If you’re a fan of both rail travel and canal boats, you’re in for a hell of a treat.
Even if you aren’t (WHAT? BOTH OF THOSE THINGS ARE GREAT), good times lie ahead, as in April, Eurostar are beginning journeys from King’s Cross to Amsterdam and Rotterdam. You’ll have to change in Brussels, but you can still saunter onto a train in central London and stagger off it in the Netherlands a few hours later. That’s pretty much amazing.
A new link has been built, reducing the London to Brussels journey time by 17 minutes to one hour 48. That’s only 22 minutes longer than doing end-to-end on the Piccadilly Line. Stay on the train for another hour and 13 and you’re in Rotterdam, and Amsterdam is only another 40 minutes from there. One train, three hours 41 minutes, four cities.
You can fly from Heathrow to Amsterdam in 80 minutes, but you need to get to Heathrow for that, and get there in time to check in and everything. Even when you land at Schiphol Airport, the train you get to the city centre might have actually started off in London - the Eurostar pulls in there between Rotterdam and Amsterdam.
Another bonus of the train is that you can wander around freely, drink as heavily as you wish and see more interesting things than clouds when you look out of the window. Trains are great, and if you disagree, you’re not allowed to my birthday party. It’s no contest, really.
(Except in terms of options - BA does 17 flights from London to Amsterdam every day, while the new Eurostar route will only be running two trains a day at the beginning. If you need to get to Amsterdam any time other than 1:12pm or 10:12pm, you railly might to consider other options.)
For complicated bureaucratic reasons - something about passing a Dutchy pon de lef han side - travelling back takes longer, as you have to change trains at Brussels. The journey, ahem, sprouts an extra hour because of that. Still amazing though.
Tickets go on sale on 20 February, starting from just £35.