TRAVEL INFO FOR YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE
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HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR NEXT DESTINATION
Bruges, or Brugge as it is called in Flemish, is possibly the most photogenic city in the world. Summer or winter, wherever you look you see scenes from postcards. With its charming medieval step-roofed houses and imposing churches reflected in the still waters of the canals, it's almost too picturesque to be real.
The historic centre is quite small and contained within a ring of canals, so it's very walkable and easy to just wander through the narrow streets and market squares, exploring the town. To avoid the crowds, try visiting midweek rather than over the weekend, especially during the summer months.
At just three hours from London, with a quick change at Brussels Midi/Zuid on an Any Belgian Station ticket, Bruges has everything for a perfect short break. Whether you're enjoying a romantic horse and carriage tour around the old town with your significant other, sampling the local produce with your chocaholic foodie friends, or exploring the Torture Museum with your Goth teenager, you'll find plenty to appeal in Bruges.
Summer is always a great time to visit Paris, the weather is usually pretty good and, unlike many big cities, there are lots of things to do outdoors in and around the city centre.
If you're a sun-worshipper, head down to Paris Plages, beaches set up on the banks of the Seine every summer with sand, deckchairs, palm trees and bikini-clad locals soaking up the rays.
There are also lots of leafy parks sprinkled across the different districts, perfect for walks, sport, picnics or just lying in the shade enjoying a good book. You can easily pick up the makings of a picnic in one of the many food markets dotted across the city then head for the nearest green space to relax or get active.
If shopping is more your thing, there are plenty of bargains to be had browsing the flea markets around Paris, they're a lot less busy during the summer and they stay open in August.
When you're all shopped out, make your way to the river and enjoy those long summer evenings over an apéro on one of the many boat bars moored along the Seine and watch the sun go down over one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
DAY TRIPS TO EUROPE
Day trips to Paris
At 2 hrs 16 mins from Saint Pancras station, Paris is very doable as a day trip. The 7:31 train will get you into Paris before 11 am so you'll have plenty of time to for a cup of coffee before heading off for a delicious lunch.
Day trips to Brussels
At just under 2 hrs from London, you'll have plenty of time to explore the centre of Brussels in a day. The 08:19 train from St Pancras station will get you into Brussels Midi at 11:12 am, then it's a short walk or train ride into the centre of town.
Day trips to Lille
Lille really is the ideal destination for a day trip at just 1 hr 32 mins from St Pancras station in London. Take the 08:55 train and you'll be in Lille for 11:27, the perfect amount of time to do the short walk from Lille Europe station into the centre of the old town.
TRAVEL LIKE A PRO: 10 PACKING TIPS
Write your trip schedule down and make a packing list
Begin with the must-haves
Pack the heaviest items on the bottom
Coordinate your wardrobe around one or two pairs of shoes.
Travel size products.
Use a water resistant coated toiletry bag.
Use cloth shoe bags or shower caps to protect clothing from shoes.
Keep all valuables with you and lock your carry-on
Plan to bring Duty Free Shopping home.