I’m thinking about taking the train to Barcelona. I am not keen on flying but my friends say it will be a long journey and I’m better off going by plane. Is that right? Helen, Milton Keynes
With the new high-speed TGV service from Paris to Northern Spain, you can travel to Barcelona in a day. You’ll need to set off from Milton Keynes at around 7am to take the Eurostar from London St Pancras just after 9am. That reaches Paris Gare du Nord around 1pm.
The main complication is having to transfer to Gare de Lyon station (by taxi or underground) for the 2.07pm train to Barcelona, arriving in this wonderful city at around 8.30pm. Coming back, the train for Paris leaves at 9.25am and you’ll get back to London around 7.40pm.
The Barcelona train is a modern double-decker, so for great views I’d recommend booking an upper deck seat.
Of course, flying will be quicker. Your nearest airport is Luton and assuming a 9am check-in, ready for the 11am Easyjet flight to Barcelona, you’d arrive at around 2pm. A transfer to the city centre takes about 40 minutes.
A low cost air ticket is likely to be cheaper too – I can find fares for November at around £68 return and you’ll get these even cheaper if you book ahead. Even so, the cheapest rail fare will come in at around £340
But if you’d like the views and the less stressful experience of travelling by train, it might be worth the extra cost and time.