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Subject Topic: How long to Dover?
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Message posted by JoannaLesley on 12/7/2019 at 2:31pm via mobile
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We are off to France next Friday to visit family. No caravan or dog, so using the ferry. Crossing is 10.15 am and we have to check in at least an hour before. We are travelling from Towcester area via the A43, M40, M25. Does anyone have any idea how long the trip might take at that time of day? Google maps estimates just under 3 hours 20 minutes, but I guess traffic could be a problem - especially on the M25.

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Message posted by Netherton on 12/7/2019 at 2:35pm
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Message posted by JoannaLesley on 12/7/2019 at 2:37pm via mobile
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That was our latest thinking!

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Message posted by Portia Hussey on 12/7/2019 at 3:16pm
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If you need to check in an hour before and leave at 5am that only gives you 4hrs 15 minutes to make the journey. You'll be going round the M25 during rush hour.
Looking on ViaMichelin it suggests about 3 hours so Googlemaps is in the same ball park.
I think I might leave even earlier. You might get to wait at the port but you might be able to get on an earlier crossing.
There are laneclosures on the M25 overnight. Also roadworks with lane closures on the M2,M20 and M26 particularly overnight.

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Message posted by kenren on 12/7/2019 at 3:18pm
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Drive down Thursday night. Overnight in Ashford travelodge. Carry on to Dover Friday morning with no pressure

Ken

Message posted by Beenie on 12/7/2019 at 4:03pm
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Overnight at Travelodge sounds the best idea. Anything can happen on the M25, the M20 is notoriously slow these days around Maidstone, and the Dartford Crossing isn't always a piece of cake (but that's generally coming home, not coast bound).

We live in Essex and are theoretically 1 and a half hours from Dover but we always put in a lot of slack. I wouldn't risk Towcester in a morning dash to the ferries - our road network is horribly bunged up. Start your hols in a relaxed way by staying overnight somewhere.

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Message posted by thechief on 12/7/2019 at 4:35pm
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The M25 is like the Bermuda Triangle for time I think.

In the words (almost) of Barry Manilow, it makes hours disappear. And as Barry might advise, "don't go too near, don't go too near" if you are in a hurry.

So travel to south of the M25 the night before as others have advised then "Bermuda Triangle, not so bad".

TC

Message posted by JoannaLesley on 12/7/2019 at 4:51pm via mobile
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Thanks everyone. For a variety of reasons, travelling the day before is not an option. I guess we will have to leave as early as possible and just hope for the best. So long as there are no accidents to hold up the traffic, it should just keep rolling. Your advice is much appreciated.

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Message posted by Geoff48 on 12/7/2019 at 5:04pm
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I agree with the other posts that an overnight stay is the easiest option, and probably less stressful. It would be my preference, however if this isn't feasible I would leave around 4:00am to allow for a comfort break and heavy traffic. If you make good time you can take another break at say Stop 24 services near Folkestone (free up to 2 hours) or continue to Dover where you may (if you're lucky) be allowed on an earlier ferry.

Message posted by Beenie on 12/7/2019 at 7:11pm
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but don't ever buy petrol at Stop 24. It's horrendously overpriced.

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Beenie xxx

Message posted by Ronni54 on 12/7/2019 at 8:43pm via mobile
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Quote: Originally posted by JoannaLesley on 12/7/2019
Thanks everyone. For a variety of reasons, travelling the day before is not an option. I guess we will have to leave as early as possible and just hope for the best. So long as there are no accidents to hold up the traffic, it should just keep rolling. Your advice is much appreciated.



We disembarked at Dover at 11.15am last Saturday and arrived at M40 Junction 9 at 5.15pm. We were towing but doesn't make much difference when you are stationary on the M20 for an hour and a half.




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Message posted by longcol on 12/7/2019 at 9:30pm
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To be honest I'd use M1 and M25 to N & E of London in that the M'ways and main roads to the W & S of London will be dumping far more traffic onto the M25 than those to the N & E.

Message posted by madasaman on 12/7/2019 at 10:48pm
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Haven't used Dover crossing since it took us 10 hours to get back to S Wales three years ago



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Message posted by alan29 on 13/7/2019 at 9:09am
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Quote: Originally posted by madasaman on 12/7/2019
Haven't used Dover crossing since it took us 10 hours to get back to S Wales three years ago





We decided years ago that the drive from the Wirral to Dover was a miserable way to start a holiday and the return even worse.

Message posted by Beenie on 13/7/2019 at 10:20am
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What is it with the road network from Dover out to the major motorways?

You can travel predictably and comfortably in France, often driving lots of miles to get to Calais. Then when you disembark the trouble starts. Long queues, Dartford Crossing a nightmare at times, everyone's tempers frayed, it is a horrible end to a lovely holiday.

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Message posted by Geoff48 on 13/7/2019 at 11:05am
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I don't think its unique to Dover, I haven't had many bad problems going to Dover, although I've had plenty on the M25 coming back - clockwise and anticlock wise. I've found the M5 Bristol to Exeter in holiday season just as bad, also going home northwards on the M6 junction 16 to 19 has always been horrendous. It only takes one incident to frustrate all your travel plans. Worst traffic I've had in France was two hours stop start traffic last year at le pont de normandie, made worse by the hill starts going up the bridge with a new car and protesting clutch.


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