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Getting to the Languedoc:  Eurostar, The Eurotunnel (The Chunnel) and Motorail

Eurostar is a train service between London (Waterloo) and Paris (Gare du Nord), currently taking around three hours, although the booking and checking-in arrangements make it as dismally innefficient and time consuming as a typical airline. For more information, contact . Trains travel under the English Channel through a tunnel called the Eurotunnel, or more familiarly as the Chunnel.

The Chunnel links Folkstone in England to Coquelles, near Calaise, in France. There are three trains per hour in peak season, and as for ferries, it is wise to book ahead at peak times (especially weekends in holiday periods). The Chunnel competes with cross-channel ferries so fares are comparable. The link is rail only - although you can drive your car into the train! In fact you can take bicycles, motorcycles, lorries (trucks), buses, caravans and even motor homes on it. There are three trains per hour at peak periods. For more information, contact The operaters run a discount scheme for regular users. Discounts are also available through the Property Owners' Club, intended for Brits who with a second home in France.

Motorail is a European Network of overnight trains carrying passengers and ordinary cars & motorbikes (but not anything slightly out of the ordinary - such as a Landrover, and certainly not a caravan). Services operate from Calaise and Dieppe, but not from anywhere as useful as, say, Waterloo. With patchy schedules and inflated prices this is worth looking into only if you have a standard vehicle, are travelling in high season, are prepared to book well in advance, have a secretary to do the booking, and are rich enough to put an unusually high value on a few hours sleep.


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