Dunkirk Ferry port to Lille cycle suggestions pls

Dave Davenport

Legendary Member
Location
Hampshire
I'll refrain from offering any advice as the last time we rode out of Dunkirk port we spent half an hour going round in circles in the dock area before heading two miles in the wrong direction when we did eventually manage to find our way out.
 
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Brains

Guru
Location
Greenwich
Dunkirk Ferry Port Exit (and Entrance) for Cyclists

Final, final, corrected version !

  • Get off the Ferry (walk down the ramp) - Cyclist are usually first
  • You now have about a 2 minute head start on the HGV's
  • Through passport and customs etc
  • The HGV's will now be right behind you
  • Get through the port gates
  • You MUST go through the LEFT port exit gate (leave the cycle lane just before the final customs hut and merge across into the left lane) see bottom map, else you will bypass the first roundabout, and unable to get to the roundabout without pulling a U-turn across the flood of HGV's!
  • At the FIRST roundabout go LEFT (Most of the HGV's will go strait on)
  • (Route de Maison Blanche)
  • Keep the port perimeter fence on your left.
  • At the next roundabout go RIGHT
  • (Route de Dunes)
  • Go down the 'route de dunes' road - this was a little back lane, but has recently been upgraded to a decent main road
  • After about 700m (2 minutes, count to 120!), Opposite the turning into the MotoCross site, just after the drainage canal, there is a small right turn with a gravel surface into what looks like a field, (No signs in your direction, stop sign from other direction) This turn is easy to miss!
  • Take this turning, it becomes a normal back lane after 50m
  • (This is the point where you can now put away your passports, get the bike ready to ride etc.)
  • (rue de l'Helllie) This is the lane that takes you to Loon Plage,
  • At the T junction right then left into
  • Rue de Moulin
  • At the T junction right then left and left into
  • Rue de Mardyck
  • Under the D601 motorway and you are in Loon Plage
Having done the more direct route by accident, its not nice racing the HGV's, and we very nearly ended up on the motorway , the route above is by far the more preferable.
(A cycling party ahead of us did end up on the motorway slip road and had to ride back up the hard shoulder in the wrong direction)

upload_2018-11-27_17-15-19.png


As per the map above , this is the route out of the port, do not follow the official cycle route (green line on map below), you are likely to end up on the motorway
The first critical move is take the LEFT gate as you exit the port, and then keep going left

upload_2018-11-29_18-6-12-png.png
 
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Brains

Guru
Location
Greenwich
I'll refrain from offering any advice as the last time we rode out of Dunkirk port we spent half an hour going round in circles in the dock area before heading two miles in the wrong direction when we did eventually manage to find our way out.
Been there
Done that

There is zero signage for cyclists
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
  • Get through the port gates
  • At the FIRST roundabout go LEFT (Most of the HGV's will go straight on)
You MUST go through the LEFT port exit gate (leave the cycle lane just before the final customs hut and merge across into the left lane) else you will bypass the roundabout and be going straight on, unable to get to the roundabout without pulling a U-turn across the flood of lorries!

  • After about 500m there is a hidden right turn with a gravel surface into what looks like a field, (No signs)
The giveaway is that there are signs, but not facing you - only facing towards the gravel road, almost side on to the Route des Dunes, as seen in https://mapstreetview.com/#udlr7_1bcp4_7m.a_-2g43
 

Brains

Guru
Location
Greenwich
You MUST go through the LEFT port exit gate (leave the cycle lane just before the final customs hut and merge across into the left lane) else you will bypass the roundabout and be going straight on, unable to get to the roundabout without pulling a U-turn across the flood of lorries!


The giveaway is that there are signs, but not facing you - only facing towards the gravel road, almost side on to the Route des Dunes, as seen in https://mapstreetview.com/#udlr7_1bcp4_7m.a_-2g43
edited!
 
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Brains

Guru
Location
Greenwich
Dunkirk Ferry Port Exit (and Entrance) for Cyclists

Final, final, corrected version !
(This is the original route, for some reason it bypasses Loon Plage when you move the start by 300m )

