France Ferry Crossings - Ports

Roscoff

The port of Roscoff has seen quite a few celebrities in its time. Mary, Queen of Scots, arrived here at the age of six to be engaged to the Dauphin; Bonnie Prince Charlie fled here after Culloden and, in 1828, Henri Olivier left for England with his strings of onions.

Roscoff is a fishing village in West Brittany, accessed by ferry from Plymouth; Roscoff has good access via toll free motorways to the rest of Brittany. A small port and tranquil fishing village, Roscoff has delightful seafood restaurants and a stunning coastline and beautiful beaches. Attractions in Roscoff include an Aquarium, Exotic Gardens, Boat Trips and the Ille de Batz.

St Malo

The old walled town of St Malo is one of the country's great attractions. The rampart walls conceal a charming town known for good restaurants and pavement caf's. Brittany Ferries sailings run once a day from Portsmouth to St Malo.

The nearby sandy beaches make St Malo a great place to visit weather you are staying or just visiting for the day.

Cherbourg

Cherbourg is first and foremost a port. Most of the town's life seems to revolve around its seafaring traditions as does much of the surrounding area with tiny ports dotted along the rugged coastline which forms the Cotentin peninsula. Like so many other Normandy towns, Cherbourg suffered during the latter stages of WWII and today is not the prettiest of places.

Caen

Being the scene of vicious battles after the D-Day landings, Caen was largely destroyed. However there are still old narrow streets to wander down and the castle ramparts look impressive. The two abbeys, Abbaye aux Hommes and Abbaye aux Dames were built by William the Conqueror and his wife Matilda. The famous Caen Memorial for Peace fascinatingly charts the events leading up to and after D-Day ' the ideal introduction before exploring the nearby landing beaches of Omaha, Utah, Sword, Gold and Juno.

Le Harve

Le Havre in Normandy is rich in art and architecture, both old and new. A historic port and renowned seaside resort is excellent for the family.

Dieppe

Dieppe was established as a harbour and by the 16th century it had grown into the principal port of the Kingdom of France. It was from here that Verrazano set sail in 1524 to found the settlement that later became New York City.

Calais

Like Dover, Calais is one of the world's busiest passenger and vehicle ferry ports. As the closest landing point in France, Calais has long been the port of passage across the Channel to England.

If you've crossed by ferry or eurotunnel, it's amazing how different a place can be when it's so close. Calais has plenty to offer, you can enjoy the cultural heritage of traditional French restaurants and despite the town having been flattened in two 20th century wars, you can also find a lot of surviving glimpses into its fascinating past - if you know where to look.