All in all, it’s never been easier to travel to Europe by train now Eurostar has a dedicated terminal at London St Pancras. Now you can travel to a growing list of Eurostar destinations. Trains depart regularly on direct journeys to a number of European cities: Paris, Brussels, Lille, Lyon, Amsterdam, Rotterdam. Marseille and Avignon. Additionally, there are direct Eurostar trains to Disneyland Paris and a seasonal ski train. If London is inconvenient you can also board some trains at Ebbsfleet or Ashford in Kent. Likewise in France, some trains stop in Calais.
It’s a great way to travel to Europe. You get a generous luggage allowance – 2 large cases or rucksacks per person plus 1 piece of hand luggage. Far more than I can manage since you do have to be able to carry it yourself.
There are 3 classes when you travel by Eurostar – Standard, Standard Premier and Business Premier. So far, I’ve only travelled Standard as I think it’s excellent value for money. You still get a comfortable seat and can buy food and drink at the buffet if you need anything.
If you choose Standard Premier you get to sit in a dedicated carriage and are served a light meal with drinks and complimentary magazines. Business Premier offers a few more perks such as a dedicated check-in gate, dedicated carriage, access to the lounge, extra luggage allowance and a three-course meal onboard. Only you can decide if it’s worth it to you.
Tickets to travel by Eurostar
To travel by Eurostar, book your tickets online at http://www.Eurostar.com and print your them at home or save them to your smartphone. Arrive at the terminal at least 30 minutes before your scheduled departure unless you’re travelling Business Premier Class in which case it’s 10 minutes. Make sure you arrive in plenty of time. As they point out on their website, the train won’t wait for you if you’re late!
You don’t actually check in to travel by Eurostar. Just scan your ticket the gate. If it doesn’t work for some reason there are Eurostar staff on hand to scan it manually for you.
Once you’ve passed through security take a seat in the spacious lounge and wait until boarding for your train is announced. Then follow the signs up the moving walkway to the platform and proceed to your allocated carriage. There is plenty of storage space for luggage at the end of each carriage and in the overhead racks.
The Channel Tunnel
Now for a few fun facts about the tunnel itself. The first Eurostar service through the Channel Tunnel took place in November 1994. The tunnel is 31.5 or 50.45km long. Of that, 21.5 miles (37.9km) is actually under the sea. This makes it the world’s longest undersea tunnel.