  • Get off the Ferry (walk down the ramp) - Cyclist are usually first
  • You now have about a 2 minute head start on the HGV's
  • Through passport and customs etc
  • The HGV's will now be right behind you
  • Get through the port gates
  • You MUST go through the LEFT port exit gate (leave the cycle lane just before the final customs hut and merge across into the left lane) else you will bypass the first roundabout and be going straight on, unable to get to the roundabout without pulling a U-turn across the flood of lorries!
  • At the FIRST roundabout go LEFT (Most of the HGV's will go straight on)
  • (Route de Maison Blanche)
  • Keep the port perimeter fence on your left.
  • At the next roundabout go RIGHT
  • (Route de Dunes)
  • Go down the 'route de dunes' road - this was a little back lane, but has recently been upgraded to a decent main road
  • After about 500m there is a hidden right turn with a gravel surface into what looks like a field, (No signs in your direction)
  • Take this turning, it becomes a normal back lane after 50m
  • (And this is the point where you can now put away your passports, get the bike ready to ride etc.)
  • (rue de l'Helllie) This is the lane that takes you to Loon Plage,
  • At the T junction right then left into
  • Rue de Moulin
  • At the T junction right then left and left into
  • Rue de Mardyck
  • Under the D601 motorway and you are in Loon Plage
Having done the more direct route by accident, its not nice racing the HGV's, and we very nearly ended up on the motorway , the route above is by far the more preferable.
(A cycling party ahead of us did end up on the motorway slip road and had to ride back up the hard shoulder in the wrong direction)

View attachment 440607
As per the map above , this is the route out of the port, do not follow the official cycle route (green line on map below), you are likely to end up on the motorway
The first critical move is take the LEFT gate as you exit the port, and then keep going left

upload_2018-11-29_18-6-12.png
 

Julia9054

Guru
Location
Knaresborough
This is very helpful. I am in the early stages of planning a little trip to Belgium in the Easter hols - mainly staying in Bruges. Currently undecided whether to go first to Ypres or just to head along the coast road.
This morning, I am mostly annoyed by ferry prices. £50 each for 2 people on bikes vs £104 for 2 people in a car. Surely 2 bikes take up a lot less space than a car. (Only £4 less, apparently!)
 
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mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
This is very helpful. I am in the early stages of planning a little trip to Belgium in the Easter hols - mainly staying in Bruges. Currently undecided whether to go first to Ypres or just to head along the coast road.
This morning, I am mostly annoyed by ferry prices. £50 each for 2 people on bikes vs £104 for 2 people in a car. Surely 2 bikes take up a lot less space than a car. (Only £4 less, apparently!)
The car fares will increase as space gets booked, but the bike fares won't. They usually seem to just vanish when sold out, which seems rare on the Dover Dunkirk.

I liked Ypres. Arrived about 5, rode around, dinner at the Petrus cafe near the town hall, then Menin Gate ceremony at 8, followed by the friendly Palace Hotel in Poperinge.

The Belgian coast is interesting and EV 4 through Dunkirk town is rapidly improving but the bit through Zuydcoote and Bray Dunes is uninspiring, rideable but annoying narrow dashed cycle lanes on the D60 (I think), so a detour to use the small frontier road through Ghyvelde and Adinkerke past the smuggling statue is worth it if you've time. The chip shop on Adinkerke Dijk is a good intro to Belgian frites but you'll get enough of those soon enough!
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Oh and I forgot: there's a worthwhile rail trail from Ypres to Kortemark, then easy node numbers along back roads to Torhout, then the main N road to Bruges has OK cycleways and is straight and fast.

Edit to add: https://cycle.travel/by/mjray/journeys?group=674 has viewable/downloadable routes, most of which I've ridden except for a couple of contingency plans in there.
 
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mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
The Belgian coast is interesting and EV 4 through Dunkirk town is rapidly improving but the bit through Zuydcoote and Bray Dunes is uninspiring, rideable but annoying narrow dashed cycle lanes on the D60 (I think), so a detour to use the small frontier road through Ghyvelde and Adinkerke past the smuggling statue is worth it if you've time.
Updating myself: it looks like EV 4 is now open through Zuydcoote to the edge of Bray Dunes. From there, you can either turn south at K@zac Cafe along Rue Pierre Decock to Ghyvelde and the Rue de la Frontiere, or ride D60 through the built-up area to the old border post, then turn south along the border to nodes 39, 1 and 50 - that second option is an extra mile, but I really didn't like the rural bits of D60 and the improved EV4 in both straightness and ease of navigation will probably save more than the 6 minutes I'd lose on the detour.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
It looks to me like a shorter alternative route to using the left port gate and turning left at the first roundabout may be possible. Stay in the cycle lane out of the port to where it ends at a level crossing, then turn right onto a short gravel track across the level crossing and left onto the roads among the port buildings. The ones I can see in photos have 30 and 50kph limits (roughly 20 and 30mph) and I would expect fewer lorries leaving in a bunch than from the ferry.

Turn left at the end of the first road, follow the next one to a roundabout and then straight over that and the next roundabout to reach the one where you can turn left onto D940 through Loon-Plage. It's only a fifth of a mile longer than staying on the direct road towards the autoroutes. https://cycle.travel/map/journey/134693

Let me know if anyone tries this, please.
 
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