A festive shopping break
Take a short hop across the Channel and visit two of northern Europe's most enjoyable Christmas markets: the enchanting 'Christmas Town' of Arras, with its Flemish Baroque architecture and 1000 years of tradition, and the charming city of Bruges, where cobbled streets and picturesque canals are lined by gorgeous medieval buildings.
Leaving your pick-up point, this morning we'll head to the port for the Channel crossing and the short onward journey to historic Arras. By mid afternoon, we'll arrive at the magnificent Christmas market - the biggest of its kind north of Paris - on the city's Grand Place.
Browse the 130 wooden stalls selling artisan crafts and gifts amid the aroma of mulled wine, traditional sausages and freshly made crepes and waffles. A Ferris wheel, a traditional carousel and an ice rink flanked by Christmas trees offer fun for all the family, while Santa's Grotto keeps the little ones entertained.
Once you've picked up your Christmas gifts, you may like to visit Arras's grand 18th-century cathedral, or the Hotel de Ville with its spiral staircase that leads up to the heady heights of the Belfry. Enjoy an early evening meal (payable locally) before we continue to the hotel for our overnight stay.
After breakfast, we'll check out of the hotel and make the short journey to the famous Belgian 'Chocolate and Lace' city of Bruges, with its canals and cobblestones, medieval bell towers and romantic 'Lake of Love.' The city's popular Christmas market, held on the Simon Stevinplein in the heart of the old town, sells an assortment of handmade gifts, Christmas decorations and tasty Christmas delicacies - especially of the chocolate variety!
Wrap up warm and perhaps take a horse-drawn carriage ride along Bruges' medieval streets, or climb the 366 steps of the 13th-century Belfry for stunning views of this fairy-tale city. After time to explore, re-board the coach for the short journey back to the port and our return Channel crossing. We'll arrive back at your pick-up by mid-to-late evening.