We have been talking to our friends at @igerslille about having a joint London / Lille meetup in Lille in December.
Lille is just 90 minutes from St Pancras International by Eurostar. The city has beautiful Flemish architecture and the Marche de Noel will be in full swing.
CONFIRMED PLAN FOR THE DAY
9.30AM Meet at the Maison de Tourisme de Lille, Palais Rihour, Place Rihour (https://goo.gl/maps/fUiQejGt4in )
This is right by Rihour metro station and just next to the Grand Place.
We will be met by the co-managers of the @igerslille community and the Office de Tourisme de Lille.
We then leave Lille by tram for Croix (you will get a free travel pass for use on the day) to visit Villa Cavrois - the beautiful modernist house (http://www.villa-cavrois.fr)
We will meet with up to 20 members of the @igerslille community at Villa Cavrois. We have about 4 hours there so make sure you take something to eat with you.
We then return to Lille city centre for a photowalk around the Old Town and Christmas Market will all the illuminations and animated displays and un vin chaud.
At 7pm we will head to a restaurant for drinks and dinner with the Lille group.
You will be responsible for your own travel costs and hotel costs if you stay overnight.
Travel - you will need to make your own travel arrangements:
TRAIN: Lille is about 90 minutes by Eurostar from London St Pancras (some trains will also stop at Ebbsfleet) - we recommend booking via eurostar.com
COACH: A cheaper option might be to travel with Eurlines, Megabus our OUIBUS. Megabus fares are currently EUR34 for a return coach (leaving London Victoria at 8pm, arriving in Lille at 3am) - use eurolines.co.uk ouibus.com or megabus.com
DRIVING: Lille is not that far from Calais and the Channel Tunnel - according to Google Maps, the journey including the Channel Tunnel crossing is just under 4 hours from Central London.
HOTEL: Please email us at [masked] if you are planning on booking a hotel as igerslille may be able to get us a special deal (though this is not guaranteed) although expedia is currently showing availability at the Ibis Budget in Lille city centre for £40 per night.
It goes without saying that you will need a valid passport or EU ID card for the trip. You will also need to arrange your own travel insurance if you do not already hold this.
Due to the number of steps and cobbles in Lille old town this meetup is unfortunately not accessible to wheelchair users.