I’m confused

London Heathrow / Penzance / Nice

We are traveling from Victoria BC to London Heathrow arriving on September 10. We want to go to Penzance by train that day ... can we do that from Heathrow or do we have to go in to London and change trains?
Then on September 17 we want to go to Nice arriving in the afternoon some time. Again, we want to make the minimum number of changes whether train or plane.
Around October 4 we will return to Victoria from Nice somehow :-)
Your information and advice appreciated ....
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 09, 2012 16:15
    Hi William,

    To get from Heathrow to Penzance you would first have to go into the city of London. You would take the Heathrow Express train out of the airport, which arrives into the Paddington station in the city. The Heathrow Express only takes about 15 minutes in duration and departs once every 15 minutes. You can purchase tickets for the Heathrow Express by clicking here:
    http://www.raileurope.ca/activities/h....

    Conveniently, the trains to Penzance depart right out of the Paddington station, so you would not have to commute to another station. You can check ticket costs and schedules for trains from London to Penzance under 'Check Fares and Schedules' on the homepage of the Canadian Rail Europe website, www.raileurope.ca.

    The rail connection from Penzance to Nice would take at least 16.5 hours in duration and involve 2 train changes along the way; once back in London and then once in Paris. In fact, for this connection to be completed within one day without having to overnight in London or in Paris, you would have to depart on the earliest possible train from Penzance to London at around 5 in the morning.

    To view the ticket cost and schedules for this route under 'Check Fares and Schedules', you would piece together the connection by doing separate searches for each segment of the trip. Therefore, you would do one search for trains from Penzance to London, another search for trains from London to Paris and then another search for trains from Paris to Nice. If the earliest train from Penzance to London does not display, then you would have to call us at 1-800-622-8600 to purchase the tickets. Otherwise, you could purchase tickets for a later train and expect an overnight stay in either London or Paris en route.

    Trains from London to Paris depart from the St. Pancras station in London. Since trains coming from Penzance arrive into the Paddington station, you would have to take the Circle Line of the London Tube to commute between stations. This ride between Paddington and St. Pancras would take about 15 minutes.

    Trains from London to Paris arrive into the Nord station in Paris, while trains from Paris to Nice depart from the Gare de Lyon station. To commute from the Nord station to Gare de Lyon, you would take Line D of the local RER, which only take about 8-10 minutes. You would just pay to board the London Tube and the Paris RER locally upon arrival.

    To get from Nice back up to London, you would just have to make that one train change in Paris along the way, once again having to commute between the Gare de Lyon and Nord station by way of the RER in Paris.

    Trains in the United Kingdom, for your travel between London and Penzance, can be booked within 60 to 75 days of an intended date of departure. The trains between London and Paris can generally be booked at any point within 9 months of a departure. Trains in France, for your travel between Paris and Nice, can be booked within 90 days of an intended date of departure.

    The best rates on these trains can sell out quickly, so we would recommend purchasing your tickets as soon as it becomes possible to do so.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 09, 2012 16:26
    I'm sorry, I misunderstood. I see that you are actually returning back to Victoria, BC from Nice. In that case, of course, you can disregard my mention of traveling back up to London from Nice.
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  • No misunderstanding Jeff, thanks for all the detail. We do expect to return from Nice via London, thus buying return tickets Victoria/London, which often is cheaper than travelling one-way to London and back from elsewhere such as Frankfurt or Paris.
    So we will train from London to Penzance. From Penzance to Nice (actually, Menton is our destination), maybe we can train to Bristol and fly from there ....
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 10, 2012 17:45
    Great, William. Hope the rest of your planning goes well. Let us know if there is anything else we can help you with.
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