Driving To France with LeShuttle

  • Driving guides
  • France
  • 5 min read
Driving To France with LeShuttle

LeShuttle is the fastest way to cross the Channel. Our service from Folkestone to Calais takes just 35 minutes, making it quicker than any ferry to France.

France is perfect for a road trip, and you can begin your adventure from Calais on French motorways. Visit stunning châteaux, stroll through fashionable cities and lose yourself amidst breath-taking coastal scenery. Wherever you’re off to, you travel on your own terms with  LeShuttle.

Did you know?

  • Our service departs up to four times every hour, 365 days a year
  • Your journey with LeShuttle lasts just 35 minutes
  • There are no baggage restrictions, so you can pack as much as you like

Faster than a ferry to France

For some, the first option that might come to mind when thinking of crossing the Channel is to visit France by ferry. But in fact, the most flexible, cost efficient and speedy option is to travel with LeShuttle. Driving from the UK to France is easy. Familiarise yourself with the basics and you should have few problems.

How long does the ferry take from England to France?

There are a number of UK ports that run ferries to France, with none offering a journey as short as LeShuttle’s 35-minute transit. The fastest alternative to our service are the ferries from Dover that reach Calais in 1hr and 30mins, and Dunkirk in 2hrs.

The benefit of a faster transit is the time saved, which allows you to better explore France and reach your chosen destination sooner. You’ll have more time to visit the towns and cities that have taken your fancy or the stretch of coast you’ve been daydreaming about.

Half-timbered houses and a fairground rideSurprise your significant other with a stroll through Troyes

How long does it take to drive to France?

It will depend on where you are driving from in the UK, but travelling with LeShuttle is the quickest way to get to France by car. For example, if you are driving from central London it will take around 3 hours 25 minutes to reach Calais (LeShuttle crossing included).

Driving to France from major UK cities

Cities in the UK        Distance                              Driving Time
London107 miles/172km3h 25m
Portsmouth166 miles/267km3h 36m
Bristol231 miles/372km4h 35m
Birmingham232 miles/373km4h 48m
Exeter272 miles/438km5h 43m
Leeds300 miles/483km5h 55m
Manchester315 miles/507km6h 32m
Newcastle381 miles/613km7h 17m
Glasgow504 miles/811km9h 13m
Edinburgh502 miles/808km9h 40m

Please note: These distance and driving times to our Calais terminal are approximate and given as guidance only. Includes crossing times.

What to see in France

Campervan in NormandyNormandy is a tranquil dream for those with a campervan

France has a rich and varied culture, with something that appeals to everyone. If you want to plan a visit via LeShuttle but aren’t sure what you should experience, here are some things to consider.

For families visiting France looking for a happy summer holiday, there's nothing quite like combining a road trip with a camping adventure. Take the chance to explore the great outdoors, whilst relaxing amongst the peace and quiet. France has you spoilt for choice when it comes to great campsites, so take a look at our guide to camping in France to help you choose where to go. You’ll also find plenty of tips and tricks to help make your camping trip as comfortable as possible.

If you're visiting France with friends, we suggest planning a fun day of boating on traditional ‘barques’ (flat-bottom boats) and picnics in the Marais Poitevin, in the Loire Valley. It’s ideal for a weekend break or longer.

Spend a weekend in the idyllic Marais Poitevin

Tax-free shopping in France

Did you know that UK residents are now eligible to shop tax free in the EU? You can save money on VAT on a wide range of purchases, including cosmetics, technology and food and drink. Calais is the closest and most convenient destination for tax-free shopping, and there are no shortage of places to shop. They include Carrefour Cité Europe and the L’Usine Channel Outlet Store, both close to our Calais terminal.

Driving to France with LeShuttle

Not only is LeShuttle your quickest option, but it’s also a very simple and efficient service to use. For those who have never travelled with us before, the first thing to do is book by selecting your time and date of travel, then follow these steps as you approach our Folkestone terminal.

Arriving at our Folkestone terminal
Exit the motorway at Junction 11A and drive straight to our check-in booths. Allow yourself between 30 minutes and two hours before your chosen departure time.

Collecting your Departure Hanger info
You will need your booking reference number and the credit/debit card used at the time of booking to collect this. Your hanger will print from the self-service machine or will be handed to you by check-in staff, depending on which booth you choose to use. A letter will be displayed on your hanger, which is the letter given to your timed shuttle.

Our Passenger Terminal
Once you're through check-in, take some time to relax and visit our Passenger Terminal Building for a spot of shopping, or enjoy some refreshments at one of the cafés. You can board approximately 25 minutes before your departure time. Customer information screens and service announcements will let you know when LeShuttle is ready, so keep an eye on your shuttle’s hanger letter.

Have your passport ready
When it's time, drive straight through to the British and French border controls where your passport, vehicle and official documentation will be checked. Please have all passports to hand, removed from wallets and open at the photo page until you have cleared all controls.

Drive on
Follow the signs to France to find your way to the boarding lanes, where you may face a small wait. When your shuttle is ready to board the barrier will open in your lane, please proceed on the marked route towards the platform. Once boarded, you'll be able to stretch your legs and explore the light and air-conditioned LeShuttle carriages or sit back and relax.

Drive off
Once you’ve reached Calais, simply drive off at the end of the crossing and voilà, your French adventure awaits! Book your crossing to France with LeShuttle

Book your crossing to France with LeShuttle

Whether you’re going to France with friends, family or that special someone in your life, driving to France has never been so easy. Book your next journey with LeShuttle today, and let the road trip begin!



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