Train travel information
Whilst all of our destinations are easily reached by flights from the UK, a growing number of travellers are considering the alternative of train travel. Compared against flights, the train has many advantages:
- 30 minute check in for Eurostar's London departures
- Transfer to high speed train in Paris is straightforward
- Depart from and arrive in a city centre (not an airport miles away)
- Comfortable, spacious train carriages that you can move around in, or couchettes when you travel overnight
- Unrestricted luggage allowances (but remember you have to carry it!) and no risk of your suitcase ending up somewhere else without you
- Choice of first or second class
- Fares generally compare well with flight costs
- Children under 4 years of age go free
- On-board café / bar for snacks and drinks
- Enjoy the passing scenery as you travel (or sleep your way through France overnight in a comfortable couchette compartment)
- Reduced carbon footprint
Like airline tickets, the best prices are to be had as soon as they go on sale, usually 90 days before the date of travel. There may be several different combinations of route (for example, via Paris or via Madrid) and it can be worthwhile comparing fares for both the combined route and for each sector separately.
Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais
Eurotunnel's fast, smooth and frequent service operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. With up to three departures an hour at peak times from Folkestone and a crossing time of just 35 minutes platform to platform (45 minutes at night), it's the quickest way to cross the Channel.
Folkestone is easily accessed from the M20 at Junction 11a and on arrival in France, drive straight onto the A16 Autoroute with connections to all parts of Europe. Boarding is straightforward - just follow directions and drive on then you can relax in your vehicle or stretch your legs.
Eurotunnel's Standard Fare gives the best value when booking well in advance, or for travel at less busy times. Whilst only valid for the booked departure time you can, at no extra charge, transfer to a space on the next available shuttle if you arrive at check-in within 2 hours of your booked departure time.
Standard fare is non refundable and amendments are subject to conditions and charges. Alternatively, upgrade to FlexiPlus, the premium travel service, where you can enjoy priority check-in and boarding, pick up a complimentary light meal and use the FlexiPlus Lounge.
With this fare, you can alter your departure date or time, without charge, if your travel plans change. FlexiPlus fare is fully refundable and amendments are free of charge, subject to availability. Standard and FlexiPlus fares can be combined to make a return booking.
If you wish to travel by train, Vintage Travel recommends the following websites:
- www.seat61.com - is a good general guide to routes, train times, how to get the best fares