Lille

  • Lille school trip
    Starting point on any Lille school trip, the Place du Général de Gaulle (or Grand Place) represents the heart of Lille.
  • Lille school trip
    The Palais des Beaux Arts is France's second largest collection of artistic works outside of Paris.
  • Christmas Markets school trip to Lille
    Easily accessible from the UK, Lille's Christmas Market is a great experience for school groups.
  • Lille school trip
    Birthplace of Charles de Gaulle, Lille is also an excellent destination for a history school trip.
  • Lille school trip
    The art-deco Piscine in Roubaix is another popular addition to an art school trip to Lille.

The trip was a huge success.SB, Barkway VA C of E First School

Birthplace of Charles de Gaulle, this is a delightful city where the influence of its many rulers – the Flemish, the Hapsburgs, the King of Spain among others – can be seen. Through its narrow winding streets to its elegant squares and traditional Flemish architecture, there is something to interest all subject areas.

Renowned above all else for its prestigious Palais des Beaux Arts and Opera House, Lille makes for a perfect introductory destination for school groups. Easily accessible from Calais or via Eurostar with plenty to see and do both in the city and nearby, students get the opportunity not only to practise their French but also some of finest artworks on display in France.

What’s more, visit at Christmas time and you have the added bonus of discovering Lille’s lovely yuletide market.

Typical Accommodation

We work with a number of different hostels and 2*/3* hotels in and around this French city. Please let us know your requirements and we will be happy to recommend suitable accommodation to suit your Lille school trip itinerary and budget.

Lille School Trip – Subject Suitability

If you’re considering Lille as a Christmas Market destination, click here to take a look at our European Christmas Markets page.

All tours will be tailor made to suit each individual group, but here is a suggested itinerary for a Lille school trip:

Sample Itinerary – 2 Days by Coach

Day 1 – An early departure from school to Dover for the short-sea crossing to Calais. On arrival in France, continue the journey to Lille (approx journey time of 1.5 hours) to explore the city and visit the Palais des Beaux Arts. Transfer to hotel for dinner and overnight accommodation.

Day 2 – After breakfast, there will be time for further exploration of Lille, perhaps visiting the Charles de Gaulle Birthplace & Museum, before rejoining the coach for the journey back to Calais, then onwards towards home. A packed lunch will be provided.

Alternatively, why not consider adding another day and exploring the wider region beyond Lille, perhaps heading to Roubaix to visit La Piscine, to Lens for the Louvre, or to Bondues to experience the Resistance Museum? For a historical angle, you could also consider adding in some of the World War I memorials situated at Fromelles and Vimy.

Another option is to make this a two-centre trip, coupling with the delights of the Opal Coast, the World War I battlefields of the Somme and Ypres, or the Belgian capital of Brussels. Why not contact us for further details.

Travel Options

  • By coach with short-sea ferry crossing from Dover to Calais.
  • By Eurostar from London St Pancras, Ashford or Ebbsfleet International direct to Lille.

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Popular Visits & Excursions

Grand Place – Officially known as Place du Général de Gaulle, the Grand Place represents the heart of Lille. Lined with traditional Flemish buildings, you’ll find the Vieille Bourse, the 17th-century old stock exchange, situated here.
Palais des Beaux Arts – Considered one of the foremost museums in provincial France. Housed in an impressive 19th-century building on the Place de la République, it boasts a prestigious collection of paintings from the Flemish School, in addition to French, Italian and Spanish works.
Belfry – A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lille’s Belfry reaches heights of over 100 metres and offers far-reaching panoramas from the top.
Opéra de Lille – A beautiful Neoclassical building, one of Europe’s premier opera houses.
Charles de Gaulle Birthplace & Museum – The former home of the general’s maternal grandparents, De Gaulle was born here in 1890. Today a Historic Monument and museum, there are a number of interesting family keepsakes and personal objects on display, in addition to a multimedia overview of his professional life.
Marché du Wazemmes – One of the largest markets in France, practise your French as you browse the stalls selling flowers, food, fabric and exotic products.
Euralille – A huge, undercover shopping centre with around 140 well-known stores and independent boutiques.
Museum of Natural History – Containing over 250,000 different objects relating to zoology, geology and ethnography, this exciting museum offers a journey through time and across the continents.
Lille’s Christmas Market – Runs from mid-November through to the end of December every year, usually with at least 80 different stalls, some with an international theme. A big wheel is set up in the Grand Place.

Elsewhere

La Piscine – Also known as the Museum of Art and Industry, this extraordinary museum is housed in a former Art Deco swimming pool in the town of Roubaix and contains a wide collection of fine and applied arts.
LaM – Situated just outside the city centre in Villeneuve d’Ascq, the LaM is Lille’s museum dedicated to modern, contemporary and ‘outsider’ art.
Louvre-Lens – Sister museum of the Louvre in Paris, this offshoot in Lens, situated approx. 40 km from Lille, displays a series of temporary and semi-permanent exhibits on loan from its Parisian mother ship.
Musée de la Résistance de Bondues – A late-19th-century fort, occupied by the Germans during both World Wars, now a museum dedicated to the efforts of the French Resistance against the Nazis.
Fromelles Miliary Ceremony – Situated 22km west of Lille, this hexagonal cemetery – the first new Commonwealth cemetery in half a century, also known as Pheasant Wood – was opened in 2010 following the discovery of the mass graves of 250 Australian and British soldiers.
Australian War Memorial – Commemorates the Australian forces who fought and died during the attack at the Battle of Fromelles on the 19th and 20th of July, 1916.
Canadian National Vimy Memorial – Dedicated to the memory of all Canadian forces who served their country as part of the Commonwealth during the Great War. The memorial bears the names of 11,168 missing Canadians killed in action but whose remains were never found.
Ablain-Saint-Nazaire French Military Cemetery – Also known as Notre Dame de Lorette, this is the largest French military cemetery in the world with over 40,000 casualties buried here, almost all from World War I.