Board Eurostar and discover La Braderie in Lille, Europe's largest annual market flea market: 6-7 September 2008

4 Aug 2008

-- Return fares to Lille start from £55 return
Eurostar, the high speed train operator that links UK with mainland Europe, will take thousands of shoppers to La Braderie in Lille, Europe's largest annual flea market, which takes place every year over the first weekend of September. Return fares to Lille start from £55. Tickets are available on www.eurostar.com or by calling 08705 186 186.
La Braderie dates back to medieval times. The city's streets come alive as over a million people from all over Europe flock to Lille to join the marathon bargain hunt. Over the weekend, the city is transformed into a vast outdoor market covering over 200km of pavement. Stalls selling everything from rare antiques and furniture, to vintage clothing, bric-a-brac and art line the narrow cobbled streets, alongside street entertainers and food stands offering mouth-watering French and Flemish cuisine.
Travelling to and exploring Lille couldn't be easier with Eurostar. The high-speed international passenger service offers direct and seamless journeys to Lille in just 1h20 from the centre of London. And arrival in Lille Europe station, situated just minutes away from the city centre, means all the must-do attractions are within easy walking distance.
To truly get into the spirit of La Braderie, there are plenty of bistros and restaurants in the city centre offering an opportunity to sit back and watch the world go by over a plate of "moules-frites" washed down with a locally brewed beer. Traditionally the city's restaurants stack up the empty mussel shells and compete to see which one amasses the highest pile by the end of the weekend.
Eurostar's generous baggage allowance - two items of baggage per person plus one small item of hand luggage - will allow serious shoppers to carry all their findings back to the UK at no extra cost.
Return fares to Lille start from £55 standard class. Travellers can indulge themselves on their way to and from La Braderie by travelling Leisure Select class, enjoying roomier accommodation and meals and drinks served at their seat from just £115 for a weekend day return.
***ENDS***
Notes to Editors:
1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.
2. From December, Ashford International will offer three services a day to Paris, a direct and a connecting service to Brussels, a daily train to Disneyland Resort Paris, and seasonal weekly services to the French Alps and Avignon. The station has ample parking and connects with domestic rail services.
3. Ebbsfleet International offers seven trains a day to Paris and five a day to Brussels. It is a few minutes' drive from junction 2 of the M25 in north Kent, close to Bluewater shopping centre and the Dartford crossing. It has ample parking, taxis and car hire, and connects with local rail stations via Fastrack buses.
4. Eurostar travellers using both Kent stations benefit from free travel on connecting Southeastern trains and Fastrack buses. From December 2009, Southeastern's new high-speed domestic services will connect with Eurostar at Ashford International, Ebbsfleet International and St Pancras International.
5. Eurostar is proud to be the world's first train operator to make all journeys carbon neutral, at no extra cost to travellers.
6. Independent research has shown that a Eurostar journey between London and Brussels / Paris generates one-tenth of the carbon dioxide produced by an equivalent flight. Under its Tread Lightly environmental initiative, Eurostar has set a target of further reducing CO2 emissions by 25% per traveller journey by 2012.
7. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe's leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding, European high-speed rail network.
8. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates a vehicle shuttle service and the Channel tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's biggest customer.
9. To book tickets for Eurostar, or to find out more information, go to www.eurostar.com, call 08705 186 186 or contact your travel agent.
For more information:Eurostar Press Office+44 (0)20 7843 5500press.office@eurostar.co.ukFor images please go to www.eurostarimagery.co.uk and register.