Motoring Days Out – Easy European Drive Day Trip
Sometimes you just fancy going for a drive. It’s impossible for a proper petrol head to explain why, but it just helps clear you head doesn’t it.
We’re always popping over to the continent for car related stuff, but last month we felt like taking a full day drive just for the hell of it and we found a lovely route that you can try if you fancy a scenic easy day trip.
We usually take the Eurotunnel just because it’s quicker and if you’re not fussy on the times that you want to travel then you can get on here for £30 each way. You can find some great deals on the ferries too but remember the crossings take longer and are pretty boring.
So you’ve arrived in Calais, and the first thing anyone wants to do when they arrive in Calais is to leave calais as soon as possible.
Set your navigation for Dunkirk. Find the town centre and there are some beautiful historic beaches to park up at and enjoy a coffee, the town is also lovely to drive around, and there is lot’s of world war two stuff to stop and look at if that’s your thing, I can recommend the cemeteries, they are very moving.
Next stop is De Panne in Belgium, I’m not going to give you a full list of roads to follow, you’re on an adventure, find your own way, it’s more fun.
De Panne is a beautiful Belgiam town and if you skip Dunkirk and come here straight from Calais it will make France look like a public toilet, it’s lovely, modern clean and, well just well, nice really, the sort of place you would happily live. Not that there is much to do here on your road trip, so don’t bother stopping. The reason to come to this town is to immediately set your navigation for Ostend and find the road that goes along the coast, it will follow the beach and the tramlines all the way to centre of Ostend, takes around 45 minutes and is a really lovely drive with lots of changing scenery.
Ostend isn’t really brilliant for driving around so park up in one of the many underground car parks, the one in front of the un-missably large casino right in the centre is a good pick and just take a walk around this really nice city. You will find that everyone is ridiculously friendly and nice to you.
The day we did this trip there was a the annual ‘Truck Food Festival’ offering loads of choices of great delicious food, the place packed solid and there was a wonderful atmosphere.
Next stop; Brugge, set your navigation and hope for the best! The day we did this there were some really major roadworks with signs telling you to ignore your navigation, so we did and had a lovely drive through Zeebrugge and found a small road alongside a canal that took us right in to the middle of the stunning city of Brugge, we parked up in an underground car park that was directly under a huge fun fair, but don’t be distracted by the rides, on the edge of the fair are a long row of wonderful cafes perfect for a sit and some people watching.
Take a walk or a drive around the back streets, it’s all just simply beautiful. Have an explore and look for the main church, if you don’t have a camera with you, you will wish that you did.
Back in the car set the navigation for Calais, this should give you about 90 minutes on the motorway. Got a fast car? It’s tempting on this road to enjoy it. I won’t tell you the speeds we achieved in the Audi S8 V10 we took, but the journey didn’t take the quoted 90 minutes that’s for sure.
Back in Calais find yourself a wine warehouse, the Calais Wine Superstore is my favourite. Fill your boot with cheap booze and head for the tunnel or the ferry. Go home and be happy that you had a great day of driving and saw some of beautiful Belgium.