About a month ago, I went on the most wonderful holiday to France. 

In the lead-up, I was well aware that a number of important deadlines were going to pass during my time away and so I ended up working almost double time to try and get everything done in the fortnight before leaving.

(This was 99% successful - I still had to take six hours out that could have been spent at a dog cafe to instead write an application for ethical approval but c'est la vie!)

The rest of the trip was the most relaxing and glorious trip I have had in a long time. I genuinely forgot about all of my responsibilities and all of my pending work and just completely relaxed.

Even better, the time seemed to pass incredibly slowly - I swear that normally, the second half of a trip is always a combination of a mad dash to fit everything in, and continuously and desperately calculating how many days left until leaving.

This time was completely different. My Mum and I were visiting my sister in Lille, where she had been working as a language assistant on her year abroad. Aside from a couple of trips to Paris and Disneyland (which I will never ever be too old for), most of our time was spent casually walking around Lille. We would get up when we wanted, head out for freshly-baked pain au chocolate and croissant aux amandes and then spend the day wandering around the city without much of a plan.

Which was always a delight, thanks to the myriad of green spaces scattered throughout the old town.

My sister's apartment (not pictured here) was in the centre of the old town, conveniently sandwiched between a Pain Quotidien and a Paul's bakery, and just down the road from the cathedral. On the days she had to work, my Mum and I would head downstairs to the cobbled streets of Vieux Lille and amble around the winding lanes, having a good old natter and seeing where we ended up. These pictures were all taken in the area surrounding the cathedral in Vieux Lille itself. We loved the abundance of trees and bushes and the hotch-potch of houses in all different styles and colours.

Vieux Lille is also conveniently close to the old Citadel, which is nestled within a gorgeously verdant park.

To go inside the citadel itself, you need to book ahead for one of the tours that take place on Sundays between May and August. We visited in April so couldn't visit but my sister took us around the wonderful park that wraps around the star-shaped citadel's perimeter.

At times it's easy to forget that you're still in the centre of a European city.

Any keen joggers will love the Citadel and the surrounding parkland because the land is 100% flat and offers a large choice of running routes, with all the pretty little footpaths meandering and encircling the central Citadel. I took myself off for a run on a cool, misty morning and it was glorious - just the thing to get you in the mood for a hot, buttery pastry (Paul's do pain au chocolat et aux amandes, which was pretty much my staple breakfast for the entire week).

From there, we walked back into Lille, heading towards the more central streets and squares but taking in one last peaceful, open space along the way at the Quai du Walt.

Needless to say, Lille is now very high up on my "places to escape to and live in after Brexit" list.