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Getting to St Jean from St Pancreas

Spiritual Lady

New Member
Past OR future Camino
I have walked half the French in 2014 and would like to walk the whole this year, 2020.
Has anyone been overland using the Eurostar (St Pancreas) to St Jean and how long does it take?
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Past OR future Camino
2012
I did deliberately search for 1 July. That is the timetable offered but with the advisory that there in No ticket availability. I'm sure that a few hours on https://www.seat61.com/France.htm would provide better solutions

The overnight train from Austerlitz no longer runs so that option is gone leaving only a hotel overnight in Paris or Lille.

The answers will be different next month.
 
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Richard of York

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
At the moment, however, more like 20 hours and a long wait for a connecting train during the night, given that there's only one or two Eurostars leaving St Pancras and they arrive in the late afternoon or early evening in the Gare du Nord ...
An alternative might be the old-fashioned way via Dover/Calais. Southeastern Railways also run trains on the HS line from St Pancras to Dover Priory many times each day and it takes just over an hour. Then ferry to Calais, TGV to Paris.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
An alternative might be the old-fashioned way via Dover/Calais. Southeastern Railways also run trains on the HS line from St Pancras to Dover Priory many times each day and it takes just over an hour. Then ferry to Calais, TGV to Paris.
I always check before I give advice so I was very surprised to read today on the P&O website that "Our foot passenger service is temporarily suspended between Dover and Calais".

Based on other comments, the OP apparently wants to travel to SJPP in July, and things will change between May and July. So this comment, just as the comment about the single daily Eurostar connection, is more a subtle reminder that things may not be quite the way we expect them to be, based on our experience in 2019 and earlier.
 
Last edited:
Past OR future Camino
2019
Just checking back in my notes and pre covid trains schedules are as follows (these times are altered at the moment but May revert to normal by July) Eurostar times were:
07:55-11:17
10:24-13:47
12:24-15:47
16:22-19:47
It is then a short taxi ride to Montparnasse trains to Bayonne direct were:
07:48-11:47
09:47-13:47
12:47-16:46
15:47-19:47
17:47-21:47
Finally Bayonne to SJPdP:
06:41-07:45
12:00-13:04
17:08-18:11
18:26-19:33
Hope this helps with frequency of trains and perhaps gives an idea of possibilities, as for cost I found the cheapest ticket prices were available around a month ahead of your journey. Buen camino mi amigo
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
Has anyone been overland using the Eurostar (St Pancreas) to St Jean and how long does it take?
We did this in 2016 except we boarded the Eurostar at Ashford (closer to home) to Gare du Nord and then caught the Metro to Montparnasse - an easy transfer and well explained at Changing stations in Paris even though we mingled with early morning commuters.

Try to book seats in the first few carriages to be nearer the exit in Paris - it's quite a long platform to be humping your pack along and you'll be vying for space with travellers hauling enormous wheelie-cases. I booked at St Pancras in advance but managed to lose the tickets before we left so had to go to the booking office in Ashford to get reprints where it was explained to me that I'd actually booked for the back of the train - the diagram on line had confused me - but they managed to move us to the front.

The journey across France is a blur but far preferable to Ryanair/EasyJet. DO take food with you. For a country that prides itself on its cuisine the buffet bar on the Paris - Bayonne/BiarBiarritz TGV was uninspiring to say the least (cardboard panini anyone?)

In the days BB (Before Brexit) you could grab all sorts of delicious takeaway food from St Pancras (THE best railway station in London): Paul (recommended), M&S, Yo Sushi! and even the humble Gregg's, but that was in a Golden Age of travel - not sure how they enforce the ban on imported M&S ham sandwiches at Gare du Nord!

It's a great way to do the journey and I hope it works out for you.
 

timr

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Several and counting...
I always check before I give advice so I was very surprised to read today on the P&O website that "Our foot passenger service is temporarily suspended between Dover and Calais".

