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London day trip while staying in Paris

I will be staying in Paris this summer and want to take the Chunnel to London for a day trip.
I am looking for informaton from someone who has done this to tell me if it is doable.
Where does the train leave from iin paris?
How many different trains to get to london?
Where does the train dump you out in London?
What should I not miss that is doable in one day?

I am fairly familiar with paris but have never been to London.
Thanks for any advice and information you can offer.

Posted by
8889 posts

First, the Chunnel is an out-of-date term for the Channel Tunnel, which you can't 'take' anywhere because it doesn't move.

What you take is a 'Eurostar' train ( http://www.eurostar.com/ ) which runs from Paris Gare du Nord via the Channel Tunnel to London St Pancras station and vice versa. Click here for the full timetable, but, simplified, there is one train per hour in each direction, taking between 2¼ and 2½ hours, usually non-stop. First train leaves Paris 07:13, arrive London 08:32 (1 hour time difference to your advantage).

You could book the train directly, in which case book 2-3 months in advance to get the cheapest prices. But, there are also companies which combine a train trip with a guided bus tour of London, then some free time before you have to get back to St Pancras. For first time visitors this saves lost time getting orientated, but cost more than booking just the train tickets yourself.
Google: "day trip london paris eurostar", or there are often leaflets advertising these tours in hotels in Paris.

Posted by
333 posts

Yes, it's a doable trip. I did it in reverse, going from London to Paris for a day. The key is to be organized and have a plan in advance (to get the most out of short period of time). Book as much in advance if you can and don't deviate from the plan, unless fate tells you otherwise. There is a ton to see and do in London, but it all depends on what you're "in to". Do some personal research into restaurants, museums and places of interest. Go to viator (dot com) and look at their day trips and events. Even if you don't book anything thru them, if you look over what they offer, you'll get a feel for what to do and how long things take. For the 1st ever visit to London, a combo pass for the London "Eye" and a Thames River Cruise is a good intro. Then you're right there at Jubilee Gardens, which is a great place to walk around and visit. You probably should visit Buckingham Palace, even if you just peek thru the gates so you can say you "saw" it. Depending on the time factor, you might go see a play, or do some shopping. It really does depend on your personal interests. Look at train times so you figure out how many hours you have at your disposal. Then depending on that, pick two or three "must sees" and two or three "backups". A hop on hop off tour might work well for a day visit.

Have fun planning!
Lisa

Posted by
11450 posts

Hi Brenda.. yes is doable.. and if you take an early train there and a late train back.. and buy ticket WELL in advance ( there fore getting it cheap) I think its very worthwhile.

You take it from Gare du Nord.. and arrive at St Pancreas ( may have spelt that wrong) ..

If I only had one day in London I would visit Tower of London( the included Beefeaters tour is fun and informative.. humor and tidbits of history, whats not to like!) ..then walk around have lunch ,, and visit Victoria and Albert or Imperial War Museums( those are my two favorites.. but obviously many would choose to visit the British Museum.. and obviously its awesome too, its worth two or three visits! )

Posted by
120 posts

Thanks all for your help.

How far ahead would you suggest for the ticket purchase? I will be in Paris
for three weeks and didn't know if I need to purchase prior to leaving the US.

Posted by
8889 posts

Brenda, Buy your tickets ASAP.
I just looked, tickets are currently available on www.eurostar.com up to 25th July. The cheapest fare is £34.50 each way, but some trains in July are already at a higher price.
The best option is "print-at-home" tickets. These are sent by e-mail, you print them out at home just like airline boarding passes, and the 'ticket' has a barcode on it which works the entry gates at the station.

For some background info about Eurostar, including videos, see here: http://seat61.com/London-to-Paris-by-train.htm

Posted by
8293 posts

Brenda, go to eurostar.com for train schedules, prices. The earlier you buy your ticket the lower the price. Keep in mind that the UK is one hour behind France so you get an extra hour for your visit. The train does not "dump" you! You disembark at St Pancras gracefully, it is hoped. Go for it.

Posted by
11450 posts

Brenda,, if you wait till you are in Paris you will not be paying 34 GBPs.. nor 56 GBPs per ticket.. no.. try 139-245 GBPs.. which is the price for tickets I am pricing out for 3 weeks from todays date.. makes a daytrip a lot less affordable doesn't it..

I discovered this myself many years ago while I was in London.. thinking " a daytrip to Paris would be nice" but on looking at prices were shocked to see that leaving anytime that week I was there would cost me almost 200 GBPs( this was at least 10 years ago.. ).

No, if you want a good price you will commit to a date as soon as you can..

Tickets are available 120 days out I believe.

Posted by
8889 posts

Pat, Eurostar tickets are currently available 6 months out. As of today, available up to 25th July 2015.

Posted by
11450 posts

Stand corrected.. last time I bought them was last 2014 summer. but wasn't able to buy them six months out then.. must have been my mistake.