15

The Eurostar provides nice connections between Paris/Brussels and London. Does it also provide a good alternative if you need to travel to a more northern destination. To put in other words: if I want to go to Manchester for example, should I also consider the Eurostar as an option?

15

The Eurostar arrives at London Kings Cross/St. Pancras.

From there you can catch the midland main line (to Sheffield) or the east coast main line (to Newcastle and Edinburgh).

If you wanted to go to Manchester you'd need to take the West coast main line from Euston (a 9 minute tube ride away).

As long as you don't mind changing trains, the Eurostar is a perfectly reasonable way of getting to northern England

  • 2
    If you take the tube, make sure you use the Victoria or Northern lines, and not the Circle/H&C/Met! The deep lines take a little longer to get to, but unlike the others they actually take you to Euston, rather than half way down Euston road and a long walk from Euston station... – Gagravarr May 15 '12 at 14:15
  • 15
    A 9-minute tube ride? It's barely a 9-minute walk. Getting down to the trains and back up is almost as long as the kerbside walk. – Gilles May 15 '12 at 23:05
  • 3
    Personally I'd probably either walk or hop on a bus (with my Oyster card), depending on luggage, but taking the tube is probably an easier set of instructions and less likely to go wrong! – Gagravarr May 17 '12 at 3:12
  • 1
    The high-speed rail from Chatham (my granny's house) comes into St Pancras, from where I can walk to Euston and take the train to Holyhead. Very handy. And it is much easier to walk than to take the tube. – TRiG Nov 17 '12 at 17:06
  • 7
    "The Eurostar arrives at London Kings Cross/St. Pancras" No, it arrives at St Pancras. King's Cross is a separate station on the other side of the road; King's Cross St Pancras is the London Underground station underneath the two. – David Richerby Mar 26 '17 at 15:39
15

The Eurostar goes to St. Pancras International station in London.

The Virgin Trains Pendolino service has a train to Manchester every 20 minutes, and takes about two hours. This leaves from Euston station, which is about ten minutes walk from St. Pancras. The public transport connections between the two stations are not very good, so I would generally walk; if you have a lot of luggage, or otherwise struggle to walk, then I would suggest a taxi; by the time you've walked to the platform for the underground and back up again in Euston, you might as well have walked from station to station.

I would recommend leaving St. Pancras via the Midland Road exit - it's signposted "Exit (Midland Road)" from inside the station, or also signposted "Taxi". There is a pedestrian crossing directly in front of the exit; cross there and then turn right. Walk alongside the Francis Crick Institute (currently a building site) and turn left when you get to the next road (Brill Place). You can walk straight along this road until you reach the side of Euston Station. There are two or three locations where the road is blocked for cars, but pedestrians and cyclists can walk straight along here. When you get to Euston (it's a large, ugly building that directly obstructs your way), cross at the zebra crossing and then turn left on Eversholt Street. After a minute or two, you will find a set of steps up to the right, signposted "London Euston" with the BR and London Underground logos. Go up the steps and Euston station is on the right.

Most mapping systems will suggest walking along Euston Road. This is a much more unpleasant walk (along the side of a main road) and considerably further - Google Maps, in particular, can't find the Midland Road entrance to St. Pancras and takes you out through Euston Road, a long walk inside St. Pancras station from the Eurostar platforms.

More generally, St. Pancras is very well connected to rail services for most of England and Scotland - you can use:

  • East Midlands Trains to Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield from St. Pancras
  • Thameslink from St. Pancras (low level) to Brighton
  • Virgin Trains East Coast to Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh and First Capital Connect to Cambridge from King's Cross (across the road)
  • Virgin Trains West Coast to Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, North Wales and Glasgow from Euston (ten minutes' walk)

There are also Southeastern High-Speed services from St.Pancras (but also from Ebbsfleet and Ashford, which are on Eurostar) to various parts of Kent, like Dover and Folkestone.

