When choosing an accessible holiday destination, it’s easy to forget the importance of actually getting there.
There have been many times when excitement has overcome us and we’ve set out to visit a museum, gallery or other attraction without doing the necessary research in advance, only to find that arriving there will take most of the day. It’s fair to say, that excitement then quickly fades!
Fancy a quick trip to France, including direct transport to Paris or Euro Disney? Then let us tell you that you can indeed get excited, and that excitement is not likely to fade, thanks to the fantastic Eurostar service.
Firstly, it’s important to make sure that you navigate the website correctly when booking tickets. One-way tickets to France cost a mere £29 each for you and a companion – AND that’s a business class ticket, with a complimentary light meal on each journey. Pretty impressive, right? It’s possible to book online, just click the options for those needing to make reservations with a wheelchair and you will be guided through the steps. There’s also a number to call if necessary, and we’ve rarely spoken to more helpful representatives over the phone – another huge plus!
Once you’re at London St Pancras, you’ll enjoy speedy check-in and a complimentary visit to the Business Lounge (again, with free nibbles and alcohol; it was tough not to get drunk on the journey!) Here, there are also excellent phone chargers, magazines to take with you on the train and snazzy elevators to take you to really quite classy accessible toilets. The brown leather seats and individual reading lamps also add a hint of elegance to the whole experience. Then, all you have to do is wait to be picked up by a staff member who will take you and your bags to the platform, whilst another helpful attendant ensures that you get onto the train, via a sturdy corner ramp. You will then likely have the option to stay in your chair or transfer onto a train seat, depending on how full the carriage is. An accessible bathroom is situated just outside of your carriage too – not too far, especially after all those drinks in the lounge! So sample some wine, read those free magazines, and enjoy a salmon lunch and chocolate mousse, and hey presto! You’re in the city of love, darling.
A quick message to anyone then travelling on from Paris, maybe to Strasbourg for example (a beautiful and thoroughly accessible tram-filled city that we’d definitely recommend): your onward tickets will have to be booked through SNCF, Eurostar’s French partner. Similar disability discounts are available but cannot easily be booked online and a dedicated accessibility phone service must be called. If your French is not up to scratch, you may well struggle to get these discounted tickets booked – we did! Any help you could get on this front would be highly recommended!
Loved what you read? Find more in the complete guide about traveling in Europe written by Emily Yates and Anthony William.