Travelling by public transport (train and/or ferry)
It is also possible to travel to Groningen without taking the car. You could cover the whole journey
by train. In that case you to have to travel to the railway station London St Pancras International
where the Eurostar to Brussels, Rotterdam and Amsterdam departs. You could also take the train or bus
to one of the ferry terminals on the east and northeast coast of England, take the ferry and then
hop on a bus or train to the nearest railway station to continue your journey to Groningen.
You will have to travel to Rotterdam Central or Utrecht to get on board of the train that moves
to the city of Groningen. In the city you can change for one of the two railway lines into North Groningen's
countryside if you like.
Travel times to Groningen: from IJmuiden: 3 hours (bustransfer to Amsterdam Central and then 2 hours by train with one
change in Utrecht) | from Europoort: 3,5 hours (bustransfer to Rotterdam Central and then 2 hours 45 minutes by train) |
from Hook of Holland: 3,5 hours (metro to Schiedam Central and then 3 hours by train with one change in Rotterdam Central).
These times could vary a bit depending on the connection between bus and train at the time.
Below you will find more information about the ferry services, the train journey from London and of course a way
to book tickets for these services. These links will lead you to English pages on my Dutch website about Great Britain.
You might have read about it on one of the other English pages here on Ontdek Noord Groningen. May I also point you
to a service I provide: a tailor-made plan for a holiday in Groningen. Because of my knowledge of Britain and British
public transport and ferry services I can happily plan your journey from your doorstep in Britain to this northern part
of the Netherlands. Read more below.
Travelling by car
If you live in England, Wales or Scotland there are multiple ways to cross the Channel or the North Sea and travel to the Netherlands.
If you live in the south you could opt for the shorter ferry services from Dover to Calais or Dunkirk in the north of France and
then drive north via Belgium to Holland. You could also take the shuttle which is more expensive but goes quicker. The shuttle leaves
in Folkestone, just as Dover situated in Kent.
However, you could also hop on one of the longer ferry services that depart on the east coast of England. There is the service from Harwich (Essex)
to Hook of Holland, from Hull (East Yorkshire) to Europoort (Rotterdam) and from Newcastle (Tyne and Wear) tot IJmuiden (Amsterdam). There is
a day and a night service from Harwich; the ships from Hull and Newcastle sail during the evening and night only. These three services can be
used by foot passengers as well.
Travel time to Groningen: from IJmuiden: 2,5 hours | from Europoort (in the area of Rotterdam): 3 hours |
from Hook of Holland: 3 hours | from Dunkirk: 5 hours | from Calais: 5,5 hours
The most southern ferry-icon in the Netherlands doesn't pinpoint one ferry terminal. The ferry from Hull arrives in Europoort and the one from Harwich in Hook of Holland. These terminals are situated in the same area but it is by no means the same location.
How do you buy a train ticket?
In the Netherlands you will need an ov-chipkaart to be able to travel by train. It works the same as an Oyster Card in London:
you check in before you travel and check out when you get off the train. The ov-chipcard can be used to open gates at stations
but you check-in by hovering your card over a check-in pole which can be found on or near the platform. The traveller has to
make sure there is enough credit on the card. Dutch people have
a card with their name on it but that is not possible for a tourist. A tourist has two options, the first one is an
anonymous ov-chipkaart (costs 7,50 euros). You can top it up yourself at a service/ticket machine. The second option
is a disposable card which can bought for just a singular use or for a certain period. This card usually is more
expensive than the anonymous card. These two product can be bought on various locations, including the larger railway
stations. Sales points are indicated by the OV-chipkaart logo. They can also be purchased at service-ticket machines.
Considering you would follow one of the describes routes to travel to the Netherlands you would
normally encounter one of such locations at Amsterdam Central, Rotterdam Central or Groningen.
In case you will only use the train during your journey to Groningen you won't need an ov-chipkaart because you could
buy an international train ticket for the entire route from London St Pancras International to your Dutch destination.
If you will only be visiting the city of Groningen and won't use the train or bus anymore during your stay then you won't
need an ov-chipkaart at all.
Anonymous OV-chipkaart for tourist