“Having successfully taken the train to Europe on a few family summer holidays we thought we’d give it a go for our winter snowboarding trip. Airports and flying are never much fun and we liked the idea of more sustainable travel. Travelling from Yorkshire adds a few hours onto to the journey, but our girls (11 and 14) were not complaining when we picked them up from school at lunchtime and we headed straight to our local train station.
"After a quick tea in London we caught the 19.45 to Bourg St Maurice. Everyone was chatty and in good spirits at first, but at about 10pm the lights are dimmed and everyone settled down to sleep under the fleece blankets supplied by Eurostar. However, as the seats are not reclining and you are sitting up all the way, I can’t pretend it was a restful sleep. Apart from a couple of idiots who came crashing into the carriage around midnight and didn’t seem to get the memo about it being an alcohol-free train, it was a peaceful journey but sleep only came in fits and starts. By the early hours of the morning I would have given all my holiday Euros just to lie out flat on the train floor!
"Bleary eyed and grumpy we arrived in Bourg st Maurice at 6.15, only to have to wait for the funicular to Les Arcs to start running. It was then a quick journey up to Les Arcs 1600 and a change onto a bus to take us to Les Arcs 1950. Thankfully we’d booked an extra night at our accommodation (Le Village, booked via Erna Low) so could check straight in and finally get some sleep.
"Recovered by lunchtime, we could board straight out from our accommodation and onto the slopes and get an extra afternoon in over those coming via plane. Les Arcs 1950 is a great resort, the best in the Les Arcs collection we reckon, but all have access to a good ski area that has plenty to offer all levels. Our return journey was during the daytime and was more comfortable than the overnight on the way down, with great views and, as it was one of the newer Eurostars, with onboard film entertainment.
"We’d definitely go back to Les Arcs again and are continuing to choose the train for travelling to Europe, but only on daytime trains, or if there are proper sleeper facilities – an overnight sitting up is not for the feint hearted!”