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Longest non-stopover drive, e.g. from UK to Alps?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Filled up and Annemasse and drove to Calais, one tank, no stops, good bladder strength!

I drive from London to nr Chatel, so an easy route about five times per year. I stop at Eurotunnel obviously and then once for fuel with a 10-15 min walk about but never stop overnight as its not worth it given its only 970 kms door to door


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Fri 24-01-20 12:32; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Longest day of driving Grand Junction Co to Phoenix Az for me in the mid 1990s. About 650 miles taking some diversions off the interstate if I remember right and took about 10 hrs including a couple of hours not seeing another vehicle or any sign other than the highway humans exist
!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Had lunch in Chamonix then got home to bed in the Midlands is my personal longest solo drive!
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Not to/from the Alps but from the Dordogne to near Edinburgh in a single day. Left at 07:30 CET and arrived home at 22:46. Travelled via the Tunnel. 977 miles. 14h 6m of driving.

Mrs & Junior Gaza were complaining from around Lincolnshire but the fact I'd come that far there was no way we were doing an overnight. A McDs worked wonders and we continued north. With an average speed of 69mph I wasn't hanging about.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
regularly do Cambs to Alp d 'huez in a oner, often on my own, about 700 miles i think and usually 12/13 hours.

For me the key is not to try and go too fast, its massively more stressful, i put the cruise on at 75, select the steering assist, get lots of great podcasts to listen too and relax! short stops for coffee preferably at the smaller Aire's. Im always amazed by the British drivers doing 95 that repeatedly come past me every couple of hours, presumably so wired they need longer stops.

Tend not to do the night drive though.
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Gaza wrote:



Not to/from the Alps but from the Dordogne to near Edinburgh in a single day. Left at 07:30 CET and arrived home at 22:46. Travelled via the Tunnel. 977 miles. 14h 6m of driving.

Mrs & Junior Gaza were complaining from around Lincolnshire but the fact I'd come that far there was no way we were doing an overnight. A McDs worked wonders and we continued north. With an average speed of 69mph I wasn't hanging about.



Ace of spades

"If you like to gamble, I tell you I'm your man
You win some, lose some, it's all the same to me"

Lemmy would be proud!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Longest: Munich to Calais, tunnel, Dover to Leeds. MB Sprinter.

Regular: Chamonix to Rotterdam. Pick up or Landy.

Slowest: Various around Australia in Nissan NP van. Only ever did 50mph, but never really stopped, ergo 600miles was a 12 hr day.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
BTW: That Munich to Leeds was too far for me with hindsight, it takes a pro like @Masque to comfortably do those kind of distances.

Chamonix to Rotterdam (or reverse) is no problem.
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Harrogate (just north of Leeds) to Tignes in about 14-15 hours, both me and missus share driving 2-3 hrs each at a time.

Car Volvo XC60, previously in Nissan Captur and Honda Civic
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@daveqpr, I've done the Bilbao&Santander ferries quite a bit. Did Santander/Plymouth last summer. I was actually looking forward to driving up/down France (with stopovers), but the addition of a horse trailer persuaded me to take the ferry.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Claude B, ...that’s important observation re DVTs - I became concerned about exactly that after doing Cambridge-La Plagne non stop a number of times in the early 2000s in a great but old VW Golf GTD. I stipulated that the replacement vehicle should have cruise control, which allows long stints but constant leg-jiggling, which was never possible in the Mk2 golf. I think everyone should be aware of the need to stop and stretch every three hours to remove the risk of DVTs. I have frostbite damage to my right foot which means I really do need to look after the circulation and be hyper-aware of the possibility of DVTs. A half aspirin before long haul flights has been recommended to me regarding good prophylaxis.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
The most tiring solo drive I've done is South London to South of Spain (nr Alicante) with one overnight stop in the south of France near Montpelier. The thing I learned from that is that while it's relatively easy to drive 600-700 miles in one day, it's lot harder to do it two days in a row. Did the same thing on the return trip 2 weeks later.

I have regularly done S.London to Austria but these days normally overnight as close to resort, eg Friedrichhafen to get a couple of extra days skiing in without paying expensive ski resort hotel prices for those extra days.

