Brits Abroad: Christmas in Lovely Lille

France, Nord, Lille, the Ferris wheel installed during the Christmas season on the Place du General de Gaulle or Grand Place with belfry of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) and the old stock exchange

Christmas in Lovely Lille

Think of a trip to France in winter and you might picture travelling to Paris for some culture perhaps to the Alps for some skiing and après-ski.  But don’t overlook Lille, one of the country’s largest cities, situated close to the border with Belgium.  Known mainly for its cuisine, it has something extra special to offer visitors in December: the Christmas Market.

Getting There

Lille is accessible by bus for very little money: a ticket with iDBUS, London to Lille, costs considerably less each way than travelling by air (pretty amazing considering that this takes you across the Channel and some considerable distance north).  It takes just under six hours to reach Lille from London but iDBUS coach travel is always comfortable and includes free Wi-Fi and plug sockets(but make sure to remember your Euro to UK plug adapters!)   to keep you occupied for your journey.  Since all iDBUS coach travel routes depart from and arrive at central locations you will arrive in the middle of Lille and find it very easy to get to the Christmas Market.

Saving money by travelling by iDBUS will leave you with more cash to spend on what you like when you get there…

Lille Christmas Market

Lille is split into two sections: old and new.  It is really in the old part of town (Vieux Lille) that you will find the greatest amount of festive cheer in the form of Christmas decorations and chalets.  They make the most of already ancient streets, transporting you back in time with the sort of Christmas images you see on traditional Christmas cards.

The Lille Christmas Market has existed for hundreds of years and is the largest of its kind in northern France.  As well as truly traditional and unique Christmas gifts you can indulge in some fine dining and perhaps buy some delicious chocolates and bottles of wine to bring home as luxurious stocking fillers for friends and family members.

It is decorated to look like a snowy village and there is a mock frozen pond on which to skate.  Nearby is the Grand Place complete with an enormous Christmas tree and a Ferris wheel surrounded by a miniature village and offering spectacular views across the entire city.

Other Things to Do

The town centre in Vieux Lille is small enough to explore on foot.  As well as the Christmas market and foodie heaven, Lille has plenty of French, Flemish, Dutch, Spanish and German history and culture to explore in its architecture and museums.

If you wanted to extend your trip to France you could travel from London to Paris with iDBUS and spend a few days there first before travelling onward to Lille, or just travel direct to Lille – there is enough there to keep you entertained for several days even when you are not visiting the Market.

This was a guest post from our friends at iDBUS

Photo credit: Daily Mail

Emerging Casino Destinations

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There are new and exciting destinations popping up all over the world all the time and with each passing year it is more and more clear that now is the time for the rebirth of the world of the casino. With cities like Manchester and London beginning to build their reputations as exciting places of tourism, the lure of the casino is yet another reason that these cities are as popular as they are. Some of the major names in the world of casinos are putting their money into building resorts like those you might see in Las Vegas with the hope that they will draw the punters in from all over the world.

It might seem like a risky investment in this time of financial uncertainty, but if there’s one thing that you can be sure of it’s that people will always want excitement and a casino is the perfect way to get that excitement in a safe and relaxing environment. The appeal lies in the knowledge that the next turn of the card could be life changing, and it is with that same spirit that these magnificent spectacles are being created.

It will be interesting to see how things pan out for these casinos considering the popularity of online casinos nowadays. There are many great ways to enjoy online casino games wherever you are and whatever your taste. If you’re having an evening in, then it’s easy to get yourself set up with a dedicated site like and enjoy an full session of Poker, or if you’re on the go it’s just as simple to get a few minutes of game time on your smart phone or portable tablet device. Indeed, these latter ways are fast becoming the most popular play style of choice for the discerning online casino gamer. It used to be that travelling to a big city casino was the only way to enjoy these games, and more recently it seems that brick and mortar casinos are coming back into favour.

This was written by Thomas Shannon