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Journey time from London St Pancras: from 5hrs 30mins.
Route: direct (summer only, Saturdays only, 7 July to 1 September inclusive), or via Paris or Lille, all year round
Price: from £109 return in standard class

Transfer information: if booking your trip to Avignon via Paris over the phone you can choose to break your journey for up to 24 hours in Paris before continuing on to Avignon. At Lille, it’s just a simple platform change to catch the onward TGV to Avignon.

If you’re changing in Paris, you’ll need to transfer across the city to Paris Gare de Lyon. From the Eurostar platform at Gare du Nord, turn left, walk down the stairs and follow the signs for RER line D (which will be signposted 'direction' 'Melun', 'Malesherbes' or 'Corbeil Essonnes'). It's just 2 stops from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon and takes a little over 10 minutes (plus there's a short 5 minute walk to the connecting TGV departure platforms), but we recommend you leave at least 40-45 minutes for the entire transfer (and so opt for a longer connection time when you book). NB for the return journey from Gare du Lyon to Gare du Nord, follow the signs for RER line D (which will be signposted 'direction Orry la Ville' - usually platforms 2 & 4). Take the line two stops direct to Gare du Nord. Again we suggest you allow a transfer time of 40-45 minutes and don’t forget to allow at least another 30 minutes for check-in time for Eurostar back to London.

Highlights of the journey: In summer, the direct Eurostar service is the fastest, most convenient and comfortable way to travel by train to Avignon. On board the train, there’s a bar-buffet carriage that sells a range of hot and cold, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, including champagne, as well as snacks and wholesome, hearty dishes. For those with standard premier tickets, light refreshments are served at your table, including a fresh, light, healthy meal, tea, coffee and soft drinks, and a glass of wine or beer.

It’s about 30mins from London to the Channel Tunnel, then, after about 20 minutes underground, you emerge for the onward journey through the beautiful countryside of France, passing through the picturesque French villages and along the Rhône Valley all the way to Avignon.

If you’re travelling to Avignon at other times of the year, the easiest way to go by train is via Lille, where it’s a simple platform within Lille station to board the high-speed TGV down to Avignon.

Onward Travel: Avignon is the gateway to Provence: from Avignon TGV station, high speed trains run south to Aix en Provence, Marseille, Toulon, St Raphael (for St Tropez), Cannes, Antibes, Monaco-Monte Carlo, and Nice.

Photo: Thalys