What are the best alternatives to flying to France from the UK?
Wondering about alternatives to flying to France from the UK? Catch the train, and help the environment.
This is a guest blog written by Jacky Fitt. Jacky and her husband Tom travelled to Le Moulin by train as paying guests last year – but left very much as friends. Jacky shares her experience of travelling by train from the UK to France using Eurostar and the TGV. Something we will all need to consider post-Covid 19, as the world of budget airlines looks like it will never be the same again.
Finding Joy in the Journey, by Jacky Fitt
Like many people, we’re looking for ways to live more sustainably and forgoing holiday flights goes a long way to bringing down our carbon footprint. A break to visit Nik and Heidi at le Moulin de Pensol from our home in York in the north of England, was on the cards and the plan was the take the train as one of the sustainable alternatives to flying to France. There are far more trains than planes and while planning the trip gave us more choices, it also meant adopting a different mindset.
York to London, London to Paris, Paris to somewhere outside Paris to pick up the TGV to Limoges and back. Slick booking websites translated into English to support our French, and self-print tickets meant an evening online sorted the lot. Train tickets in Europe are cheaper than the UK and www.seat61.com offers plenty of advice, tips and guides from other travellers on European routes, carriers and stations… our short break was taking on more exciting proportions. Indeed, there are the alternatives to flying to France. So, what did we learn and would we do it again?
We’ve been encouraged for years to expect to get where we’re going faster and easier, so much so that the ability to slow down and actually take in the miles we’re travelling feels like a lost art. The extra cost of taking the train instead of subsidised short-haul flights, means a bit more effort to get your money’s worth, but you’ll be rewarded.
All our timings went to plan, we left a lot of wiggle room, probably too much and, after our first slightly nervous round trip, we’ll have more confidence. For future trips we will visit friends in London, put in an overnight in Paris and look at stopping midway to explore a French city we otherwise might never visit.
Let’s face it, to be good at anything you do actually have to take the plunge and do it. All the usual advice applies, like books to read, music to listen to and lots of snacks. I really can’t remember the last time I got the chance to daydream out over the changing scenery. No one got cross or lost; it felt good and we’d do it again.
Driving too gives you so much more flexibility to move at your own pace and explore. Having driven down from Calais the year before, stopping off in Burgundy with close friends on the way, we’re now thinking about another route via an overnight ferry and driving from a port like St Malo. This would find us wending our way across another beautiful region to arrive in Pensol.
Once you decide to ditch the plane different opportunities open up. News about SNCF planning a five-hour direct Eurostar from London St Pancras to Bordeaux for 2022 sounds great, just enough time for lunch, a decent nap and a couple of chapters of a good book. Yes, it does take more time, a bit more planning and still, frustratingly, more cash, but the payoff is good for the planet and means finding joy in the journey, not just the destination.
Here’s a link to the very useful Trainline website which has an English version.
It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. Heidi, Tom & Jacky enjoy a beer at Le Ferme du Lac.
Copywriter and author Jacky is a Creative Director of marketing and publishing company The Big Ideas Collective. Jacky is also developing The Micro Entrepreneur Club, a website supporting sole traders and small businesses across Europe, which is due to launch later this year.
Contact Jacky at firstname.lastname@example.org
Elevate Your Journey and Protect Our Planet While Flying to France
As concerns about climate change continue to grow, more travellers are seeking alternatives to traditional modes of transportation. Flying to France from the UK may offer convenience, but it also contributes significantly to carbon emissions. By opting for train travel instead, you not only reduce your environmental impact but also have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of the European countryside. From picturesque villages to rolling hillsides, each leg of the journey becomes an adventure in itself. So why not swap the rush of airport queues for the leisurely pace of train travel, and embark on a journey that’s not only sustainable but also filled with unforgettable moments along the way?
Flying to France may seem like the quickest option, but it comes with its own set of challenges and limitations. Delays, cancellations, and long security queues can all add stress to your travel experience. On the other hand, taking the train offers a more relaxed and comfortable journey. You can stretch out in spacious seats, enjoy panoramic views from large windows, and even socialise with fellow passengers in the dining car. Plus, with multiple departure times and flexible ticket options, train travel provides greater flexibility and control over your itinerary. So, why not trade the hassle of airport terminals for the convenience and comfort of train travel? Make your journey to France as enjoyable as the destination itself.
Embracing sustainable travel not only benefits the environment but also opens up new avenues for exploration and discovery, enriching your journey with unforgettable experiences and meaningful connections. Instead of simply flying to France, consider the eco-friendly option of taking the train. It’s a journey that’s not just about reaching your destination, but also about finding joy in the sustainable journey itself.
When considering flying to France from the UK, it’s clear that it isn’t the only option. By choosing to journey by train, not only do you reduce your carbon footprint, but you also embrace a more sustainable and enjoyable way to explore the continent. As the world becomes increasingly aware of the environmental impact of air travel, making the switch to train travel demonstrates a commitment to responsible tourism and a greener future. So, the next time you plan your trip to France, consider leaving the plane behind and hopping on board a train for a journey that’s not just about reaching your destination, but also about making a positive difference for the planet.