The train systems that more difficult to get to because of connections in London are Greater Anglia to Norwich and Ipswich (leaves from Liverpool Street) and Great Western Railway to Bristol, Cardiff, South Wales and South West England (leaves from Paddington), both of which require a London Underground journey to get to the station.

While the combination of Thameslink and Southeastern High-Speed can get you to many places south of London, you might need to get to Victoria (Southern), Waterloo (South West Trains), or one of London Bridge, Charing Cross, Blackfriars or Waterloo East (Southeastern), all of which require a London Underground journey, for some places.

  • Compared to connections across Paris, the connections across London are about the same. Mostly you can make the connection to the farther stations within 45 minutes but you should allow more time in case things do go wrong. But unlike Paris, for many connections you do not need to cross the city by underground train. – Willeke Sep 18 '16 at 13:12
  • @Willeke There are three stations (Euston, St. Pancras and King's Cross) next to each other in London, and two (Nord and Est) next to each other in Paris. Aside from those, both cities are pretty similar in that you need to use the underground. – Richard Gadsden Mar 25 '17 at 14:35
  • 1
    I'm not sure why you say that the public transport connections between St Pancras and Euston are poor. It's one stop on either the Northern Line or the Victoria Line, or one stop plus a short walk on the Circle, Hammersmith and City or Metropolitan line (all three leave from the same platform). There are also at least five bus routes that go along the relevant section of Euston Road. Sure, all of those are probably more work than just walking the 700m but it's hard to imagine better public transport connections between two places! – David Richerby Mar 26 '17 at 15:44
  • 2
    @DavidRicherby Because the total walking distance to and from the platform for the tube, or the stop for the bus, is about the same as the walking distances between the two stations. – Richard Gadsden Mar 26 '17 at 21:09
6

if I want to go to Manchester for example, should I also consider the Eurostar as an option?

Trains to Manchester go from Euston which is a short walk from St Pancras.

So let's see

  • ~30m Eurostar checkin BS (less if you buy an expensive ticket)
  • ~2h20m Paris to London
  • ~20m walking between stations, finding platforms etc
  • ~10m waiting for a train to Manchester (more if travelling on an inflexible ticket or travelling at a time of day when trains are less frequent)
  • ~2h10m London to Manchester

Total journey time about 5 and a half hours.

Looking at flights it looks like the actual flight is about an hour and a half. Charles de gaul airport recommend arriving at the airport 90 minutes before departure and presumably it will take some time to get out of the airport at the end. So say the total time from entering one airport to leaving the other is about three and a half hours.

If your origin and destination are random points in the Paris and Manchester conurbations and you are prepared to pay for taxis for the final connections and you are flexible about when you travel then I would expect flying to be faster.

On the other hand there may well be situations where the train wins. Trains go to the city center while airports tend to be on the outskirts which is important if your destination is in the city center or if you want to use public transport for final connections. Also both the train and the airlines seem to have substantial gaps in their schedules.

  • 1
    Where do you get 3h35? There are direct scheduled flights from Paris Charles De Gaulle to Manchester that take about an hour and a half. On the other hand the fastest connections from Paris to the Isle of Man take about 3½-4 hours, and is what Google Flights will find for you if you just search for "CDG to MAN" ... – Henning Makholm Oct 10 '16 at 14:16
  • I googled paris to manchester flights or something like that and those were the results I was getting, maybe I was looking at the wrong time of day or something. I was surprised at how high the figures were. It looks like I may have mistaken flights with a connection for direct flights. – Peter Green Oct 10 '16 at 14:22
  • Searching again it seems you are right, answer corrected. – Peter Green Oct 10 '16 at 14:26
  • 2
    I think it depends where in the cities you are located. If you are nearer a train station and not handily located for the airports, you will save time when going by train. On the other hand, if you are located nearer the airport and not have easy access to the train stations, flying is faster. – Willeke Oct 10 '16 at 18:17
  • 1
    @JonathanReez Both London LHR and Paris CDG are big hub airports, there's probably a fair bit of transfer traffic on the LHR-CDG flights – Gagravarr Oct 11 '16 at 12:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy