From Riga to London by coach and train

After a trip from Riga to Berlin by coach and from Berlin to Brussels by train on the second day of our trip, we woke up at the hotel in Brussels on the morning of the third day of our trip from Riga to London.

We bought tickets for the Eurostar high-speed train well in advance, the departure was scheduled for early afternoon, so we had a relaxing breakfast without any hurry and then spent our time lazy on the ground floor of the hotel. The first two days of our trip were quite exhausting and we did not want to visit any city sites before leaving Brussels.


Brussels is the capital of Belgium, although it often means the European Union and its institutions. It also houses other important institutions, such as the Benelux Secretariat and NATO headquarters.
About 1.2 million people live in Brussels. It is interesting to note that, although the city is considered to be French-speaking, it is part of the Flemish part of Belgium, forming an enclave. Until the end of the 19th century, the dominant language in Brussels was Flemish, but then French prevailed. There are two official languages in the Brussels region nowadays: French and Flemish, however, English is used widely too.

We deliberately chose the hotel near to the south station Gare du Midi, because the train arrived there from Germany the night before and from there, we planned to continue our trip to London.
High-speed trains run from Brussels South Station to the United Kingdom (St Pancras station) and European Union destinations such as Paris in France. The difference is that before boarding a train to London, you have to go through customs and border controls as you would have to do at any international airport.

Trip to London

It also means that you must arrive at the station sometime before the train leaves and there are duty-free shops at the station. However, it must be said that the prices in those duty-free shops are abnormally high, and it is likely that shopping in the city could be even cheaper. At least, those are my personal observations.

We had calculated the time correctly so that we would not have to wait long for the trains to arrive. After a short time in the waiting room, we could already go to the platform to get on the train.
The journey itself was not particularly admirable, apart from the fact that the speed of the train was close to 300 kilometres per hour (perhaps the feelings would be more impressive if we were using this train for the first time). The only stop on the way was the French city of Lille. Passengers were picked up there and we went on without any delay.
The journey from Brussels to London took just two hours and ten minutes and a ticket in a standard car cost £ 60 (€ 75) per person. It must be said though that this is a relatively low price for a trip that can cost 100 to 200 pounds or even more if you do not book your trip in advance. Prices are often lower on weekends (especially around noon) but higher on weekdays. There are usually about five one-way trips on weekends and six on weekdays (seven on Mondays).

London St Pancras Station

Eurostar trains arrive at St Pancras International Station in London. It is connected to London Euston station, one of the busiest stations in the UK, with domestic trains departing and arriving there.
If you happen to be nearby, it’s worth to go and look inside. The hangar, where the trains arrive, is both huge and at the same time cosy with a large clock on the wall and a statue at the end of the platform, which represents the joy of meeting.

Further from the station, there are a lot of opportunities to find the desired means of transport to go to the city. There is London Euston Train Station, the London Underground, buses and taxis outside and King’s Cross Railway Station nearby, which has a ‘Harry Potter shop on Platform 9 3/4’. Of course, the souvenirs related to Harry Potter are sold there.
So, our a bit less than three days long trip from Riga to London ended successfully in London. If you want to read more, there are other two posts about this trip from Riga to Berlin and from Berlin to Brussels.