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The idea of twin towns and sister cities has been around for many centuries now, with the aim of encouraging cultural and financial cooperation between locales from all over the world. What’s more, they’re a fantastic excuse for a city break to explore somewhere new, with ties to home!
While there have been twin towns since the Middle Ages, the practice really took off at the end of the Second World War; a time when cities around the world were looking to boost relationships and spread the message of peace and cooperation. The very first agreement by modern standards was between the town of Keighley in West Yorkshire, and Poix-du-Nord in Northern France.
Most of Europe’s big cities and towns have now established relationships with each other, some often hundreds of miles away. The extent of these relationships will vary, ranging from more business-oriented agreements, to celebratory ones in which there are even festivals held in honour of the other city.
Some of the most famous twins you’ll find between UK and European cities include London and Berlin, Manchester and Amsterdam, Birmingham and Milan, Edinburgh and Munich, and Cardiff and Stuttgart. But of course, just about every town and city in the UK has at least one twin – why not find out which local city or town your hometown is paired with as an idea for your next getaway? Sometimes even the smallest towns can be exciting destinations to visit!
Perhaps the most conveniently twinned cities are Dover and Calais. It couldn’t be more convenient – Northern France is the gateway to the rest of Europe and is just a short drive from Belgium, Germany and Holland. If France is the best landing for your trip, then we also have routes running from Dover to Dunkirk, and Newhaven in East Sussex to Dieppe in Normandy – you can find out about all of our ferries to France here. Alternatively, those in the north of the country can take advantage of our Newcastle to Amsterdam ferry, which is perfect for reaching Northern Europe.
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