We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Day trip to Dover/Seven Sisters, and onward to Brussels...

New York
Level Contributor
175 posts
9 reviews
Save Topic
Day trip to Dover/Seven Sisters, and onward to Brussels...

Would appreciate some help thinking through the logistics on this one. We'd like to do a day trip to Dover and/or Seven Sisters, but need to catch the last Sunday night Eurostar onward to Brussels.

Is the best option to rent a car and drop in Ashford and catch the last departure from there? The only wrinkle is that car rental offices are closed Sunday, so I will need to check into after hours drop-off options.

If I can't make that work, what would my other options be? Simply rent from London and return to St. Pancras before the train? Anything other options? Am I correct that doing this day trip entirely by public transportation would be too difficult?

Illinois
Level Contributor
16,786 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Day trip to Dover/Seven Sisters, and onward to Brussels...

What time is the last train? We did a day trip to Dover and got back for the theatre, but you'd have to do something with your luggage. You'd also have to check train times to Dover, as I don't think it was a Sunday when we went.

U.S. expats
Destination Expert
for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
Level Contributor
20,019 posts
208 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Day trip to Dover/Seven Sisters, and onward to Brussels...

Can you not switch this day trip with any other day in your itinerary?

Dover, if you wish to visit the Castle, can be visited via train and taxi, but is a very full day.

You also need to check whether or not the Eurostar calls at Ashford.

One other possibilities, if you really have your heart set on the Seven Sisters, is to return the car to Gatwick or Heathrow and take the tube or train into London from there. The rental offices at the airport will be open on Sunday. Allow yourself plenty of extra time to drop off the car, take the shuttle to the airport, and then take public transport to London. Again, if you could swap out another day, I would do that first.

Oxfordshire
Level Contributor
2,627 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Day trip to Dover/Seven Sisters, and onward to Brussels...

"Dover, if you wish to visit the Castle, can be visited via train and taxi, but is a very full day."

But a very, very, great deal fuller if you're mad enough to try doing it by car. For a foreigner, trying to navigate out of and (far worse) back into London, with a booked deadline for a train to meet, is an exercise in utterly pointless masochism.

Using a hired car is probably the only option for the Seven Sisters. The problems of doing all this in a day are just as horrible: even collecting the the day before still involves the hassle (and, even on a Saturday night, near-inevitable extra cost) of parking it overnight - but you're still going to have a nervous breakdown getting yourself and the car back for the train..

The ONLY doable option you've suggested is to go to Dover and back by train, leaving your bags in Left Luggage at St Pancras before the journeys start.

East Sussex, United...
Destination Expert
for West Sussex, East Sussex
Level Contributor
5,370 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Day trip to Dover/Seven Sisters, and onward to Brussels...

If you can find a place to store your luggage at Ashford, then you don't need a car for the Seven Sisters.

Take the train from St Pancras - Ashford, change for Ashford - Eastbourne and then a short bus ride up to Beachy Head. Walk as far as you wish (I suggest "The Tiger" at East Dean"), then take the frequent bus back to Eastbourne station and the train back to Ashford.

It sounds a lot more complicated than it is ! This would be a great day out - if you have time you could even break the journey back at Rye and look round for an hour.

Mike

Edited: 09 February 2014, 09:34
London
Level Contributor
9,939 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Day trip to Dover/Seven Sisters, and onward to Brussels...

In general, UK rental firms do not allow out of hours drop off in city centre locations. It is possible at arirports - but these are in security controlled areas where the risk to the car is much less. I don't see a car rental drop being feasible if you must do this trip on a Sunday.

New York
Level Contributor
175 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Day trip to Dover/Seven Sisters, and onward to Brussels...

Thanks all. Extremely helpful reponses. It takes me by surprise that in a world capital it would be so challenging to pick up/drop off a rental car on the weekend!

We will rearrange the itin and do the trip a day or two earlier, allowing us to drop the car somewhere and train back to London, or drive back to the city and drop it when offices are open.

Thanks again!

Edited: 09 February 2014, 13:08
London
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
20,047 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Day trip to Dover/Seven Sisters, and onward to Brussels...

If you wanted to see the Seven Sisters, you could simply catch a train from London Victoria to Brighton and come back from Eastbourne (or the other way round).

Between the two is a regular bus service, the Brighton & Hove no. 12, which you could hop on and off along the way and create walks between points before picking up another bus.

On Sundays all year, and daily in Summer, this route is supplemented by route 13X which operates via Beachy Head.

If you can purchase ahead of time, the Southern Railway website allows you to buy a 'Downlander' for £17.50. Leave London at 10.00 or later and this covers the train to Brighton, the bus to Eastbourne and the train back to London (or the other way round). It can only be purchased online, and you print your own ticket.

www.southernrailwaytickets.com/main.php…

Otherwise, simply buy a Day Return to Eastbourne (which allows you to alight at Brighton on the outward or board there on the return), and buy a £7.00 one-day Explorer from the driver of the first bus you board.

Information about the Brighton & Hove buses:

www.buses.co.uk

East Sussex, United...
Destination Expert
for West Sussex, East Sussex
Level Contributor
5,370 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Day trip to Dover/Seven Sisters, and onward to Brussels...

WW - that's another good plan. It would be good if the OP came back and confirmed which of Dover and SS they were visiting and whether they were using our train/bus plans.

Mike

London
Level Contributor
1,292 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Day trip to Dover/Seven Sisters, and onward to Brussels...

<<, surprise that in a world capital it would be so challenging to pick up/drop off a rental car on the weekend! >>

1.. London is not a city where a car is of much use for getting around compared with the public transport system

2. General security paranoia after 9/11 etc which views any unattended car with suspicion

UK
Level Contributor
49,561 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Day trip to Dover/Seven Sisters, and onward to Brussels...

<<, surprise that in a world capital it would be so challenging to pick up/drop off a rental car on the weekend! >>

As Charlemain says, lack of demand, very few people in the centre of the city need a rental car picking up or dropping off.

More at the airports, which have longer opening hours and are easier to get to.