Warning to Visitors

Some of the information below may be out of date as a result of changing timetables and services. Please double check the accuracy of all information before travelling.

The booking forms should be up to date however, so if tickets for a particular service are available, then the service should be operational.


London is the capital city of the United Kingdom, and has an official population of around 8 million people. The city is due to host the Olympic Games in 2012, which will see thousands of people visit the city. Some of its world-famous attractions include the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and Leicester Square.

London is at the centre of the British rail network, with a large number of stations positioned throughout the city, providing access to every part of the country. In general, routes to north-east England and Scotland are served by King's Cross Station, whilst London Paddington serves the west of England and Wales. International rail services are in the form of the Eurostar, which runs between London, Paris and Brussels. Eurostar trains arrive at King's Cross St Pancras station, travelling on the United Kingdom's first High Speed rail line.

How to get to London from
Route 1:

Iceland is not the easiest place to get to, whether that be by air or overland. The best way to travel overland between the UK and Iceland is by one train and two ferry trips. If you are tempted to brave this journey, be aware that it certainly isn't the shortest of trips; taking a total of 4 nights. Saying that however, if you have the time to spare, the reduced stress of avoiding the airport, and having time to yourself at sea could be worth considering.

The journey starts in London, with a train journey from London's Liverpool Street Station to Harwich International. You will need to catch a service that gets you to the ferry terminal in time for the 16.00 ferry check-in opening time.

Once you arrive at Harwich, you will need to check in (either as a foot passenger or with your vehicle) before boarding the ferry. The crossing takes around 19 hours in total, and you will have reserved a cabin when booking your ticket. There is plenty to do onboard during the crossing (to find out more, click on the Harwich - Esbjerg route link below).

On arrival in Esbjerg at 13.00, you will need to make your way to Hirtshals, which is in the north of the country. Depending on what time of year you are travelling in, you may need to spend a night in Denmark before boarding the ferry the following day (view the route details below for more information). On-board, you will once again find your cabin. This will be your home away from home for the next 3 nights, so get settled in! Fortunately, there is plenty to do on board, as detailed on the route page found below.

The ferry arrives in Seydisfiordur 3 nights later, unless you choose to stop over in The Faroe Islands.. Depending on where you want to go in Iceland you will need to drive or catch a bus to your chosen destination. Seyðisfjörður is a 7 or 8 hour drive from Reykjavík by car, or 8 or 9 hours by bus. It is possible to catch public transport from the ferry terminal to the city, but this involves a one-night stopover in Akureyri. More information on these public transport options can be found at www.dice.is or www.bsi.is.

Route 2:

Travelling by train between London and Barcelona is a great way to see both France and Spain, and is far more relaxing than the equivalent plane journey! Of course, it takes longer than a flight, and with the number of low-cost carriers flying between the two cities, it is unlikely to be cheaper. Nevertheless, the enjoyment of the journey has to be worth something, as does waking up feeling refreshed once your reach Barcelona.

The journey starts off in London as you board the Eurostar at St Pancras. You travel across the English Channel in style, reaching Paris in the early evening. You can choose to travel earlier if you want time to explore Paris during the day. Once in Paris, you make your way over to Gare d'Austerlitz on the Paris Metro. From there, you board the trainhotel (trenhotel) to Barcelona.

If you are trying to make the journey as quick as possible, aim for these specific services. If you would like to spend longer in Paris, feel free to catch an earlier Eurostar service. There is only one sleeper train to Barcelona a day though, so try not to miss it!

London to Barcelona by Train:

Depart London St Pancras (Eurostar): 15.01 (15.31 Sat)
Arrive Paris Gare du Nord: 18.17 (18.47 Sat)

Transfer between Paris Gare du Nord and Gare d'Austerlitz: allow one hour

Depart Paris Gare d'Austerlitz (TrenHotel): 20.23 
Arrive Barcelona Franca: 08.05 

Barcelona to London by Train:

Depart Barcelona Franca (TrenHotel): 20.43 
Arrive Paris Gare d'Austerlitz: 08.37 

Transfer between Gare d'Austerlitz and Paris Gare du Nord: allow one hour

Depart Paris Gare du Nord (Eurostar): 10.13
Arrive London St Pancras: 11.39

Route 3:

What better way to travel between London and Cornwall and Devon than by train. The Night Riviera Sleeper Train runs between London Paddington and Penzance six nights a week, offering guests a choice of seated accommodation, or comfortable solo or twin cabins.

