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Eurostar - Your Experiences.

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
I’m looking ahead to getting out and about once we get out of lockdown. Having just watched a program where the presenter travels from London to Rotterdam, I thought it would be a good way for me to travel.

I hate flying now, not through fear, but it’s not nice being separated from my wheelchair and not being able to go for a píss.

I’ll be giving Paris a miss, I’ve read it’s terrible for wheelchairs, Brussels the same, but Rotterdam and Amsterdam appear very good.

I’m interested in hearing from those who have travelled on Eurostar and their experiences.
@dingerr, me and SWMBO have done Eurostar around a dozen times now. You'll automatically get upgraded to Standard Premier as that's where the disabled seating is (there is also accessible seating in Business Premier too, far better IMO), you get a 2 course meal and some nasty wine or beer with that too. If you get Business Premier, 3 course meal and a few drinks thrown in, prosecco instead of wine but the same beer. Facilities are very good on the newer trains, not so much on the older ones. Always try to get Business Premier from St Pancras, free bar and food available at the station in the Business Premier lounge, travelled to Paris for my birthday last year, caught the 10:00 train but was in the bar from 08:30. If you do go to Paris (even as Standard Premier), you'll get use of the Premier Bar on the way back, all free again so kick the arrse out of it. Paris itself is pretty crap at disabled access, the buses are fine as people do tend to move out of the way for wheelchair users and it's a good way of seeing some of the sites without getting off. The Metro is pretty crap for wheelchair users as the vast majority of stations aren't step free.
Agree with @BarcelonaAnalPark about Terminus Nord, cracking restaurant and reasonable prices, in the summer, you can just sit outside, get drunk and people watch.
We've not done the Amsterdam trip yet, but hope to soon. The last I heard, you could get Eurostar direct to Amsterdam, but coming back, as there was no Customs at Ams, you had to get a normal train to Brussels and then change onto Eurostar.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
No direct experience but beware when travelling in school holidays due to families using it for Disneyland Paris!
 
I've used both the Eurostar train from St Pancras to Brussels, and the Folkestone-Calais drive-on trains.

Both were excellent, on time, reasonably priced.
The drive on is called the "shuttle". @dingerr -you shouldn't have a problem anywhere ISTR the website did have a special needs section, if not contact them when you book the tickets. I can't speak for the current batch of trains never having been on them but I would be very surprised if there is no locator for wheel chairs and the toilets should be quite close, used to be near the "sin bins" as we called them.
 

oldnotbold

War Hero
Generally I agree with all of the above, having used it a fair bit to Paris and Brussels. It's quick, fairly cheap and puts you in the city centre.

Disagree re the lounges unless somebody else is paying. The business lounge is good at St Pancras, but frankly a bit rubbish at Gare du Nord or Brussels Midi. The "in flight" meals have varied from good (travelled out on the Monday bank holiday for a business meeting the next day and I was the only one in business, so the staff just left the bottle) through to stuff which was about budget airline standard. If you can it's better to eat at the station (BEFORE you go through security so you have a choice) or at a decent cafe nearby: St Pancras has loads of options and a good good court.

Might be worth getting the app - collect the points but it might also mean that your trip and any in future get tagged as needing assistance when you book. It also means your tickets are on your phone which means one less thing to loose.
 
If your journey to London to your destination makes it a long day, for example if you are going further into the continent than AMS, or makes your arrival at destination late, it's worth considering overnighting in Brussels.
The Pullman Brussels Centre Midi is inside the Eurostar terminal.
They have accessible rooms and it's a nice hotel.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
I only use business premier but then I don’t pay
 

Ned_Seagoon

War Hero
Eurostar will be fine.

The Paris Metro is a museum of anti-accessibility - I can't think of even one station that doesn't have lots of staircases going up and then equally down in every passageway.
Agreed. Living just outside Paris a few years back one of our visitors was a wheel chair user. After looking at LOTS of options, they came to the conclusion that the only way to do the sight seeing bit was to cough-up for a dedicated wheelchair accessable taxi for three of their 5 day holliday It cost them a bloody fortune.
 

NSP

LE
@dingerr

You'll need an OV Chipcard to access Dutch public transport. It's like an Oyster card but works on the entire PT network - buses, trams, trains; the lot.


The trams have never looked particularly chariot-friendly to me as they've rattled past but the buses seem to be accessible.

All the railway platforms I've been on/through seemed to be lift or ramp-accessible.


Uber is pretty good over there in my (limited) experience - I've only used it a couple if times but I think the app set-up let's you say you need a chair-friendly vehicle/driver. The Ubers I took were all regular licensed private-hire vehicles maximising their customer footprint, too - all big Merc' saloons.

Of course, the reason Holland is great for bikes/chariots is because it's so damn flat! Enjoy...
 

Robme

LE
Not a problem, I take my own everywhere I go.
Talking of which and given your undoubted technical skills (well not quite 100%), I am assuming your chair is electric. if that is the case, and I stand to be corrected, there are power points for, which you can get a free top up for the charriot. Best ask about things like that when you seek a booking, just to make sure.

Further the card you need is the Iamsterdam Card, which gives free tram and bus travel, the trams are brill. It also provides free and reduced entrance to the museums which are all disabled friendly plus a free Canal trip. Have to say I don’t know how disabled friendly the Canal trips are but my guess is that they are. You can get the pass sent to your home address/Hotel your staying in or you can pick it up in numerous places when you get there. We got ours at the Airport but the railway station has a shop as well. Also phone ahead if you want to visit a museum so that they can be on hand to give you any help you might need. The guide book we used is the DK Eyewitness book, they do a separate one on the top 10 attractions but go for the full blown edition.
 
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Poppy

LE
sagetraveling.com

have you seen this site? may be useful - they have tips as well as trying to sell holidays
 
They have disabled toilets at each end, but let them know when you book and they will arrange your seat nearby, and make sure no bloody bikes are stored in there

Reckon you’ll be fine, seeing as you can’t take a bike on the Eurostar.

Ive used the Eurostar a lot and always had a good experience. Lovely way to roll into the Gare Du Nord on a Friday night pre filled with wine.
 

Bob65

War Hero
I’ve always had decent experiences on the Eurostar but for the specific journey to Rotterdam from London, I’d get the train from Liverpool Street to Harwich then the overnight ferry. I think that was a “man in seat 61” recommendation too.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
Reckon you’ll be fine, seeing as you can’t take a bike on the Eurostar.

Ive used the Eurostar a lot and always had a good experience. Lovely way to roll into the Gare Du Nord on a Friday night pre filled with wine.
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I’m looking ahead to getting out and about once we get out of lockdown. Having just watched a program where the presenter travels from London to Rotterdam, I thought it would be a good way for me to travel.

I hate flying now, not through fear, but it’s not nice being separated from my wheelchair and not being able to go for a píss.

I’ll be giving Paris a miss, I’ve read it’s terrible for wheelchairs, Brussels the same, but Rotterdam and Amsterdam appear very good.

I’m interested in hearing from those who have travelled on Eurostar and their experiences.

Amsterdam will be alright for wheelchairs, pretty much every train station and metro has escalators and lifts, it's flat and designed for bikes so wheelchairs will work too.

You can now get on at st pancras and get off at amsterdam centraal, down the escalator and your right there in the city.
 

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