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Top 5 Day Trips by Ferry

ferry map
Picture credit: Shutterstock

There's something special about taking a ferry to a nearby destination for city breaks or just a day trip. It's a convenient way to explore new places and create unforgettable memories. Low-cost ferries are readily available from many ports in the UK. Here are our top five day trips by ferry that you can take…

Portsmouth to Ryde (22 mins)

Portsmouth to Ryde is the shortest ferry route on our list. This trip takes only 22 minutes and is an excellent option for a quick day trip from Portsmouth. Ryde is a charming town located on the Isle of Wight, and it's the perfect destination for a relaxing day out.

Ryde boasts a long sandy beach, perfect for sunbathing and picnicking. You can also explore the town's boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants. Take a stroll on the pier and enjoy the stunning views of the Solent. If you're looking for a bit of adventure, try kayaking or paddle boarding in the calm waters of the Solent.

Folkestone to Calais (35 mins)

If you're looking for a day trip across the channel, then Folkestone to Calais is the perfect option. This 35-minute ferry ride takes you to the heart of French culture and cuisine, making it an ideal destination for a day trip. Calais is famous for its wine, cheese, and pastries, so be sure to indulge in some delicious French delicacies.

Once you’re in Calais, take a stroll along the beach and explore the town's beautiful architecture. If you're interested in history, don't miss the Calais Lace Museum or the WWII Museum. If you have more time, take a short drive to the nearby town of Dunkirk and explore its charming streets.

Dover to Calais (1 hr 30 mins)

Dover to Calais is another great option for a day trip to France. This ferry ride takes approximately 1.5 hours, and it's a perfect opportunity to explore the beautiful French coastline.

Once you arrive in Calais, head to the beautiful town of Boulogne-sur-Mer, located just a short drive from the ferry terminal. Boulogne-sur-Mer is a bustling town with a beautiful old town centre and a stunning cathedral. You can also visit the Nausicaa Aquarium, the largest aquarium in Europe, to explore the underwater world.

Dover to Dunkirk (2 hrs)

Dover to Dunkirk is a slightly longer ferry ride, taking approximately 2 hours. However, the journey is worth it, as Dunkirk is a beautiful destination with plenty to see and do.

Dunkirk is famous for its beautiful beaches and its role in WWII. If you're interested in history, don't miss the Dunkirk War Museum, which explores the history of the evacuation of Allied soldiers during WWII. You can also take a stroll along the promenade and enjoy the stunning views of the sea.

Cairnryan-Larne (2hrs)

Another fantastic day trip by ferry from Scotland is the journey from Cairnryan to Larne. Larne is a picturesque town on the east coast of Northern Ireland, surrounded by stunning countryside and coastline. The journey from Cairnryan to Larne takes just two hours and offers stunning views of the Irish Sea.

Once you arrive in Larne you will find lots of attractions to enjoy. Take a stroll along the promenade and soak up the sea air, or head to the Larne Museum and Arts Centre to learn about the history of the town. You can also visit the nearby Gleno Waterfall, which is just a short drive from Larne and is a popular spot for hiking and picnics.

Cairnryan-Belfast (2hrs 15mins)

Another popular ferry route from Cairnryan is the journey to Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland. The journey takes just two hours and 15 minutes and offers stunning views of the coastline and the Irish Sea.

Once you’re in Belfast, there are plenty of things to see and do. Take a tour of the famous Crumlin Road Gaol, a former prison that is now a popular tourist attraction, or visit the Ulster Museum and learn about the history and culture of Northern Ireland. Alternatively, take a stroll around the city and admire the stunning architecture, including the famous City Hall and the beautiful Queen's University Belfast.

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