travel from Edinburgh to Paris

Apr 19th, 2014, 01:55 PM
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travel from Edinburgh to Paris

My husband and I will be travelling this June from Scotland to Paris. What is the best way to travel between these two destinations....train or plane? We are leaning toward train travel but it would be helpful to know how long will it take, how many transfers will we need to make and what will be the approximate costs? This trip will be primarily to visit St. Andrews, Edinburgh and Paris. Is it reasonable to think travel can be accomplished in one day or should we plan an overnight in London? Thanks!
kblue is offline  
Apr 19th, 2014, 02:44 PM
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Fly - check the Edinburgh Airport website. You would be drinking coffee in a Parisian cafe before you reached London
alanRow is offline  
Apr 19th, 2014, 02:50 PM
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Here's information on the train. It's from the web site.
adrienne is offline  
Apr 19th, 2014, 04:07 PM
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If you want to see the scenery, take the train… If it's in your budget, look into the Royal Scotsman from Edinburgh to London for something really special:

Otherwise, you can fly in about an hour.
travelhorizons is offline  
Apr 19th, 2014, 04:19 PM
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You are obviously aware that train will take much more time than flying so yes, take the train if you'd like to see the countryside. However be aware that it will flash past at lightening speed. If it was me, I'd plan a stop at York and spend a night or two there, then the overnight stay in London that you mentioned and then take the train to Paris. But that's three days out of your trip as opposed to a couple of hours from start to finish.
cathies is online now  
Apr 19th, 2014, 04:43 PM
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>>If you want to see the scenery, take the train…<<

Unfortunately there is very little decent scenery all the way from Edinburgh to Paris (except for a bit at the very beginning between Edinburgh and Newcastle). There rest is pretty dreary - and you are going too fast to see it well anyway.

If you have 3 days - take the train (York & London stopovers). But if you just want to get to Paris flying is the only option that really makes sense.
janisj is offline  
Apr 19th, 2014, 05:40 PM
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thank you all. Given our itinerary, I was afraid that the train would be problematic but had no idea that we would be able to see so little of the countryside. Interesting that a friend of my husband's said otherwise. Only goes to show that this posting was so much more helpful. The Edinburgh website was very helpful as well though it looks like there is only one flight out a day. Any other suggestions of must see things that are not so obvious from travel guides?
kblue is offline  
Apr 19th, 2014, 07:59 PM
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There are lovely train rides all over the UK -- but mostly not the long distance north/south routes. They get you south fast - but lots is through industrial areas or 'un-scenic' bits. There You'll see the North Sea and Lindesfarne - but after that you'd just have glimpses of interesting things. Kent is pretty but you'll only see the tops of a few oasthouses and lots of green. And the northern France you see on the Eurostar isn't especially scenic.

There are several flights a day from EDI to either CDG or ORY- where did you see only one? easyJet, FlyBE and AF have 2 to 3 flights each.

And if you take the short trip over to GLA, there are many daily flights on BA, FlyBe, easyJet etc, etc.
janisj is offline  
Apr 19th, 2014, 08:31 PM
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We flew Edinburgh to Paris on EasyJet. Easy and fast.
michele_d is offline  
Apr 19th, 2014, 09:29 PM
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Of course, another alternative is to take the night train to London and then the Eurostar. I don't remember the scenery being that bad, but on the night train you'll sleep through most of it. For details on the night train see - the same site has info on buying tickets for the Eurostar. St Pancras (Eurostar) is practically next door to Euston (Caledonian).
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 20th, 2014, 01:06 AM
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Definitely take the train for the scenery and the history and the experience...

1. Edinburgh to London (Kings Cross) takes 4h20 and there's a train every hour or better. That's city centre to city centre with no check-in to add.

Wonderful scenery over the Royal Border Bridge at Berwick and along the Northumberland coast, including Alnmouth Castle. Make sure you sit in any empty unreserved seat on the left hand side going south for the best views. This is of course the famous East Coast Main Line, one of Britain's premier rail routes and the route of the famous 'Flying Scotsman'.

