Please sign in to post.

Logistics for train travel Paris to London to Glasgow?

After we finish the BOE tour in Paris on a Saturday, we would like to get to Glasgow in advance of starting the Best of Scotland tour, which starts on a Tuesday..

We are leaving Paris on 4/27/2024 and want to arrive in Glasgow by late afternoon the same day. First train is Eurostar from Paris Gare du Nord to London St. Pancras. Then we will walk to Euston station and get the train to Glasgow Central Station. Our hotel is right across the street.

My husband read that we have to check in for our Eurostar train at Gard du Nord about 60-90 minutes prior to departure. If we leave at 8:12 am, we would need to check in at 6:45 am.

Looking at high speed trains from London to Glasgow, they have two classes- economy and 1st class. First class ($227 “Saver” fare each) has more comfortable seats, trip will take about 4.5 hours. We can’t reserve until next February anyway..

Has anyone reserved in advance recently, have you used trains from/to these cities? We enjoy train travel, much prefer to flying while in Europe.

How far in advance do you like to reserve? It’s going to be on a Saturday, if that helps/matters.

Avanti West coast Main Line UK has routes but we wouldn’t be able to reserve until February, I think.

Would you recommend a particular train line or choice, any other tips or things we aren’t considering?

Posted by
332 posts

It appears Easy Jet has twice daily Paris to Glasgow. Less than two hours flight.

Posted by
291 posts

If there’s a direct flight to either Edinburgh or Glasgow, I’d choose to fly. There will probably still be various trains strikes at that time and you’re taking a risk with such a tight timetable. I usually prefer trains too, but in this case, I’d be flying.

Posted by
332 posts

It appears Easy Jet has twice daily Paris to Glasgow. Less than two hours flight. There is some transit time to and from the airports. But still likely shorter.

Posted by
9326 posts

I have done the train all in the same day and enjoyed it. We didn't go for first class on the London-Glasgow train, but I think I would if I were doing it again.

I don't remember taking such an early train out of Paris but maybe we did. If you enjoy the train, why not do it ? It's certainly better for the environment.

Definitely reserve in advance for better prices.

Posted by
4948 posts

On Avanti bookings 'should' be open 12 weeks ahead of time.

But no-one knows whether there will be engineering work that Saturday impacting journey times. If that happens the booking window could fall to 8 weeks or significantly less.

There are actually 3 classes on Avanti- standard class (not economy, this is 2nd class in most countries), premium standard (first class seats, but no other perks- £30 extra) or first class. On a normal Saturday standard class Advance (train specific) fares are about £35 (just checked for 20 January). First class Advance fare is not $227- on all trains that day it varies between £107 and £125.

At a weekend whether 1st class is worth the extra- you will get use of lounges at Euston and Glasgow, but at a weekend the on board food and beverage service is fairly basic- premium standard to me is more worthy of the extra cost, but that is me.

Posted by
5974 posts

Yes, you need to buy the tickets in advance. They can get very expensive if you try to buy them last minute. Eurostar tickets on the other hand can be very cheap when bought in advance.

If first class is worth it or not is a matter of opinion. But standard class is usually fine, the seats are nothing like economy seats when flying.

Posted by
189 posts

Kim,
Do you know how far in advance you purchased your tickets?

Those proposing Easy Jet—
I didn’t consider flying until this post, but have been checking into it. There could be strikes that would affect air travel(there are some planned for this month), and if transport by train to the airport is used, it could also be affected.

I guess it may come down to luck and whatever is your preference.

Our Scotland tour doesn’t start until Tuesday so if we are affected by a train strike on Saturday, we will have to figure it out at that time.

I’m still leaning towards rail travel-I would love to see the countryside and since we won’t have time to see England on this trip(other than walking to Euston station from St. Pancras), it would be so nice.

I also looked at guidelines for bag sizes while flying Easy Jet. I don’t like checking luggage. The size restrictions for Easy Jet are strict. Also, you pay for that. Not sure how much. There will be the hassle of getting to airport and going through security. Dealing with our little 3-1-1 bag at CDG. I have heard it can be a PIA. Also, not being from a Schengen country could be another issue. So, a two hour flight in reality is a five hour ordeal. Whereas train travel seems so simple in comparison. Different strokes? Or should I say different strikes? Hah.

I imagine a nice train ride through the lovely countryside, time to relax. We will just have been on a whirlwind three week tour full of intense stimulation. A five or six hour train ride seems just the thing…

Posted by
189 posts

Isn31c and Badger-thanks for the train info. I can input into my calendar when to buy the tickets. Would you recommend doing that as soon as they become available?

