I was just considering the possibility of visiting a friend in Utrecht. With the flights currently grounded, I thought it might be a nice idea to get the Eurostar or ferry to Calais and cycle from Calais to Utrecht. I wasn’t exactly sure how far it would be, so I checked on Google Maps.
The shortest driving route from Calais to Utrecht is 337 km. That’s doable on a bike in a few days. However, being a car route, it was sticking to the major roads so I selected the walking option which I thought might choose quieter roads that would also suit a cyclist.
Apparently the quickest (not shortest) route on foot is 1,049 km. Unbelievably, the map shows that you are to go via the UK twice.
I suppose the implication is that it’s quicker to take the ferry for the long stretches than walk. The only segments of that journey to be undertaken on foot are a short stretch in Kent, a short stretch near Brugge and the home straight into Utrecht.
The shortest walking route still goes via Kent but makes you walk from Oostende to Utrecht.
I will probably end up getting the ferry to somewhere in Holland and cycling just the last stretch.