Dunkirk Ferry port to Lille cycle suggestions pls

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by HumpTdumpty, 25 Nov 2018.

  1. HumpTdumpty

    HumpTdumpty HumpTdumpty

    Location:
    Uk
    Going to make my first attempt to cycle down to Switzerland to visit family & friends this coming Spring / Summer - any help Re starting out much appreciated
     
  2. deptfordmarmoset

    deptfordmarmoset Full time tea drinker

    Location:
    Armonmy Way
    I've got family in CH and want to do the same next year. I was thinking more travelling closer to the Rhein and taking that route to the Bern region, slow and B&Bzy.....
     
  3. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    There is now a cycle lane in the port. Unfortunately, it dumps you out on the motorway feeder road (Route de la Maison Blanche) which has naff-all space for cycling so you're either riding in/near a dashed shoulder or mixing it with the ferry lorries. :sad: To get to the Route des Dunes, leave the cycle lane and cut across the tarmac to the LEFT-HAND exit gate immediately before the port fence, just after the oft-closed customs post. That'll take you to the roundabout where you can turn left, head north a little, then right at a big roundabout onto the Dunes Route for either the Rue du Moulin (as you probably want to head through Loon Plage to Craywick and beyond to Lille) or going through Mardyck.
     
  4. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    If you go via Calais, there's some TER trains which take about half an hour to Lille.
     
  5. Brains

    Brains Guru

    Location:
    Greenwich
    Your basic route planner is here
    https://cycle.travel/map

    I too would be inclined to do an overnight ferry from Harwich to Hoek of Holland (Rotterdam)
    From there you basically follow the superb Rhine cycle route

    The best of the Rhine cycle map books are these ones
    https://www.esterbauer.com/db_detail.php?buecher_code=RHE4

    But it does depend to a degree on where you are starting in the UK and where you want to go in Switzerland
     
    Cycleops likes this.
  6. Brains

    Brains Guru

    Location:
    Greenwich
    Here is the route we took earlier this year from Dunkirk to Ypres
    https://cycle.travel/map/journey/60857

    The exit from Dunkirk was studied
    Keep going for Lille
    (Still think the Rhine route is way better)
     
  7. andrew_s

    andrew_s Guru

    Location:
    Gloucester
    This is the best way out of Dunkirk ferry port (also heading for Ieper, though on this occasion we weren't staying in the rented house in Veemarkt that we've used several times)
    https://cycle.travel/map/journey/9508
     
    Last edited: 26 Nov 2018
    mjr likes this.
  8. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Fascinating. Here's my route back from Ypres which I'd commend to most tourists: N308 to Poperinge (good enough IMO since the faster N38 bypassed it), then https://cycle.travel/map/journey/64968
     
  9. Salty seadog

    Salty seadog Space Cadet...(3rd Class...)

    Following rivers, good idea very few hills.
     
  10. Brains

    Brains Guru

    Location:
    Greenwich
    For the OP
    It looks like the consensus for the easiest exit from Dunkirk is this one

    upload_2018-11-26_15-15-43.png
     
    mjr likes this.
  11. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Be aware that the port exits onto the other roundabout (southwest of the green marker in that picture) and the green patch at the top corner is a short (<50m) gravel section. It's used by vans so it's usually pretty well packed but it's used by tractors so maybe not always!

    For Dunkirk town/station, turn left at the crossroads in Loon Plage onto the D940, then right onto the signposted cycle route (part back roads, part cycle tracks, part cycle lanes slowly being replaced with cycle tracks). You can save a little distance by turning left after the level crossing but you'll lose any time you save waiting for the traffic lights crossing the D601.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    HumpTdumpty

    HumpTdumpty HumpTdumpty

    Location:
    Uk
    Hi All many many thanks - given me plenty to ponder (confidence to give it a go bring the main challenge)
     
  13. Brains

    Brains Guru

    Location:
    Greenwich
    OP

    Be aware that Dunkirk ferry port is closer to Calais than it is to Dunkirk

    Also be very aware of wind direction/strength. This coastal area of France is flat, very flat.
    There are a number of tails in these pages of missed ferries caused by headwinds.
    It took us something like 2 hours to get from Dunkirk port to Dunkirk Ferry terminal against a headwind that resulted in experienced cyclists walking as it was as fast as riding but took less effort.

    Corrected route below showing the double-back you have to do on exiting the port.
    Through the gates and then follow the perimeter fence around to the left.



    upload_2018-11-26_23-30-53.png

    As pointed out in a message above, the green turnoff (photo below) looks like a turning into a field.
    no signs, no indication of where it may lead.
    It's only gravel for 50m

    upload_2018-11-26_23-38-30.png
     
  14. andrew_s

    andrew_s Guru

    Location:
    Gloucester
    You don't want to cross the D601 on that road. The D601 is a fast dual carriageway, and there's no underpass or any thing.

    Go through the edge of Loon Plage as on the first version.
     
  15. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    The crossing shown in the second image has traffic lights. The first one into Loon Plage is an underpass, which is faster.
     
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