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elaine80

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  1. As a child, I was taken on the Portsmouth-St Malo route each summer from 1978 to 1981 and we travelled overnight. The departure time was similar to what it is now. The ferry out to France overnight on the Saturday was the Prince of Brittany and we came home overnight two weeks later on the Saturday on the Penn-Ar-Bed. I vividly remember on one occasion we were down in the bowels of Penn-Ar-Bed and it was made up of small compartments that several cars were put into at strange angles (none of the tight packing that you get now on the ferries). I recall the driver of one of the cars in the compartment we were in thumped the side of his brand new car off the entrance to the compartment. We holidayed with a company called Carefree Camping which was similar to Eurocamp and my mum had kept the 1982 brochure because we were in it. Unfortunately the ferry timetable was on the separate price list and it isn't in the brochure but I have taken a photo of the ferry page from the brochure. (As an aside: We travelled from Glasgow to Portsmouth and we weren't on motorway until around Carlisle and then in the south we drove down country roads through pretty towns and villages. Nowadays doing the drive we come down the M6 - M42 - M40 but back then we came down further west, through the Cotswolds. It didn't take us any longer then than it does now because the roads were quieter.
  2. We have been pulled over at Portsmouth a couple of times over the years. The first time we had 2 children in car seats in the back, the boot was jam packed, there was packing around the children in the back, we had a fully packed roofbox and we couldn't actually open the boot as we had a bike carrier on the back. I was asked a few questions but they didn't look at anything (they were probably frightened as to how we would manage to repack the car again). I had changed my car by the time I was pulled over again and the roofbox is now not needed, although we had the bikes on the back again.This time I was asked questions, they looked under the bonnet, I was asked whether I could get into the boot (only from the back seat) and they looked under the car with a mirror. I agree with the earlier comment about the shambles of entering the UK at Portsmouth. We had the misfortune of arriving on NEX just after Normandie had docked so both ships were unloading at the same time. Friends of our were on Normandie and they were half way to London while we were still sitting waiting to get through border control.
  3. I live near Glasgow and we used Superfast's Rosyth-Zeebrugge a number of times. It was great with small children because we were less than an hour between home and the UK port but I'm not convinced that the convenience v cost balance would persuade us not to drive to Portsmouth.
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