The entrance to Ebbsfleet International. The station is small, but perfectly formed.
We drove to Ebbsfleet International Station: it was easier to drive and park the car than take two small people across London on the tube and make several changes, especially with luggage for the week ahead and souvenirs on the way back.
Save on car parking – by parking your car on site
There are four car parks in Ebbsfleet and price varies on their closeness to the terminal. However, you can save yourself £12 simply by using car park D. It’s just a few minutes walk away (the website says up to 6 minutes and that’s a pretty good estimate, unless you park right at the back).
Use the drop-off point for up to 20 minutes
The family can wait at the drop-off point as you have 20 minutes’ free parking. Then, you can take your time to get the car parked and meet them at the departure lounge.
There is little chance of missing them when you return: Ebbsfleet Station is small.
Eat before you get there
Beware that there are few options for food at Ebbsleet before departure. Pre-customs there’s a Pumpkin coffee stall, post-customs there’s a Smiths and a Cafe Nero. All sell sandwiches that come at a premium price – no cooked breakfasts which is a pain if you arrive early.
A Sainsbury’s supermarket can be found in nearby Northfleet: the postcode for sat navs is DA11 8JH. It has a hot food counter, but no sit down cafe. It opens at 8am in the mornings, apart from 7.30am on Saturdays and 10am on Sundays.
A little further afield, there’s a Toby Carvery in Coldharbour Road, Gravesend. The postcode is DA11 8AB.
It opens for breakfast from 8am and is a good value option for those looking for a Full English, it’s also a buffet, so you can be in and out fairly quickly.
A small play area for small people
A small play area for small people at Ebbsfleet International will help while away the wait for your train
Ebbsfleet has a small children’s play area and the toilets are equally small. Get there before the rush – but be warned there really is nothing to do before you board the train.
First class lounge
There is a small first class lounge for Eurostar customers who have paid the extra. It does the usual things you expect from a business lounge.
If you need to go, go before you go through customs as these toilets are much bigger. On the otherside of customs, the toilets are much smaller and don’t always keep up with demand.
The gents toilet features one cubicle so get there before the rush starts – the ladies is slightly bigger, but again demand may outstrip supply.