France is easy to reach by train, plane and boat – and for 2020, more flights than ever are planned. Plus, there are some great, green initiatives.
London Stansted – Bergerac, from 23/05/2020 until 19/09/2020, summer only
London Stansted – La Rochelle, from 23/05/2020 until 19/09/2020, summer only
Birmingham – Nice, from 09/03/2020 until 30/10/2020, all year
East Midlands – Grenoble-Alpes-Isère, from December 2019 to April 2020
Jet2 flights to France from UK: www.jet2.com/en/flights/france/
Bristol – Lyon, from 12/12/2019 until 28/03/2020, winter only
Easyjet flights to France from UK: www.easyjet.com/en/cheap-flights/france
London Gatwick – Chambéry, winter only
Bristol – Toulouse, from 29/12/2019 to 08/03/2020, winter only
TUI flights to France from UK: https://www.tuifly.fr/en/destinations/france
Dublin – Marseille, summer only, five per week
Dublin – Toulouse, summer only, daily
Bristol – Grenoble-Alpes-Isère, from December 2019 to April 2020
Ryan Air flights to France from UK: www.ryanair.com/flights/gb/en/flights-to-france
Cork Airport – Paris-Charles de Gaulle, addition of a new early morning flight from Cork and a late evening service from Paris, complement the existing daily schedule, from April to October 2020.
Air France flights to France from UK: www.airfrance.co.uk
Named after the picturesque port on the Seine estuary, the Honfleur will arrive in the spring of 2020 and serve Brittany Ferries’ most popular route from Portsmouth to Caen-Ouistreham. This LNG-powered ship will carry up to 1,680 passengers, has 261 cabins, two cinemas, several restaurants, passenger lounges and boutique shopping. Honfleur is the future of sustainable ferry transport and will soon be the greenest vessel regularly operating on the English Channel. Details: www.destinationhonfleur.com/en
Air France says it will proactively offset 100% of CO2 emissions from domestic flights starting in 2020 as part of its environmental objectives. Labelled ‘Air France Horizon
2030’, the airline’s sustainability roadmap will see it voluntarily offset emissions on all flights within mainland France starting on 1st January, through participation in environmental projects. According to Air France, this represents an average of over 450 flights per day and in excess of 57,000 customers. Details: corporate.airfrance.com/en
Jazz a Juan photo: JAJ-AMBIANCE © G. Lefrancq
With a record number of more than 90 million international visitors, France was the most visited destination in the world in 2018, representing a whopping increase of 4.3 million visitors since 2017.
The UK remained the main source market for inbound travellers to France in 2018 with 13 million tourist arrivals, representing a 2.4% increase on 2017.
We love it for so many reasons, from the diverse landscape, wonderful beaches, mountains, countryside and cities – to the famous French cuisine. Who can resist a crispy baguette, a just baked golden croissant, a piquant cheese or a cake that looks like a jewel box?!
We also love France for the sheer number of things to do. Here’s a peak at just a few of the fabulous new events coming up in 2020…
In 2020 don’t miss the ‘Dragon of Calais’ a magnificent creation conceived by La Machine de Nantes and built by La Machine Company. The giant dragon will carry visitors through the town and along the seafront. By 2023, other fantastic creatures will arrive in Calais to create a unique urban universe. A permanent creation, the dragon is 15 metres high and can carry up to 60 passengers at a time. Book your ticket to ride a dragon here: compagniedudragon.com
Four years after closing for renovation, Paris’ Palais Galliera fashion museum will reopen in April. It will be home to the first permanent fashion exhibition in France, exclusively sponsored by Chanel. Located in the basement of the Palais Galliera, the 670-square-metre area is dedicated to the history of fashion from the 18th century to the present day. The project also includes the creation of a learning workshop and a bookshop. The ground floor of the museum will be dedicated to temporary exhibitions.
After huge success with the Atelier des Lumières digital art museum in Paris, the city of Bordeaux will open Bassins de Lumières within its famous submarine base, a remnant of the Second World War. This enormous bunker is five times larger than the Atelier des Lumières in Paris – covering 11,000 square metres. Opening in April, it will become one of the world’s largest multimedia installations. Details: www.culturespaces.com/en/bassins-lumieres
French billionaire and art collector François Pinault is due to take over a new hot Parisian spot to display his art collection. Located at the heart of Paris, the Bourse de Commerce (Stock Exchange) will open in June to house the new exhibition space for the Pinault Collection. The historic building has been fully restored and transformed into a museum by famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando, including an auditorium and 3,000 square metres of contemporary art exhibition. Details: www.collectionpinaultparis.com/en/
A new museum of modern art will open at Fontevraud Abbey in May/June 2020 following a vast donation by private collectors Martine and Léon Cligman. It includes 19th and 20th century works by renowned artists Corot, Dubuffet, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Derain and Delaunay. The museum will open in the former stables. Fontevraud is the largest collection of monastic buildings in France, burial place of three English royals – Henry II, Richard the Lionheart and Eleanor of Aquitaine – and a world famous cultural centre. The on-site hotel has a Michelin-starred restaurant and hotel guests have access to the abbey all night long. Details: www.fontevraud.fr/en/
Frank Gehry’s vertiginous, twisting tower at LUMA Arles is taking shape on its 16-acre site in Provence. Due to be 56 metres high when completed in summer 2020, the tower will support a variety of functions including research facilities, workshops and seminar rooms, and artists’ studios. Details: www.luma-arles.org/en
From 19 September to 4 October 2020, in partnership with the Pompidou Centre, the Centre des Monuments Nationaux (CMN) will be creating a temporary exhibition entitled ‘The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped’. The work will be created by Christo, who famously ‘wrapped’ the Pont-Neuf in Paris, the Reichstag in Berlin and the Gates of Central Park in New York. Details: www.paris-arc-de-triomphe.fr/en/News/The-Arc-de-Triomphe-Wrapped
Opening in Autumn 2020, the Narbo Via museum will be the new landmark of the city of Narbonne in Southern France, once an important Roman port. It has been designed by Norman Foster who also created the Musée de la Romanité in Nîmes, which opened in June 2018 and the Millau Bridge. The new 8,000-square-metre antique museum will house the town’s remarkable archaeological collection, charting its antique heritage and displaying as many as 25,000 individual exhibits. It is one of France’s most important ongoing contemporary architectural projects.
