I will need to get to London Heathrow airport by 5pm. I am thinking of staying overnight in Paris, in the city area around 30 minutes to Gare du Nord.

Q1: Is my plan feasible? Travelling from Paris to London only in the morning, catching EuroStar and still comfortably reach the airport by 5pm?

Q2: If my plan is feasible, should I book my Eurostar ticket in advance?

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    The first train from Paris arrives in London 8:32am. Why do you assume any problems reaching the airport by 5pm? Jul 3, 2018 at 11:31
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    Definitely doable, though of course the later you leave Paris the less margin you have in case of issues. Don't forget that issues with the Channel Tunnel, even though not frequent, are not exceptional either, and once you're in the Eurostar, you can't do much but wait if there's an issue. Also plan your trip from St Pancras to Heathrow (taxi, tube, tube + Heathrow Express...). Don't forget to factor check-in deadlines into your schedule. And you should most definitely book your Eurostar ticket, some trains can be quite full and/or last minute fares very expensive.
    – jcaron
    Jul 3, 2018 at 11:56

2 Answers 2


Of course it's possible.

Depending on which day of the week you're traveling, the last feasible departure from Paris may be the 13:13, which arrives in London at 14:39, giving you more than two hours to make your way to Heathrow. The Piccadilly line, going directly from Kings Cross St. Pancras to Heathrow, takes about an hour.

(Beware that Eurostar has a complex airline-like check-in process at departure, so for this train you'd need to plan to be at Gare du Nord around noon).

You'll definitely want to book the ticket in advance. There's a chance that you can walk up and get a ticket on the day, but then again there might not be any seats left by that time -- and they don't take standees.

Note that the train may not be your cheapest option. If you want the train ride for its own sake, go for it! But otherwise flying from CDG to Heathrow could easily be competitive on price, even when booked separately.

And especially if you haven't booked your flight from London yet, there's a good chance that you can buy the same flight plus a connecting flight from Paris for very little extra cost, and get the extra benefit of rerouting in case of the connecting flight being delayed.

  • 5
    @ugoren: Uh. That was not my intention. (What I meant is that it's so clearly possible that I'm slightly confused how that's even a question). I've removed the emphasis to avoid further misunderstandings of that kind. Jul 3, 2018 at 12:25
  • In particular, APD from London is so high that adding the connecting flight can actually save money. Jul 4, 2018 at 0:25
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    I would be very careful with allocating just 2h20m for getting from Kings Cross to boarding the airplane. For person not familiar with station layout (plus luggage), navigating St Pancras and finding proper tube entrance can easily take 10 minutes, then you may need to wait to train to arrive. Be careful - they are stopping at different terminals, so you might need to skip a train to get into proper one. Then 1 hour travel, which leaves you with possibly bit under 1 hour to do the check-in and pass security. Not for the faint of heart. And all this assumes no 'signal failures' in tube... Jul 4, 2018 at 8:29
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    @ArturBiesiadowski: As I read the question, the OP just needs to arrive at Heathrow by 17:00. If instead "get to London Heathrow airport by 5pm" means that the scheduled departure time is 17:00, then 14:39 is indeed a frightfully late time to be at St. Pancras . Jul 4, 2018 at 10:40

This is certainly possible. You will definitely want to book your Eurostar ticket in advance, for two reasons. Firstly, the Eurostar can and does sell out for specific journeys, especially in the summer. Secondly, walk-up tickets for this journey are extremely expensive, around €230. Booking even a fortnight in advance could lower this substantially.

Eurostar has a minimum 30-minute check-in which will include passport control. Allow a little extra time if you're not an EU/EEA passport holder. In this instance, also be aware that the UK is not in the Schengen agreement and visa arrangements differ between France and the UK. You will need to clear UK immigration at Paris Nord.

You'll want a clear two hours at Heathrow plus at least 90 minutes for the transfer from St Pancras to Heathrow (by tube or tube-plus-train). This includes a little safety time. If missing your outbound flight would incur significant extra costs, I'd say allow at least four hours between your planned arrival at London St Pancras and your Heathrow departure.

The direct Piccadilly line tube route to Heathrow does not have air-conditioning and is very warm in July and August. The route via Paddington (Circle/Hammersmith and City line plus TfL Rail stopping train) takes a similar amount of time and is far cooler, but costs a bit more.

Your baggage will be security-cleared at Paris Nord but this is not as arduous as flight regulations - for example, you can carry liquids over 100ml on board so a picnic lunch with drinks for the Eurostar is entirely possible.

A connecting flight may well be quicker and cheaper, despite the inconvenience of getting to a Paris airport. It's worth noting that the journey on Eurostar is not visually spectacular and the tunnel is a bit of a non-event, even boring.

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