The overnight journey allows passengers to arrive in either London or Cornwall refreshed and ready for the day ahead.

Route 4:

The Venice Simplon Orient Express is a luxury train service, running between London, Paris, Innsbruck, Verona and Venice. The journey begins/ends at London Victoria.

The complete journey, running between London and Venice takes approximately 24 hours. Ticket prices start at around £1500 per person, with the cheapest rates available direct from the operator, Venice Simplon Orient Express.

Assuming that your journey is starting at London, the Venice Simplon Orient Express service from London to Venice begins with the trip from London to Folkestone on board a luxurious Pullman train. The train departs from London Victoria Station in the late morning, with brunch served on-board, before reaching Folkestone in the afternoon.

On reaching Folkestone West Station, passengers are transferred onto private mini-buses. These then drive onto the EuroTunnel train service. Following the quick crossing, passengers are transferred from the minibuses onto the luxury Continental Trains for the onward journey, calling at Paris, Innsbruck, Verona and Venice.

Throughout the journey, passengers are treated to the highest quality of service. After arriving in France, passengers settle into their cabins before being shown to the restaurant car for a four course dinner. The following day, passengers are served breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea before arrival in Venice. Throughout the journey, passengers are treated to the finest scenery as the train travels through Europe.

Route 5:

The Caledonian Sleeper Train is a fantastic overnight service that runs between London and Scotland. Travelling overnight saves on hotel bills and allows you to reach your destination first thing in the morning, to allow you to make the most of your time away. The scenery as you travel through Scotland is breathtaking, and all the better in the knowledge that you are travelling in style and comfort.

Route 6:

If you are travelling between the Edinburgh (or elsewhere in the north east of the UK) and Amsterdam, there is a great alternative to flying which involves just three trains and a ferry. The journey between London and Edinburgh takes between four and five hours, with services running fairly frequently (see the East Coast Mainline website for precise timings). The London - Amsterdam (Dutch Flyer) service takes around 14 hours, and you can choose whether to travel overnight or by day.

Route 7:

Travelling between London and Dublin is remarkably quick, and best of all, it is excellent value! The SailRail fare entitles you to travel between any station in Great Britain to Dublin for £33 or £38, depending on which ferry you pick.

There are a whole host of train and ferry services that you can choose to make this journey (follow the links below to find the timetables for each leg). The timings below show you the most efficient way to make the journey (quickest journey, with maximum of one train change).

London to Dublin by Train and Ferry:

Monday - Friday

TrainLondon Euston07.10a09.1009.1012.10b19.10

Saturday - Sunday

TrainLondon Euston08.5008.5012.10b18.10b08.15a11.15a19.05

Dublin to London by Ferry and Train:

Monday - Friday

ModeStopMonday-  Friday
London Euston16.3816.3815.3821.42

Saturday - Sunday

ModeStopSat Sun
London Euston16.3816.3815.3822.4316.4416.4416.44

a: Change trains at Crewe.
b: Change trains at Chester.
c: Change trains at Bangor.

IFDS: Irish Ferries 'Dublin Swift'
IFU: Irish Ferries Standard Ship
SL: Stena Line Standard Ship (Nordica, Adventurer, Explorer)

Route 8:

One of the best ways to reach the Netherlands is by the Dutch Flyer service. This involves catching a ferry from Harwich International. Fortunately, there is a direct train route between London and Harwich, which is timed to coincide with ferry arrivals/departures.

The trains are comfortable, but nothing fancy. Both first and second class seating is available, although there isn't much difference between the two.

Route 9:

An alternative to the Dutch Flyer or International Rail options for travelling between London and Amsterdam is to catch a Eurolines coach. The route offers up to ten services between the cities each day, and it is one of the most carbon-efficient ways of travelling. On some services, Eurolines Plus coaches are used, which offer passengers DVDs and extra legroom. One other advantage of travelling by coach is the luggage allowance; each passenger is allowed two medium sized suitcases, a much greater free allowance than is offered by budget airlines.

