Eurostar to France
Eurostar means that foot passengers on a day trip to France or Belgium can get further away from the traditional destinations. In 1994 when Eurostar first opened, they changed the way people travel to destinations like Paris and Brussels forever. With connecting services from the Eurostar destinations of Lille, Paris and Brussels, over 100 destinations across Europe can be reached easily, many with the scope for a short day trip.
With the addition of Ashford International and Ebbsfleet departure points, as well as a relocation of the main terminal from Waterloo to St Pancreas, a Eurostar trip to France is possible and convenient for many travellers.
How to book the Eurostar
The best place to book Eurostar tickets is on the official Eurostar website. It is recommended that you book as early as possible to benefit from the best Eurostar deals. When checking prices, it is also beneficial to tick the checkbox labelled 'Looking for Low Fares?' as this will show cheaper options around your chosen dates which may make it possible to pick up a bargain!
There are three basic classes of travel on Eurostar services. Standard is the entry level ticket type. Leisure Select contains a number of perks, including more spacious and comfortable seats, food and drinks served to your seat, and complimentary newspapers and magazines. Business class is also a possibility should you wish to make your day trip to France a day to remember. Business class tickets include power sockets at your seats, faster check in, and access to an exclusive business class lounge at your departure point.
The standard Eurostar check in time is 30 minutes before your train departs. You can carry your baggage onto the train yourself. Tickets can be collected from the e-ticket collection machines, or printed at home before your journey.
St Pancras International
The main Eurostar terminal is at St Pancreas International in London. A number of shopping outlets are located within the station, and if you have time we recommend checking out Europe's longest champagne bar before embarking on your day trip to France!
St Pancras International
Getting to St Pancras International
St Pancras International has excellent underground links and can be found on the Victoria, Piccadilly, Northern, Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines.
Many train companies serve St Pancreas International Station. East Midlands Trains and First Capital Connect services arrive directly into the Internatinal Terminal. King’s Cross Station, located next to St Pancreas International, is served by GNER and Hull services. Euston station is only a short walk away, and is served by Scotrail, Virgin Trains, and Silverlink. Wherever you are in the country you will find excellent train connections to St Pancreas.
There is a car park on Pancreas Road, undeneath the domestic train station for those arriving by car. This car park is operated by NCP.
Many London bus services run past the St Pancreas International station. Visit Transport for London for route details and timings.
A range of shops restaurants and bars can be found within the station, including the world famous champagne bar, the longest in the World. You will also find a bureau de change for changing your Sterling to Euros. There are departures lounges, including one dedicated to Business class travellers. You will also find the ticket office and e-ticket collection machines within the Station.
One of two Eurostar terminals in Kent, Ashford International is located in the heart of Kent. This terminal is a great alternative for people living in Kent and Sussex to avoid travelling in the up to London and then back to the Kent Coast.
Getting to Ashford International
The domestic Ashford Station can be found next to the International station, and are linked via a passenger walkway. Eurostar passengers departing from Ashford International can also travel free on the domestic services in South East London, Kent and East Sussex to make their connections easier and cheaper (on production of their passport and ticket/confirmation email). This does not include HS1 (the high speed services).
Ashford International is located close to Junction 10 of the M20, which in turn is linked to the M25. Secure parking is available at the station. Cycle parking is also available.
Ashford International has less facilities than St Pancreas Internation, but everything you need to begin your Eurostar day trip to France. A bar, cafe and bureau de change are availble, plus e-ticket collection machines and a manned ticket office.
The newest of the UK based Eurostar terminals, Ebbsfleet International is ideally situated just minutes from the M25, the London orbital motorway. Bluewater shopping center (one of the largest in Europe) is also very close if you have time to kill, but make sure you don't spend all your money before you arrive on the Continent!
Ebbsfleet International Station
Getting to Ebbsfleet International
HS1 (the High Speed domestic service linking Kent to London) was introduced in late 2009, allowing you to reach Ebbsfleet station from London in less than 20 minutes. Southeastern railway also serve numerous stations close to Ebbsfleet International - Dartford, Greenhithe, Gravesend and Swanscombe. From these stations, Fastrack bus services run non stop to Ebbsfleet International.
Ebbsfleet International is conveniently placed close to Junction 2 of the M25. The A2 motorway is also close by and ideal for day trippers who are travelling to the station from the Kent Coast.
Ebbsfleet International contains cafes, cash machines and newsagents. As with the other UK Terminals, e-ticket collection machines and a manned ticket office are also available. For a large selection of bars, restaurants and shops, visit the nearby Bluewater shopping centre.