After being invited to spend a long weekend with family who have a house in St Hippolyte Du Fort near Nimes, South of France, we decided to extend our break for a week. This was a last minute booking and all the flights were booked so we decided to travel to France by rail! We caught the Eurostar which connected to SNCF in Dieppe, after a quick coffee at the station we were soon on our way and with a picnic of french goodies and a bottle of red wine, we were set for the journey.
The destination was Montpellier, capital of the Languedoc Region of France situated right at the easternmost border of Languedoc as it enters Provence. A beautiful, vibrant city filled with medieval architecture and rich in history. The streets are lined with boutiques and sidewalk cafes and dotted with magnificent squares bustling with college students, tourist and locals. It features splendid neighborhoods for wandering with stunning examples of Medieval architecture, lose yourself for hours meandering through the alleyways of the old town.
We booked three nights at the Baudon de Mauny, an 18th century townhouse in the heart of Montpellier and the ancestral home of the owners. A beautiful 5 bedroomed boutique hotel spread over 2 floors with period features, ornate plasterwork contrasting with funky wallpaper,modern and antique furniture. Entrance to the hotel was through a hug wooden door from a narrow backstreet, which also features a chic tearoom an art gallery and other interesting shops, into a central courtyard.
Visit the Musee Fabre which houses one of France’s richest collections of European works from the 16th century onwards. Having come to the end of our stay in Montpellier we took a short train trip to Nimes, where we hired a car for the rest of our trip. We drove from Nimes to St Hippolyte du Fort, a town famous for it’s leather and silk trade.
Contrasting with the bustle of the city we enjoyed a slower pace and spent the rest of our holiday relaxing with friends and family, enjoying lazy summer days swimming, eating & drinking and exploring the brocante markets! Travel in France by rail is so easy and if you’re a nervous flyer a great alternative way to explore Europe! For other regions in France check out our website or call us on 01932 866565