Transportation


St. Pancras Station, London

Transportation

There are three main transportation ways to get to France if you are not already in Europe. The first is commercial air travel, the second is ferry from the U.K. or by train on the Eurostar via the channel tunnel.

By Flight

Via flight there are so many options to choose from it really doesn't make sense to create a section with links to your favourite airlines but in case you do need some assistance here are some of my choices with flights to Paris:

Google Flights
Norwegian Airlines
Air France

Brittany Ferries

When coming from England one of the slower routes is via the Ferry. I chose this route on my 2013 trip to Normandy and I must say as pleasant as it was it was an overnight ferry and took a very long time to get there, I also strongly suggest you book a berth instead of booking a "Reserved Lounge Seat".

The recliner option on Brittany Ferries.

The shared room is certainly not for everyone as it has an occupancy of about 50 people, each with a reclining chair or reserved lounge seat. The lounge seat option is fine on a day ferry but for overnight book a cabin or berth.


The waiting lounge at the ferry port in Caen, Normandy.


Here is the link for Brittany Ferries.










Eurostar

The quickest and most pleasant journey to France from the U.K. is via the Eurostar train service which runs from St. Pancras Station to stops in Frethun, Lille, Avignon and Paris. It also has stops in Belgium.

Here is the link for Eurostar or you can follow the direct links below:
Eurostar Departures and Arrivals
Eurostar Timetables
Eurostar fares and fees information

St. Pancras is located in central London, the address is:
Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London N1C 4QP, UK
A direct link to their web site can be found here

After you have purchased your ticket on the Eurostar make your way to St. Pancras station. Because you are traveling internationally you will be required to bring your passport. You also will want to travel somewhat light. When I went in 2016 there was a limited number of baggage stowaway bins available and I was early to arrive.

Are we there yet!?

Once you have cleared customs you will be directed to a waiting area where there are some nice coffee shops and newsagents. The waiting area has tables and nice comfy seats, all you have to do now is wait for the announcement that your train has arrived.

Your train awaits you!



After your departure announcement has been made you will be led up an escalator where your train awaits you, but we warned don't mess around be quick! they leave on time and I mean on time. You really do only have a few minutes once the announcement is made to make your train otherwise it will leave without you.

If you are going to stop at Frethun or Calais which is the first stop in France the journey time can take about 1.5 hours to 2 hours. I believe when I went it was about an hour and a half, it really does go by very quickly. Please check the Eurostar time tables as listed above if you are traveling to other destinations in France.

But if you are going to the WWII museums and the Atlantik Wall bunkers then your stop will be at the Frethun station in Calais.

So how are you going to get about once you have arrived at the Frethun station in France? Well you need to hire a car and I do hope you have arranged for that already. If traveling from the U.K. your British driving license will suffice but if you are traveling from other countries such as the United States you will need your state driving license plus an International Drivers license, visit our Driving in France section for more details. I also hope you can drive a manual or a stick shift because 99.99% of the cars for hire anywhere in France are just that, manual. There are very few automatic options in France to choose from, I am not saying you can't hire one but they are few and far between and they are expensive.

A Toyota Hybrid hired through Avis

My suggestion is to book through Avis. They have a car rental place downstairs at the Frethun station. To book a car through Avis visit their website here. When you get to their web site type in Frethun as a pick up option. You need to make sure that you book under the "TGV" option, the one that says "(TGV High Speed Train &, Calais, France-(CA4)".

I was really satisfied with Avis, they gave me a great car and the customer service agent on site was really nice. She also worked with me on my broken French which was very helpful!

The departure lounge in Frethun, France.

After your epic travels throughout the beautiful French countryside you need to head back to London or you can continue your journey elsewhere. And just as you had departed St. Pancras in London you will also need to clear customs when leaving France. The Frethun station is smaller than the London station but still has a couple of nice cafe's and a waiting area. Also be reminded the Eurostar run a really tight ship and they arrive and leave on time so don't be late!




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