Day Trips to
Day trips are cheap, fun and easy to book.
When you’re in the mood for a slight change of scenery, there’s nothing like hopping across the channel to France.
Fortunately, there are plenty of companies and packages offering cheap day trips to France from the UK.
Some even allow foot passengers so you don’t even need to take a car if you want to spend a fun time with your family during the school holidays.
All you need to do is hop on the ferry, have a great time, and you’ll be back in the UK port by the end of the day.
Let’s take a look at the best options for your next day trip to France!
Cheap Day Trips to France with P&O Ferries
P&O Ferries are one of the best companies to pick if you want to have a safe and relaxing day trip.
The prices for foot passengers start from £35, and P&O is one of the rare ferry companies offering you a chance to spend time in France without a car. The ferry leaves from Dover and you can be in Calais in less than 90 minutes.
The Hauts-de-France region you’ll disembark in has plenty to offer. You can try delicious food like Maroilles cheese tarts, mussels and chips, and even grab fruit bread for the road.
And if you’re looking for something interesting to do with the little ones, head to Nausicaa.
It’s the biggest aquarium in Europe with plenty of exhibits to keep you and your little ones entertained until it’s time to go back home.
The best part is that it’s only 35km by car.
If you’re looking for a more historic experience, the famous Dunkirk beach is just 40 minutes away from Calais, making it the perfect spot to explore on your next day trip to France. The La Coupole WWII bunker built by Nazi Germany is also in vicinity, as are Les Boves caves where over 24,000 of British soldiers hid in WWI.
Finally, your experience aboard the ferry will be excellent, as well. P&O ferries have great offers in their on-board shops, stellar cuisine in The Brasserie.
Day Trip to France with Brittany Ferries
Embark on a fun-filled journey with Brittany Ferries on your next day trip to France!
This companies sails from three separate ports in the UK: Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth. And if you don’t want to head straight to Calais, you don’t have to. Brittany Ferries can drop you off in Caen, Cherbourg, St Malo, Le Havre or Roscoff.
And the prices start from as little as £24 for a foot passenger or £55 with a car.
Brittany Ferries Day Trip
Pirate Fun for Kids
If the kids caught the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie and now want to sail away under a pirate flag, make sure you visit St. Malo on your day trip to France.
This picturesque town once used to be a stronghold for privateers. Today, you can go on a guided tour through Fort National and La Demeure de Corsaire – a pirate museum.
Even St. Malo has its aquarium so if you’re the one interested in history, the kids will surely be interested in fascinating animals. And for a unique sight, visit the tiny island of Saint Be for a chance to see Chateaubriand’s gravesite which overlooks the sea.
If you climb aboard a Brittany ferry, you can also visit Le Havre, completely reimagined with innovative architecture after the Second World War. This is a perfect spot for spending your day trip to France when it’s sunny, as the Le Havre beach is a sight to behold!
Finally, if you need relaxation, head to Roscoff.
This quaint little town has beautiful gardens, including the Exotic Garden of Roscoff and Georges Delaselle Garden. Don’t miss a chance to spend a beautiful day in the town dubbed as “the small city with the character of Bretagne.”
For a longer trip, you can even spend up to 29 hours in France with options for overnight crossings that will give you plenty of time to explore these beautiful French cities.
Your next day trip to France can be a perfect opportunity to enjoy a fusion of the historical with the modern in Caen. Be that history in the Abbey of St. Trinite and the D-Day monuments, fun on rollercoasters in Festyland, or relaxing in mosaic gardens of La Colline aux Oiseaux.
Even the kids will get plenty of Instagram material with timber-framed houses next to the Church of Saint-Pierre.
In Cherbourg, make sure you visit the City of the Sea, a beautiful sea museum and aquarium where you can climb aboard the Redoutable, first ballistic submarine of the French Navy.
DFDS Day Trip to France from Dover
With DFDS, you could be in France for as little as £45 from Dover to Dunkirk.
This ferry company has options of departing from Dover, and visiting France through either Dunkirk or Calais.
If you want to see more on your trip, you can also arrive in one port, and leave from the other, so DFDS is a great choice if you want to go on a road trip.
If you’re already an expert on Calais and Dunkirk, there’s no reason not to visit other beautiful locations in the vicinity:
Lille, France’s fourth-largest city is just an hour away from Dunkirk, making it the perfect choice for sightseeing on the go; from Palais des Beaux-Artes de Lille, a fine arts museum featuring works of artists such as Rubens, Rodin and Goya, to Vieille Bourse, an ornate 17th century stock exchange.
Just don’t forget to pick up a souvenir or two at Place Charles de Gaulle!
If you’re in the mood for golfing or brushing shoulders with the stars, visit Le Touquet, a seaside resort cut for royalty. You can even dip in the sea if the weather’s particularly warm!
Finally, you can even head over to Belgium if you book one of the cheap day trips to France with DFDS. Bruges is just a few miles from Dunkirk, making it the perfect spot to finally try those waffles.
DFDS Day Trip Offers
Book a Day Trip to France with Condor
If you want to visit the pirate stronghold of St. Malo, opt for a day trip with Condor.
You can sail from Jersey and Guernsey for a trip full of excitement and adventure.
Depending on your date of travel, you’ll have over 6 hours of time ashore in the medieval city of St. Malo.
This is a perfect option if you’re traveling with little kids or just want to pop over and have a cup of tea in a different country.
Prices at Condor start from £47, so book your next adventure and have the time of your life in France!
Sail with Stena Line and Win a Free Trip
If you want to go on a day trip to France and win another one, sail with Stena Line from Rosslare to Cherbourg.
You’ll see some of the most beautiful sights France has to offer, as well as a supreme on-board experience with Stena Line’s cinema, shops and plenty of things to do as you sail towards your destination.
And when you’re in Cherbourg, don’t forget to visit the Ravalet Castle and the astounding City of the Sea museum.