hour Distance 65km Stop Off: Cannes, Monaco, Antibes Weather: Sunny The South of France is famous as one of the favourite destinations for jet-setters, film stars and royalty to spend their summers. With the Mediterranean Sea lapping the perfect beaches, and the beautiful towns and cities that make up the area, it’s not surprising! To experience the Riviera, a sun-drenched road trip taking in the area’s most glamorous locations is the best way to do it. Start the journey in Nice, where you can spot the rich-and-famous’ superyachts lounging in the sapphire sea, and visit Musée Matisse to see the great artist’s finest work. Then, there’s the historic town of Antibes, where you can either wander around the pretty streets, or lounge on the beaches. Once you’re ready to discover more, head to Cannes. Famous for the film festival, this is where the world’s most beautiful people flock. Don’t forget you can also head into Monaco, the true home of glitz and glamour, when driving this route. Spend a few days here, taking in the culture and luxurious beaches. On this route, avoid the highways, and instead drive along the D559, where you are spoilt with views from the cliffs and coves. Col de Turini The infamous Col de Turini can be a bit nerve-wracking, but has amazing views! Time: 47-minutes to drive the road Stop Off: Instead of stopping, just take in the great views! Weather: Usually clear Finally, the most famous road on our guide. The infamous Col de Turini. Known for its 34 hairpin bends, sheer drops (some up to 30km long) and world class views, drivers flock from far and wide to experience the road, despite it being known as one of the most temperamental in the world. Much of the road is 30km per hour, as there are a lot of blind spots after the aforementioned tight turns. But don’t be disappointed that you can’t speed your way round. The views that act as a backdrop to the road are so spectacular, you’ll be grateful of the more leisurely pace. It’s not just drivers who hit the Col de Turini’s tarmac. The road has been featured in the Tour de France several times. You thought some of the turns were hair-raising in a car, imagine being on a bike! Because its safety is dependent on the weather, meticulously plan your journey in advance and keep an eye on the changes to the forecast. Avoid driving during heavy rain or high winds. Which road will you hit first? Start your journey on the right pedal and set off with Eurotunnel. It only takes 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais, so what are you waiting for?

A Car Lovers Dream in Monaco

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Monaco, the home of extravagance, gambling and cars! When you visit this principality, you will definitely be able to spot a supercar or two, or three! For any car lover, Monaco is a must-visit. But, just where do you park up and experience the amazing cars? Supercar Spotting at Casino de Monte Carlo  11 hour drive from Calais Casino de Monte Carlo is a hotbed of glamorous cars! © Flickr user: Andy Miccone Once the summer months settle in, so do the supercars. One of the best places to spot the Ferraris and Lamborghinis is Casino de Monte Carlo. At night, more often than not, you will see a line-up of beautiful cars outside the famous casino’s steps that could rival Top Gear! If you’re planning on taking a trip into the casino, remember it’s an excuse to dress up, with jackets recommended after 8pm. Top tip: If your children are supercar fans, why not make a fun game for them? Make a list of their favourite cars, and tick off each one you come across. Exhibition of HSH The Prince of Monaco’s Vintage Car Collection 11 hour drive from Calais Take a step back in time when you walk through Prince Ranier’s extensive car collection. The handsome Prince Rainier of Monaco was quite the eligible bachelor, until he was taken off the market when he married film star Grace Kelly. They became one of the most famous couples in the world, thanks to their glamorous looks, and enviable lifestyle. As well as his marriage to Princess Grace, he was also known as an avid car lover. His car collection started during the 1950s, and continued right through his life. In fact, it grew to become so vast, that his already large garages became completely full, and no more cars could fit in! In 1993, he decided to relieve some space, and open his one of a kind collection to the public. For a small entrance fee, you visit the museum to marvel at these classic cars. From Rolls Royce to F1 sports cars, it’s like a sweet shop for car fans, big and small! Adults: €6.50 Children (8-14): €3 Walk Circuit de Monaco  11 hour drive from Calais The Circuit de Monaco is not only one of the hardest tracks to drive, but also one of the most beautiful. Just as it’s famous for its Hollywood royals, luxurious casino, designer shops, and heavenly beaches, Monaco is also well known for the Grand Prix. Every summer, thousands of people flood the streets to see the world’s most famous racing drivers compete for one of the most esteemed sporting titles in the world. Unlike the UK’s famous Silverstone, the Monaco Grand Prix doesn’t take place on a prebuilt track. Instead, it’s laid out on the streets of Monte Carlo. If you can’t make the Grand Prix, you can walk this 2.94-mile track, and imagine the roar of the crowd (and the cars). The track snakes through Monaco, past the historic buildings and looks down on to the sparkling turquoise sea below. Famously, it includes a tunnel, only one of two F1 tracks in the world to do so, the other being in Abu Dhabi. The track involves a lot of twists and turns, meaning that only the most skilled drivers excel here. If you come to see the Monaco Grand Prix, don’t expect to witness overtaking, as there are far too many bends for that. The racing driver Nelson Piquet said the course was like ‘riding a bicycle around your living room’. In fact, some of the corners are so tight that F1 cars are specifically designed to negotiate them, including the infamous Fairmont Hairpin. Start your journey to Monaco with ease. It only takes 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais when you travel with Eurotunnel. Sun, fast cars and beaches are nearer than you think!

