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Fabric Shopping trip to the UK

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Linda likes to make her own slow fashion clothing and while she has always been knitting and crocheting, she recently also took up her past hobby of sewing.

Looking for nice fabrics and patterns on the internet, she stumbled on the website of Merchant & Mills in the UK.

When we saw an advert for ferry services to the UK, we checked out the price and we were surprised that it was only 25 euro per person for a oneway crossing, including the bicycle. The ferry to Dover goes from Dunkirk in France, which is only a good 30 km's from the nearest Belgian railway station.

End conclusion : The Merchant & Mills shop was only a 90 km bicycle ride away and it would cost us around 75 Euro's per person for the entire return trip, including ferry and train.

From the railway station in De Panne, there is a nice signposted bicycle path to Dunkirk. From Dunkirk, there is no direct cycle path to the ferry terminal but we followed bicycle friendly roads as displayed on the Pocket Earth app.

Video on DILISTUFF YouTube channel 

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When you book a ferry from Dunkerque to Dover with DFDS, remember that they do not take foot passengers. If you are by bicycle, you cannot book for 2 bicycles in 1 go, you need to make separate bookings per bicycle and add 1 person as passenger for the bicycle. 

Check in at least 30 minutes before departure. While you need to make a reservation for a specific time, checking in for an earlier ferryservice does not seem to be a problem if you are by bicycle.

When boarding and while at sea, switch off your data roaming to avoid extra high international roaming charges.

You can find all UK cycle routes on the website of Sustrans (https://www.sustrans.org.uk).

Once we were in Dover, we followed the signposted National cycle route 2 which links Dover in Kent to Austall in Cornwall.

 

While Rye is only a good 60 km's from Dover, just be aware that cycling paths in the UK can be steep, inclinations of 10 or 12% are not an exception.

As we arrived in Dover already late in the afternoon, we had booked a room for the night in Folkestone

Rye

Rye is an historic town in East Sussex,  renowned for it's cobbled streets, old half-timbered houses and it's many vintage shops. History goes back to the Roman times.

Time for breakfast or lunch? Just go to the White House. No reservations taken, if you wait, there's always a place for you. Contemporary Cafe, In-house bakery, healthy lunches, delicious cakes, friendly staff, style with a smile.

If this place would be around our corner, we would be a very very regular visitor.

Open 7 days a week.

Merchant & Mills fabric shop, Rye

Linda likes to make her own slow fashion clothing and while she has always been knitting and crocheting, she recently also took up her past hobby of sewing.

Looking for nice fabrics and patterns on the internet, she stumbled on the website of Merchant & Mills in the UK.

When you buy in their shop in Rye, no additional import duties are taken when returning to Europe Economic zone if you stay below 340 euro per person.

Hastings

We first had the intention to continue cycling to Brighton but we met some people who recommended not to go there during the Easter holiday period as it would be overcrowded.

We opted to just go continue to Hastings with a day trip to Battle.

The battle of Hastings  was fought in 1066​ between the Norman-French army of William the Conqueror and the new Anglo-Saxon king Harold Godwinson. William won and claimed the English crown. The present King Charles is a direct descendant of William.

Towards the end of the old fishing port, there is Flushed, a little business in a small wooden house with lots of antiques, vintage and lovely things.

It's nestled against the cliffs of the old town and while we did not expect this, the coffee is made the barista way.