To travel to France you simply take the Eurostar, before changing to the TGV to travel to your final destination. Below is a short guide to each of these rail services.EurostarThe Eurostar is a direct service that links the UK and continental Europe. The main UK station is London St Pancras, although there are also 2 Kent stations with large parking facilities, at Ebbsfleet and Ashford. Trains run to Paris Gare du Nord and Brussels Midi, with some trains calling at Lille Europe and Calais Frethun. One train per day serves Disneyland Paris at Marne-la-Vallée (not recommended) and there are weekly services to the Alps in the winter and to Provence in summer.
The trains themselves have 18 coaches, of which 10 are standard class, 2 are cafeterias and the remaining 6 are Standard Premier (First Class) and Business Premier. Standard Premier customers are served a light cold meal and a basic at-seat service, and enjoy a more spacious and quieter travelling environment than Standard Class. Business Premier is the top service, offering lounge access, a hot meal and unlimited beverages at your seat. Power sockets are available in all Standard Premier/Business Premier coaches as well as coaches 5 and 14 of Standard Class.
Most holidaying clients are happy with Standard Premier, as the supplements for Business Premier are somewhat higher. All stations have a waiting area, with basic shops, boutiques and catering.
Check-in is 30 minutes prior to departure and customs formalities are completed before boarding, although clients may experience additional checks at UK stations on their return journey. There is no baggage limit in any class of travel, and liquids etc can be taken on board the train.TGV – Train à Grand VitesseThese are high-speed domestic French trains that serve most of the country and make some incursions into neighbouring countries such as Switzerland and Spain. Some trains are double-decker thus increasing capacity. Due to France’s extensive high-speed network, TGV trains can cover large amounts of line in a short space of time. For instance, the 480-mile journey from Paris to Marseille can be completed in just 3 hours 5 minutes.
First Class tickets include a larger, more spacious seating environment with increased legroom. There are no lounge facilities for First Class ticket-holders and there are no meals included.
There are usually 2 cafeterias offering basic food and drinks, although many consider this overpriced and of poor quality. We recommend eating before you travel or stocking up with a picnic beforehand (there are no restrictions on this!). Train announcements are usually only in French, and English is spoken by some staff.
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