Grant and Susan in England

May 10-17, 1996 - Germany --> Belgium --> France --> UK

We flew into Frankfurt on May 10, picked up the bike from Lufthansa's cargo area (quite a straightforward process, they seem to be very familiar with shipping bikes), drove rapidly through Cologne, Brussels and Calais, then caught a ferry to Dover.

The whole drive to London was pretty uneventful, the main roads are excellent, border crossings non-existent, and traffic isn't too bad as long as you stay out of the towns. Dunkirk was much bigger than we expected, and we managed to get lost trying to find something to eat, and then get to the ferry in Calais. It's an easy crossing, only an hour and a half, but they could learn a thing or three from BC Ferries. Not nearly as nice or well appointed.

The first border we actually had to get our passports stamped was UK, although we would have stopped anyway as we had to get the entry stamps for my right of abode visa and Susan's equivalent. That was interesting - the guy said that there were two ways to do Susan's visa, and the consulate found a third! However, we managed to sort it out and now we're legit in the UK.

We stayed in Dover the first night in England, a pretty little town and the "cutest" B&B you could imagine - the room was all pink and frilly with pictures of little girls playing tea etc. on the walls - amazing. Did a little sightseeing in Dover, which has definitely seen better days.

We moved on to Canterbury, but the weather was so bad - really cold and wet - we didn't see much, will have to go back later. Canterbury was packed with tourists, apparently it was a long weekend in France, and Canterbury is directly on the route between Dover and London. We've been setting a blistering pace, with our usual crack of dawn starts. One day we even managed about 20 miles. (Dover to Canterbury).

May 23, 1996 - Tonbridge (near London)

We've holed up in Tonbridge, southeast of London, to await better weather and catch up on odds and ends of things, such as entering bits and pieces of information and then throwing away the paper, to reduce the amount of paper we're carrying on the bike.

Weather here is wet and cold. We had to drive in to London to get new tires for the bike, a central but sleazy / industrial area of town, and then drove back in the rain, so we were cold wet puppies by the time we got to the hotel. Rain gear worked okay, though, clothes underneath were dry, and a hot bath works wonders.

We have to leave tomorrow, and rain is predicted on and off, but we're only 250 miles from Liverpool, and our ferry is Saturday morning, so we should be able to make it at a reasonable pace, and if the weather gets really frightful, we can find a restaurant and hole up until it clears. At least we have two brand new tires, the old ones had a lot of mileage on them. Next destination is the Isle of Man.


Member login


Thinking about traveling? Not sure about the whole thing? Watch the HU Achievable Dream Video Trailers and then get ALL the information you need to get inspired and learn how to travel anywhere in the world!

Have YOU ever wondered who has ridden around the world? We did too - and now here's the list of Circumnavigators!
Check it out now
, and add your information if we didn't find you.

Are you an Overland Adventure Traveller?

Does the smell of spices wafting through the air make you think of Zanzibar, a cacophony of honking horns is Cairo, or a swirl of brilliantly patterned clothing Guatemala? Then this is the site for you!
Hosted by Grant and Susan Johnson, RTW 1987-1998

Next HU Eventscalendar

HU Event and other updates on the HUBB Forum "Traveller's Advisories" thread.
ALL Dates subject to change.


Add yourself to the Updates List for each event!

Questions about an event? Ask here

HUBBUK: info

See all event details


HU Achievable Dream is Online
and available now to stream on Vimeo!

ALL 15 chapters of the HU Achievable Dream Guide are available to download on Vimeo!

Achievable Dream - The Whole Enchilada!

Binge watch over 18 hours of inspiring, informative and entertaining stories and tips from 150 travellers!

"a cross between entertaining stories, tech tips, and reference guide"

"A timeless introduction to Motorcycle Adventure Travel!"

Originally launched as a 7 DVD set, The Achievable Dream series can now be downloaded anywhere. OVER 18 hours of solid info take up zero space in your panniers. How convenient!



All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.
NOTE: As an Amazon Affiliate we earn from qualifying purchases - thanks for your help supporting HU when you start from an HU Amazon link!