It's a lot easier with more people driving, 3 of us drove back from Davos to S. London overnight after a full days skiing finishing at 5pm or so. Being able to get a few hours sleep while someone else drives makes all the difference.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I have done lots of 10hr+ drives in a day due to my previous employment (Was once sent to Pontefract as the scheduler thought it was in Wales - got all the way there only be told the job was cancelled, so drove back home).

Longest day would have been Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim & back again. Stopped at Hoover Dam & drove between all of the South Rim look out stops. Then drove back to Vegas.
Think it was about a 16hr-17hr day door to door.

Niagara Falls to Arlington in Washington DC was another long drive that I remember.
Lake Tahoe to Yosemite another long one.


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Fri 24-01-20 16:18; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Andorra to Oxford in a peugeot 405 non autoroute - well you gotta search for the hero inside yourself after all.
Oxford to les 7 Laux on a ZZR600 - it was late spring though, so longer days but I had very stiff legs after Amberieu (again no autoroutes), I set out from Oxford at first light and arrived just after dark.
Garmisch to Hull in a VW Beetle - the ferry arrived at Hull but obviously it is a 8 hour crossing so I had a snooze on the ferry.

These days I don't drive at night or more than 2 hours unless I have to.

My grandad, when retired, would (according to my mum) regularly do London to Algeciras in a Triumph 2000 non stop. That was in the 1960s when the Spanish roads were rudimentary. I've had a look at the distance, 2,300km and it doesn't seem possible to me to do that but I doubt he worried about speed limits.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Fri 24-01-20 16:22; edited 4 times in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
While at uni, Mrs A used to spend the summer holidays camping in Greece. To get there, her then boyfriend would drive non-stop from the UK taking power-naps only when absolutely necessary. She says driving though Yugoslavia was the worst part where lorry drivers often seemed to manage with no more light than the end of a cigarette.


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Fri 24-01-20 16:14; edited 1 time in total
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Duck wrote:
regularly do Cambs to Alp d 'huez in a oner, often on my own, about 700 miles i think and usually 12/13 hours.

For me the key is not to try and go too fast, its massively more stressful, i put the cruise on at 75, select the steering assist, get lots of great podcasts to listen too and relax! short stops for coffee preferably at the smaller Aire's. Im always amazed by the British drivers doing 95 that repeatedly come past me every couple of hours, presumably so wired they need longer stops.

Tend not to do the night drive though.


Ha, ha. Similar. Once had the same BMW M3 come past me twice and then pull in next to me at the petrol pumps (for my single stop in France). Had a quick chat with him, he said, 'Oh yeah, she's a bit thirsty'.

I do UK/Switzerland a couple of times a year and yeah, I too stick the cruise control around 75 and as far as possible avoid night driving. There also seems to be a cliff edge on petrol consumption somewhere above that, which means having to fill up twice (on an out or return leg) whilst over there. My mileage for the total trip, I now go via Hull/Zeebrugge, is around 1700-1800 so say roughly 800 per leg.

Longest non-stop I did, if you allow for ferry was from Sauze D'Oulx to just south of Manchester in 2004. It was tropical in Sauze, had been for a couple of weeks and there were huge queues one day so I just cracked, went back to the appt. packed up and left around lunchtime. I got back sometime after midnight. It wasn't until around Birmingham that I really started to feel tired. Realised I was truly tired when I took the Birmingham M6 toll road by mistake.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
In 1992, with two mates, did 900 miles in a day in California but that was with the driving shared. At another point on that trip we had to stop and let the brakes cool off as we'd done so much braking on a long, twisty descent they started to fade. Only time I've ever experienced that.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Regularly do Calais Montalbert or Montalbert Calais in around 8/9 hours Sometimes with two maybe 3 short stops sometimes with 1 or two drivers. Followed or starting with a 2 hour drive in the UK
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@boredsurfin, it's the UK leg that can be the clincher particularly if there's significant traffic. Tarentaise to Calais isn't an issue for me but getting to the Midlands changes quite a lot, primarily due to the M25. Hopefully soon to be a distant memory.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Nickski wrote:
It wasn't until around Birmingham that I really started to feel tired. Realised I was truly tired when I took the Birmingham M6 toll road by mistake.


