Traveling from the UK is a three-part journey: сatch a ferry to Denmark, drive through Denmark and Sweden, then another ferry to Finland. For the explorer, I've also included alternate route options on how to drive through Norway and Southern Sweden.
There is no direct ferry from the UK to Finland. Take a ferry from UK to Denmark. Denmark will be our hub from which I will guide you. Catch a ferry at the Harwich Port in the South-Eastern corner of the United Kingdom to Esbjerg, Denmark. The ferry trip takes about 19 hours from the mainland UK to Denmark and leaves the port in the afternoon around 5.30 pm arriving the following afternoon in Esbjerg.
The price for a one-way fare/ticket from Harwich, United Kingdom to Esbjerg, Denmark is about 45 BP. Start your trip from Harwich UK to Esbjerg, Denmark by checking these ferry timetables.
Esbjerg to Helsingor (Denmark) - ferry to Helsingborg (Sweden) - drive to Stockholm
This route is one of the most direct and fastest routes from Denmark to Stockholm, Sweden. The goal is to drive on the main motorways until you get to Stockholm, Sweden, then take a ferry to Finland.
Once you land in Esbjerg, drive E20 toward Copenhagen. Instead of driving to the center of Copenhagen from E20, get on road E47 North to Helsingor, Denmark. Then take a ferry to Helsingborg, Sweden. In Sweden, get on road E4 to Stockholm, a nine-hour drive through Sweden.
The towns you will pass through in Denmark are: Esbjerg, Lyngby, Helsingor
For getting to the Tallink Silja Lines set your navigational device to: Södra Hamnvägen 46, Stockholm, Sweden, or for Viking Line ferries: Tegelviksplan, Stockholm, Sweden.
Once you are in Esbjerg, here is a route map of the recommended route from Esbjerg to Stockholm.
Alternate UK to Finland routes from Esbjerg, Denmark:
If you are searching for scenic and adventurous routes from UK to Finland, please read on.
Drive from Esbjerg to Northern Denmark, and then hop on a ferry to Varberg. Take a ferry to the mid-West corner of Sweden. Choose the following route for this trip:
Esbjerg - Grenaa - Varberg (Stena Line ferry)
This route takes five hours to drive with a distance of 352 kilometers from Esbjerg, Denmark to Varberg, Sweden.
In Varberg take the Stena Line ferry to Varberg, Sweden. From Varberg it is only a 125 kilometer long two-hour drive to Göteburg. Once you are in or near Göteburg, drive through South-Eastern Norway, through Sweden and then to Stockholm, Sweden to catch a ferry to Finland, or directly from Varberg to Stockholm.
This route from UK to Finland takes longer since there is much driving. First travel over two toll bridges, then once you arrive in Sweden drive North from Malmö to Helsingborg.
The Esbjerg - Copenhagen - Malmö (Öresundsbroen) route is the shortest route to get to Malmö, Sweden From Esbjerg with most of the road along the E20.
Drive on E20 and follow the directions to Copenhagen.
There are long bridges and tunnels from UK to Finland requiring toll payments.
First you will head East toward Kolding, then Nyborg. At Nyborg you will cross over the Great Belt Fixed bridge, which is part bridge and tunnel Storebæltsforbindelsen. This road takes about 12 minutes to cross by vehicle and is 17 kilometers long.
It cost around 30 euros to cross the bridge. More information on the bridge and toll
Continuing our journey, keep driving on E20 towards Copenhagen. Once you get close to Copenhagen E20 also turns into E47 and E55. Head in the direction of Copenhagen Golf Center.
Soon after this you will see signs for Kastup and Malmö E20.
Stay on E20 until you come to the Øresund Bridge/Tunnel which runs both above and underwater connecting you from Copenhagen to Malmö. There is a total of 14 kilometers of bridge and tunnel, and an in-between artificial island.
The bridge contains lanes and tunnels for the railway and vehicles and is said to contain the most massive concrete structures in the history of bridges.
Cost for crossing the bridge will vary. Passenger car fee is around 35 euros for one crossing and 130 euros for a truck. Check here for the latest toll costs.
Once you cross the Øresund Bridge/Tunnel which connects Denmark and Sweden, drive from Southern Sweden to Stockholm - a day's journey. Once you are in Stockholm or Kapelskar, take the ferry to Finland to either Turku or Helsinki.
Helsingborg along E20, then drive East along the E4 through Jönköping, then up to Linköping through Norrköping. Drive East on E4 to Nyköping, keep driving East until you almost get to Stockholm. E4 turns into E20 just before getting to Stockolm. Look at how to get from Malmö, Sweden to Stockolm here.
If you have 10 days or more traveling time this route allows you to see the coast of Southern Sweden.
Along this route there are camping sites, bed and breakfasts, historic sights and other tourist attractions to see.
The route starts off in Malmö, then you head South and drive through all the coastal towns along the very Southern tip of Sweden.
