How to Travel From London to France by Train
One of the easiest and least stressful ways to travel from London to France is by train. The Eurostar is a high-speed passenger train that can take you directly from London to France via the Channel Tunnel. The Eurostar is faster than flying and is often more comfortable and reliable. It will take you directly into Lille or Paris, France in about 2 to 2.5 hours. From Lille or Paris, you can then take a TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse or high speed train) to most of the other major cities in France.
- Create your travel itinerary. Determine the dates and time you’d like to leave London by train for France. Also, decide what your final destination city will be to determine whether or not you need to catch a connecting train. Once you have your itinerary planned you can move on to booking your trip.
- Decide what seat is right for you. Eurostar has three classes, ranked highest to lowest in cost: Business First Class, Leisure First Class, and Standard Class. All seats on Eurostar must be booked in advance to secure a reservation. Both types of first class seats are identical and offer meals and beverages with the main difference being ticket flexibility. Standard Class is more affordable, but does not provide meals or beverages. You can request your exact seat, based on availability, by viewing the seating plan on the Eurostar website.
- Book your trip on the Eurostar from London to Lille or Paris, France. The easiest and cheapest way to buy tickets is online at the Eurostar website. Your tickets can be printed off of your PC or you can pick them up at the station before your departure. Tickets can only be mailed to a United Kingdom, French or Belgian address. You can also book by calling Eurostar directly where you can speak to a travel representative. The Eurostar telephone number can be found on its website. Tickets can booked up to four months prior to departure.
- Book your trip from Lille or Paris to your next location, if needed. If you are going beyond Paris or Lille, it is easiest to buy your tickets in advance from Rail Europe. Type in your departure and arrival location with your requested dates and a list of options will appear. Tickets will be mailed to you or you can print them in the form of an E-ticket. You can also have a Rail Europe agent help you by calling the toll free number provided on its website. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can also purchase tickets the day of your travel. However, seating availability is not guaranteed. If it’s imperative that you catch a specific train, it is always recommended to book a reservation in advance.