Based on other comments, the OP apparently wants to travel to SJPP in July, and things will change between May and July. So this comment, just as the comment about the single daily Eurostar connection, is more a subtle reminder that things may not be quite the way we expect them to be, based on our experience in 2019 and earlier.
Hello @Kathar1na

Yes P&O have not been taking foot passengers from Dover to Calais for about the past twelve months. And as you know, only P&O have carried foot passengers in the past, the other carriers do not. The reason for stopping was because of Covid restrictions. As of today, travel to France is still not permitted - well France is in the amber zone which is not easy to understand, but travel is absolutely not encouraged, and only for serious reasons.

The CPR (Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome) has been in discussion with P&O and local civic authorities on behalf of those who want to walk from Canterbury to Rome on the VF (Via Francigena). P&O have not confirmed yet that the route will re-open for foot passengers, but they have not ruled it out. The embarkation of foot passengers is a little complicated and requires a bus to be supplied, for each crossing, to bring the passengers through customs and passport control. It may be uneconomic for P&O, but would be a great service to maintain.

It is possible for cyclists still - so you could in principle get hold of a cheap second-hand bicycle just for the crossing and perhaps donate it to a charity in Calais.
 
Past OR future Camino
2019
Hello @Kathar1na

Yes P&O have not been taking foot passengers from Dover to Calais for about the past twelve months. And as you know, only P&O have carried foot passengers in the past, the other carriers do not. The reason for stopping was because of Covid restrictions. As of today, travel to France is still not permitted - well France is in the amber zone which is not easy to understand, but travel is absolutely not encouraged, and only for serious reasons.

The CPR (Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome) has been in discussion with P&O and local civic authorities on behalf of those who want to walk from Canterbury to Rome on the VF (Via Francigena). P&O have not confirmed yet that the route will re-open for foot passengers, but they have not ruled it out. The embarkation of foot passengers is a little complicated and requires a bus to be supplied, for each crossing, to bring the passengers through customs and passport control. It may be uneconomic for P&O, but would be a great service to maintain.

It is possible for cyclists still - so you could in principle get hold of a cheap second-hand bicycle just for the crossing and perhaps donate it to a charity in Calais.
On your final point I recently discovered that a local in Dover is selling old bicycles to foot passengers so they can still travel the bikes can be scrapped or donated to charity in Calais...now that is a business opportunity 🤣
 

timr

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Several and counting...
On your final point I recently discovered that a local in Dover is selling old bicycles to foot passengers so they can still travel the bikes can be scrapped or donated to charity in Calais...now that is a business opportunity 🤣
I had heard that as a possibility, but wasn't sure it was actually happening. :) 🚲
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
Has anyone been overland using the Eurostar (St Pancreas) to St Jean and how long does it take?

Did this in 2009.
It took about 24 hours then (from West Wales) so probably 18 hours from St Pancras … so this is probably the longest journey time you could expect.
There are now faster trains from Paris, I believe.
We arrived in SJPdP in the morning.
It cost us £82 one way, for the whole journey .. a bargain, and infinitely preferable to a flight.

Getting across Paris was easy, even in the ‘rush hour’, but I’ve never found that difficult.

We had reclining seats for the overnight train.
If there was one piece of information/help I could pass on, it would be to bring some sort of pillow for that part of the journey. The couple seated in front of us had them and I felt so envious 😉
 
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evanscl

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Oct 2016
We did it by eurostar then metro then train to bayonne - the train arrived too late for our connection from bayonne to sjpdp (which was the last train of the day makng that trip) but the train company laid on a bus for those of us going there as that was not our fault and after a slightly hairy ride it dropped us right by sjpdp station. A long day but worked fine even with a delayed train and i would do it again. Good advice from someone else to take food and drink for the train from paris to bayonne. We had a good sleep that night and set off none the worse next morning, stopping at orrison which was a good decision, might have been a very tiring two days otherwise.
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
If all goes well, I hope to leave the East Midlands just before 6am down to Kings Cross - St Pancras to Paris, across Paris and down to Bayonne an on finally to SJPDP at just after 6pm. A long journey but from home to SJPDP in a day seems worth the gamble of trains running on time! As with the walk; if the plan changes, it changes.
I did get rash and wondered if I would walk onto Orisson for the first night straight from the train but that’s probably a bit ambitious. But it would remove some of the hill!
Buen Camino
 

