Bordeaux City Breaks just four hours by rail from London could be a thing of the future.
Eurostar announced today that it is looking into the possibility of a direct rail route between London and Bordeaux. Nicknamed the “vineyard express”, the proposed new route would make use of the new £6.1 billion high-speed line currently under construction between Tours and Bordeaux, which is due to be completed in 2017.
With plans already afoot for a new, direct, high-speed service between London and Amsterdam in December this year, Eurostar’s announcement that it is considering Bordeaux as its next direct high-speed destination is welcome news to the UK market. Indeed, according to Eurostar’s chief executive, Nicolas Petrovic, “Bordeaux has really turned itself around. It’s a dynamic city. Direct trains from London would be attractive to Britons with properties in southwest France or visiting the area’s vineyards, the Atlantic coast and Basque region”.
Famed as the gateway to the vineyards and wine regions of Saint-Émilion, Margaux, Pauillac and the Medoc, fringed by the largest pine forest in Europe (Landes) and just 45 minutes from the lovely Arcachon Bay (famous for its oysters and seafood), the city of Bordeaux itself makes for a perfect short break destination and definitely worth taking the time to explore.
If you’re thinking about travelling to the city before the proposed 2019/2020 launch, 2016 is a great year for visiting Bordeaux, as, first and foremost, it is one of the host cities for the upcoming UEFA Euro 2016 championships this June and July (the city plays host to Wales v Slovakia on Saturday, 11th June, Austria v Hungary, Belgium v Republic of Ireland and Croatia v Spain).
Bordeaux also sees its biennial Wine Festival take place over the weekend of 23rd to 26th June, an exhibition featuring the work of Goya and Redon open at the Musée des Beaux Arts on the 29th of June (until 26th September) and the International Independent Film Festival run between the 5th to the 11th of October.
Thanks to two decades of regeneration and a lively student population, Bordeaux is now a glamorous, cosmopolitan and modern city, equally as celebrated for its architecture, culture and gastronomy as well as its wine. Described no less as “the very essence of elegance” by none other than Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, there’s quite simply no better endorsement! Let’s hope Eurostar feel the same way!