There are a number of routes to get the the Ring, but I shall just briefly mention the one we have used. It may not be the quickest, or easiest, but it has worked for us. This route is based on just getting there, and as such is mainly autoroute based.
From Calais, we have taken the E40 (A16) towards Brugge, then the E40 (now the A10!) towards Brussels. Going north around the Brussels 'ring' autoroute we have then headed towards Leuven.
Still on the E40 (now also called the A3!) carry on past Leuven towards Liege. Pass north of Liege, still on the E40 (A3) we then head south onto the E42 (A60) which is signposted towards Verviers, and also Spa. Pop in and have a look at Spa Francorchamps.
Still heading south on the E42 we enter germany and turn off the autoroute at junction 4, Prum. From here we join the 410 to Gerolstein, then onto Kelberg where we turn north onto the 257 which takes us directly to the Nurburgring complex.
We mainly use this route because we once went to Spa and the 'Ring on the same day, and managed to drive on the 2 greatest circuits in the world on the same day!
I think another route is to head towards Koln on the E40 (A4) and then turn south onto the E29 (A1) which takes the autoroute closer to the Ring. Have a look at a map, and it should all become clear.
Journey time from Calais to Nurburg will be between 3-5 hours, depending on traffic around Brussels and how much you risk getting through Belgium! Point is, it may not be as far as you think.
Depending on the route you have taken, you will probably arrive at the Nurburgring complex - the modern circuit that currently hosts the 'European' Grand Prix. The Dorint Hotel is located here, along with the Museum, Shop and Tourist Information. We have not stayed in the Dorint, but it looks like a modern 'International' Hotel, directly overlooks the main straight and pit complex of the GP track and is probably expensive. Very convenient, but not our style - we prefer the more homely type of establishment!
|Main Straight and pit lane of the Nurburgring GP track|
We have not visited the museum either - but probably will at some point. The shop is a good place to buy your 'Ring souvenirs - books, videos (all German) posters and most importantly - your Nurburgring sticker! All the local garages and shops sell similar stuff, as you would expect. The petrol station located along the 258 next to the Nordschleife main straight has a particularly good selection of models and prints.
View of Nurberg, as seen from the tower of the Castle. The end of the Nordschleife main straight, Hohenrain, is top left of the village, behind the row of trees. At the top is the Grand Prix circuit. The Dorint hotel is the large square building on the left of the complex, to the right is the control tower. Hotel am Tiergarten is halfway down the village on the far left in this view. Over my left shoulder I would just about see the Nordschleife entrance and 'Grune Holle'.
Carry on along the 258 past the new track complex and turn left to enter the village of Nurburg. This is where many people stay when visiting the 'Ring. We have stayed in the Hotel Am Tiergarten in the past, and it was fine. They have a bar which serves food (Italian based I think) and again, it was 'fine'. Telephone 0049 (0) 2691 92200
Carry on through Nurburg and you pass the Castle above you on your left, and then drive down straight to the entrance to the Nordschleife - the 'Grune Holle' - Green Hell - more details later.
During our October trip we stayed in near Adenau. This small town is directly opposite Nurburg on the northern side of the loop. A number of small roads drive across the centre of the loop - its only about 3km away from the entrance at the Grune Holle.
The Hotel 'An-Der-Nordschliefe' as you see it from the track. Descending from Wehrseifen and heading for the solid concrete of the bridge, you may not notice it though!
We stayed at Hotel-An-der-Nordschleife. This small hotel 'B&B' is located right next to the track at Exmuhle. It overlooks the bridge at Breidscheid - often called Adenau Bridge. Run by Eddie, it is advertised as a biker hotel. In the summer 80% of his guests are English bikers. The Hotel is clean, good value and friendly, with a great extensive breakfast. Main reason we like it and will always try and stay there is the location. Our room over looked the track, which is accessible right opposite the hotel. A 20 minute walk down the road leads to Adenau and all its small town amenities.
We hired mountain bikes from Eddie when we cycled around the outside of the Ring. Note the 'Ring map on the wall - upside down to the more usual view, as it is drawn from an Adenau 'perspective'.
There is a petrol station just around the corner which also has food and drink. A large supermarket and beer/wine warehouse are also a 5 minute walk down the road. Right outside are 2 bars that both serve substantial portions of good basic food.
Easy to find - drive towards Adenau and as you are about to pass under the track, look to your right, and there it is.
Trierer strasse 15
tel: 0049 (0) 2691 930 158
fax: 0049 (0) 2691 930 866
Edgar (Eddie) Mathey
There are a number of places to eat in Adenau, but we have treated ourselves to a number of meals at The Blaue Ecke (The Blue Corner) Walk into Adenau, and this Hotel Restaraunt can be found on the right in the corner of the centre 'market place'. The food here is delicious - we have had the seasonal game each time, washed down with local wine as recommended by the owner Klaus Zuzok, who of course speaks perfect English.
The Blaue Ecke Hotel-Restaurant on the market place in Adenau - some of the best food we have had on our travels. Klaus speaks good English, has a dry sense of humour, and takes part in Historic rallies in his old rally cars, including Renault Alpines. He also took us for a lap of the 'Ring in his Renault Laguna diesel estate!
If you either eat or stay here then you must do one thing. Ask Klaus (very nicely!) if you can have a look at the Guest Book - not the normal one, but the one that is kept behind the traditional bar. This book was started by Klaus's grandfather in the mid 30's. It contains messages and signatures from just about every great driver from then to the present day, all of whom have either stayed or eaten at this 'Historischen Haus'. From Fangio to Moss, Hill and Surtees, they are all in there, and it makes fascinating historical reading. So special, some years there are no entries - we were very honoured to be allowed to sign this book - and if you see it, have a look and see if our Lotus Seven Club membership card is still in there!
Petrol can be found on the road into Adenau - I think it is a 24hr petrol station. Nearer to the Grune Holle and the entrance to the 'Ring, there is a petrol station on the 258, at Dottinger-Hohe. Turn right out of 'Grune Holle', drive back up parallel to the main straight, turn first left and under the track, - turn right onto the 258 and the petrol station is on the right. Only 1km from the entrance. Couple of Banks with cash points in Adenau, and I think there are a few dotted around the Nurburgring GP circuit complex as well.