I don't need to get that close to Birmingham to get that feeling. Even if I've only driven locally.
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1500 miles should be easily doable by anyone under 40yo.

1000 miles for the under-60s.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@crosbie, Knoxville, TN to Frisco, CO. 1,400 miles. 4 college boys in a Mazda GLC. Approximately 22 hours. Man that car smelled when we finally arrived. Circa 1988 if I recall correctly.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Whitegold wrote:
1500 miles should be easily doable by anyone under 40yo.

1000 miles for the under-60s.


Frankly, your irrelevant and dishonest postings are starting to annoy me. You are full of nonsense and that's a polite way of saying it.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
In the 90s my friend and I tried to drive from Toronto to Banff non stop. The car broke down near Calgary where we were forced to spend the night in the car. Did Jasper to Sudbury on the way back, best trip ever!
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18hr return leg. 2 drivers.
St Johann in Tirol to Leicestershire.
It included a 3hr delay at the Eurotunnel.

We’ve never done it again, we always have a stopover in Ypres, which is a really nice end to the trip TBH.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Lauterbrunnen (8am) to newton abbot in time for closing time (1045pmish) via chunnel was my triumph but before speed cameras but including low french duty booze pick up stop. A couple of incredibly lucky M6 journeys Aviemore and Edinburgh to Newton Abbot. Whitegold is unusually right - distance declines with age and at 60something would not even think of that these days....
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
countryman wrote:
Lauterbrunnen (8am) to newton abbot in time for closing time (1045pmish) via chunnel was my triumph but before speed cameras but including low french duty booze pick up stop. A couple of incredibly lucky M6 journeys Aviemore and Edinburgh to Newton Abbot. Whitegold is unusually right - distance declines with age and at 60something would not even think of that these days....


that's a fair old drive there but I'm with @Alastair and calling horse sh** on the troll again I'm afraid... 1500 miles is a couple hundred further than London to Malaga...good luck doing that in one go with no shut eye or a co-pilot whatever your age Laughing
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
been on a few bus holidays to Austria skiing & spain as my parents are scared of the thought of flying.
Usually meant setting off early hours of the morning & arriving in the resort mid afternoon the following day.
Easy to suck it up as a kid.
Think the longest was to Austria, as we had to drive from South Wales to Birmingham, then got delayed for the crossing (this was before the channel tunnel days) by several hours. Roughest crossing ever, but also the funniest when you see all the glasses go flying & the fridges burst open due to the choppy waters. It was well over 30 hours from door to door.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Ohio to Denver about 1200 miles in September '05 in a '93 Subaru Legacy waggon - 100 miles coffee, 200 miles fuel, repeat. Started at 8.30 am arrived at 2.30 am - last 200 miles didn't see anyone till Denver, nothing came the other way, no light from any towns visible. Solo, would not do that distance again Solo.

Niagara Falls to Winnipeg 2200km September '97 in a '83 Chevy conversion van at 11mpg - 7 people 5 of whom could drive, only 3 did. Idea was straight trough to Calgary, turns out most people are no good after 24 hours on the move. I drove half the distance and was the only one to do 2 shifts at the wheel. Sault St Marie to Thunder bay, then the last 3 hours! - Make sure your traveling companions will be fit to drive when it's their turn!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
When I was young and doing odd summer jobs I was asked to drive from London to Bregenz, Austria to pick up a vital spare part for a piece of machinery. My instructions were to drive down there, load said item into the boot of the Vauxhall Cavalier 1.6 they gave me, then drive back. This was pre-tunnel, pre-sat nav (I used a thing called a 'map'), pre-Euro, pre-Schengen, pre-health&safety. I think about 1600 miles all tolled. Managed it with the help of a few naps and a lot of coffee and Coke but I had no clue about customs paperwork so ended up stuck in Dover for a whole day but I wouldn't describe that as a stopover.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Idris, 'fit to drive' also includes 'being able to drive without having to constantly raise/lower the accelerator pedal'. My driving companion for three UK/Alps trips did this, so I had to think of any excuse to do the majority of the driving myself, just to calm my nerves.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@crosbie, I know someone who drives like that. Most strange!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Not skiing but meets your criteria of 'other journey'.
One of those - 'because it's there' type things

London to Bosnia and then back to Zagreb, via: UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia.
In 23 hours and a bit.

