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Getting to Ariège
- you need a car when you are there

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Travelling to Ariège (from the UK)

You will need a car while staying at the cottage: so you can either use your own car (see car-ferry & tunnel details) or use train or air to reach France and a rental car from your point of arrival (see train and air travel details).

Car ferries & Eurotunnel

The short crossings from Dover/Folkestone are usually good value and involve 12-14 hours mainly motorway driving once you arrive in France. DFDS tends to be the cheapest, P&O ferries & Eurotunnel more frequent but usually more expensive. There is also a service to Dieppe (DFDS ) and long crossing from Hull to Zeebrugge (P&O ferries) which involves a similar amount of driving in France

The longer crossings to Normandy or Brittany ( Portsmouth (Brittany Ferries & Condor Ferries ), Poole (Brittany Ferries & Condor Ferries), Weymouth (Condor Ferries ), Plymouth (Brittany Ferries ) save on travel time in France and make it possible to reach the Butterfly Gite from the port in 9 -11 hours driving if you take motorways

The ferries from Portsmouth or Plymouth to Santander and Bilbao (Brittany Ferries) involve only about 4-5 hours driving from the port in Spain to Les Abères.

It sometimes pays to book ferries via a "cheap ferry" website rather than direct with the operator: e.g ferrysavers.co.uk - there are many others - just Google "cheap ferries to France"

Autorail

Put your car on the Autorail service from Paris to Toulouse: this service runs year round. Full details on www.seat61.com

Train & car-hire

Since renting your car will cost the same (more or less) wherever you rent it and good discounts are available if you book it when you book your Eurostar train, the cheapest and quickest option is to book a Eurostar to Paris and then drive your rental car to Ariege. You can substantially reduce your driving time by taking the train to Limoges, Toulouse or Bordeaux and collect your rental car at the station. Bookings online via at loco2.com or Eurostar.

Air travel & car hire

Do not assume that a “cheap” ticket on Ryanair or one of its competitors will actually be a better choice than taking the train. You will be surcharged for baggage, have all the usual hassles in the airports and not get any discounts for family group travel etc. When comparing prices, make sure you know the full cost that the airline will charge (including all the taxes, bank-card charges, check-in charges, baggage check-in etc). Using air travel makes more sense if you are travelling from Scotland, Ireland or the north of England than the south-east.

Most airlines will offer a claimed discount on car hire but this is usually dearer than just booking the plane and booking the car separately with Holiday Autos or Autos Abroad

The two nearest airports are:

Toulouse (two hours away) with flights from London Gatwick & Bristol (Easyjet);
London Heathrow (BA) ;Manchester (Jet2.com); Shannon (Air Lingus);

Carcassonne (also two hours) with flights from London Stansted, Glasgow, East Midlands Liverpool & Manchester all by Ryanair.

 

 

 

We support Organic Countryside (Noakes Grove) organic-countryside.co.uk

Organic gardeners use or-co.uk to help market their produce

Lopinga Books sell French natural history books: Lopinga.com

 

Page updated 15 March 2017David Corke, 23 Tye Green, Wimbish, CB10 2XE