1 June 2009 by Pete Mathers
Clean, green, comfy and convenient – trains are a great way to travel.
Trains are much nicer than planes. Think about it. They’re less hassle (no excess baggage charges, checkin queues or long waits at baggage carousels). They’re greener. They go to city centres not airports 40 miles away. And best of all, they give you space and comfort not a shoebox seat with nothing to look at but clouds and nothing to breathe but recycled air. On a train, you can stretch your legs (often without leaving your seat), enjoy views of an ever-changing landscape, even open a window and breathe lungfuls of fresh country air. What’s more, you tend to arrive relaxed and acclimatised to the region you’re ready to holiday in, not frazzled and travel-weary, oblivious to the climate and culture around you.
If you could, wouldn’t you travel by rail? Well Europe has a huge rail network with hundreds of trains offering many different levels of speed and comfort.
City breaks are the obvious choice, but anything from chic shopping trips and glamorous beach breaks to Alpine walking tours and continental crossings can begin on a station platform.
Longer journeys can be broken up by stops along the way and hire cars can be easily arranged to allow further exploration. You can even take your own car with you. French Motorail will whisk you and your vehicle to the south of France in the space of a night (speak to a consultant for details). Or make the train ride a feature of your holiday – a leisurely ride one way, then a quick flight home.
Connections are normally best from London St Pancras but travelling from outside the capital could be easier than you think. Eurostar offers through tickets to Paris, Lille or Brussels from over 130 uk towns and cities. Any of our consultants can put you on the right track.