Start off by heading toward Trelleborg. Drive the coastal road South of Kristianstad on to Karlshamn then up North to Kalmar. Part of the way you will be driving on the E-marked main road. Finally, drive from Kalmar to Norrköping. In Norrköping connect to E20 which brings you into Stockholm.
The destination is at the Viking Line terminal where you catch the ferry to Finland. See this route and address in Google maps
If you are taking a ferry from Kappelskar to Finland remember that the drive from Stockholm to Kappelskär takes one hour and is North of Stockholm.
See the route and address all the way to the Viking Line terminal on this map.
Here is the very same route as above in Google maps except this route goes to Stockholm directly to the Silja Tallink address.
Here is a suggestion for a very interesting route from Malmouml; to Stockholm via a ferry in Gotland. When you arrive in Gotland, drive up Northern Gotland to catch a ferry to Stockholm.
A long scenic stretch to Stockholm - here is the route from Malmouml; - Kalshamn - Kalmar - Gotland - Ferry from Gotland to Stockholm. Phew! What a drive. You could do this drive in one day with a second driver. The more time you have, the more interesting this route is.
Drive to northern Denmark - ferry to Göteburg, Sweden, drive along Southern Norway
First from Esbjerg, drive to Århus, Denmark. Then on to Aalborg, Denmark where you drive direction North-East to Frederikshavn, Denmark. This is where you catch the ferry to Göteburg, Sweden. Here is the Stenaline ferry you want to catch
There is also the option of taking a ferry directly from Frederikshavn, Denmark to Oslo. In that case you will want to take this ferry.
The scenic route through Southern Norway starts either in Göteburg, Sweden or Oslo, Norway, depending if you decide to take the ferry from Frederikshavn, Denmark to Göteburg, or Frederikshavn to Oslo.
Two more options here include taking the ferry from Hirtshals which is at the very northern tip of Denmark directly to Larvik, Norway, or from Hirtshals by ferry to Kristiansand, Norway. There are fast ferries from Hirtshals getting you from Denmark to Norway in just over three hours.
For details on ferries please visit the Color Line for routes, ships, and pricing.
Beware that while driving on the Norway road E18 there is a toll road ferry crossing at Horten, Norway and Moss, Norway. So you will have to pay to use this route.
Here is a concept route showing you how to avoid that particular toll road.
This UK to Finland route takes you all the way from Esbjerg, Denmark, driving to Hirtshals, Denmark (in Northern Denmark), then take a ferry to Larvik, Norway.
The fun drive starts in Larvik. That is when you start driving North-West. The first town to head to is called Porsgrunn, Norway. Road E18 runs into road 36. Stay on road 36. You will drive from Porsgrunn to Skien on road 36.
Since you are in Norway you might as well drive a bit North-West into the country to visit Rjukan to see scenery like the Gaustatoppen mountain with a cafe on top
Beware! This mountain road is closed during winter. You can drive your car 1400 meters up then the rest of the way you walk.
Back to road 36. As you drive into Skien look for road 36. Take this road all the way up to Gvarv. At Gvarv, take road 360 going direction North until you see signs for E134. Take E134 West towards Hjartdal. Instead of going to Hjartdal, take road 37 North toward Rjukan.
Visit the Mikaelshule cave (if you are into cave exploring) while driving through Skien.
Take road 354 and then road 357 North. It is about 11 kilometers drive from Skien to the Mikealshule cave. Get directions in Skien how to walk to the cave.
Along this route there are stretches of road in deep valleys surrounded by canyons on each side as on the road between Rjukan and Vermork, Norway.
Here is a map showing the route from Skien to Rjukan to Vermork. Notice on the map how points A and B run along the bottom of a deep ridge - the most interesting part of the journey traveling toward Rjukan.
If you have ever watched the movie starring Kirk Douglass called The Heroes of Telemark you will understand how during World War II, the events in Rjukan, Norway drew international attention. The deep valleys and hidden windy roads in Rjukan made it possible to conceal a secret deadly weapon.
In the mid 1900's, The Norwegian Norsk Hydro plant produced heavy water deuterium oxide for the world and for Nazi Germany. Since the plant was the sole producer worldwide, there was fear the Germans would soon capture all necessary elements to produce the atomic bomb. It was a race to see who would get there first!
The plant underwent bombings and later was rebuilt. Today, you can visit the Vermork Hydro Plant Power Station in Tinn, Norway. Inside the plant is a museum called the Norsk Industriarbeidermuseu The Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum
Here is a map showing a picture of the Vermork Hydro Plant Power Station, and its location.
Veering off of our UK to Finland route a bit!
Then after the visit in Rjukan, you can drive back down a bit South-East toward Oslo. After this you head toward Sweden and finally to the East coast of central Sweden where you will take a ferry to Finland.
The long and scenic UK to Finland route from Esbjerg, Denmark to southern Norway to Stockholm, Sweden.