Lille and its metropolis aren’t known thanks to their big green areas and pedestrian walks. However, numerous parks and gardens are there to satisfy nature lovers and let them breathe fresh air. It is time to think green !
The Citadelle Park and the zoo
This park, Lille's largest (60 hectares = 123 acres) and most visited, brings a breath of fresh air to the city.
Encircled by the Deûle canal, the park includes the Bois de Boulogne Woods (which surround the ramparts of Vauban's Citadel) and the zoo. The Bois de Boulogne Woods are always open to visitors. There are some remarkable trees there, such as a Montpellier Maple, a Corsican pine and even a Giant Sequoia.The Lille Zoo is free and houses about 400 animals representing 70 different species: monkeys, zebras, panthers, rare birds, etc.
The Vauban Garden
Created in 1863 by Jean-Pierre Barillet-Deschamps, the head gardener of Paris, the Vauban Garden (3 hectares) has been listed on the register of historic places since 1990. It is a typical example of an English-style country garden, characterised by a romantic imitation of nature.
With its rolling lawns and meandering brooks, its grotto (a cavelike summerhouse), its waterfall and its hundred-year-old trees and numerous flowerbeds, the Vauban Garden is the perfect place for a pleasurable stroll.
Monuments paying tribute to distinguished Lille residents Albert Samain, Edouard Lalo and Charles de Gaulle add to the charm.
The Garden of Giants
The Garden of Giants, situated in the centre of a dense urban environment, is a place for walking and for relaxing. The creation of the garden was entrusted to landscape gardeners from the Mutabilis workshop and to the architect Duncan Lewis. The garden is made up of three different areas: the "Parvis des Nuages", the "Herbe des Géants" and the "Jardin des Sources". In total, it extends over about 2 hectares and has more than 45 000 types of plants.
The Botanical garden and green park
In 1596, Lille became the second French city to possess a botanical garden. Over the centuries, the collections have been cultivated in different areas.
Since 1948, the Botanical Garden has occupied 11 hectares of the city's former fortifications located on the southeast side of town. Here, shrubs of various shapes and sizes as well as thousands of roses and dahlias surrounding a large pond dazzle the eye. The Tropical Greenhouse displays vegetation native to tropical regions.
in villeneuve d'ascq
The Héron Park
It is a unique transition between the urban environment and the protected agricultural site. The 36 ha Lac du Héron, originally artificial, became very soon a place where nature developed. It offers an astonishing ornithological diversity : 200 bird species have been observed so far, for the lake constitutes an important break or crossing place for migrant birds.
The Septentrion : the country in the city
The Prouvost Foundation park, between nature and sculptures
Art and nature meet in this 60-hectare green area, embellished with Eugène Dodeigne, Paul Hemery, Herzi, Jean de Bologne and Jules Paressant’s sculptures. Silver lime-trees, chestnut trees, red oaks and so many others offer a wide and splendid palette of colours all year long.
The Septentrion craftsmen village
from the Marguerites farm to the craftsmen village
From more than 30 years now, craftsmen arrived at the Septentrion and developed their activities in the buildings of the former Marguerites farm. Today, you can discover a wide range of crafts. From the antique dealer to the upholsterer, about twenty of them give life to the craftsmen village all year round. So do not hesitate, come and meet them to discover how creative and gifted they are !
The Parc Barbieux
Located in the heart of Roubaix, on 86 acres, oblong and very undulating, this park of land was laid out between 1866 and 1921 and became a protected site in 1944. You can find there numerous varieties of tree (beech, hazel, ash, maple, oak, mulberry, sequoia...). In full bloom in spring and summer, the Parc Barbieux is also an excellent dwelling-place for the 55 bird species that ornithologists hava recorded. The park shelters a grotto, 7 cascades and an artificial lake of 2,5 hectares. You can also find boats, a merry go-round and a train for children, or play mini golf.
The lion's park