London to Brugge

Old Aug 14th, 2008, 04:35 PM
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London to Brugge

Does anyone know if traveling from London to Brugge is doable on a Friday - late afternoon via train? Or should we expect to arrive in Brussels; stay overnight in Brussels; then head onward to Brugge?

I had read that the train ticket price is inclusive London to Brugge but must be used on same day - true?
If not, then we will need to pay for additional train fare the next day if we follow the above schedule?

Would appreciate any thoughts/advice.
jenniel6 is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2008, 05:23 PM
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Go to www.Eurostar.com Looks like the Eurostar leaves all day and evening for Brussels Midi.

Check www.raileurope.com The last train of the day from Brussels Midi to Brugge is at 11:36PM

Looking at rail europe you can buy your ticket for London to Brugge but it would be more expensive than purchasing a ticket from Eurostar.com online and then picking up a ticket at the train station in Brussels to go to Brugge.

You should have no problem making train connections all in one day - London to Brugge.

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Old Aug 14th, 2008, 08:02 PM
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Assuming there are seats you should have no problems getting from London to Brugge in the late afternoon. I think we left at around 1700 and there were trains later that would also make it to Brugge. You have 24 hours to connect to anywhere in Belgium when you are taking the Eurostar from London if the rules are the same as in January of this year.
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 02:40 AM
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It's extremely easy to get to Bruges from the Gare du Midi.

You walk from the new(er) wing where your Eurostar arrives over to the main part of the train station and catch the next train to Bruges. There are at least 2 per hour. Look for trains with a final destination of Knokke/Blankenberge or Ostende--those stop in Bruges. Bruges is the second stop, the first is Ghent.

Yes, your Eurostar ticket allows you to ride free to Bruges. If you are traveling in Leisure Select (I assume you haven't splashed out for Business Premier seats), you can ride in first class on the train to Bruges. If your Eurostar tix are in Standard class, then you ride in the 2nd class cars to Bruges.

Trains to Bruges can be crowded during afternoon rush hour, but many pax get off in Ghent.

It's nice to arrive in Bruges in late afternoon/early evening. Many of the day trippers will have gone and Bruges is beautiful at night.

P.S. When I was in Bruges earlier this year, the station was still bashed up from ongoing renovations. So don't by dismayed if the station looks a mess.
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 04:14 AM
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We did this trip a couple of years ago for a long weekend in Bruges - very easy. Other posters have given you the details. When we did it, the walk in Brussels from the Eurostar to train for Bruges took less than 5 min.
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 04:28 AM
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Useful to know the final destination od the train for Brugge. We didn't & wasted valuable time trying to find the correct platform from Brussels Gare du Midi. Easy journey though by Eurostar (wish all UK trains were as efficient) to Brussels (we went from Ashford)& on to Brugge.
Have fun!
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 05:59 AM
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Thank you to all the contributors - the responses made me feel more comfortable with our plans.

I love this forum; use it often for our many trips; and suggest it to our friends when trip planning.
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 06:13 AM
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The ABS deal that comes free with Eurostar tickets (at least those bought in the U.S.) or All Belgian Stations fare whereby you can within 48 hours i believe of your Eurostar train go on to any station in Belgium means that you could even stay overnight in Brussels and still do the free transfer later. In any case to say that tickets are always cheaper at eurostar.com is not true IME - often are but not always and i advise always to check both eurostar.com for fares in Pounds and raileurope.com for fares in dollars - raileurope can be cheaper at times as there seems little correlation between fares and availability. If you are under 26 or over 59 then the youth and senior fares are often the best both in terms of price and the fact that they can be changed up until train departure in London without penalty but subject to seats being available in that category. The Leisure tickets generally are not changeable nor refundable. I always recommend talking to someone in person and have a manual search done for RailEurope fares - i recommend always BETS 800-441-2387; www.budgeteuropetravel.com; because of their expertise and you can actually talk to someone who will do a manual search - raileurope.com simply does not always display the cheapest fares or as Fodorites have complained may e-mail you back that the fare is higher, etc. But in any case buying the Eurostar ticket as early as possible means the early bird does get the worm - you could pay literally hundreds of bucks more by buying in London. You can book up to nine months in advance with raileurope.com - not sure on eurostar.com. Sometimes ironically a discounted first class fare may be very little more than the cheapest 2nd class fare available - if so the fine meal and unlimited wine or Champagne that comes with it along with much bigger seats, etc. may make the difference, if small enough actually a better deal.
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Old Aug 16th, 2008, 07:40 AM
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Changing at Lille may seem to be a quicker route but you do have to walk between the Lille-Eurostar and Lille-Flandres train stations - a 1/4 jaunt or so. But the ABS fare would not apply to Lille, which is in France. And Eurostar fares to Lille vs Brussels are only slightly cheaper - so Brussels is the cheapest way to Bruges and about as fast as changing at Lille i'd think.
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Old Aug 16th, 2008, 10:09 AM
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If you already have your Eurostar tix for Brussels, don't get off at Lille. Agents at Lille check the tickets of passengers exiting Eurostar there and their tickets should say Lille, not Brussels--aside from the fact that an exit at Lille does not allow ABS.