Posted by
4948 posts

If walking from St Pancras to Euston then don't go down the Euston Road. Rather take the relatively new route (signposted, it's a heathy walks initiative or something like that) out of the back door of St Pancras. It's a straight forward route through quiet back streets, which are rather nice low rise housing estates, and past an urban farm. Several good pubs on the way as well, if you have time to spare.
If there was a train strike (or rail engineering work) then LNER run on all strike days up the east coast to Edinburgh, where you change for frequent Scotrail trains to Glasgow Queen Street. There are through fares on that combo.

Personally I can get fantastic fares on Avanti a few weeks in advance- I did that today for a weekday journey in 4 weeks time and got a shockingly cheap fare. Usually, due to strikes I book 2 weeks out currently and have no problems getting stunningly great fares in standard class.

For my own tastes I prefer the Avanti Pendolino trains to the LNER Azuma trains from Kings Cross (next door to St Pancras) but that is entirely subjective.

EDITED- Yes buy as soon as issued. Sign up on Avanti for notifications of release dates.

Going to Paris from a long distance destination you can book to somewhere called London International CIV rather than London Euston. I assume you can do that from Paris, booking from London International to Glasgow. That protects your domestic connection if Eurostar is late- just use the next Avanti service.

Posted by
189 posts

Avanti has a ticket alert system if you join their club. I did that, it entitles us to use their lounge and to get a free hot drink.

When the train tickets go on sale, they will email us (supposedly three hours prior to everyone else not in the “club.”).

Posted by
9326 posts

The CIV tip is a good one. I think it went away for a while during Covid, I don't remember if it is back yet. Man in Seat 61 will have the updated info.

It's funny, in my earlier post I was also going to mention the advantage of being able to pack how you want without having to separate out liquids, keep them a certain size, keep your carry-on a certain size and weight.

I don't remember how far ahead we bought our tickets. I will look back in my email folder. It's not that you have to buy the tickets as soon as they come out - more that Eurostar gets a lot more expensive the closer to travel time that you buy.

(Edit to add: I found that we purchased our Eurostar tickets in mid-May for an early August travel date. I can't find the record of when we purchased our London to Glasgow tickets.)

One of my favorite photos i have of my dad is from him looking out the window on the Euston- Glasgow train. He was in heaven traveling that way and watching the (rather stark) northern English landscape roll by. It's a favorite memory.

Posted by
189 posts

Isn31c and Kim,
Thanks so much for your helpful advice! Isn31c, we will definitely take the walk you recommend to Euston station from St. Pancras. I will try to find out in advance which door we should use.

Kim, that is a sweet memory of your Dad. Thanks for sharing it.

One of our favorite moments a few years ago was our train trip from Zurich to Salzburg. We had just arrived from the U.S., and the long train ride was great for our jet lagged brains.

Posted by
4223 posts

There are many Youtube videos from vloggers about Eurostar, you should look for a newer one. Brexit really threw a brick into the process which used to be pretty simple and brief and straightforward.

Posted by
4948 posts

This is the well being walk I mentioned to Euston- https://urbanpartners.london/wellbeing-walk/

The southern walk mentioned on the website opened about a year ago, and is totally different in character again- I've been doing the southern walk for years and years now (but from Russell Square)- a very villagey type of area in the heart of London. Perhaps a bit more involved than the Northern walk. I didn't see the signage when I did the southern walk a few months ago, but wasn't looking for it as I know my way, and was meandering.

Posted by
189 posts

Do you know if we can store our packs in overhead racks? They will be small (35-40L).

What a wonderful option this little walk between stations will be! We will have light backpacks so this will encourage me to pack light.

Do you think we can bring our own food on board the trains? I seem to remember we could on our other trips, but it was a different country and train line.

If there is time we will try to find a coffee shop inside St.Pancras station. Fresh baked goods, perhaps?

Posted by
865 posts

No problem with bringing food on board the trains in the UK. Check the Euston website to see what is available at the station - there is a lot including coffee shops, grocery stores (M & S and Sainsbury are two with stores at Euston with a good selection of food for a journey) bakeries, etc.

Posted by
242 posts

Just to add to Lesley's post, you can also bring food on board the Eurostar.

Posted by
189 posts

Thanks Simon! I will look at Euston station for a bakery. Starting to get very excited about this adventure.

All,
Do you feel comfortable plugging in your devices on the train? I wouldn’t usually give it a second thought but in some US airports, the official “juice bars” can siphon information from your devices as they charge. I found this adapter which will prevent data being siphoned as I charge my device on the train or elsewhere.

