Lyon is known as the gastronomic capital of France, and in 1935, the French writer Curnonsky even
dubbed it ‘the world capital of gastronomy’
‘Let the train take the strain’ goes the old advertising slogan, and it’s definitely worth considering as a direct way to travel from London to Lyon in the south-east of France. Jump on the Eurostar at St Pancras in London and five and a half hours later, you will step off in France’s third biggest city. Founded at the confluence of the Saône and Rhône rivers, picturesque Vieux Lyon was once home to the small silk workshops for which the city was famous. Today, this area is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Lyon is also known as the gastronomic capital of France, and in 1935, the French writer Curnonsky even dubbed it ‘the world capital of gastronomy’. Lyon is packed with tempting restaurants, fascinating museums and art galleries such as the Musée des Beaux-Arts; and a tour of the city’s traboules (covered passageways) is a treat.
Lyon is the capital of the Rhône department, which itself has a rich heritage. Its links with its Roman past can still be seen in Vienne, once one of Roman-Gaul’s greatest cities. To the north lie the Beaujolais, CôteRôtie and Hermitage vineyards. Oignt is the department’s sole addition to the list of Plus Beaux Villages de France, while to the south, the countryside in the Parc Naturel Régional du Pilat is a magnet for walkers, horse riders and cyclists.