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      Your holiday > Travel options > Travelling by rail

Travelling by rail

walking holidays with inntravel

Travelling by rail from the UK is a truly relaxing way to reach your holiday – no traffic jams, shorter queues for check-in, no rush for an unassigned seat, and a generous luggage allowance that means you can pack all you can comfortably carry. Watching the gradual changes in the landscape, you gain a real sense of journey, too, that is impossible from the air, the anticipation mounting as you draw nearer to your destination.

Perhaps more importantly, you can sit back and appreciate the scenery safe in the knowledge that rail travel is by far the most environmentally friendly way of reaching your destination, as a train’s carbon emissions are substantially lower than those of an aeroplane and your individual carbon footprint is fainter than it would be if you were to travel by car.

Given our commitment to sustainable tourism, we are keen to encourage as many of our customers as possible to travel by rail – even those who live in the north of England as we do. (It is possible to set off from Marseille in the morning and arrive back in York at 8pm having had a delicious lunch in Lille en route.) Our knowledgeable reservations team will be happy to answer any queries you may have, or read our rail pages to find out more about what a relaxing start a rail journey makes to your holiday.

Your relaxed journey

EurostarEurostar, one of the most comfortable and modern trains in the world, departs from the elegant and superbly renovated St Pancras Station (which is just a short stroll from Kings Cross). Having left London, it speeds across Kent in just 35 minutes, stopping at Ebbsfleet International to collect more passengers before whisking you through the Channel Tunnel and across northern France to Paris, Lille or Brussels to link with other rail services such as France’s world-famous high-speed TGVTGV trains or comfortable Intercité Téoz services if you are travelling further afield. Transferring from Eurostar onto the European rail network is easy: at Brussels Midi and Lille Europe stations, you simply change platforms for the high-speed TGV, Thalys or German ICE trains. In Paris, you take direct métro or RER services (tickets included) from the Eurostar Terminal to other mainline stations, with the option of breaking your journey in the French capital for up to 24 hours without increasing the fare. (We will be happy to book the intimate, centrally located Hotel St Paul Rive Gauche for you.) From your destination station, you complete your final leg by scheduled bus and/or taxi (or, in some cases, we arrange car hire from the station).

The vast majority of our French holidays (and some German, Swiss and Spanish ones, too) can be reached comfortably in a day from London St Pancras or Ebbsfleet International. On the relevant holiday pages, we indicate the main route as well as appropriate outward and return times or the approximate total journey time. Please note that these tend to be based on the previous season's timetables and are subject to change; final schedules are only made available by the rail companies two to three months before departure and it is at this point that we confirm your times and the route taken to your destination. Timings and routings can also vary according to the day of travel.

‘By rail’ prices

Included in our ‘by rail’ prices are:

• return Eurostar from London St Pancras, Ebbsfleet or Ashford International to Lille, Paris or Brussels in standard class

• return onward rail (again in standard class) on TGV/ICE high-speed trains, comfortable Intercité Téoz services, or other regional rail services to local rail stations

• where necessary, car hire, connecting taxi transfer and/or scheduled bus from the local station to your final destination

• for journeys via Paris, we provide metro or RER tickets between mainline stations

Our prices are based on tariffs negotiated with the rail companies and are subject to availability. If, when you come to book, seats are no longer available at the appropriate tariff, we may be able to offer you seats on the same services at a supplement. Book early for the best prices!

The tickets we provide can only be used on the dates and times specified on the tickets and cannot be changed or refunded.

We only provide ‘by rail’ prices on our website for those holidays which you can reach comfortably in a day from London. However, it is possible to reach many more holidays by staying overnight in a city along the route or taking a sleeper train.

Seating arrangements

We reserve seats on long-distance and high-speed services such as Eurostar, TGV, Intercité Téoz, ICE and Thalys. On most local commuter trains, seat reservations are neither necessary nor possible. We endeavour to book the best seats for you but if you have specific requirements, please discuss these with us at the time of your initial booking. All seating requests are subject to availability.

Upgrade for greater comfort

For added comfort, especially on longer routes, you can choose to upgrade. Places in Standard Premier class on Eurostar have generous reclining seating, and a light cold meal (or continental breakfast until 11am) is included, served at your seat with a glass of wine, beer or a soft drink. Parties of two can also request seats at a table for two facing each other. We offer good-value upgrade packages combining Standard Premier class on Eurostar and first class on TGV to selected destinations in France. 

Tailored arrangements for travelling further afield

We can arrange rail travel to holidays as far afield as Portugal, Andalucía in southern Spain, the Amalfi Coast and Puglia in southern Italy, Slovenia, Austria, the Balearic Islands and Morocco – and have already done so for a considerable number of customers, booking ferry crossings where necessary.

We will also be delighted to tailor a route to create precisely the right holiday for you; perhaps you would like to take in the spectacular Bernina Pass, catching glimpses of glaciers and waterfalls through pine forests on your journey through Switzerland to Italy, or cross the lesser-known Voralberg Pass to the Austrian Tyrol? You can travel on the dates of your choice with timings to suit you, perhaps choosing to make a leisurely outward journey with stops along the way before returning by high-speed train or perhaps by air. The essence of rail travel with Inntravel is flexibility, so please contact us to discuss your requirements.


Take the Eurostar to Paris to join the direct TGV to Barcelona. After a night at the Hotel Colón, close to Las Ramblas, travel on by high-speed AVE trains to reach many of our holidays in Andalucía, or travel by overnight ferry to reach our holidays on the Balearic Islands.


A mid-morning Eurostar connects with a TGV direct from Paris to Irun on the Spanish border. Here, you join the SudExpresso, travelling overnight in two-berth ensuite sleeper accommodation with dinner and breakfast included. At Lisbon, connect with other train services to reach the southern coast or the Douro Valley in the north.


Leave St Pancras on a mid-morning Eurostar, changing at Paris on to a TGV to Turin (5h30). After an overnight stay at our boutique hotel in the centre of Turin, you continue to Milan (up to 1h30), where you change to the comfortable Frecciarossa or Frecciabianca services to Bologna (1h05), Verona (1h25), Florence (1h45), Venice (2h25), Rome (3h30), Naples (4h55) or Brindisi (8h30).

Austria & Slovenia

For holidays in these countries, depart from St Pancras in the middle of the morning and change in Paris on to the direct TGV to Munich (6h30), where you stay overnight. From Munich, you can reach Austria in half a day (3h30 for Salzkammergut or 4h30 for the Danube Valley), or Slovenia by dinner (5h30-6h, having departed from Munich at lunchtime). Alternatively, rather than breaking your journey in Munich, you can travel overnight by EuroNight sleeper train.

Czech Republic

Take an early afternoon Eurostar, changing at Brussels to a high-speed train to Cologne. From Cologne, travel overnight in a two-berth ensuite cabin, with breakfast included, on the Austrian Railways EuroNight sleeper to Vienna, from where you can reach Moravia in 2 hours.

Advance Passenger Information (API)

The UK government requires carriers (including airlines and rail and ferry operators) to collect API for passengers on routes to and from the UK, and governments of some other countries require similar information. API is sometimes collected as you check in and is normally restricted to the standard information contained in machine-readable passports, such as full given names, date of birth, nationality, gender, passport number, date of issue and expiry. However, some countries require the information to be submitted in advance of departure and some governments collect additional information such as your destination address. Where we have made travel arrangements on your behalf and your carrier requires the information in advance, we will collect the information from you and submit it to your travel provider. Please be assured that we have measures in place to protect the personal information you provide to us, as explained in our privacy policy.