Antibes-Juan-les-Pins' iconic jazz festival will celebrate its 60th anniversary from 5 to 23 July 2020 Listening to jazz in the Pinède Gould overlooking the Mediterranean is a unique and unforgettable experience. This year's special edition will last even longer than usual to celebrate the anniversary. Details: www.jazzajuan.com/en-us/home.aspx
Every summer, around 700,000 people from all over the world invade the Celtic town of Lorient for the Festival Interceltique. From Galicia to Scotland, the best of Celtic music can be found here and there’s a fabulously festive atmosphere. 200 events and shows and 5,000 performers will take part and celebrate this 50th year. Takes place: 7 to 16 August 2020. www.brittanytourism.com
Discover more events at: https://uk.france.fr/en
All of us at French Connections would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
We hope you have a relaxing, happy and fun Christmas and we very much look forward to help you make your holiday dreams come true next year…
Our office will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
With best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the whole team at French Connections,
Izzy, Laura, Julie, Donna and Janine
Happy New Year from all of us at French Connections.
We love to make your holiday dreams come true, to help you create unforgettable holidays and take you to new destinations as well as old favourites in France. And we’re looking forward to assisting you next year.
Whether you’re seeking a chateau break, a gorgeous villa, romantic cottage, B&B with style or a great value holiday – we’ve got thousands of holiday home listings right across the whole of France.
If you’re looking for a holiday for two or for twenty-two – or more, we’re here to help
New year – new holiday! Ski resorts, seaside resorts, city or countryside breaks - browse our huge list of holiday homes, chat to us on Facebook, feel free to contact us for help.
Wishing you a very Happy New Year, from all of us at French Connections:
Laura, Izzy, Donna, Julie and Janine
Lille in the department of Nord, Hauts-de-France, has cultural venues by the bucket load. Cobbled streets and dazzling architecture make it feel a bit like a miniature Paris, but with a flamboyant Flemish vibe. And if you’re a foodie – you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere better for eating out.
Lille was European City of Culture in 2004 and has never looked back. There are more than a dozen museums and galleries covering art from antiquity to contemporary.
Lille’s Palais des Beaux Arts ought to be much better known than it is. This grand palace holds one of the largest museums in France. It has the second biggest collection of fine arts outside of Paris with exhibits from antiquity to contemporary, including all the greats from Rubens, Goya and Monet to Van Gogh, Picasso and Chagall. Full of incredible collections, it’s also very innovative with contemporary exhibitions and a willingness to present things in a different way.
Tip: Head to the basement to discover a unique collection of 17th century miniature models of towns such as Ypres in Belgium (it was used as a blueprint for rebuilding Ypres after WWII) and Lille. They were used by Louis XIV to plan military tactics.
Don’t miss the medieval Hospices de la Comtesse museum which hosts exhibitions. Founded in 1236 by Jeanne, Countess of Flanders to care for the poor and the sick it has a fascinating collection depicting Flemish life from the 15th to the 17th centuries.
And hop on the tram or Metro for a short journey to Roubaix where world class Museum La Piscine in a former art deco municipal swimming pool is absolutely astounding.
The Vielle Bourse was the old stock exchange building and it’s right in the centre of Old Lille on the edge of the Grand Place. Go in the afternoons when the second-hand book market is held in the inner courtyard with its stunning Renaissance frescoes. Go on a Sunday night in the summer and join in the tango dancing under the stars.
Old Lille is made for wandering, cobbled streets, pretty little squares, ancient buildings galore. The Place des Oignons is particularly pretty and lined with quirky shops, bars and restaurants. In the centre of the city it has a villagey vibe!
You really are spoiled for choice here with hundreds of superb restaurants ranging form Michelin star to authentic estaminets, the Flemish name for a tavern. Don’t miss the Barbue d’Anvers restaurant in a 16th century building tucked away being a tiny cobbled courtyard off the Grand Place. They serve local dishes like carbonnade, a beef stew made with brown sugar and beer – absolutely delicious! For funky eats, head to Le Bistrot de Saint So at the former Saint Sauvers goods station. Now an arts venue, the restaurant is absolutely superb, and on a sunny day, the terrace, looking over a giant baby with a tail, is full of locals in the know.
Meert, a patisserie and chocolate shop which was opened in 1761 and looks like it’s never changed, has a sweet tearoom in a courtyard. Nibble on one of their famous waffles, created for a King!
Find more info on places to visit in Lille at: en.lilletourism.com
Discover our great range of holiday homes in Nord, Hauts-de-France…