St Pancras station has been renovated to its former glory, even
with a replica of the original station clock in place and is the starting point of your holiday to France, but do make sure you leave enough
time to experience this fantastic building. From the outside with its Gothic style
architecture, to the incredible feature of its glass and steel train shed that was
actually the largest enclosed space in the world when built, the place is stunning.
You will be able to sit underneath this structure and enjoy a drink at the longest
Champagne bar in Europe, watching other Eurostar trains departing before it is time for
you to set off.
There are also numerous other shops and cafes at the St Pancras International station
along with free WiFi connection plus in the departure lounge there are facilities for
recharging electrical items such as laptops. However, as of 2008 there is no WiFi
access on the train itself and you are charged for this facility in the Gare du Nord
station in Paris, but there are certain carriages on the Eurostar that have power sockets
for plugging in items such as laptops, a portable game station such as the Nintendo DS,
mobile phones, etc.
Now when it comes to booking your tickets for the Eurostar you can have these sent to an
address in the UK, Belgium or in France, or if you are tight for time then you can arrange
to collect these from the ticket office just prior to departure. But as with
many flights to France, if you book early, which you
can do up to four months in advance with Eurostar, then you are more likely to get the
seats you want and for a good price.
The Eurostar trains have eighteen carriages and you can actually choose exactly what seats
you would like, not just whether you would like First Class with drink and meal included
or Second Class that is known as Standard and are situated at either end of the train.
The way the seats are laid out is also different between the carriages with some being
airline style, whilst others are positioned so that you can look at each other. Some
even have tables, and this style is great if travelling with family or friends, as it is
more sociable, plus is easier if you are with young children as they have space to
play. Also, if you are travelling with young children, then you may wish to be near
to either the front or rear of the train, as this is where the baby changing facilities
Obviously you do get the option of being able to choose a window seat, which is great
because you get to see the beautiful French countryside prior to your arrival in
Paris. But when it comes to a specific seat, then it is an idea to look at one of
the detailed plans that are available, yet do bear in mind that if you are not booking
through Eurostar and going to one of the many online firms, then you may not be able to
choose specific seating.
Eurostar runs every day except for the 25th December and because they run virtually every
hour, you can choose the time of day or night for travel, but some off-peak times are
quite a bit cheaper than others, yet children under the age of four are free providing
they do not take up a seat and there is even a discounted price for children up to the age
However, you can also utilise the Eurostar to get to Brussels and this journey normally
stops at the city of Lille, which is the capital of the Nord-Pas
de Calais region in France, so this is also a great
choice for visiting a completely different city. Also, in the summer on set
days Eurostar run a direct service from London to Avignon in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region and if you would like
to go skiing in France, then on set days during
the ski season they run a service directly to the French Alps.
And we know this is a silly point to make, but do not forget your passport, which so many
people have done, as you do still have to go through passport control, etc, but check in
is a lot quicker than when you are flying, yet you do keep your luggage with you at all
times, so even though there are no weight restrictions on a suitcase, you need to make
sure you can lift it!
But unfortunately, booking on Eurostar
at the moment means that both of your journeys will start and end at the same place, as
you cannot go to another destination for your return, the only way is to purchase one way
tickets, but these are often more expensive than buying cheap return tickets!
Now just to say that when you have arrived at the Gare du Nord in Paris, which is situated
in the 10th arrondissement, this is also a main connection point for other destinations in
Europe such as Germany and it is an extremely busy train station.
But if you are thinking of staying in Paris, then upon departing, you can either go
through the main concourse and onto the streets of Paris and take a walk or go to the taxi
stand just outside the station. Alternatively if you go downstairs you will be at
the Metro station ready to take you to another part of Paris where you have arranged to
And even though you can arrange everything yourself separately, you can get some very good
package deals that include the cost of a hotel at a special rate as well as the train fare
from London St Pancras through to Paris Gare du Nord. But do consider what area of Paris you wish to be closest to, otherwise you
could end up quite off the beaten track.
So through the wonders of engineering and technology, the journey between London and Paris
is a convenient and comfortable way to travel between these two great capital cities,
whether it is for business or for the pleasure of a holiday in France.