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  • Writer's pictureGreen Traveller

Train from London to Nantes, France

Green Traveller's Guide to taking the train from London St Pancras International Railway Station to Nantes in the north west of France.

Les Anneaux de Burren, Nantes
Les Anneaux de Burren. Photo: Richard Hammond

Journey Time: from 5 hours 17 minutes

Sample timetable: Depart London 7.55am, arrive Nantes 2.19pm

Changes: 1

Transfer: Paris Gare du Nord to Paris Gare Montparnasse

Frequency of Departures: 20/day

Carbon emissions: 10.8kg (flight would be 133.4kg)*

Train ticket provided by Trainline:

What's the journey like?

You have to change stations in Paris from Gare du Nord to Gare Montparnasse, which can take 20-30 minutes on the Paris metro (14 stops), but we recommend you leave at least 50 minutes for the entire transfer. See our guide to How to transfer between train stations across Paris. At Gare Montparnasse, you board an intercity train to Nantes station. Remember, whenever you’re connecting trains in France, always remember to validate your onward train ticket ('compostez votre billet') at the machine on the platform before departing (these are often coloured yellow).

Stopover hotels to break the journey in Paris

If you want to break the journey and stay overnight to see a bit more of Paris while you're travelling through, there are lots of lovely places to stay near both Gare du Nord and Gare Montparnasse. Here are some examples of hotels that are conveniently near these stations:

On arrival at Nantes station

Bienvenue à Nantes! At the station, there are tram and bus connections, including the terminus of the Navibus service that goes to the University of Nantes. There are lots of hotels near to the railway station, see below.

Hotels near Nantes train station

Nantes is the capital of the Pays de la Loire and is a fascinating historic city - it once rivalled Rennes as capital of the old Duchy province of Brittany. It is now one of the most artistically creative cities in France, and in 2013 it was Europe's Green Capital (following Stockholm, Hamburg and Vitoria-Gasteiz), thanks in no small part to a wonderfully joined-up public transport network, including trains, trams and a comprehensive city bike hire scheme. Nantes may often be overlooked by holidaymakers heading to the more famous cities of France, but it's a great place to go, especially for a city break by train, as it's less than six hours from London. For information about where to eat and sleep as well as things to do in the city, see Green Traveller's Guide to Nantes.

Nantes is on the confluence of the Loire, Erdre and Sèvre rivers, 55km from France's Atlantic coast. Here are some impressive green statistics about the city:

  • All its residents live within 300 metres of a green area in the city

  • 57 squared metres of green space per person

  • 100,000 trees in the city

  • 15% of daily travels are made using public transport

  • An ambitious Climate Action Plan to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% per capita by 2020 in three sectors: residential, transport and tertiary (baseline 2003)

  • 60% of land area is either agricultural or a natural or official green area

  • Four Natura 2000 sites and 33 natural zones of floral, faunal or ecological interest

Nantes is a wonderful city, but don't take our word for it, go see for yourself!

Bon Voyage!

See more overland routes to France in our Flight-Free Train/Ferry Journey Planner


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