Best for walking
With their diverse scenery, dramatic hills, coastal paths and green valleys, the British Isles are heaven for keen walkers. Just pack your hiking boots and all-weather clothing and prepare to be impressed by nature in all its beauty.
Best for cycle challenges
Quiet roads, challenging climbs, great views and good coffee and cake. If you’re the kind of person who thinks the best holidays are those where your bicycle comes with you, then travelling by ferry makes it easy, either cycle directly up to the ferry or attach it to your car, usually at no additional cost.
Best for pet travel
If you are in that third of people who own a dog in the UK then going on holiday presents an additional consideration – where to go that you know will be dog-friendly and easy to get to. Ferries have a range of options to bring your pets: from onboard pet lounges, kennels, and pet-friendly cabins to keeping your pet in the familiar surroundings of your own vehicle.
The British islands below all offer pet-friendly accommodation and a mix of stunning coastal or countryside and hill walks, with the local pub being a great option for pet-friendly dining, without the need to visit the vet for an Animal Health Certificate.
Wellness breaks by the water that will relax, recharge and rejuvenate.
Best for beach holidays
Whether you want to just chill out, feel the sun on your skin listening to the ebb and flow of the sea while reading a book, go body-boarding in the waves, snorkel in the clear blue water, build the biggest sand castle on the beach or hunt for dinosaur fossils, the best beaches are a stone-throw away from the ferry. Luckily there’s plenty of room to bring your bucket and spade.
Best for gastronomy
With some of the best foodie destinations a ferry journey away you can indulge in delicious street food, feast on the freshest seasonal produce, sample regional meats and cheeses, unique craft beers and ciders, and local wines. Going by ferry means you can bring back your favourites to continue enjoying at home.
Best for wellness
With our research showing that 77% of Brits find spending time by the water relaxing, you can start your wellness break as soon as you step on board the ferry, breathe in the sea air and listen to the ebb and flow of the water. From Nordic-style wellness emporiums in The Netherlands to outdoor forest retreats in Ireland, here are our suggestions to relax and mentally recharge.
Best for City Breaks
Exploring the sights, museums, and markets, discovering new neighbourhoods, people-watching in cafes, and checking out the local nightlife. Some of Europe’s most exciting cities are just a ferry journey away, whether you take a mini-cruise, drive your own car, take advantage of rail-sail fares or, as with London, use the ferry to get around the city and enjoy the best views from the river.
Best for day trips
You might be surprised to learn that it’s easy to jump on a ferry for a day trip, with many ferry operators offering special deals on day return tickets so you can have a taster of the destination. The London River Roamer ticket allows you to hop on and hop off the River Bus as many times as you like during the day so you can make the most of London’s sights and attractions. The Isle of Wight operators all offer day return tickets, with the fastest way to travel with Hovertravel or with the fast catamaran passenger services from Red Funnel and Wightlink. For those of you wanted to stock up and save, Duty-Free day trips to Calais are available.
Best for Romantic Escapes
A romantic escape is all about getting the details right: beautiful scenery, good food, a cosy place to stay, time to relax and do what you love doing together. Whether that’s exploring vibrant towns or cities, hiking along cliffs or up mountains, having your favourite tipple or indulging in the local cuisine. Start your romantic break looking out for wildlife from the deck of the ferry, or if there’s the option book the premium lounge for an extra special start to your trip.
Best for Christmas markets
What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than at Europe’s Christmas markets. Browse the artisan craft stalls for unique gifts, warm up with a mulled wine and sample local Christmas treats. Christmas markets open the first weekend of advent until at least Christmas Eve.