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uk to france novice - please help

London
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uk to france novice - please help

I'm wondering about cutting out the driving this year and going to south of france by train. It's hard to get an idea of the prices etc as I want to travel in July or August and you can't get the fares beyond about 3 or 4 months.

I'm also finding the timetables hard to fathom.

Can anyone who's experienced in this give me a few pointers?

I found on one website a summer price for family of 5 travelling in July as about £450 going st pancras to Avignon. Does that sound right and does anyone know how much extra it tends to cost to go further eg to Toulon? Any tips on getting the cheapest fares?

I thought I read that the trains only go to Avignon once a week in summer, or can we get connecting trains from Lille etc to destinations in the south any day of the week?

Any other tips?

Anyone done the journey with kids - is it ok? Easy to take holiday quantities of luggage on etc?

Thank you!!

London
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1. Re: uk to france novice - please help

The best place to start is 'The man in Seat 61' website, which contains a wealth of information about travelling to Europe by train.

www.seat61.com

You are right about the train to Avignon only running once a week in Summer; but there are indeed daily connections to many parts of the South of France. You can travel via Lille-Europe, which is very easy as there are only four platforms so it is easy to find your connection. You can also travel via Paris, although you would need to use the Metro to travel across the city between stations.

The Eurostar website offers through fares to many French destinations, so that is the place to book. To get an idea of what the fares might be, do a dummy booking for about 90 days ahead.

www.eurostar.com

Edited: 10 March 2012, 17:06
Guildford, United...
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2. Re: uk to france novice - please help

Look at the prices for the through journey at tgv-europe.co.uk and the Eurostar site - the French site is often cheaper than booking with Eurostar themselves.

Albufeira, Portugal
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3. Re: uk to france novice - please help

"Easy to take holiday quantities of luggage on etc? "

There are limits on the amount of luggage you can take, but as you have to carry it and stow it yourself it is really limited by how much you can carry.

Eurostar baggage info here

eurostar.com/UK/…baggage.jsp

French railways are similar in terms of baggage that can be carried but in my experience every nook and cranny on trains around holiday time is crammed with people and bags. Some trains only have space for big bags at the end of the carriage and it is a good idea to buy a chain and make sure yours is secure. Baggage theft is not unheard of and if your bags are out of sight...

4. Re: uk to france novice - please help

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