With the Christmas season in full swing, I wanted to make the most of an opportunity to do shopping and sightseeing on the readily accessible Eurostar service from London. Having previously visited Paris and Brussels courtesy of the reliable service, I wanted to try somewhere new, hence opting for Lille.
Located in northern France, Lille is 1 hour 20 minutes from London St. Pancras International with travel offered at very reasonable fares as low as £69 return.
The direct service offers the best way to travel directly to the heart of the city, maximising sightseeing and of course critical shopping time in the picturesque city, birthplace of former French president Charles de Gaulle.
With a one night stay planned, I took the chance to experience Lille during the peak season for a fun getaway with a friend.
Eurostar delivers an easy way of travelling between London and Lille in an environmentally friendly way: travel by Eurostar is ‘faster and greener than flying’.
If that wasn’t enough, the extra baggage allowance that you get on Eurostar compared to flying on a plane is unbeatable. I travelled with a backpack that returned with twice as much weight and two extra bags of shopping at no additional charge – difficult to achieve with an airline!
My friend and I had opted to stay at Cosy’s Appart’hôtel Lille, an affordable, comfortable and relatively easy walk located 15-20 minutes from the Eurostar terminal (which inevitably takes you through the heart of Lille) and just 10 minutes from Grand Place and the Christmas markets.
The Christmas market in Lille offers a range of stalls selling freshly made doughnuts, mulled wine, mulled cider and many ornamental pieces that make ideal gifts or treats for loved ones.
If you’re planning a trip to Lille or any other Eurostar destination, then don’t forget that Eurostar tickets offer much more than just travel with 2 for 1 entry to to some of Europe’s most popular museums and galleries in Paris, Lille and Brussels. Travellers can simply present their Eurostar ticket to take advantage of 2-for-1 entry into paying exhibitions.
Lille galleries and museums include: Le Palais des Beaux-Arts, La Piscine – Musée d’art et d’industrie André Diligent, LaM – Lille Métropole Musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut, MUba Eugène Leroy, Tourcoing, Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains.
Eurostar operates up to 9 daily services from London St Pancras International to Lille with return fares from £69. Fastest London-Lille journey time is 1hr 20 minutes. Tickets are available from eurostar.com or by calling (+44) 8432 186 186.
Many thanks to Eurostar for providing complimentary travel to Lille.