My review of the Virgin Trains First Class lounge at Euston

This week saw my first visit to the Virgin Trains First Class lounge at London Euston since it was fully remodelled last year.

Unlike the old East Coast trains, which didn’t allow First Advance ticket holders into its (far bigger) lounge, Virgin West Coast has always allowed any First Class ticket holder in.  The problem is that the space is far too small for what they want to achieve, and the latest refurbishment – which is actually impressive given what they had to work with – simply reinforces that.

Here are how the new spaces look:

Virgin Trains West Coast First Class lounge London Euston


Virgin Trains West Coast First Class lounge London Euston

and (note the fake exposed brickwork at the back!):

Virgin Trains West Coast First Class lounge London Euston

and the bar (food was limited to pastries at 10am):

Virgin Trains West Coast First Class lounge London Euston

I did like this work area off to one side, which provided plenty of space (there are more desks directly opposite) for people who did have serious work to do:

Virgin Trains West Coast First Class lounge London Euston

All in all, Virgin Trains has done the best it can with the space available.  I continue to be impressed by their willingness to open it to First Advance ticket holders.

You can find out more about Virgin Trains First Class lounges on this page of their website.

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  1. I wonder if East and West Coast will unify the policy. It’s still £5 to get into the Virgin Trains East Coast lounge at Kings Cross (all other lounges are now free) on an advance ticket.

    Oddly enough the number of complaints about this policy since VTEC have taken over has risen. I’m not sure because it’s called ‘Virgin’ they expect the same policy as Euston or whether it was simply you could get into the lounge with 50 rewards points which pretty much meant any first class ticket would earn enough points to quality (even if you bought a Grand Central first class ticket on the East Coast website you’d still get points to get you into the lounge as the Rewards lounge access passes didn’t restrict you do which operator you were using).

    It’s been a while since I’ve travelled Virgin Trains, what’s not mentioned in the review is the Euston lounge has showers. These are mainly used for 1st class arrivals on the Caledonian Sleeper. The work area looks the most useful, the relaxing areas look better in Kings Cross.

    VTEC did a minor refurbishment to their KGX lounge ready for the press at the beginning of their franchise. The colour scheme actually feels more East Coast than it did prior to the refurb.

  2. That looks like an improvement. I made the mistake of heading to the station a couple of hours before the train departure once, hoping to enjoy the lounge facilities! Big mistake! I ended up going to Pret outside the station instead. It was less busy and the catering was much better.

  3. It is worth pointing out that although the work area looks good, you can forget about getting any work done if you need wifi.

  4. Do you mind expanding on this? “I continue to be impressed by their willingness to open it to First Advance ticket holders.” Are you saying that most train lounges will not let you in if you’ve bought a First ticket in advance, for the day of travel? Isn’t that almost everyone? I’d never buy a First ticket on the day, as it’s 3-4x the price.

    Regarding the lounge, I’ve been in that lounge many times on my way to Manchester. It’s a massive improvement compared to what it was before, but I’ve not once been there when it’s not been packed. They have a tiny lounge in Manchester, which has nothing on Euston, but it’s still nice to use and has free snacks/drinks.

    • Blenz101 says:

      On the East Coast at Kings Cross unless you are on a full fare “anytime” ticket a £5 supplement is payable to enter the lounge when travelling on an advance ticket. This does not apply at other lounge on the route (Leeds for example).

      Given ‘advance’ tickets can be bought as singles in 1st for occasionally very low prices (perhaps £15 during periods of low demand) it makes some sense to limit access to what will will primarily be business travellers on fully flex tickets.

  5. When at Euston I recommend a visit to the Euston Tap

  6. Cheshire Pete says:

    Yes Advanced first are my main ticket type on Virgin.(after Traveller that is) Have you ever seen the price of an Open Return to Manchester Rob!? Also on its trains Virgin does not distinguish between ticket types for the onboard service you get. Also Advanced Fist qualify for Traveller membership, so let’s not start putting ideas into their heads Rob!

    There are also 2 side rooms which are fairly big which Rob did not picture, and full of seats. I think it would be a very empty place without Advanced tickets, as would many of Virgins trains…..!

  7. Having regularly travelled first class through this station, I’d tend to head over to the Bree Louise, which has nice pies and great real ale. Head past the Sainsburys and down that street. The Dorich Arch isn’t bad, but a bit dirty. The Britannia when it was opened, was often crowded, but you could watch the departure board if you got a seat on the balcony…

    I only ever really used the virgin trains lounge to avoid having to pay for the toilet…

  8. I was there Tuesday last week. It is better than it it used to be but was far too overcrowded and took a good while to get a seat. (We were travelling at 5.57pm and turned up about 80 mins prior to departure.)

  9. Cheshire Pete says:

    Forgot to mention Alcohol is free with Traveller in the lounge, I was only trying their new Tilting Strawberry Cider on Sunday! Very nice….

  10. where2travel says:

    Oh my, if this dump is an improvement on the previous one, I simply cannot imagine what it was like before (although I’m sure I must have used it at some point). I’m here now, and admittedly it’s Friday evening so peak time but it’s bedlam. Difficult to find a seat, pushing past people to get anywhere and a weary selection of warm “cold” drinks.

    I bet they make a tidy profit here with people buying alcohol as it can’t cost them much.

    It looks more relaxed on the main concourse.

  11. They do restrict how far in advance of your train you can enjoy the Euston lounge.