Any ideas on the best way to get to Kiel from Leeds UK
I take it you mean Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein and not Keele near Stoke-on-Trent Staffordshire, famous for its University (sorry but there is a high level of place name mis-spelling on this site). How about:
- Train Leeds to Manchester Airport
- Flight Manchester to Hamburg (EasyJet or Germanwings)
- Train Hamburg Airport to Kiel
If you rather not fly, you can still get to Kiel. Take the ferry and trains.
Take the train to Harwich from Leeds. From Harwich take the ferry to Cuxhaven. It used to go to Hamburg. I did that in 1987, Hamburg to Harwich. From Cuxhaven the regional train goes to Hamburg, transfer to another regional train for Kiel Hbf. Hamburg is the junction point for the regional and ICE trains into Schleswig-Holstein and from the northwest, ie. Cuxhaven, Wilhelmshaven, Bremerhaven.
I don't think there are any direct ferries from Harwich to Germany now, only to Hook of Holland and Esbjerg in Denmark. Generally ferry services, like night trains, are in steep decline due to competition from budget air.
If you want an overnight ferry, Hull - Rotterdam is an option. Need to get a shuttle bus from the railway station to the port at both ends.
That is sort of the interesting thing when trying to get from point A to B when A and B are both less than major destinations, there can be dozens of options. One not yet mentioned is that Leeds has a very manageable airport itself. Unfortunately you cannot get real close to Kiel, the best options would be Amsterdam on Jet 2 or KLM, Dusseldorf on Jet 2, or I suppose Copenhagen on SAS. Amsterdam is about 7 hours by train, Dusseldorf and Copenhagen 5 1/2 maybe. If it were me, and I had the time, might pick the Copenhagen route, spending a night there.
There is no natural ferry between the two. And whatever the "best" way to travel is depends on you and your time.
Easyjet and Germanwings connect Manchester with Hamburg airport. From Hamburg airport there is a bus to Kiel. Journey time is an hour. Train takes longer as first you'd have to do the 30 mins journey to Hamburg central train station and then the 1:20 train journey...
If you've got more time take a flight from Manchester to Oslo and take the overnight Cruise Ferry (largest ferry boat in the world) from Color Line from Oslo directly into the port of Kiel.
Also you could fly Manchester to Gotheburg and take the Stena Line ferry from Gothenburg to Kiel.
Thanks for the info. Good suggestions and good to know. I would choose flying Manchester to Oslo, then taking the ferry Oslo to Kiel..simple as that.
Adding to Paul's ideas. I probably wouldn't chose Copenhagen. Copenhagen is a great city but trains from there back into northern Germany are really expensive and far from convenient. We abandoned the idea of training from Copenhagen to Hamburg to visit a cousin because it was too much time and money to get there.
Dusseldorf up to Kiel is pretty manageable. I've trained from Schlesswig down to about midway between Dusseldorf and Koln (to visit relatives for a couple of days); It wasn't bad at all in terms of time or cost.
Amsterdam might be closer by train (through Bremen and/or Hamburg). I'm not sure how the cost and train schedules would be?