Exploring Medieval Towns and Cities in Europe: Eurostar Journeys from the UK

The charm of medieval towns and cities lies in their ability to transport you back in time, offering a glimpse into a world of cobbled streets, towering fortifications, and a rich history that has shaped Europe as we know it today.

For travelers departing from the United Kingdom, the Eurostar high-speed train network provides an efficient and scenic way to explore these picturesque destinations.

In this article, we will embark on a journey through some of the most captivating medieval towns and cities accessible via Eurostar from the UK.

1. Bruges, Belgium

Known as the “Venice of the North,” Bruges is a fairy-tale-like city that will leave you spellbound. The historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasts well-preserved medieval architecture, canals, and winding cobblestone streets. Don’t miss the Markt square, Belfry tower, and the tranquil Minnewater Lake. Eurostar connects you to Brussels, where you can take a short train ride to Bruges.

2. Ghent, Belgium

Ghent, another Belgian gem, combines medieval charm with a vibrant cultural scene. The Gravensteen castle, St. Bavo’s Cathedral, and the picturesque Graslei and Korenlei canalside streets are must-see attractions. Take the Eurostar to Brussels and hop on a train to Ghent to experience its captivating medieval atmosphere.

3. Lille, France

Lille, located just across the English Channel, is often overlooked by travelers heading to France. However, this charming city has a well-preserved medieval quarter, Vieux Lille, where you can explore historic streets lined with colorful buildings, boutique shops, and excellent restaurants. Eurostar offers direct connections to Lille from London St Pancras International.

4. Canterbury, UK

While not requiring Eurostar travel, Canterbury is a quintessential medieval city easily accessible from London by train. The stunning Canterbury Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a prime example of Gothic architecture. Wander through the narrow streets, visit the historic Westgate Towers, and soak in the city’s rich history.

5. Avignon, France

Avignon, a city in the Provence region, boasts an impressive medieval heritage. The Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) is the highlight, a grand Gothic palace that served as the papal residence in the 14th century. You can reach Avignon by taking the Eurostar to Paris and then a connecting train to Avignon TGV station.

6. Carcassonne, France

Carcassonne is like stepping into a medieval fairy tale. The fortified city is renowned for its double-walled fortifications and turreted castle. The Cité de Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a stunning example of medieval architecture. Take Eurostar to Paris and then a train to Carcassonne.

Medieval towns and cities offer a captivating journey back in time, and Eurostar makes it easy for travelers from the UK to explore these historical gems.

From the enchanting canals of Bruges to the Gothic splendor of Avignon, these destinations provide a glimpse into Europe’s medieval past.

So, next time you plan a European adventure, consider hopping on the Eurostar for an unforgettable journey through time and history.