Volvo V70 diesel estate.
2 drivers, running a shift rotation, a bit like on a long sailing trip.
Fair bit of Red Bull towards the end


http://youtube.com/v/6HIJm7h1SIk
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1910km (circa 1200miles) from piraeus port in Athens to Alanya on the southern coast of Turkey in 24hrs back in 2001. Crew of 2. Included enforced short stop at the border. Ford Explorer 4.0 V6, 1990 or so model. Long back story. Not spies...
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I’m not quite sure why we are posting these stories, but when I was 17 I lived in Denver and it was 1862 miles to my mothers house in New York. My sister and I used to do it non- stop. One sleeps the other drove, stopped for food and gas a bit. 38 hours was our fastest time- it was the days of 55 mph limits on the Interstates due to oil shortages.

More recently we drive from Pateley Bridge to Tignes fairly regularly, 932 miles. We usually break the journey as my husband and I are old gits now. But we have done it straight through though fog on the A1was a killer- nearly literally- so we won’t let ourselves do that anymore.

Finally, my 65 year old sister drove from New Jersey to Alaska last year. Alone. She took 98 days, drove 17,500 miles. Not a non- stop journey, but the longest single handed driving journey I’m aware of in my circle.
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I thought my UK to/from Alps and various 700-800 mile trips across the western US in one hit were quite an achievement until I came across this thread! Shock

17 years ago I drove my little Fiesta back from Lauterbrunnen to the midlands in 13 odd hours. No cruise control, no sat nav, no auto gearbox, no podcasts. These days I think it is a lot easier. My current car (and most modern cars) has radar cruise control, steers itself on highways and has a very comfortable seat so once you get a few miles south of Calais you're pretty much a passenger for the next 500 odd miles. Doofer helps, as does the fact I can fully stretch out both my legs in the foot rest area to the left of the brake pedal. Just did a trip to Les Carroz with the family and we stopped both ways, but I could happily have carried on. I'm heading back on my own in March and really looking forward to the drive. I find listening to podcasts makes a big difference. Seems to keep me engaged and more alert.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Always do SW London-Les Arcs in one hit, solo or doing all the driving myself. It's 12 hours door to door and if the weather and traffic are normal I find it a fairly straightforward journey. Occasionally I've driven SW London - Hintertux, and that's around 14 hours. Those final two hours of driving, if I do it solo, are very hard going, so my comfortable limit is probably 12 hours or so in one day, anything longer than that is less than ideal. If I do a long drive of 12+ hours I wouldn't consider another long drive the following day.

As a geology student I drove to Sicily a few times, in a slow Landrover. Ferry across the Channel, Mont Blanc tunnel and then east coast of Italy on the way there, west coast on the way home. Three drivers sharing the duties, longest driving day was 20 hours. Seemed an adventure at the time, it would be bloody purgatory now!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Edinburgh to Les Gets a few times solo. Bit of kip on tunnel and a couple of 20 mins naps. When I get to the house I’m usually a mess for 24h so not worth it
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
lynnecha wrote:
I’m not quite sure why we are posting these stories


Well, my ulterior motive is to demonstrate that a non-stopover drive to the Alps from England (or even Scotland), is not only eminently doable, but is found by many to be preferable to flying - and moreover, when performed throughout Friday night, can get one on the piste sooner on Saturday, than a 6am sparrow-fart flight.

Door-to-door, with pleasurable rests and leg stretches, vs 4am taxi to airport, ski/bag drop process, captive terrorist suspect/shopper until gate opens, delayed on airport tarmac for an hour or so, then the actual flight, then baggage reclaim/passport control delays, then 4-5 hour transfer to resort subject to traffic. YMMV
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@crosbie, I am completely with you on that one. Even if we fly, we are at least two hours from the airport (Manchester) so we have to go the night before anyway, so even with a stopover there is almost nothing in it between flying and driving. Our 930 mile drive is much more preferable to flying, and it means we can bring skis galore and I get to throw in the kitchen sink!
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