Unusual Ways to Camp in France

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Camping doesn’t have to involve an old Glastonbury-battered tent, thin sleeping bags and howling winds. It can be a great way to embrace the great outdoors, and have a holiday like you never have before. There are plenty of exciting and unique places to camp in France, from old-fashioned wooden caravans, to treehouses, to giant snails. So, load up the car, grab the camping stove and don’t forget the guitar for acoustic singalongs. Here are the most unusual places to camp in France! Giant Snail! Dienné - 6-hour drive from Calais The limits are endless when you camp! Don’t fancy a tent? Well then, a snail will be your next best option. Credit: Glampinghub.com If you’re heading off on a camping trip, but don’t fancy having to spend hours pitching your tent (which sometimes requires the patience of a saint) that’s totally understandable! Going for a different sleeping option opens a whole range of choices, but did you ever think one of those choices could be a giant snail? Your snail sleeps six, and is equipped with a fully-functioning kitchen, double beds, a shower and living area. A little bit of unconventional luxury, is just what you want for an outdoor holiday! Located within an environmental amusement park, you can come out of your shell each morning to beautiful surroundings, filled with great activities like archery, mini-golf, horse carriage rides and fishing. But do make sure you take part in the activities in the eco-amusement park, which shouldn’t be missed. This is definitely a camping site for the quirkier traveller, who wants an experience like no other! Star Gazing Tree House Côte d'Azur - 11-hour drive from Calais These cute tree houses are designed for star-gazing purposes! Maybe you could see how many constellations you know? Credit: glampinghub.com  One of the great advantages of camping is sleeping under the stars, so staying in a tree house designed specifically for star gazing is ideal. This two-person romantic tree house is designed with a skylight above the bed, so you won’t need to go out in the cold to see the lit-up sky. It’s nestled in the grounds of a country estate, which feels like it is something straight out of a novel. Spend the afternoon sitting by the lake, wander through the vineyards, or cycle to the Hyères beach, only 20 minutes away. There’s also horseback riding, golf, fishing, and tennis if you want an active holiday! Transparent Pods Urrugne- 10-hour drive from Calais Camping doesn’t get much better than in an eco-friendly glamorous, transparent dome! Credit: glistencamping.com If you want to be able to see the outside world while you sleep, but are still tied to the idea of having accommodation, then these pods are for you. They’re stylish (hanging chairs, anybody?), cosy, and come equipped with luxury essentials- like a gas cooker, king size bed and decking. The shape of the dome means air can circulate around, it’s weather resistant, and the solar fan will keep it cool under the South of France sun. This is the ideal way to camp if you’re looking for eco-friendly, but with a glamping twist. Top image credit: glistencamping.com You don’t need to spend your holiday in a glamorous hotel to have an unforgettable trip. When it’s only 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais, you can be sleeping under the stars in no time.