I found this thread which got me thinking. Long train trip will be a good time to charge my device.

Posted by
14601 posts

Give yourself extra time in Paris. It's recommended you arrive 90-120 minutes prior to departure.

Before you board the train, you will go tthrough exit immigration from Schengen, then UK immigration, then airport type security although there is no size or weight limit.

This website will walk you through the process:

https://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/travel-info/your-trip/stations/paris-gare-du-nord

Give yourself plenty of time for your transfer in London just in case your Eurostar train is late.

If you are looking for a quiet, peaceful journey, you may want to look for the "Quiet" cars to reserve your seats. (Not all trains have them.) Here, theoretically, people are supposed to be....quiet.

For long train journeys, I prefer first class for a few reasons--first, I'm traveling alone and can usually get a single seat; Second, the seats are more comfortable; third, first class is usually not as crowded unless the train itself is sold out.

You can bring your own food on board the trains, only please, nothing too odorous.

Posted by
32247 posts

In somewhat of a reverse order -

You won't usually find USB sockets on UK trains, much more likely to find normal household plug sockets. So, good news, you don't have to worry about USB data thieves. And bad news, you need a UK plug adapter (you'll probably have one for the hotels anyway - and in hotels it is much more common these days to have USB sockets in the room) to plug in onboard. I don't know what the new Eurostars are doing for plugs, I rode the old ones a lot but have never been on a new one.

Taking food (and drink) on board is something that many people do.

Map of Euston showing shops https://www.networkrail.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/London-Euston-Station-Map.pdf
St Pancras cheaped out and went for a google map but has a good list of what's there at https://stpancras.com/getting-around and good descriptions at https://stpancras.com/eat-drink?category=All

St Pancras International, and its over the lane sister station Kings Cross, has pretty much anything you might want to take for nosh, or even sit down and eat. At St Pancras there is Paul, the French bakery/patisserie, M&S the iconic British food store (one of those at Euston too, and actually 2 branches at St Pancras), Pret a Manger (a couple at St Pancras including upstairs near EMR, and a ground floor one at Kings Cross).

I usually prefer the atmosphere at St Pancras over that at Euston, even having worked trains in and out of Euston for decades. The food selection is best at Kings Cross, nearly as good at St Pancras and not so great at Euston. Plus Euston is now burdened by the HS2 debacle which has turned the vicinity into a building site which may remain unused.

Given a choice I would always grab my on board refreshments at St Pancras for either train journey - through the Channel Tunnel or north from Euston.

By the way, except for some football fan trains on Avanti West Coast, you are welcome to take on whatever you would want to drink, water or soda, coffee or tea, but you can also take and consume wine or beer or whatever. Don't forget a cup, mug or glass.

Posted by
4948 posts

On the refurbished pendolinos (and most are by now) there are three ways to charge- plug socket, USB and wireless charging (wireless only at the table (not airline) seats.)
On the few unrefurbished sets there is only charging at the tab!e seats in Standard.
To be sure that would be another reason to upgrade to Premium Standard or 1st as there all seats have always had charging.
All classes now have free wifi.

Posted by
189 posts

Frank II-Great advice, thanks for the links. We will plan to arrive two hours prior to departure. I wonder if it being a Saturday will increase the time or not. No way to know. —And no stinky food brought on board-I dislike that too.

Quiet car is intriguing….

Nigel-thank you for the excellent descriptions of amenities in St. Pancras and Euston stations. If time allows it might be nice to go to King’s Cross.

All- We will try to allow plenty of time between arrival time in London and the departure train to Glasgow. Do you think two hours between arrival and departure is sufficient?

Isn31C-thanks, we plan to upgrade to premium standard. It’s nice to have a table. I like forward facing seats, so we will try for those.

Are all cars non-smoking? I was trying to figure it out and got distracted, will look again at website. We prefer that.

Posted by
4948 posts

Smoking has been banned on UK trains since 2005 (on many trains even/much earlier) and on UK stations in 2007. Two hours connection is very adequate for what is a 10 minute walk between stations.

Posted by
9326 posts

I usually prefer the atmosphere at St Pancras over that at Euston,

100%. St Pancras is a delight. I would stop and eat there, or purchase food for the train there before going on to Euston

Posted by
14601 posts

In another thread, OP has stated she is now traveling from Paris to Glasgow by air.

Posted by
189 posts

Thanks Frank II, it’s true, we have given up our train trip. Our old bones can’t sit so long. We had to face facts.😭 so we will have to go to England on another trip-but all of this advice was so good. I will keep it in mind for the future. Meantime we will get experience with EasyJet. Thanks to recommendations up thread.