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Travel Info & Tips Departing by Eurostar from London
When taking a Eurostar arrive early at St Pancras International and indulge yourself

Departing by Eurostar from London

This guide includes finding your way at St Pancras station, how to make the transfer from the Underground, plus boarding tips.

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Our guide to taking the Eurostar train from St Pancras International station in London will take you through;

  • how to make your way to check-in
  • how to make the transfer to Eurostar departures when arriving at St Pancras by Underground
  • what's good to know when checking-in
  • what to be aware of when boarding the trains

When taking the Eurostar from St Pancras International you might expect Eurostar departures to be the most prominent feature of the station, but that isn't the case, so the info below should save time and confusion.

Entering the station:

It's not particularly obvious, but this entrance on Pancras Road pictured below is by far the most convenient STREET ENTRANCE to St Pancras International if you'll be taking the Eurostar.
The main street entrance to Eurostar Departures at St Pancras International on Pancras Road

It is located approximately halfway along the red brick 19th century part of the station; if you will be on Euston Road by the front of the station, you'd probably assume this entrance would be located there, but it isn't.
You need to head down Pancras Road, which is the road to the right of the station.
Go through these arches and the Eurostar check-in desks are immediately over to the right; and if you need to join a queue to check-in, you will see it ahead of you.

Taking a taxi to Eurostar departures at St Pancras International:
If you will be taking a taxi to St Pancras International, tell the driver you that will be taking the Eurostar, as it can drop you right by this entrance.

Transferring from King's Cross station:

The entrance PICTURERD ABOVE is across the street (Pancras Road) from King's Cross station.
When arriving by train at platforms/tracks 0-8 in Kings Cross station, on exiting from the platform (track), turn to the right to access the main concourse, then walk straight ahead to the far side of the main concourse, its departure board will be behind you off to the right, and then follow the passage way which curves round to the right.
Then use the first exit you will come to on your left and you will see this entrance across the street, this entrance is opposite The Great Northern Hotel, which is on the King Cross side of the street; all together it's a two minute walk.

Using the more obvious entrance

The main Pancras Road entrance to St Pancras International, PICTURED BELOW, is directly opposite the main Pancras Road exit from King's Cross station.
The main entrance at St Pancras International on Pancras Road

If your train arrives at platforms/tracks 9-11 at King's Cross on exiting the platform, turn to the right and leave the station.
You will then see the entrance pictured above ahead of you, but avoid using it if you want to go direct to Eurostar check-in, instead turn to the left and head down Pancras road until you come to that other entrance on the right.

Though do use that entrance pictured above. if you want to access the shops, bars and restaurants in St Pancras International before you head to Eurostar check-in.

To Eurostar departures from the Underground:

Map of the London Underground
Underground Journey Planner
The underground station is named 'King's Cross St Pancras'.

Taking the Northern or Piccadilly Lines to St Pancras International:
When you step off the train you will see that there are 'Way Out' signs pointing the way to 'St Pancras International', but if you don't want to/need to use the lifts/elevators, our advice is to ignore these signs.
Instead follow this step-by-step guide to taking the quickest route direct to Eurostar check-in, from these Underground lines.

(1) When you step on to the platform from the train, ignore the first 'Trains' sign you will see on the walls and instead follow the Way Out signs pointing the way to Euston Road
(When arriving by Northern or Piccadilly line trains from central London, this exit is the 'Way Out' towards the rear of the train).

(2) At the foot of the escalator you will see then a sign pointing the way to 'Trains' - so you'll know you are heading in the right direction

(3) At the top of escalator you will enter into a busy lobby area, but on the other side of the ticket gates will be a sign pointing the way to 'St Pancras'.

(4) Exit from this lobby to the left and then turn right, following more 'St Pancras' signs
You will then be in the atrium, which is above the part of the station used by the other Underground lines, at the other end of which is an entrance into the main part of St Pancras International - over to the right.

Taking the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines to St Pancras International:
Take these lines to St Pancras International and it only takes a minute to make the transfer to Eurostar check-in.
When ascending up from the platforms, you will enter the atrium in this part of the station, turn to the left and then the nearest entrance to St Pancras International is through the open doors over to the right.

Step through this entrance and you will enter 'The Arcade' at St Pancras International, pictured below.
Transferring to Eurostar departures from the Underground at St Pancras
As can be seen above, there are a lack of 'this way to Eurostar departures' signs.

So keep walking ahead and the Eurostar check-in, 'International Departures' will be over to the right, on the other side of the staircase PICTURED ABOVE.
Eurostar departures at St Pancras station

Note how the main signs stating that this is the Eurostar 'International Departures' area are over to the right and therefore can't be seen when walking along the 'Arcade' lower level, so watch out for them.

