Friday, 1 January 2010

Non-flying travel options

We got back from the UK yesterday where we had spent the Christmas celebrations with family. This time I travelled over to the UK by ferry and came back by train and bus so as to get first hand experience of the different non-flying options available for travelling to and from the hotel to the UK.

The last time I went to the UK by ferry I really enjoyed it, but was rather concerned about the crossing this time as gale force winds were blowing when I left. However the crossing was completely smooth and enjoyable (like the time before.) I took the ferry from Santander to Plymouth which takes about 24hours.

Brittany Ferries travels to both Plymouth and Portsmouth from Santander and P&O travels from Bilbao to Portsmouth. (The availability of the different destinations can vary according to the time of year.)

My reason for choosing a non-flying option was obviously for the lower carbon footprint, but I must say it really is a lovely relaxing way to travel, and recommend people to consider this option. There are various restaurants, bars and a cinema on board and the possibility to go for a walk around the ship, relax and admire the sea views or try and spot dolphins and whales.

As the ferries were not operating for my return journey I travelled by train from London to the French Spanish border and then by bus to Llanes. I left London at 17.00h and was in Llanes at 14.00h the next day.

To do the journey by train first I took the Eurostar from London to Paris where I had to change station and then took an overnight sleeper train to Irun on the Spanish border. For the final part of the journey I went by bus from Irun to Llanes (it is possible to get to Arriondas by the same bus.) There are many more trains and buses covering this route so it is possible to do the entire train journey during the day and the bus journey at night or the next day.

I got back to Spain ready to celebrate New Years Eve with the rest of the family and friends. Happy New Year!


David said...

We stayed with you last summer and did the return journey by train. Very pleased to see that you are highlighting this option as it seemed to be a surprise to most people that it could be done. We travelled by day from London to Irun and then went by bus to Hondarribia where we had a short and very pleasant stay. We hired a car from San Sebastian airport which was very economical . We did the return journey overnight and found the reclining seat accaptable. We would certainly do the same again. The Seat 61 website is a mine of information.

Ian and Luis said...

If you have the time it is certainly a better option and you fell so much more relaxed


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