French Connections - Travel to North-West France

A guide outlining the travel options available to north-west France

Travel connections to Brittany and Normandy in north-west France

The north-west of France includes the ever popular areas of Brittany and Normandy, which are regions frequently the first places considered by many British seekers of French property. Why? Because they lie close to the UK and therefore have ease of travel connections between the two countries, proving immediately the point that transport is key. The north-western regions have the benefit of the ferry ports, this having been the original first choice of many travelling to France.

Ferries to Brittany and Normandy

This is still a popular choice, and it does, of course, afford the possibility of taking a car which can be very useful.

Ferry companies

The ferry companies serving the north of France are:

P&O Ferries: Dover - Calais
Brittany Ferries: Plymouth - Roscoff / Poole - Cherbourg / Portsmouth - Cherbourg, Caen, St Malo
Speed Ferries (Sea Cat): Dover - Boulogne
Norfolk Line: Dover - Dunkerque
LD Lines: Portsmouth, Newhaven - Le Havre
Transmarche: Newhaven - Dieppe

Air travel to Brittany and Normandy

This is frequently the preferred method of transport these days, largely due to the ease and speed which it affords.

Airlines flying to Brittany and Normandy and airports used

The airlines serving the north-west of France are:

Flybe
Ryanair
easyJet
BA Cityflyer
Aer Arann
Aer Lingus

The airports used are:

Rennes
Dinard
Brest
Lorient
Quimper
Nantes

French rail travel - Eurostar and TGV trains

Many people enjoy rail travel, and these days reaching their favoured French destinations by rail has been made possible by the Eurostar service and extended TGV lines throughout France. The Eurostar train will take you to Paris, Lille, Disneyland Paris or Calais from London or Kent. The excellent rail network in France can then transport you to your destination in the north-west.

French road travel

A great many people choose to drive to their French destination, making use of the cross channel car ferries or the channel tunnel car train service. The Eurotunnel car train leaves from Folkestone and arrives at Calais after a remarkably quick journey spent in the comfort of your own car. This can be an important consideration for those carrying live animals as you can remain with them at all times. (Be warned, though, if you have an LPG car you cannot take it on the Eurotunnel train.)

The French motorway system

The French motorway system consists of both toll roads (auto routes) and corresponding non toll roads (Routes Nationales). Both are excellent and almost always much less crowded than British roads. You will find, however, that the auto routes are significantly faster than the Routes Nationales.

You may also find the following article to be of interest: French Connections and Property.

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