Your holiday summary

Holiday type Art, history & culture
Country France
Travel type Train
Price range From £729
Travel partner Travel Editions
Duration 3 nights
Need help with your booking?
0330 333 6761

Louvre-Lens and the galleries of northern France

The Picardie region of northern France is perhaps overlooked by visitors who pass through on their way from Calais to Paris and beyond. The area, however, once a hub of mining and industry and the scene of much fighting during the World Wars, also boasts some of France's top art galleries, particularly with the opening of the satellite Louvre gallery in Lens in late 2012.

Expert Mike Hope will introduce you to the history and culture of this region and guide you through the wonderful galleries of Arras, Amiens, Lille and Lens.

The group size on this tour is limited to 25 passengers to ensure that smaller sites can be visited and that you get a high level of attention.


  • Return standard Eurostar from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Lille
  • Three nights' bed and breakfast at the three-star Holiday Inn Express Arras, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Two lectures, a welcome drink on the first night and two dinners with wine at the hotel's restaurant
  • Coaching throughout the tour and entrance fees
  • Mike Hope and tour manager throughout

Not included

  • Single room supplement
  • Holiday insurance
  • Standard Premier/First class upgrade on Eurostar. This constitutes upgraded seating and light meal with complimentary drink.
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
  • Porterage and gratuities
Day one

Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Lille. On arrival transfer to Arras and check in to the Holiday Inn Express Arras for a three-night stay. This afternoon there will be an orientation walk of Arras, followed by a visit to the Cathedral of St Vast and Arras's Musee des Beaux-Arts, housed in the former Benedictine Abbey of St Vaast, where there are paintings by Rubens, Bassano and Delacroix. This evening Mike Hope will give a lecture, 'Culture as a tool of regeneration in northern France', followed by dinner at the hotel.

Day two

Departs for Amiens for a morning visit to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens, the tallest complete cathedral in France, where there will be time to explore the inside and to examine the great portal, sculptures and architecture of the outside. This afternoon we visit the Matisse Museum in Le Cateau-Cambresis, which was established by Matisse himself in 1952. This evenings lecture will be 'The impact of the history, politics, art, architecture and culture upon northern France', followed by dinner at the hotel.

Day three

Depart for Lille for a morning visit to the Musee des Beaux Arts, which is the largest museum in France outside of Paris with a collection of sculptures, paintings, drawings and ceramics from artists including Raphael, Rembrandt, Goya, Toulouse-Lautrec and Rubens. There will be time for lunch before moving on to the Lille Metropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art (LaM), which offers an overview of modern and contemporary art including drawings, painting, sculpture, photography and prints. This evening is free to spend as you wish.

Day four

Morning departure from Arras to Lens, where the morning will be spent exploring the Louvre-Lens, with time for lunch in the museum cafe. The new Louvre opened in December 2012 and will be displaying some of the world's most celebrated works from the Paris Louvre but juxtaposing and cross-referencing all periods and cultures to give a whole new experience for viewers. Afternoon transfer back to Lille for the return Eurostar to Ebbsfleet or St Pancras.

NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.
Holiday Inn Express Arras

Located in the heart of Arras the three-star Holiday Inn Express Arras is a modern hotel offering comfortable bedrooms with en-suite bathroom, TV, telephone, wifi, air-conditioning and hairdryer. The hotel also has a newly refurbished bar which is perfect for relaxing after a days touring.

This holiday is booked by phone. Click 'book now' to make a reservation request to our travel partner who will call you back to confirm your booking details and take payment. To speak to a representative now please call 0330 333 6761.

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Departure date Nights Price  
06-Mar-2015 3 729.00 book