Miss England out >>> thats a Southern thing, fly into Manchester, Stay over night free at our place.
Ride some of the best roads in Europe (North Wales, Penines, Lakes, Yorkshire Dales). Ride to Hull, off at Zeebruge having a boozy night on board. (About £200), France in 40 mins, the rest is optional.
If not..... I have used the tunnel 100 times since it opened.
At the gate, Buy a single ticket or ask how much a 24 hrs return is, sometime cheaper, Do not rely on ON-LINE booking as you will need to adhere to times and the tunnel isn't cancelled due to bad weather or French blockades.
Go to the booth, pay as you go, I have never waited more than 20 mins. and the train is easy to get on/off. NO tie downs, NO greasy ramps, no expensive refreshments. YES you have to sit on your bike or stand, but if you have survived the M25 motorway, you might need to stand for a bit.
Exit in Calais is straight onto the motorway network, so no 1st French miles through a town centre.
This week prices for tunnel quoted at £29 single..... not bad for July4th .
Note about online. It would seem that even when I was told by both net and telephone booking for the tunnel that there were no tickets for the Valentines weekend (2009) I drove to the coast (from Manchester about 280miles) to get to the ferry. As I was on the way, there was Zero traffic on the motorway, so I pulled off at the tunnel exit and was on a train in 3 minutes.
Us Brits have this odd 'need' to see ourselves crossing the great divide and watching Blighty dissapear ....... sod that I want to make things simple. Tunnel 4 me.