The Best French Forests for Camping

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Those whose idea of a dream holiday is loading up the car with camping gear, and pitching up in some remote area, are more than likely big fans of nature. Which is why for a truly special camping trip, there’s nothing better than finding that one beautiful woodland spot. We’ve created this guide on the best forests in France to set up camp this summer. Forest View 3 hour, 49-minute drive from Calais   Can you imagine the tranquillity of this beautiful lake, on a late afternoon? Credit: Forest View For fishing fans, this is the ideal camping site. Amidst beautiful forest scenery sits Forest View’s large lake, filled with pike, roach and more! You must return the fish to the water after you’ve caught it, but for a peaceful few hours in the forest, this fishing and camp site is a must-visit. For those who don’t have a love of fishing, this is still a wonderful place to visit. The forest itself takes up a large part of the Parc Naturel Régional du Perche, a natural park that was created in 1998. For a really exciting experience, you could see the park on a horse-drawn carriage. The horse specifically being a Percheron, that came from this very region. Forest Escapes 4 hour drive from Calais   Forest Escapes is a stunning location, full of activities. Credit: CoolCamping.com Nestled in the grounds of Château de la Baudonnière in Brittany, are two beautiful treehouses, completing the quaint woodland village feel of this campsite. Named after the famous tree climbing creatures, Les Singes (Monkeys) and Les Ecureuils (Squirrels), they are great options for those who want to be sleeping close to the stars. The location is just as beautiful, full of lush green leaves, and fun activities for all the family. Adults can set off and enjoy clay pigeon shooting, while the children get to take part in their own activities, while making new friends. And all the family will enjoy bread making, climbing, archery and wild swimming. Don’t forget to sample their homemade cider in The Lodge, the main meeting point where all the campers can get together at dinnertime. If you want to venture out of the campsite, then the nearby Mont Saint Michel is a memorable day out. This abbey is one of France’s most famous tourist-spots, and it’s not hard to see why. Take a guided walking tour to discover the history behind this iconic abbey. Le Grand Champ 7 hour, 53-minute drive from Calais   Camping here at Le Grand Champ, you could be transformed into the French version of Heidi! Credit: CoolCamping.com  When you open the doors of your tent, there’s nothing better than being greeted by a magnificent view. And what is more magnificent than the Mont Blanc, which awaits you at Le Grand Champ! The campsite is vast, accommodating up to 100 pitches, but still giving you plenty of space to relax in the mountain valley. Just like you would expect from an alpine camp, you are surrounded by lush forests, with snow-topped mountains making up the view for as far as the eye can see. Here you can breathe in the fresh mountain air of the alps before setting off on a day of adventures; hiking, climbing, rafting, skiing and snowboarding are all possible. But there are lots more exciting activities you can take part in. The legendary mountain landscape is the perfect backdrop to abseiling, paintballing and horse trekking. The camp site isn’t far from the town of Chamonix, which is full of cafes and restaurants. The town can get very busy though, which if you’re after a truly tranquil experience might be a bit off putting. Instead, you could visit Les Houches, which has a supermarket for all your necessities, but is made up of hamlets with real alpine charm. If you’re a walker, this is where the Tour du Mont-Blanc begins, and those who have a love of history can visit the castle ruins. Camping Checklist When you’ve chosen your perfect camping spot, look through your checklist to make sure you’ll have everything you need with you - after all, there’s no supermarket in the Great Outdoors! The Basics Tent Torches and spare batteries Electrical hook up Adapters Bin bags Rope Portable loo Windbreak Dinner Time Re-usable crockery and utensils Bucket for washing Matches Campfire friendly wood Pots and pans Tin foil, napkins, sponges and tea towels Bedtime Sleeping bags, roll mats and pillows (bring camp beds and mattresses too, if you want a bit more luxury) Ear plugs and sleep mask Winter pyjamas, jumpers and sleep socks With so many beautiful forests making up the French landscape, you can be sure that you’ll find the perfect camping spot. Where will you head to next? Travelling to France for the camping trip of a lifetime is easier with Eurotunnel. As it’s only 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais, the French campsites are closer than you think!

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