6 nights starting from
Lovely Lille - with a festive atmosphere and
lively Christmas market
Superb museums - the Musée des Beaux Art, Lille, the Louvre Lens and La Piscine, Roubaix
Picturesque Ghent in Belgium
Arras - restored brick by brick after WW1 to
its former glory
During December, the lovely city of Lille fully embraces the festive spirit, the beautiful facades of the city centre twinkling beneath lavish decorations. As well as having time to enjoy Lille’s huge market, this Christmas tour includes plenty of modern art, with visits to Roubaix and La Piscine plus Lens, where you can visit the satellite Louvre, as well as a full day in the atmospheric Ghent and time in lovely Arras.
|22 - December - 2018||£ 945.00||Travel Info Book Now||booking-journey/#/start/XLI/22 December 2018/|
Departing: 22nd December 2018 at 12:58
Returning: 28th December 2018 at 15:35
Day 1: Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Lille and transfer to the hotel by coach.
Day 2: Morning guided walking tour of Lille with afternoon free for individual exploration.
Lille, perhaps, is often overlooked as a destination, but it is a city that boasts an impressive cultural life with wonderful architecture, particularly in the atmospheric old quarter, excellent restaurants and some great museums - the Palais des Beaux Arts de Lille Louvre Lens Lille, the largest museum outside Paris, is a must. Lille’s central square, Grand Place, is where you will find the focus of the city’s Christmas celebrations, just a short stroll from the hotel.
Day 3: Full day tour to Lens and Arras and Christmas Eve festive dinner at a local restaurant.
The city of Lens, once a hub of mining and industry, was little known until it was chosen to host the satellite Louvre gallery, which opened in 2012 on a disused colliery site. The Louvre-Lens displays some of the world’s most celebrated works from the Paris Louvre, juxtaposing and cross-referencing all periods and cultures to give a whole new experience for viewers. Arras is a lovely city well known for its architecture, culture and history - the Cathedral of St Vaast is magnificent and the Musée des Beaux-Arts, housed in the former Benedictine Abbey of St Vaast, is home to paintings by Rubens, Bassano and Delacroix. Enjoy the splendid Grand Place whilst browsing the city’s Christmas market for local delicacies like chocolate rats and Coeurs d’Arras.
Day 4: Day free to relax or explore at your leisure with Christmas Day lunch at a local restaurant.
Day 5: Full day tour to Tournai and La Piscine at Roubaix.
A contrast of ancient and modern today as we head to Tournai, renowned for its cathedral dating from the 12th century, belfry (the oldest in Belgium) and 13th century Pont des Trous as well as several museums including the Musée des Beaux Arts designed by Art Nouveau pioneer, Victor Horta. The town of Roubaix is best known for the La Piscine art gallery, which is housed in the old municipal swimming pool, with its notable Art Deco interior, and its adjoining textile factory. As a museum of art and industry, the collection here ranges from literature and fine arts to science and industrial products.
Day 6: Full day tour to Ghent.
Ghent is a vibrant university city and Flanders’ spiritual citadel. Criss-crossed by canals and waterways, its old town is perfect for exploration on foot and it is here that you will find a wealth of sights. One of the city’s great attractions, St Baafskathedraal, is where you’ll find the famed Adoration of the Mystic Lamb altarpiece by Jan van Eyck, which dates from the 15th century and is widely regarded as one of the most important works of art in the world. Do not miss the 91 metre high belfry, 15th century Cloth Hall, town hall and the Graslei quayside, which is lined with ancient houses in a pure Flemish architectural style dating from the 12th to 17th centuries. There are notable museums, too, including the Museum voor Schone Kunsten with its collection of ancient and modern paintings.
Day 7: Day free until transfer to the station for return Eurostar to Ebbsfleet or St Pancras.
NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 49 passengers.
PLEASE NOTE: As with most trains, passengers are responsible for carrying luggage onto and off the train. Luggage can be stored on overhead shelves or at the entrance to the carriages. Trollies are available at St Pancras, but bags do need to be carried onto the platform.
Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890.
Mercure Lille Centre Grand Place
Traditional four-star hotel located in the very heart of Lille, just a two minute walk from the Grand Place, with bright, airy and comfortable rooms.
Mercure Lille Hotel Website
Pre-tour accommodation is available at the Premier Travel Inn, London King's Cross St Pancras, about 5 minutes walk from St Pancras International, at an approximate rate of £120 per room. Bookings can be made direct with the hotel on 0871 527 8672 or visit their website.
We love to receive feedback from our customers. Their views help us to keep improving the ours we offer. If you have been on this tour and would like to submit a review, please log in to our client area here and fill in the short form.
Review by Mr Dudley Baines who travelled 22-December-2014
Geraldine looked after us very well, and the excursions were interesting. The hotel was good, except for lack of drawer space in the room. Train travel at Christmas is a real bonus. I hope to do the same next year.
Review by Mr Geoffrey Gammon who travelled 22-December-2014
Overall good but 2 points: as a singleton, I would have appreciated a group meal on the first evening, rather than having to do my own thing, in order to, at least, be able to recognize my fellow visitors. Thankfully, Geraldine came to the rescue and took out two of us. With a group of 30, some people I never met or spoke to throughout the whole visit. Secondly, I understand that the day of the visit to Ghent, the most important gallery was closed. That should have been checked. I chose to stay in Lille that day, but thought I'd mention the problem in Ghent.
Review by Mrs Elizabeth Talbot who travelled 22-December-2014
There were a number of 'whingers' in the group but otherwise it was a great trip. The hotel was in a great location but our room ( 217) was very cramped . However it was clean and well maintained as well as quiet. The communal facilities were a bit limited but as we did not use them much it did not detract from the pleasure of the holiday. We have had the guide before ( Geraldine) and she is OK but there were occasions when a bit more homework or advanced planning would have helped ( for instance she gave no advice on the boat trips in Ghent nor on the best places to eat in Lille itself. ) However we use guide books and our own initiative so were not as disadvantaged as the whingers!
Review by Mr Philip Hardie who travelled 22-December-2014
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