How can you fail to fall in love with a city that erects a statue to a lullaby? The statue is a working-class Madonna and Child to melt the hardest of hearts. The town clocks still chime the tune each day at noon. For years, Lille was France's best-kept secret. Despite charming cobbled streets, broad Flemish square and the richest art gallery outside Paris, Lille was tucked away in a coal-mining region, scorned by Parisians and ignored by tourists.
Lille is France's fourth largest city and third financial centre, located to the country's north, on the Dele River, near the border with Belgium and easily accessible via Eurostar from London St Pancras, Ashford and Ebbsfleet International. The city boasts an outstanding neo-Flemish architecture which no doubt will leave visitors impressed with the many lovely historic houses dating back to the 16th century and it is proud of its festive traditions and its exceptional gastronomy. Lille is surprisingly compact and very easy to explore on foot.
Even without using the excellent public transport system, you can cross from one side of the central area to another in 15 minutes. Vieux Lille is a very special place. With its looming gables, cobbled streets and the intoxicatingly wonderful Notre Dame Cathedrale de la Treille any visitor should be prepared to surrender to fate and banish any short cuts and get lost in all these great pleasures that Lille has to offer to its visitors.
Amongst the unmissable places to visit it is a must to see the Palais des Beaux Arts, France's second museum after the Louvre has Goyas and Rubens, Picasso, Lautrec and Monets, La Piscine (Roubaix), a truly remarkable building that very nearly upstages a town's incredible art collection and the Musee de l'Art Moderne (Villeneuve d'Ascq), which with a collection of Picasso, Braque, Modigliani and much, much more - well worth the metro ride out of town.
For the best Eurostar deals to such a delightful city only 1 hour away with Eurostar, look no further: this is an opportunity not to be missed!