Like most British people I have probably travelled to France more often than any other country. It is just a few miles away after all.
Back in the 1970’s and 1980’s day trips to France were all the rage, inexpensive and very easy to organise. That all changed when British Rail was broken up and privatised. Before privatisation BR owned the trains, the ferries and the hovercraft, so it was easy to book a single ticket to Calais covering the train from Victoria, the ferry over the channel and the hovercraft for a speedier return. Try doing that today!
I spent a lot of time in the south of France in the early 80’s, partly because I had a girlfriend at the University of Nice for a year. I was regularly on the 10pm train from Victoria, over on the ferry and into Gare du Nord for a few hours to stroll around Paris before getting the midnight train from Gare de Lyon to Toulon or Nice, depending on who I was crashing out with.
I even once had a three-day car trip from Devon to Toulon – that was something else! I miss France enormously and hope I can get back there soon after Covid melts into the background.