Eurostar is a train service between London (Waterloo) and Paris
(Gare du Nord), currently taking around three hours, although the
booking and checking-in arrangements make it as dismally innefficient
and time consuming as a typical airline. For more information, contact
. Trains travel under the English Channel through a tunnel called
the Eurotunnel, or more familiarly as the Chunnel.
Getting to the Languedoc: Eurostar, The Eurotunnel
(The Chunnel) and Motorail
The Chunnel links Folkstone in England to Coquelles, near
Calaise, in France. There are three trains per hour in peak season,
and as for ferries, it is wise to book ahead at peak times (especially
weekends in holiday periods). The Chunnel competes with cross-channel
ferries so fares are comparable. The link is rail only - although
you can drive your car into the train! In fact you can take bicycles,
motorcycles, lorries (trucks), buses, caravans and even motor homes
on it. There are three trains per hour at peak periods. For more
information, contact www.eurotunnel.com.
The operaters run a discount scheme for regular users. Discounts
are also available through the Property Owners' Club, intended for
Brits who with a second home in France.
Motorail is a European Network of overnight trains carrying
passengers and ordinary cars & motorbikes (but not anything
slightly out of the ordinary - such as a Landrover, and certainly
not a caravan). Services operate from Calaise and Dieppe, but not
from anywhere as useful as, say, Waterloo. With patchy schedules
and inflated prices this is worth looking into only if you have
a standard vehicle, are travelling in high season, are prepared
to book well in advance, have a secretary to do the booking, and
are rich enough to put an unusually high value on a few hours sleep.
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