Throughout history, the 40 days leading up to Easter have been a religious time for fasting- a tradition that still stands today through giving up various things for Lent. But before this sobering custom took place, Mardi Gras celebrations have long provided a hedonistic revelry of feasting, dancing and outrageous costumes to get observers through the six-week period. Today, the tradition is as strong as ever in France. Between January and March, the country unleashes its wild side in a series of colourful street parties taking place across the nation – and everyone’s invited. From thrilling circus acts to mad carnival parades, find out where to catch the best carnivals in France for all ages.
The wild poppies may be on their way out of season, but soon war memorials across the world will be sheathed in a sea of red flowers to commemorate the fallen. As Remembrance Day draws near, why not consider a trip to the very ground where the events occurred? Whether or not you had relatives who took part, visiting the places where some of the most important battles of the World Wars took place is a moving way to mark the day – giving a glimpse into the realities of the fighting. Embark on your own World War II battlefield tour this November with a visit to these poignant locations.
The days may be a little bit shorter and the air a little nippier, but that doesn’t mean the holidays should come to an end! In fact, the autumn months offer a great time to get away, with cities and hotels offering much cheaper prices in the lull of the summer crowds – not to mention the clear roads which are yours for the taking. October’s stunning golden landscapes make it the ideal month for exploring hidden vineyards just off the beaten track, or taking a short break in your favourite city without the heat leaving you wilting in the shade. Treat yourself to a last minute holiday this October with these fantastic deals on our crossings.
Just 10 km from the Belgian border, the French coastal town of Dunkirk is perhaps best known as the site of one of the most miraculous evacuations in military history. But before World War II, Dunkirk was famous for a very different reason – it grew into one of the most prolific fishing towns in France. Today the town is a vibrant tourist spot with reminders of its rich history etched across the area. For the release of Christopher Nolan’s feature film documenting the events of the 10-day ordeal in 1940, we take a look at the best places to visit in Dunkirk.