Some interesting facts about Ebbsfleet International…..
- Watling Street, which runs right past Ebbsfleet International, was the ancient Roman thoroughfare between London and Dover, proving that this area of Kent has always been a gateway to the Continent. Luckily, travellers don't have to march to Paris, Brussels or Lille anymore (they can rest their feet onboard Eurostar and watch the world go by at 186mph instead).
- Until the domestic high-speed line is up and running in 2009, it will be easier (and quicker) to go from Ebbsfleet International to Lille for a spot of retail therapy than to the West End of London. This French city is well-known for its shops including a brand new Galaries Lafayette.
- Ebbsfleet's name is derived from the River Fleet which runs through the Ebbsfleet International station site. It is at this point that the river 'ebbs' i.e. ceases to be tidal. The river divides the boroughs of Dartford and Gravesham, with 84% of the station sitting in Dartford and (you guessed it) 16% sitting in Gravesham. Vive la difference!
- During an archaeological dig at Ebbsfleet International, a prehistoric elephant skeleton was unearthed. This extinct straight-tusked elephant had been killed by hunters who used very different weapons than had been previously discovered, suggesting for the first time the existence of two cultural traditions in Britain. This could possibly mean that this part of Kent was already embracing multiculturalism about 400,000 years ago. Enter Eurostar.