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BOATS AND THE CHUNNEL

 

17/08/2013

LOCAL BOATS

Although at times it has been possible to boat down the streets of Lewes for something a little smore fun Allchorn Pleasure boats offer tours from Eastbourne, near the pier, around Beachy Head.

If you want to paddle your own canoe the nearest place is the boating at the Anchor Inn Barcombe. In 2013 it cost £6 per hour for adults.  Not bad if there is one of you, but a bit expensive if there are four of you  in a boat.

For other information about other boating experiences visit the Tourist Information Centre

187 High Street
Lewes
East Sussex
BN7 2DE
Tel: 01273 483448 (Lewes)
Email: lewes.tic@lewes.gov.uk

Opening Hours

Easter - End of Sept, Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm, Sat 9.30am - 5.30pm, Sun 10am - 2pm. 
October - End of March, Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 2pm.

CROSSING THE CHANNEL

THE CHANNEL TUNNEL

Eurostar

 

It’s fast, its clean, and its also often expensive.  Book three to four months ahead and you can get a very good deal, but if you want to book now for August, you are looking at £170 return and upwards per person.  Plus Eurostar is now not very interested in Ashford Station, which is the most convenient station for Lewes.  You can no longer get trains to Belgium from Ashford, and there are only a limited number to Paris.

One useful connection goes from Lewes at 7.44 Mondays to Fridays, reaching Ashford at 9.18 in time for the 9.55 Eurostar which will get you into Paris  by 12.47.  Returning, a good service is the 15.13 from Paris, which makes a good connection at Ashford with the Lewes train, getting you in at 18.04, a journey of roughly 3 hours.

But otherwise you will need to go via London St Pancras, which takes about half an hour longer in many cases.  All the through tickets offered by Eurostar from Lewes to Paris go via St Pancras.  Through tickets can be a good saving compared with buying one ticket for Eurostar and one ticket for the local train and, importantly, if one of your trains is delayed you can get the next one.

By bike through the tunnel

 

You can take your bike through the tunnel for £16 per person single or day return, £32 ordinary return in 2013, which is  a good deal, but you have to book in advance at turn up at the Holiday Inn,  Channel Tunnel Folkstone at either 8.00 or 15.30.  There are two return journeys from Coquelles near Calais.  More details here It takes about 2 hours by train from Lewes to Folkstone, but unfortunately there are no trains leaving Lewes which will arrive in time for the 08.00 departure.

FERRIES

On foot

 

Since the end of duty free, ferries have become increasingly reluctant to take foot passengers.  From Dover, only the P and O service to Calais takes foot passengers and they charge  around £25 each way- £50 return even if you book in advance.  (If you turn up on the day the fare is £40 each way)

From Newhaven, DFDS normally takes foot passengers, but in the summer school holidays they only take foot passengers on the 23.00 from Newhaven and the 05.30 from Dieppe, which is fairly useless.  This is the first year that they have done this.  There are cabins on the night crossing, but when I checked they were all full on the dates I tried in August.

When you can book the return fare is usually £30 in 2013

Here are some timings:

Leave Lewes 9.02.  Change at Newhaven Town. Ferry leaves 10.00, arriving Dieppe at 15.00. Train leaves Dieppe at 15.59 to Rouen.  Change here for Paris, arriving at 18.10

Leave Paris 14.20, change at Dieppe and arrive at 16.57.  Ferry leaves 18.00, arriving 21.00 at Newhaven.  Change to the train that arrives in Lewes at 21.44

If you get the 23.00 from Newhaven the first train leaves 90 minutes after the ferry arrives at around 4.00 am

You can book your French rail ticket at Rail Europe and you may get a reduction on the standard fare, but even if you book on the day the standard rate is £27.50 each way in 2013.

The attraction of the route is that it is more romantic than Eurostar and you can do the trip to Paris for less than £100 even if you only decide to go on the day.

By bike

 

From Dover, all three ferry companies take bikes to Calais.  The fare is usually around £30 for a bike and rider on My Ferry and DFDS, booked in advance, and £40 return on P&O.  Notice that their bike fare is less than their foot passenger fare.  There is great cycling south and south west of Calais.

DFDS will also take your bike to Dunkirk for the same price.  The terminal at Dunkirk is a long way from the town in the middle of a range of docks and industrial estates, but a map will show you a way into the town avoiding the busiest routes.  One cyclist reports that even the main routes are quiet if you wait until after all the ferry traffic has left.  From the town it is a very short ride to Belgium, with its wonderful cycling network (almost as good as the Netherlands and just as flat, but with better scenery and beer.)

On the Newhaven/Dieppe run bikes and riders cost £28 single, £35 return in 2013.  In principle bikes are allowed on all ferries, but when I checked August bookings the site said that the boat was full for cycles on some sailings, even when the ferry was taking bookings for cars, which take up much more space.  This suggests that you should always book in advance for peak periods.

Normally you must make each bike booking one at a time.  This means that if there are four of you then you will have to book four times.

Off peak, particularly on Dover routes, it can nearly as cheap (and sometimes cheaper) to drive over with your bike, park your car and set off on the bike- not so ecological, but environmentally better than driving all the way to Cornwall, or flying.