Hopping on the Eurostar is becoming an ever-more popular way of enjoying a short break these days. Fighting your way through the airport or stopping off at the motorway services on your never-ending journey to your destination is something that many of us are just saying ‘no’ to.
And why wouldn’t we? Once you’ve made it to St Pancras your holiday has pretty much begun! Smoothly through security and onto the train, you can be in your destination in a couple of hours with no hassle and fab views to-boot. For those of you that are yet to experience a Eurostar Break, here’s a few hints, tips and insider offers that just might give you the perfect opportunity to try it out on your next short break…
Eurostar Top Tips
You will go through security – Unlike at the airport, there are no restrictions when it comes to taking liquids on board (bonus). But, your luggage will still need to go through the x-ray machines and you through security, so make sure you do the usual routine of removing belts/jackets/watches before you get to the front.
Arrive early – Although the recommended time of arrival is 30 minutes prior to departure, it’s often better to be a little earlier due to the sheer amount of people trying to board – even more important during the peak season summer months. Get there early, grab a bite to eat and board without stress.
Bring snacks – Unlike most UK rail services, there is no at-seat trolley cart offered for snacks. There are on board snack cars but these often get busy/charge quite a bit for the usual cold sandwiches and coffees, so better to pack your own little picnic and enjoy it in peace.
Don’t forget your passport – It may sound silly, but even the most organised travellers can have a lapse in judgment when it comes to a new form of travel. Especially considering most inbound rail journeys don’t require any I.D documents. I myself have had that last minute panic and frantically searched the house for my passport on the morning of travel!
Deals and Destinations
With eleven destinations to choose from, it can be a little difficult to decide where you should visit on your Eurostar break. Do you go the obvious route and visit the likes of Paris or Bruges, or do you try something a little different and head to Ghent or Lille? Each destination has something completely unique and special to offer you, and with these excellent break currently available you could be there sooner than you think…
Paris – 3 nights in the Alane Hotel – Gare du Nord + Return Eurostar from £189pp – departing 26th March 2017
Bruges – 3 nights in the Rosenburg Hotel + Return Eurostar from £189pp – departing 6th April 2017
Lille – 3 nights in the Carlton Hotel + Return Eurostar from £249pp – departing 3rd March 2017
Timetables and Travel Times
London to France – Journey time to Paris is approx. 2 hours 20 mins with trains departing St Pancras around once an hour. Trains arrive in Paris Gare du Nord where you will find plenty of metro connections onto your hotel. Trains on route to Belgium call at Lille after around 2 hours – here you’ll find France’s main connecting rail links for the rest of the country and into The Alps.
London to Belgium – Journey time is approx. 3 hours with trains departing St Pancras around every 2-3 hours. Trains arrive in Brussels Midi station where you can get a connecting train to Bruges, Antwerp, Ghent, Ypres and many other destinations. Most connecting journeys last around another hour.
On-board the Eurostar
Once on-board the Eurostar you’ll find everything you’d usually expect to find on a standard train. If you fancy spoiling yourself a little and upgrade to the Standard Premier Class, you’ll definitely experience a much more luxurious ride. With greater leg room, bigger seats with headrests, complimentary light meal at your seat with a choice of two main dishes and a dessert and first call in the check-in process, there’s definitely a noticeable difference. As previously mentioned, there’s no trolley service here so bring your own food if you’re likely to get hungry and don’t fancy queueing in the buffet car!
Have you been on a Eurostar break before? Let us know what you thought of the trip by commenting below! And if you have any more questions about Eurostar breaks, feel free to ask us…