Dover to Calais as a foot passenger

Travel  between Dover and Calais – Covid update

During the Covid-19 crisis there is currently no possibility of crossing the Channel as a foot passenger.

The options are not many, and some are expensive:

  • Four Eurostar trains each day run between London St Pancras and Lille. These are not stopping at Ebbsfleet or Ashford. From Lille to Calais there is a frequent train service.
  • Blabla bus runs one service from Victoria Coach Station in London to Paris. Trains to Calais from the Gare du Nord are fairly frequent.
  • Try a car-sharing (co-voiturage) site such as https://www.blablacar.fr/ride-sharing/dover/calais/
  • Pay a friend to take you across on the ferry or via the Shuttle (Tunnel) as a passenger.
  • It is possible to take a bicycle on the ferry, and second-hand bikes can be picked up cheaply in Dover. Maybe donate it in Calais to one of the many charities working with refugees – such as Help refugees at the Auberge des Migrants.

A member of the Via Francigena Facebook forum, Jemima Parker, has given us permission to quote her recent (early August 2020) experience:

“…Just wanted to make an update about the ferry situation for those concerned. I managed to find a ride from Folkestone through the tunnel on my second day. I found it on Blablacar and it cost £20, so very reasonable. I would definitely recommend looking on Blablacar as people seem to make the crossing frequently – although the first lift I found there left me behind, so I would make sure your accommodation bookings on the other side are flexible. Otherwise, buying a bicycle in Dover is definitely possible – there’s a second hand shop called ‘Stuff’ which sells old bikes for around £20-30, and I saw other bikes on Gumtree. It looks fairly straightforward to cycle onto the ferry, and the ticket is £35 I think. So not too expensive even if you have to donate the bike, and gives you more independence than the liftsharing. Finally, I want to recommend Dover Adventure Backpackers for anyone looking for really affordable dorm style accommodation. It’s a five minute walk from the ferry, right near the ocean, with a terrace at the back directly beneath the white cliffs, and incredibly reasonable (I paid £16 for a night, including simple breakfast of toast/cereal/coffee). It’s a little…rough, but in a characterful way, and the owner Paul went above and beyond to help me get across the channel, and gave me a tour of Dover too. Can’t recommend the place enough actually. It’s also the last pub in England!”

If anyone has found another option please email us at info@pilgrimstorome.co.uk.

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At present only P&O carry foot passengers on this route, at a one-way price (December 2019) of £30 (standard). Cyclists can take a bike at no extra cost.

The P&O ferry terminal is 1.5 miles from the centre of Dover (P&O Ferries Ltd East Camber Building, Eastern Docks, Dover, Kent CT16 1JA. Tel: +44 (0) 1304 862539 Fax: +44 (0) 1304 862577). It is probably wise to book if you know approximately what time you will get to Dover (http://www.poferries.com/quote), just in case there is a large group travelling at the same time. However, the chances are if you turn up at the ferry office you will get a ticket.

You need to be there 45-60 minutes before the boat departs. After check-in you will be taken by bus to go through airport-style security and bag check. The crossing takes 90 minutes. On disembarkation you will again be taken by bus to the ferry terminal office. From there it is a short walk into Calais, or you can get a taxi. It is as safe to walk through Calais as it is anywhere