Planning a trip to France in may, and are landing at Heathrow at 07:00 on a wednesday. I'm in need of information on how much time to allow clearing customs and immigration at the airport and then how long to allow for the trip to Waterloo station international where the chunnel train departs. I understand that the express tube from Heathrow to Paddington Station takes about 15 minutes, but then how long to get to Waterloo and what is the fastest? (Taxi) Also how much time is required to get throught the station and onto the train. Once in paris how much time do I allow to get from gare Nord to gare Lyon?
In Paris, Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon will take at most 30 minutes. There are a number of options. SNCF, the RER and the metro all run between the two. The RATP website has an interactive planner. Enter the time and date you will arrive at Gare du Nord, and it will tell you the quickest way.
Getting through immigration and out of eathrow could take any amount of time, depending upon your luck, luggae,how quick you are off the plane, if its on time etc. At a minimum, i'd say allow 2hours. Preferably more.
Heathrow Express takes 15minutes and goes every 15mins to Paddington. From there, taxi is probably quickest, but you are also likely to be in morning rush hour traffic which could slow things considerably. The Bakerloo line London Underground takes about 20mins from Paddington and goes direct to Waterloo and will probably be a better option.
Eurostar has a 40minute check in time (i.e. you must be there 40mins before. Normally upto about 20mins before they will let you in, any after and you could be in trouble). If you try and squeeze through just before, you might not be allowed in, especially with bag and immigration checks. I've squeezed through before with only 10mins to go (not deliberate), but i'm also a very regular eurosotar passenger, know the staff and also where i'm going etc. It is certainly possible, but... Also, bear in mind that just from check in to the train (18 carriages long, or 1/4 of a mile) takes time anyway. At the absolute latest, you want to be there 30mins before departure, preferably more.
Paris officially has a hour transfer time between stations. Again, you can be quicker, but if you don't know exactly where you are going, it can take much longer. RER is the fastest connection, but bear in mind that just getting off the train in Paris (espec if you are in one of the last carriages) and down into the RER station (and getting a ticket) can take 25mins. There are lots of passageways in teh underground, and the station is spread out, so it's possible to get lost easily, especially if you are in a hurry. gare du Lyon is also large and busy, and from getting off the RER, trough the crowqds waiting, onto the correct platform through ticket controls (not always) and finding the correct carriage on anoter 1/4 of a mile train can take time as well. I'd say to leave an hour between arrival at Nord and departure from Lyon at the very least. If you can leave more, i would higly recomend it. 90mins or 2 hours would give you time to have a breather and some food if things go well, and a cushion if not.
Hello everyone! This is my first post and I will be travelling to Paris from London via Eurostar in June. Your input on travel from Heathrow to Waterloo is very helpful, thank you very much. I have additional questions about the Eurostar, as it is my first time to ride it. Upon check-in, are you asked to deposit oversized luggage into a common checked-in luggage compartment, to be claimed upon arrival at Gare du Nord as is done on flights? Or do you take all of your luggage with you to your seat?
Also, I am planning a stop at E. Dehillerin in Paris for some copper bottomed pans and maybe some knives for my kitchen and I'm worried if I will have trouble taking it back with me to London on the Eurostar on the ride back, what with all the security checks that abound. Does anybody know if I will have a problem with this?
I would appreciate any help!
By oversize luggage, if you mean suitcases etc then there are racks at the end of the carriages, and in an astonish display of good design, the overhed racks are large enough to take most suitcases etc, so there's plenty of space. I've taken a bicycle (in a bag) before and just left it in one of the carriage ends without a problem. Have seen other big stuff there before as well. Real oversize luggage will probably have to be sent on a day earlier (or collected in Paris a day later).
As for knives etc, despite operating like an airline with checkin etc and xrays, there isn't - or wasn't. I'm currently out of euriope and haven't use eurostar in a year - any problem with things like knives (i've taken a sword before), as you can't access the engine etc anyway to cause problems. Its only explosives and the loke they are going for
Thank you for the info, Gelli!