Being the UK’s nearest neighbour and boasting one of the best transport infrastructures in the world, France is wonderfully easily accessible to us Brits, whichever way you choose to travel. Airlines are expanding French routes every year, with maximum flight times of two hours; ferries are a great option for families or road trippers; and France’s reliable rail network spans all four corners of the country, making train travel a delightfully scenic option for those with more time.
France’s air connections with the UK are growing every year, and today it’s possible to fly from and to more cities than ever before, both in and out of season.
For those landing in Paris, the capital has two airports: Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle (25 km north of the city) and Orly (14 km south), both linked to the centre by shuttle buses and the suburban rail service (RER). Several other cities also have an international airport: Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Strasbourg, Toulouse... and these cities also have good air links with Paris. Many smaller cities and towns are served by airports that connect through the capital.
Low-cost carriers Easyjet and Flybe offer an extensive range of flights from the UK to France – look up your route options and book online now.
Did you know France is separated from the UK by just 18 nautical miles at the narrowest part of the Channel, between Dover and Calais? Multiple daily ferries make this straightforward, speedy journey, but no need to depart from Dover if you’re travelling by sea – from Plymouth to Brighton, many other British ports are connected to France by both __Brittany Ferries and P&O Ferries__, with a range of crossing times (including overnight) either as a foot passenger or with your car. Look up your route options and book online now.
A car is probably the best way to explore France in total freedom – make sure you read our dedicated guide to driving in France before you set off.
The extensive, centralised French rail network is without doubt the most practical form of transport for travelling around the country, with every major city boasting a comprehensive network of services to its suburban areas. Towns are linked by TER (Trains Express Régionaux) trains, while major cities are served by high-speed TGV (Trains à Grande Vitesse) services.
From London, take the Eurostar direct from St-Pancras to Paris, Lille, Lyon, Avignon or Marseille, before connecting to the TGV or TER for any onward journeys. In many cases you’ll only need to make one change of train, meaning less hassle and more time to sit back and enjoy the French scenery.
Those wishing to travel by train with their car can choose the Eurotunnel option, with Channel crossings taking just 35 minutes between Folkestone and Calais. A car is probably the best way to explore France in total freedom – make sure you read our dedicated guide to driving in France before you set off.
Voyages-sncf.com is your European rail expert. Trains from London to Paris, onward connections throughout France and rail passes can all be booked via their website or call centre.
With Eurolines, you can travel from UK city centre to French city centre on a modern, air-conditioned coach with reclining seats, plenty of legroom and onboard toilets. You'll even get free Wi-Fi and power sockets so you can keep in touch while you travel.
Don't worry if you're not travelling from London Victoria. Eurolines offers a simple add-on fare with National Express from anywhere in the UK to save you money – one-way or return, adult or child, for just £15 each, so if you're booking a return it's really great value!
Learn more about Driving in France