Chris RJ

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
Has anyone been overland using the Eurostar (St Pancreas) to St Jean and how long does it take?
What a great idea. I live close to St Pancras. I could take my family to Paris as a treat before leaving them for a month of humble living on the Camino.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
What a great idea. I live close to St Pancras. I could take my family to Paris as a treat before leaving them for a month of humble living on the Camino.
Or leave the family at home and Camino in luxury?

(you’ll have gathered that Mrs Henrythedog doesn’t follow my contributions to this excellent forum)
 
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Spiritual Lady

New Member
Past OR future Camino
I have walked half the French in 2014 and would like to walk the whole this year, 2020.
I’ve been looking at the same journey in September my plan is overnight in Paris then Montparnasse to Bayonne to SJPdP should get you in early evening. Buen camino mi amigo
Hi Paul
Things are changing daily. I just don not fancy the air travel and I enjoy an adventure overland.
 

Spiritual Lady

New Member
Past OR future Camino
I have walked half the French in 2014 and would like to walk the whole this year, 2020.
Just checking back in my notes and pre covid trains schedules are as follows (these times are altered at the moment but May revert to normal by July) Eurostar times were:
07:55-11:17
10:24-13:47
12:24-15:47
16:22-19:47
It is then a short taxi ride to Montparnasse trains to Bayonne direct were:
07:48-11:47
09:47-13:47
12:47-16:46
15:47-19:47
17:47-21:47
Finally Bayonne to SJPdP:
06:41-07:45
12:00-13:04
17:08-18:11
18:26-19:33
Hope this helps with frequency of trains and perhaps gives an idea of possibilities, as for cost I found the cheapest ticket prices were available around a month ahead of your journey. Buen camino mi amigo
Thank you for this information Paul. Everything is changing so frequently during these pandemic times!
 

Spiritual Lady

New Member
Past OR future Camino
I have walked half the French in 2014 and would like to walk the whole this year, 2020.
We did this in 2016 except we boarded the Eurostar at Ashford (closer to home) to Gare du Nord and then caught the Metro to Montparnasse - an easy transfer and well explained at Changing stations in Paris even though we mingled with early morning commuters.

Try to book seats in the first few carriages to be nearer the exit in Paris - it's quite a long platform to be humping your pack along and you'll be vying for space with travellers hauling enormous wheelie-cases. I booked at St Pancras in advance but managed to lose the tickets before we left so had to go to the booking office in Ashford to get reprints where it was explained to me that I'd actually booked for the back of the train - the diagram on line had confused me - but they managed to move us to the front.

The journey across France is a blur but far preferable to Ryanair/EasyJet. DO take food with you. For a country that prides itself on its cuisine the buffet bar on the Paris - Bayonne/BiarBiarritz TGV was uninspiring to say the least (cardboard panini anyone?)

In the days BB (Before Brexit) you could grab all sorts of delicious takeaway food from St Pancras (THE best railway station in London): Paul (recommended), M&S, Yo Sushi! and even the humble Gregg's, but that was in a Golden Age of travel - not sure how they enforce the ban on imported M&S ham sandwiches at Gare du Nord!

It's a great way to do the journey and I hope it works out for you.
Thank you so much for informative reply. It is becoming increasingly hard to plan anything at the minute with travel. My boyfriend had planned a detailed back to German but what with Brexit and still finalising his status and the pandemic restrictions, all of it had to be cancelled!!
 

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