As Eurostar Carte Blanche frequent travelers (with more than 100 trips between London and Brussels via Eurostar over the past few years), in our view, getting off at Lille is the least attractive option for a trip to Bruges.
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Old Aug 17th, 2008, 05:54 AM
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Curious why agents would check Eurostar tickets for brussels if you want to get off at Lille?

not doubting you but this seems totally crazy - someone pays more to go to Brussels, wants to get off at Lille - why the bother checking them?

I agreed with btilke totally in advising Brussels but presented the Lille option as perhaps quicker, which i am not sure it is but could be
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Old Aug 17th, 2008, 08:57 AM
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I don't want to get into an endless debate on this. I can only pass on what I have heard over and over and over on Eurostar: if you want to get off at Lille, your ticket should say that. The train manager makes that announcement. The personnel in first class have told us that when someone wondered if they could just get off at Lille.
As to why...you'd have to ask Eurostar that.

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Old Aug 18th, 2008, 06:08 AM
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That said i have always seen folks get off Eurostar trains at Lille, when coming from London, and no one bothered to look at their ticket. What are they going to do? Arrest them?
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Old Aug 18th, 2008, 06:51 AM
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I DON'T KNOW. I DON'T MAKE THE RULES. I am only passing on what Eurostar pax are told so as to avoid having the OP experience any inconvenience. PERIOD.

If you have more questions about it, take it up with the people at Eurostar and Lille!

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Old Aug 18th, 2008, 06:59 AM
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The Eurostar 'onward' tickets for Belgium are only valid via Brussels. So if you want to go via Lille you have to buy a separate ticket (ie pay extra) from Lille Flandres (or wherever). Go via Brussels and it's included in the Eurostar ticket price (though often takes longer).

I suspect what the staff really meant is that you can't change at Lille for an onward destination in Belgium on your basic Eurostar ticket, not that you can't actually get off (since I'd like to see how that could be enforced).
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Old Aug 18th, 2008, 07:00 AM
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I am not disputing what you say and am sure it is correct

but they tell Day Return tickets that you must do a day return - yet folks often go one way because a Day Return may be cheaper than a one-way fare. Day return fraud could easily be stopped by the way the ferries used to do it - not allow anyone with luggage to use that fare.

And i suppose there may be some advantage sometime in buying a Brussels ticket and getting off at Lille - have never seen it but must be for this rule to be there.
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Old Aug 18th, 2008, 07:06 AM
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No that's not what they say. They tell you to please have your ticket ready to be checked and to be sure that it has Lille as your Eurostar departure and to please show any onward connecting tickets (TGV tickets, for example).
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Old Aug 18th, 2008, 07:28 AM
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Eurostar conditions of carriage:
9. If you travel to a station DIFFERENT to that specified ON THE TICKET:

If you wish to use your ticket for a station other than the one for which it is valid you will have to pay the appropriate full fare for the additional portion of the journey.

Stop-overs en route, other than those necessary for transfers, are not permitted.
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