Arguably nothing has been more significant in the world of continental travel than the arrival of Eurostar. Holidays in some of Europe’s most impressive cities are now only a few hours away. Two hours check-ins are a thing of the past and there can’t be many holidaymakers who’ll miss the lifetimes spent starring at empty baggage carousels or shuffling along passport queues that disappear over the horizon. With Eurostar, holidays start (and finish) in a relaxed stress-free environment.
The first Eurostar train pulled tentatively out of its sidings in 1994 with the eyes of the travel industry fixed firmly upon it. Sceptics in the business were soon left red faced and today Eurostar operates 25 trains between London and Paris on Fridays alone; each of which can carry twice the number of passengers in a jumbo jet.
Travelling at 208mph, the fastest train takes only 2 hours 35 minutes from the centre of London to the heart of Paris, but it doesn’t stop there. Eurostar connects London with a host of destinations in France and holidaymakers can choose anything from a family break with the kids at Disneyland Paris to a skiing adventure in the Alps. Eurostar also serves more than 100 destinations across Europe from the Netherlands to Germany.
Tickets can be bought to suit most budgets, ranging from Standard Class to the wallet-punishing luxury afforded by Premium travel. Eurostar also runs frequent seasonal promotions on all-inclusive city breaks and short holiday breaks.
Eurostar holidays either begin at London’s St Pancras (formerly Waterloo) Station at Ashford in Kent or the new station Ebbsfleet International. The later may seem like an unlikely venue for a high speed international rail station, but it’s a popular choice because of the abundance of cheap and secure parking. If you intend to take your car over to the continent you’ll need to head for the Eurotunnel at Folkstone.
Eurostar City Break