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London to Europe without the Eurostar

If you're planning to travel from London to Paris or visa versa with Interrail this summer, you may need to find an alternative route if you've not booked reservations for the Eurostar yet (most of the Pass holder reservations are sold out). We highly recommend that you consider the two-hour crossing from Dover to Calais with P&O Ferries instead - while they offer no discounts for Pass holders at this time, it's the fastest route to travel between mainland Europe and the UK.  

 

Travelling soon? Book Eurostar seat reservations for August & September at least four weeks in advance. Book tickets for the ferry as soon as possible. 

Cities visited on this trip: 

 

1. London, England

2. Dover, England

3. Calais, France

4. Paris, France

 

For this itinerary we recommend:

  • Interrail Pass: Global Pass
  • Reservation for the P&O ferry (not included in the Pass)

1. London, England

Once you reach the bustling city of London, no trip to the capital is complete without standing outside the gates at Buckingham Palace, or enjoying the following hotspots: 

 

  • Explore the fascinating complex of the Tower of London, marvel at the Crown Jewels, but don't get too close to the Beefeaters who patrol the grounds. 
  • Head to Trafalgar Square to sit on the friendly lions who protect the rest of the city and dodge the thousands of pigeons who consider this iconic square home. 
  • Book last-minute tickets to a Westend show from TKTS in Piccadilly Circus - you can get cheap tickets to the Lion King, Wicked or Les Misérables (subject to availability). 
london-bus-group-selfie

Travel time:

1h5m

Transfer:

0

Reservation needed:

  • London

    London St Pancras

  • 1h 5m

    Reservation optional

  • Dover

    Dover Priory

You can also travel from London Bridge in under two hours without a reservation with your Interrail Pass. 

2. Dover, England

You can travel from London St Pancras to Dover Priory in just over one hour (reservation optional), or London Bridge to Dover Priory in less than two hours with your Interrail Pass.  

 

If you have time to explore this port city before the ferry leaves, store your luggage with Stasher at a verified location, and enjoy the following activities: 

  • Hike along the coastal path towards South Foreland Lighthouse to catch a glimpse of the stunning White Cliffs of Dover - home to rare birds such as peregrine falcons, buzzards, and sparrowhawks (but don't waste your time looking for bluebirds). 
  • Storm the castle! Perched high above the English Channel, you can explore England's longest-serving fortress, step into the grandeur of the Great Tower, and walk the lengths of the secret wartime tunnels. 
  • Check out Dover Museum in the Market Square to see the world's oldest known seagoing vessel. Here you'll find a well-preserved Bronze age wooden boat that has survived for more than 3000 years. 

 

 

White%20Cliffs%20of%20Dover_2

What's on the ferry

While P&O is operating limited onboard facilities due to Covid-19 restrictions, you can still: 

  • Enjoy a glass of wine in the Club Lounge
  • Have a sandwich or snack in the Family Lounge
  • Children can enjoy the kid's club (summer season only)
  • Beat your best score in the Video Arcade Room
  • Cross the channel in style and watch the world go by

Travel time:

2h7m

Transfer:

0

Reservation needed:

  • Dover

    Dover, Eastern Docks

  • 2h 7m

    Reservation required

  • Calais

    Calais Docks

Sadly, there's no discount to travel on P&O Ferries with your Interrail Pass, so you will need to pay full price for the crossing. 

3. Calais

When you reach the beautiful port of Calais, you can enjoy the stunning beaches of the Côte d'Opale, or easily continue your journey into the heart of France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and beyond. 

 

If you spend a night or two in Calias, be sure to: 

  • Dip your toes in the water at Blériot-Plage and stroll down this long, sandy beach  - it gets busy in the summer, so keep going if you want to find a more secluded spot. There's also a city beach for small children.
  • Head to the Instagrammable Town Hall (Hôtel de Ville). It's an excellent example of Flemish architecture and provides the perfect backdrop for Rodin's Burghers of Calais (a statue of six savours who sacrificed their freedom for the benefit of the besieged town).
  • If you're a history buff, you should visit an authentic bunker that houses the city's World War II museum. It's only a small exhibit, but who can resist seeing all the objects from the everyday life of a town under occupation? 

 

Town%20hall_Calais

Travel time:

3h0m

Transfer:

1

  • Calais

    Calais Ville

  • 1h 51m
  • Amiens

    Amiens

  • 1h 9m
  • Paris

    Paris Nord

You can pay extra to travel on the TGV trains on this route in two hours with your Interrail Pass (reservation mandatory).

4. Paris, France

Although our suggested itinerary ends in Paris, you have unlimited options once you reach the continent with your Interrail Global Pass. However, if you roll into Paris, be sure to tick these activities off your bucket list: 

  • Want to find a treasure trove of beautiful books? Search for this hidden gem opposite Notre Dame in the city: Shakespeare and Company is a quintessential bohemian bookshop you will love to explore. 
  • Travel like the rich and famous as you take selfies on the Champs-Élysées; this well-known shopping street is a true shopaholic's playground.
  • Climb the 674 steps to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower and then take the lift to the top floor for picture-perfect views of the City of Light. 
Woman reading a book in Paris

Interrail 7-day Global Pass

 

You can travel for 7 days within the period of 1 month across 33 countries. We know it's not ideal to pay extra for the ferry, but you have over 40,000 destinations at your fingertips with the Interrail Global Pass.

  • Standard prices start from € 251

  • Free for kids under 12

  • No payment fees

Interrail mobile Global Pass