17 October 2016
With AFerry.co.uk enjoying a record number of bookings in 2016, it's clear that ferry travel is again proving the popular choice for British families and the trend looks likely to continue through the winter months.
The most popular destinations booked from the UK this year - France, Holland, Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Wight - have plenty to offer between now and Christmas. Here are a few suggestions for ferry travel to our nearest neighbours:
P&O ferries to Rotterdam depart once a day and takes 14 hours from Hull.
Belfast - Northern Ireland
Belfast is an increasingly popular ferry destinations from the UK and one of the reasons for this is Game of Thrones. The immensely popular HBO series, much of which was shot nearby can be enjoyed with a tour with Winterfell Tours which offer visits in one form or other, to many of the locations used in the filming. Try the Archery Movie Set Experience or the Filming Locations Cycle Trails. Otherwise a Glamping Mini Tour may suit and there are also private visits of the Castle and grounds, including an introduction to the DireWolf Dogs, 20 locations are on offer altogether.
Stena Line heads to Belfast eight times a day from Liverpool and takes 8 hours.
Dublin - Ireland
Typical of Ireland but relatively new to Dublin, the Teeling Whiskey Distillery is a must visit as the only functioning distillery and the first to open in the city for more than 125 years. It is open daily for tours, premium whiskey tastings and exhibition viewings.
For the more active amongst us, try the Santa Dash taking place on 4th December this year - it is a five or ten kilometre run for charity. When registering, you qualify for the obligatory free running gear… a Santa outfit.
P&O Ferries heads to the Emerald Isle three times a day from Liverpool. Irish Ferries and Stena Line both sail to Dublin four times a day from Holyhead and all these journeys take three hours and 30 minutes.
Coll - The Scottish Isles
Coll is one of the most magical islands to visit off the Scottish coast as the days shorten towards the end of the year. It is known as the Dark Sky Island as there are no street lights on Coll, the nearest one being 32 kilometres away, so the extent of the night sky is spectacular. It is particularly a wonderful place to experience the Northern Lights in the autumn and winter. It has had Dark Sky status since 2013. For more information on Coll head to www.visitcoll.co.uk.
Head to Coll daily in just three hours with CalMac from Oban and Tiree.
Osborne House, Isle of Wight - UK
"It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot" said Queen Victoria of Osborne House, her palatial holiday home on the Isle of Wight which is open year round. Furnishings and artefacts from the Royal Collection fill the rooms and corridors - a visit is like stepping onto the set of Victoria which recently ended its first series on TV. The stunning views from the garden terraces across the Solent reminded Prince Albert of the Bay of Naples.
The beach is particularly lovely and was where the royal children learnt to swim. The Queen’s bathing machine is there to see on the beach which Victoria called ‘charming’.
From 16th November guests can join a festive tour and discover the splendour of a Victorian Christmas from just £12.30 for adults and just £7.40 for children.
Reach the Isle of Wight in just 10 minutes with Hovertravel which departs every 30 minutes between 06.15 and 21.45 from Southsea or take the car with Wightlink with 25 daily crossings taking just 40 minutes.
Why travel via ferry?
- No luggage restrictions - the kitchen sink can travel with you!
- Fido can come too!
- Huge range of routes and companies to choose from.
- Book on the move via AFerry.co.uk's apps for both Android and iPhone.
- With families expanding more, it's often more cost effective to travel by car and ferry than by air plus there's no baggage fees.
- Bookings can be amended or changed on the road with AFerry's app and iPad app access.
- Want to know what it's like to travel via AFerry.co.uk? Check out the review section; perfect for #ferryfirsttimers.