More than 420,000 passengers are expected to travel by Eurostar over the Christmas period – up 11% on last year.

As many as 210,000 British travellers are booked, with Paris, Disneyland Paris and the French and Swiss Alps being the most popular destinations.

December 20, 27 and 30 are the busiest days for departures, according to the high speed channel tunnel rail service.

Commercial director Nick Mercer said: “There’s always a great atmosphere in our stations at this time of year, and this Christmas will be no exception.

“Our French and Swiss services have proved particularly popular this year as the British love affair with the slopes continues to snowball.

“For any travellers looking for a last minute getaway, there are tickets remaining for our first Swiss ski service of the season, departing this weekend.”