Passengers must check in at least 30 minutes before the coach is due to depart (although they can check in from 1 hour before departure, and at London check in closes 15 minutes before departure). You will need to show your passport or travel documentation before being issued with a boarding card. If you are travelling with luggage, make sure it is labelled as it will be stored under the coach.

This route involves a sea crossing which, depending on which service you are on, will either by by Eurotunnel or by P&O ferry (except where stated). When you get to the port/train terminal, you will have to get off the coach and go through border control. 

Route 10:

If you are planning on travelling between London and Ireland by train and ferry, you may well need to take this Virgin train between London Euston and Holyhead. New trains on this route have recently been introduced by Virgin. They are clean and comfortable, with a bar serving snacks and drinks. Seats have power sockets, and wireless internet access is available (for an additional fee).

The journey takes around 3hrs and 40mins, depending on the day of travel. There are around five services each day.

If you are travelling to/from Holyhead ferry terminal, you will find the train station next to the ferry terminal, so no other interchange is required. The ferry terminal can be found at the end of Platform 2. If you are hoping to catch a ferry to Ireland after arriving by train, make sure you allow for the check-in time (generally around 45mins).

Route 11:

Fancy travelling between the United Kingdom and Finland without flying? Well the journey isn't easy, but it's certainly do-able. In total, the journey takes around two days (after you've included waiting times), with six different legs in total.

An alternative would be to travel via Russia, catching a train from Paris to Moscow, Moscow to St Petersburg, and then St Petersburg to Helsinki. However, this route would require additional visas for travel in Moscow, which would have cost implications.

Route 12:

Travelling to Australia without flying is difficult, expensive, time-consuming, but also one of the most rewarding overland trips imaginable. The total journey time is something like five weeks in total, and in that time you will sit on numerous trains as well as ships. There are a few different ways that this trip can be made, but the quickest utilises the Trans-Siberian Railway as a tool for crossing continental Asia.

Singapore / Indonesia - Australia

The most difficult part of this journey is the leg between Indonesia/Singapore and Australia. The problem is, that there aren't too many good options for travelling between the countries without flying. In fact, there are only three real ways to do it, and that is by cruise liner, cargo ship or on-board a private yacht. If you wish to try any of these options, read the details found in the route details below for more detailed information.

If you are feeling adventurous, you could head to the harbour and ask around to see if anyone is in a position to carry you on their boat. Darwin in Australia is known to be a good spot to try, as many boats heading our from Australia stop here en route.

Route 13:

Travelling between London and Brighton is easy and painless. In London, you can travel to/from a number of different stations, including London Bridge, London Victoria and London Blackfriars. If you don't want to catch a train, there are numerous bus services operated by companies including National Express.

Depending on how much you want to pay, and which London station you want to travel to/from, your service will either be operated by First Capital Connect or Southern. A third option is to take a Gatwick Express service between London Victoria and Brighton, although this route is relatively expensive.

Route 14:

One of the most popular international train service is the high-speed Eurostar service between St Pancras International Station at King's Cross in London, and Brussels-Midi/Zuid, the Eurostar acts as the UK's route into Europe, and from Brussels, passengers can catch a variety of services into the heart of Europe.

Taking just two hours and fifteen minutes from London to Paris, and with some services calling at Ebbsfleet, Ashford, Calais, and Lille en route, it is a fast option that can be taken without your feet leaving the ground. The Eurostar is also one of the cheapest ways to get across the channel, and offers a relatively luxurious alternative to flight. It is also one of the most regular services, operating up to 6 services a day from London to Brussels, as early as twenty-five past five in the morning, and as late as eight o'clock in the evening.

Route 15:

The train between London and Edinburgh is operated by East Coast, travelling up the east side of England and Scotland along the historical East Coast Mainline, between London King's Cross and Edinburgh Waverley. The relatively quick journey is a great alternative to flying, as it gets you right to the heart of the cities in a matter of hours, and for a very reasonable price (as long as you book in advance!).

In the past, a number of these services continued to/originated from Glasgow Central. East Coast now only operates one Glasgow service per day Mondays-Fridays, none on Saturdays and only one on Sundays. If you are travelling between London and Glasgow, the West Coast Man Line is a better option.