Fares start at just £20 booked at (they'll give an extra 10% off their own Advance fares booked at their own website). You collect tickets from the machines at Edinburgh Waverley station, which is on Princes street below the Balmoral Hotel, it doesn't get any more central than that.

In London, Kings Cross station is literally just across the road from St Pancras. Both are beautifully-restored 19th century stations with magnificent (but very different!) architecture.

2. London (St Pancras) to Paris by Eurostar 186mph train takes 2h20 only 20 minutes of which is through the Channel Tunnel, an engineering marvel. The rest is across Kent and rural France.

Book at from £39, booking usually opens 120 days ahead.

If you are going Edinburgh-Paris all in one go (no stopover in London) you can actually book from Edinburgh to Paris all in one go at IF you select 'United Kingdom' top right and so use the version of their site with prices in pounds (the UK stations north of London such as Edinburgh only show up in the UK version of the Eurostar site, as Uk train companies only accept pounds - but anyone from any country can use that version of their site, it doesn't matter if you're from the USA or Australia or whatever)
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2014, 01:48 AM
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Man in seat 61's advice on trains is usually good but on this I have to disagree.

There's no such place as Alnmouth Castle. I presume he means Alnwick Castle and you can't see it from the train.

Two hours flying compared to eight hours overland. I'd rather be in Paris than watching trainspotters at Doncaster train station.
sofarsogood is offline  
Apr 20th, 2014, 03:01 AM
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The castle is either Lindisfarne or Bamburgh

But even with security checks et all it will still be several hours quicker by plane than train
alanRow is offline  
Apr 20th, 2014, 03:16 AM
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We did it the other way round two years back, CDG to Edinburgh, the fight is a little more than an hour with excellent fares, I think its the best way.
geetika is online now  
Apr 20th, 2014, 04:01 AM
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I've done it both ways, though recently only by plane.

Many people make the assumption that "scenery" only consists in green rural views, snow-capped mountains and distant villages with church steeples. I like all that, but I also like everything that is different from what I see at home: the endless rows of semi-detached and terraced houses as one passes through English cities are a testimony to the human desire to individualize our dwellings. Gardens and allotments are as interesting an expression of our need to till the soil as a park by Capability Brown.

If you can adapt that view, take the train. If you have to see sights, fly.
Ackislander is offline  
Apr 20th, 2014, 06:01 AM
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It is misleading to talk about a flight taking only one hour. London to Nice is "only" two hours or so flying time, but I timed it a few years back and door to door took me eight hours. And instead of sitting down in reasonable comfort with something other than clouds to look at, I spent a good bit of it uncomfortably in an airport, and more on transport to and from airports.

I'd take the night train, for the experience, but I have done it by day train, although with a stop off in Durham for Hadrian's Wall, and I certainly wasn't bored by the scenery. But like Ackislander I see the journey as part of the trip.
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 20th, 2014, 07:37 AM
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>>Wonderful scenery over the Royal Border Bridge at Berwick and along the Northumberland coast, including Alnmouth Castle.<<

yes, (except for mis-identifying the castle) Seat61 describes the nice bits I mentioned above - between Edinburgh and Newcastle. Almost the entire rest of the journey is very blah. (seat61 is THE undisputed expert when it comes to train travel - but castles, not so much )

I would only take the train if I 1) took a couple of days and spent time in York and/or London, or 2) took the sleeper train, and either spent a day in London or took the Eurostar a couple of hours after arriving. But w/ the night train -- if you have a sleepless night your first day in Paris will be a slog.

Train to York - stay a night and then on to London would be a lovely trip -- but only if you have the time.
janisj is offline  
Apr 20th, 2014, 08:02 AM
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AirFrance even has 4 flights a day between EDI and CDG. Tip if you book AF: a round-trip ticket is frequently significantly less than a one-way.
travelhorizons is offline  

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