The magical Nord!

As the magical Christmas and New Year holidays approach, come and soak up the sheer enchantment of the Nord's Christmas markets... Just follow me, I've sorted out for us a magical trail taking in lots of little wooden Christmas chalets and the wonderful aroma of cinnamon!

A month packed with magical festivities all over the North of France is just about to take off! 

Saturday 17th  and Sunday 18th  November 2012

Among the attractions at Esquelbecq 's family Christmas market are carriage or donkey rides, a greetings card workshop and much more. 

21st  November to 30th  December 2012

Marche de Noel Lille - GREET THE WORLD - Remi Vimont (4)

In December, with the wave of a magical wand, Lille will be once again wrapped up in the Christmas spirit! The entire city sparkles and its beautiful façades disappear beneath lavish decorations. Your legs will take you inexorably to the Grand Place where you will be greeted by scenes of sheer wonder, with the Great Wheel, the Lille Eye, turning majestically to the sounds of Christmas music. From 50 metres up in the air, its 36 capsules provide an incredible view over the city below, while all around its base is a snow-covered village with a giant Christmas tree towering 18 metres into the air! Head off after that for a stroll around the Old City where each street is decorated with countless evergreen garlands embellished with red and gold ribbons (rue de la Grande Chaussée and rue de la Monnaie, for example). The irresistible aromas of cinnamon and hot chestnuts will lead you on to the Place Rihour, where the Christmas Market’s 83 timber chalets are packed with gift ideas, figurines for Christmas cribs, tree decorations and other festive items and produce. There are local specialities and also Russian, Canadian and Polish handicrafts, and of course waffles, gingerbread and other delights to take away or enjoy right there with a mulled wine…

The Christmas Market is in the Place Rihour, outside Lille Tourist Office. The 83 chalets are open from 21st  November to 30th  December (except 25th  December):
- from Sunday to Thursday, 11 am to 8 pm,
- Fridays and Saturdays, 11 am to 9 pm.
Special additional opening hours:
- Saturday 8th , 15th  and 22nd  of December, until 10 pm,
- 24th  and 30th  December, 11 am to 6 pm.
The Lille Eye in the Grand Place will be working from 21st  November 2012 until the beginning of January 2013, daily from midday until late.

23rd , 24th , 25th , 30th  November and 1st , 2nd  December 2012

You will be led into the magical world of Christmas of long ago by Santa Claus. Imagine a beautiful house, subtly decorated for Christmas. This dream will come true for a very short time at the end of November and at the beginning of December, in the Haut-Escaut valley, at the Vaucelles Abbey which will be magically transformed for the sake of the exhibition. The voluntary workers of the association are in charge of the whole setting and the theme chosen for the decoration changes every year. This year "Christmas Angels" will be celebrated. For 2 week-ends, about 40 exhibitors, artists and craftsmen and -women – half of them will be newcomers – will gather in this brightly decorated haven of peace and give you ideas for Christmas presents. You will discover one wonderful thing after another. Santa Claus will be there of course. He will have come in his sledge and on the Sunday he will come down the belltower with his sack full of presents. The Mariska company will present their new show : "angel'heart", but we will let you dicover the show for yourselves. You will also be able to admire painted objects, lamps, jewels made with glass petals, china, hand-made objects, as well as paintings, wooden toys, scarves, sweetmeat and so on. An annual meeting to recapture the magic of Christmas and admire objects and original and refined productions which will be displayed for 2 week-ends.

29th  November to 2nd  December 2012

Cassel ’s Christmas market has around 30 chalets and is open from 10 am to 6 pm, with musical entertainment, children’s roundabouts and photos with Father Christmas. 

port de plaisance neige 1

Saturday 8th  and Sunday 9th  December 2012  

Be sure not to miss out on the extraordinary floating Christmas market in the marina at Wambrechies , when you can find lots of local, country and artisanal produce and products.

It’s also Bourbourg ’s Good Living weekend in the Espace Jean Monnet, Avenue François Mitterrand. A lovely Christmas crafts fair, gourmet produce, well being and more. Free admission. 

8th  to 29th  December 2012

The Christmas Market in Dunkerque will be held in the Parc de la Marine (between the Parc Marine and the Pôle Marine). Around thirty open-air chalets will be selling special Christmas items such as craft produce and gourmet fare. There will also be pleasant surprises in store on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in December:
- parades and strolling entertainers in Dunkerque city centre,
- Father Christmas coming down from the top of the Town Hall, Saturday 22nd   December 2012 at 5.30 pm, following by a fireworks display and musical entertainment. Following that, Father Christmas will hand out his little treats to the children.

17th  to 23rd  December 2012

Torchlit walks in Gravelines ... A unique ambience at nightfall, assemble at the Maison du Patrimoine, rue Léon Blum. Don’t forget to sign up with the Gravelines Tourist Office, 00 33 3 28 51 94 00 

I wish you a merry Christmas!