Route 16:

The latest long-distance international coach service, known as iDBUS, offers a direct route between London, Lille and Paris. The service, managed by French rail operator SNCF, hopes to become a major player in the European coach market.

The journey between the two capitals takes a total of nine hours, whilst the journey between London and Lille takes around six. Most of the coaches cross the channel on-board the Eurotunnel (Shuttle), although some services travel on ferries. When crossing the channel, passengers go through standard border security checks.

Route 17:

The most popular international train service is the high-speed Eurostar service between St Pancras International Station at King's Cross in London, and travelling to Gare du Nord in Paris, the Eurostar acts as the UK's route into Europe.

Taking just two hours and fifteen minutes from London to Paris, and with some services calling at Ebbsfleet and Ashford en route, it is a fast option that can be taken without your feet leaving the ground.

The Eurostar is also one of the cheapest ways to get across the channel, and offers a relatively luxurious alternative to flight. It is also one of the most regular services, operating up to 21 services a day from London to Paris, as early as half past five in the morning, and as late as eight o'clock in the evening.

Route 18:

The Dutch Flyer service, operated in partnership between Stena Line, National Express East Anglia and Holland's NS railway, is a city-to-city service combining rail and ferry routes to link London and Amsterdam in around 14 hours. Travelling overnight is the best option, although not the cheapest (as purchasing a cabin is mandatory), as you maximise your time at your destination. 

Each day, there are two Dutch Flyer services in either direction. When travelling from Amsterdam, you need to change trains at Schiedam. When travelling from London on the Sunday evening or Saturday morning service, passengers need to change train at Manningtree to reach Harwich.

London to Amsterdam on the Dutch Flyer:

 StopMonday - FridaySaturdaySunday
TrainLondon Liverpool St06.3818.2006.3819.00b07.55b19.02
Harwich Intnl.08.1020.0108.0920.2209.2520.48
FerryHarwich Intnl.09.0023.1509.0023.1510.0023.15
Hook of Holland16.4507.4516.4507.4518.0007.45
TrainHook of Holland17.3708.3717.3708.3718.5508.37
Schiedam C.18.0309.0318.0309.0319.2109.03
Schiedam C.18.1609.1618.1609.1619.2709.16

a = Change trains at Schiedam for Amsterdam
b = Change trains at Manningtree for Harwich

Amsterdam to London on the Dutch Flyer:

 Schiedam C.12.4520.1512.4520.1512.4520.15
 Schiedam C.13.1820.4813.1820.4813.1820.48
 Hook of Holland13.4221.1213.4221.1213.4221.12
FerryHook of Holland14.3022.1514.3022.0014.3022.00
 Harwich Intnl.20.0006.3020.0006.3020.0006.30
TrainHarwich Intnl.20.4507.1520.4507.2020.3507.15
 London Liverpool St.22.1408.5422.1408.5921.5908.54

a: Change trains at Schiedam for Hook of Holland


Route 19:

Why not experience the magic of Disneyland Paris, direct to/from London on the Eurostar. Trains direct to/from Disneyland run only once a day to/from London St Pancras, but you still get to experience the comfort and style offered by the Eurostar service. During school holidays, frequencies can increase, so check with Eurostar to find out what services will be available on the day you plan to travel.

Route 20:

If you have a lot of time to spare, a serious hatred of flying, or just spending a month on a ship, then travelling to Australia or New Zealand by sea freighter might be the route for you!

This service, operated by CMA CGM, The French Line, can accommodate up to six fare paying passengers on each of their freighters.

The service calls at various European and American destinations, amongst others before calling at Fiji, Australia and New Zealand. It's somehow unlikely that you will choose to do the full round trip (84 days) by freighter, but this option is available. Please note that it is not possible to book just the journey between Europe and USA (trans-atlantic) on this service.

There are a total of three passenger cabins onboard. All the rooms are double rooms with windows, and upgrades are available to the Owner's or Officer's rooms, which are larger.

There is an upper age limit for passengers of 80 years, although people aged between 75 and 80 will be asked for a medical certificate before being permitted to travel.

There are various visa requirements for those wishing to travel this route, and non-US citizens will require a full visa (visa waiver programme is not applicable).

If you would like to enquire about this journey, contact Strand Travel, a well respected company specialising in passenger journeys on cargo ships.

Click here for a PDF giving more information about this route.