Would you travel to Belfast WITHOUT flying?!

Did you know nearly 30% of the EU’s total CO2 emissions comes from transport?

As world travellers we should be aware of our carbon footprints… how we travel, where we stay and what we buy. The good news is that as a student of IH Belfast, once you are here studying and staying in local accommodation your footprint is fairly light! But it would be even better if you could get here without flying… and maybe it would be more fun to see the country and even spend a few days in London, Edinburgh or Dublin enroute.

Here is our guide to travelling to Belfast without flying! Please note all prices and co2 measurements are estimates.

Dublin – Belfast Train

Option 1 – Train & Ferry from Paris via London & Dublin

Flying 1 person Belfast from Paris return in economy class emits 154 kg CO2
Train & Ferry, 1 person Belfast from Paris return emits 98.60 kg CO2

STAGE 1Paris – London, 2hr 16min
Eurostar – Under the channel!
FINACIAL COST: Low as £58 one way (weekday)
ENVIRONMENTAL COST: 22 Kg/CO2 rtn

  • Fast and convenient check-in – as little as 10 minutes before travelling!
  • Generous, free-of-charge baggage allowance with each passengers allowed 2 bags/suitcases and 1 piece of hand luggage
  • No queues or baggage reclaim upon arrival – simply take your bag with you on board
  • Comfort and space on board to work or unwind, with on-board entertainment and free wifi.
  • A chance to spend a bit of time in London!

STAGE 2 – London – Holyhead, Wales 3hr 44min
Virgin Trains – Across England & Wales! 226 miles
FINACIAL COST: Low as £19 one way (weekday)
ENVIRONMENTAL COST: 34.6 Kg/CO2 rtn

  • On an average weekday, there are 5 trains travelling from London Euston to Holyhead.
  • Train tickets from London Euston to Holyhead can start from as little as £19.00 when you book in advance and are usually more expensive when purchased on the day.
  • You can arrive as late as one minute before your train leaves and you don’t have to worry about baggage reclaim because it’s all with you 
  • All virgin trains have Wifi!

STAGE 3Holyhead, Wales – Dublin 2-3hrs
Irish Ferries – Across the Irish Sea!
FINACIAL COST: Low as £64 one way (weekday)
ENVIRONMENTAL COST: 24 Kg/CO2 rtn

  • The Holyhead Dublin ferry route connects Wales with Ireland and is currently operated by 2 ferry companies. The Irish Ferries service runs up to 5 times per day with a sailing duration of around 2 hours while the Stena Line service runs up to 4 times per day with a duration from 3 hr 15 min.
  • Some Ferry companies offer free WiFi.
  • It’s easy to get into the centre of Dublin from the Port… When travelling from Dublin Port, the shuttle bus service picks up from both the Irish Ferries and Stena Line terminals and drops passengers off at Connolly Station, Westmoreland Street and Heuston Station, providing easy connections with trains and trams. So you can spend some time seeing Dublin too!!!
  • Virgin Trains (www.virgintrains.co.uk) has combos that include London to Dublin. For more options, look for SailRail fares.

STAGE 4 – Dublin – Belfast 2hr 15 min
Irish Rail – To the north of Ireland!
FINACIAL COST: Low as £18 one way (weekday)
ENVIRONMENTAL COST: 18 Kg/CO2 rtn

  • Easy, frequent and a popular means of travel between the two capitals!
  • The Train goes from city center to city center.

Scottish Ferry

Option 2 – Train & Ferry from Brussels via London & Edinburgh

Flying 1 person Belfast from Brussels return in economy class emits 154 kg CO2
Train & Ferry, 1 person Belfast from Brussels return emits 77.40 kg CO2

STAGE 1Brussels – London 2hr 1min
Eurostar – Under the channel!
FINACIAL COST: Low as £39 one way (weekday)
ENVIRONMENTAL COST: 18.40 Kg/CO2 rtn

  • As above, Fast, convenient, no luggage restrictions, late check-in and WiFi!
  • Plus a chance to spend a bit of time in London!

STAGE 2 London – Edinburgh 4 hrs 20min
LN – Across England & Scotland!
FINACIAL COST: Low as £26.50 one way (weekday)
ENVIRONMENTAL COST: 24 Kg/CO2 rtn

  • Trains leave London Kings Cross every hour or at times every half-hour 07:00-19:00 and arrive at Edinburgh Waverley, right in the centre. Typical journey time 4h20, but it varies.
  • There’s also an overnight sleeper between London & Edinburgh, see the Caledonian Sleeper page.
  • A chance to spend a bit of time in Edinburgh!

STAGE 3 – Edinburgh – Belfast 7 hrs
National Express – Across Scotland and over the Irish Sea!
FINACIAL COST: Low as £29 one way (weekday)
ENVIRONMENTAL COST: 20 Kg/CO2 rtn, coach to Stranraer & 15kg/CO2 rtn, ferry to Belfast

  • National Express coach service offers loads of routes from destinations all over the UK and incorporating the ferry services. There is a direct service from Edinburgh-Belfast taking you from city to city, and also one which changes in Glasgow.
  • There is a restaurant and bar on the ferry so you can refresh on the 2-3 hr crossing.
  • Hop on the bus and don’t worry about a thing until you arrive in Belfast. 

Flying Scotsman

USEFUL LINKS

Best Train journeys to take in Ireland 2019… read more.

A great website to read when considering trains v planes in different countries… read more.

Compare the energy consumption, the CO2 emissions and other environmental impacts for planes, cars and trains in passenger transport, mainly within Mainland Europe… read more

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