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The best road trips from the Port of Calais

Bring your car along on the ferry from Dover to Calais and the possibilities for your trip are endless. Whether you fancy a day trip into an award-winning cultural city centre like Lille or you want to take a month-long European voyage, travelling by ferry with your car gives you a freedom a flight simply can't. Here are four of the best destinations you can travel to with our ferries to Calais.

Bruges - 1h 30 min

Head East to the cinematic Belgian city of Bruges. Grand gothic buildings like the Basilica of the Holy Blood dominate the compact city landscape, with winding canals stretching beside the cobbled streets. A boat trip along the canal with Boottochten Brugge is the most scenic way to see the city. Tours are popular with couples and families alike, costing €10. Bruges’s main square, The Markt, is located in the heart of the city and is a great place to sit with a drink, admire some architecture and watch the world go by. Watch the film In Bruges starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson to get a sense of the city - the square plays a starring role in the film, and it’s great.

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Lille – 1h 30 min

Lille is a bustling university city close to the France-Belgium border. Its close proximity to Belgium is reflected in the city’s architecture, gastronomy and culture, which has been described as a blend of Brussels and Paris. Lille has art galleries in abundance, and in 2020, it will become the World Design Capital, which will see an influx of designers and creatives bringing their exhibitions to the huge cultural hub. For now, though, the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille is as good an art gallery as any, featuring works from the likes of Goya and Donatello.

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Paris - 2h 57 min

What is there to say about Paris that hasn’t been said before? It’s one of the most visited cities in the world, and with good reason; it’s full of sights, museums, parks, high-end shops, nightlife, cafes and amazing food. It really doesn’t matter what kind of break you’re looking for, Paris can match your desires. If you’ve ever wondered why people bother going to the top of the Eiffel Tower to get photos of the cityscape (without the tower in the shot), you’re not alone. That’s why the Montparnasse Tower is the place to visit; there are fewer crowds and you capture the Eiffel Tower in the shot - it’s a win-win.

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Rotterdam – 3h 21min

Travelling from Calais to Rotterdam is a great journey. Cities in Belgium like Ghent and Antwerp are on route, and the Dutch city itself is one of the upcoming European spots. Rotterdam has historically been in the shadows of its neighbour Amsterdam, but in recent times the city has become the place to be. Relatively cheap rents have drawn in creatives from Amsterdam, and the post-industrial city has become rife with innovative architecture and business’ making use of the cities former factories. Visit the Markthal, a stunning market hall with uniquely designed walls and street food stalls everywhere.

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