Taking the Victoria line to St Pancras International:

Avoid taking the Victoria Line if possible, as there's no alternative to walking along very long passages, the transfer from stepping off the train to being at Eurostar departures will take at least five minutes.
The most obvious route from the Victoria line, will take you up in to the 'Market' area of the station, where the departure board is on the left hand wall.
From here you need to go ahead and then turn to the left into the main 'Arcade' area; the Eurostar departure area is on the left, towards the far end.

Checking in for Eurostar departures:

The location of the check-in desks:
The smaller of the two entrances to St Pancras International station on Pancras Road, pictured at the top of the article, leads directly into the Eurostar check-in area.
However, if you are making your way to check-in from within the station, what can be a tad disconcerting is that Eurostar check-in (the International Departures area) is hidden out of sight.
Pictured below, it is located to one side of the main 'Arcade' area within the station, between some shops; under the platforms/tracks that the Eurostar trains use.
Accessing Eurostar check in at St Pancras International

Arriving at St Pancras on non-Eurostar train services and heading to Eurostar Departures:

If you arrive at the station by East Midlands or Southeastern hi-speed trains to connect into a Eurostar, you will initially need to descend to the lower level of the station; 'The Arcade'.

If you have arrived by Thameslink trains, when exiting its part of the station go straight ahead into 'The Arcade.
Once you're in this 'Arcade' the Eurostar check-in will be over to the left around half way down.

Three Things Most Worth Knowing About Checking-in for Eurostar Departures at St Pancras International

1. Eurostar is currently suggesting that Standard Class And Standard Premier ticket holders should be at the Eurostar departure area in St Pancras International 90 mins before departure; and that Business Premier ticket holders should be there 45-60mins prior to departure.

The departure gates will close 30 mins prior to departure for Standard Class And Standard Premier ticket holders; and 15 mins prior to departure for Business Premier ticket holders.

2. It is up to you to allow time to pass through check-in etc and board the train, though teams of staff will aim to ensure that you won't miss the train if time is tight.

3. At busy times check-in queues and desks are allocated to specific trains, so take care to ensure that you are joining the right line.

The waiting area for the Eurostar departures:

A difference between taking the Eurostar from St Pancras and a flight from a London airport, is that at St Pancras the quality restaurants, bars and shops are available BEFORE you check-in and not afterwards.
If you won’t be in the privileged position of being able to access the Eurostar lounge, then after you have passed through check-in, the Eurostar departure hall can feel like an anti-climax; the airport equivalent is the departure gate waiting area.

This international departure hall houses food/drink counters and electronic device chargers, and chargers are otherwise hard to find anywhere else at St Pancras International, but it also tends to be feel crowded.

So to make the most of what St Pancras International offers prior to departure, aim to be at the station a minimum of two hours before your train is due to leave.
In normal circumstances there is little point in making your way to check-in more than an hour prior to departure, but with many Eurostar departures close to being fully booked, the information on the Eurostar website is recommending that Standard Class And Standard Premier ticket holders should head to check-in Pancras International 90 mins before departure and that Business Premier tickets should head there 45-60mins prior to departure.

So take a look at the queues or ask the staff what they advise, when you first arrive at the station.

Boarding your train:

Once you're in the Eurostar departure hall, the specific platform/track your Eurostar will be departing from isn’t usually announced until 15 -25 mins before the departure time' hence the departure hall being crowded.

What can be easy to miss is that because Eurostar trains are long, there are two sets of walkways and lifts, which lead up from the Departure Hall towards specific groups of coaches on the train.
One leads up to coaches 1 - 5, while the other leads to coaches 6 and upwards.
So check the coach number on your ticket and make your way to the areas in the departure lounge nearest to the corresponding access points, to the coach in which your seat is located.

If you don’t have large items of luggage, resist joining the stampede towards the entrances to the platform, which always occurs when the specific departure platform is announced.
Your seat is assigned, so you don’t have to rush to claim it.

However, if you DO have large items of luggage and will be travelling Standard class aiming to be among the first to board is a good strategy, as space on the luggage racks is limited.
Stow your cases on the rack and THEN find your seat, if need be you can move your bags once everyone has boarded and the journey is underway.

The coach numbers will be displayed on the electronic panels either on or beside the door; depending on the type of train you will be taking.
There will also be staff on the platform who will guide you as to where you should board.

The e300 trains only have one door per coach, but on the e320 trains some coaches have two doors. in practice passengers tend to board by the first door, so using the other door can be quicker.

Author

Simon Harper

I wanted to share my passion for train travel and explain how anyone can take the fantastic journeys I have taken.

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