Ebbsfleet to Brussels on the Eurostar
The Eurostar is by far one of the easiest and most efficient ways to travel to Europe from the UK. There are 3 stations you can catch the Eurostar from, St Pancras in London, and Ebbsfleet and Ashford International in Kent. This high speed railway can you take you to a long list of destinations in Europe, such as Paris, Lyon, Lille and Brussels. It really is a hassle free journey, and with it only taking around 2 hours to get to mainland Europe, a fantastic way to travel. This blog will give you all the information about travelling on the Eurostar from Ebbsfleet to Brussels and all of our top tips.
How to get to Ebbsfleet International Station
For us, Ebbsfleet is much easier to get to than St Pancras in central London, and being on the M25, it’s a great location for many. By car, you leave the M25 at junction 2 and join the A2 east following signs for Canterbury. After the Bluewater turn off, Ebbsfleet is the next one. Or as we do most of the time, just drop DA10 1EB into your sat nav or Google Maps and you’re good to go.
Even though car or taxi is the easiest way to get you there you can also get to the station by bus or train. If you want to go by train, London and South Eastern trains run services from all over, or if you get to Northfleet domestic station, which is serviced by the North Kent Line, it’s just a 10 minute walk away. There’s also a bus between Temple Hill and Dartford, that stops off at Ebbsfleet International on the way.
Parking at Ebbsfleet International Station
We have a few tips for parking at Ebbsfleet International Station that can save you time and money. Our first tip is to book your tickets online. We always recommend booking tickets in advance, especially here as there is no need to worry or spend time looking for where you have to pay. The gates to the car park will also recognise your registration plate if you book online too, which means you get in and out automatically and you don’t have to carry around a small ticket on your trip. You can book tickets in advance from the official site here. Another tip that will save you some money is we’d strongly advise booking into Car Park D, at £5.80 a day, it’s nearly half the price of the other 3 car parks! And it’s only a 10 minute walk, easy.
How to book tickets for the Eurostar
To get the best deals on the Eurostar head to the official site here. To get the cheapest prices it’s advisable to book in advance and be as flexible as possible, we were able to get return tickets to Belgium from Ebbsfleet for just £70 each! And we’ve found return tickets to Paris for as cheap as £58! The site is really easy to use and navigate.
One amazing thing about the Eurostar is if you’re travelling to Brussels like we were, your ticket includes onward travel to any station in Belgium! As long as you get on the train within 24 hours of arriving you can head off to places like Bruges, Antwerp or Ghent at no extra cost.
Eurostar do offer a loyalty reward system, you’ll need a fair few trips to gain enough points for a free ticket or upgrade but it’s worth doing if you’re going to start travelling by Eurostar frequently. If you’re just buying the odd ticket, and are feeling super generous, you could add our membership number when booking your tickets to give us some points – 308381100 0720 7147 – Eurostar say it’s completely fine to do, and we’ll make sure to use the points to bring you more content!
Boarding the Eurostar at Ebbsfleet International Station
Before you scan your tickets, there is a small Marks and Spencers food shop where you can pick up some snacks. The station is small, but it really does have everything you need, including toilets and somewhere to sit. You only have to check in 30 minutes before departure, which is great as there is a lot less waiting around compared to catching a flight at the airport. Once you’re ready to check in, the ticket print out you are sent via email has a barcode, so you can just scan yourself in and walk through. Make sure you have your passports on hand here as they are scanned and then checked by passport control after you go through the bag check and security. This part is quick and efficient and the service was great, everything ran smoothly. In the waiting area, there’s a coffee shop and WHSmith, plus lots of seats and an information desk in case you have any questions.
About 5-10 minutes before your train arrives, they let you go down to the platform. The coach number is on your ticket, and they are clearly labelled along the platform, so you know exactly where to wait. Easy right?!
Services on the Eurostar
When you enter the Eurostar, seat numbers are clearly labelled above the seats making it easy to find. You can drop big suitcases off at the door and smaller suitcases, bags and backpacks can be put above your seat. Personally I like to have my bag as close to me as possible, which is why we always like to travel with hand luggage sized bags, however, lots of people did bring on big cases and were happy to leave them in the designated area. What is great about the Eurostar is how much luggage you can take at no extra charge. You can take on 2 pieces of luggage up to 85 cm long and 1 piece of hand luggage too.
I found the seats very comfortable and spacious, even Nathan, who is 6”4 was comfortable, which is quite something. You can either sit in a 2 or a 4, personally, I preferred the 2 as there was more privacy and with 4 people there was noticeably less leg room if all the seats were filled. The twin seats have a pull out laptop/food table and the 4 seaters had a permanent table in the middle with an extra table to pull out in front of you. The seats also come with a plug too which is handy for charging up your laptop or phone. There’s a British plug and one European, so make sure you have your adapter on you just incase!
There are toilets and a food carriage, but food is as expensive as expected. You can take food and drink onto the train though, saving you some money. The Eurostar does offer free wifi, however, we couldn’t connect to it on either our laptop or phone. This was disappointing and there was no one around to ask. We’re pretty tech savvy but it just wouldn’t connect, so don’t bank on it.
Our review of the Eurostar
Nathan’s travelled the Eurostar a fair bit, but this was my first time, and I can’t believe I’ve never been on it before. It’s such an easy way to travel to Europe! All of the stress that you usually get when you fly wasn’t there at all. The service at Ebbsfleet and the comfort of the Eurostar was incredible and it created the perfect atmosphere for me to get a couple of hours of work in too. I usually find it distracting to work on a plane, but on the Eurostar it was easy. The prices, the efficiency and the enjoyment factor of the Eurostar will make me pick this train over getting the plane whenever possible.
If you’ve been on the Eurostar before we’d love to know what you thought of it, or if you’ve got any questions leave us a comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!
Take care, Rebecca
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