Lille, Stand Up Paddle sur la Deûle ©le Grand Huit Jb DegandtLille, Stand Up Paddle sur la Deûle ©le Grand Huit Jb Degandt
©Stand Up Paddle sur la Deûle entre amis| Le Grand Huit - JB Degandt

Paddleboard on the Deûle river

Discover Lille and Aire-sur-la-Lys from a different perspective

Have you tried stand-up-paddleboarding yet ̶ the gentle watersport also known as its acronym ‘SUP’? Suitable for all ages and abilities, the aim of the game is to remain standing on your board whilst propelling yourself along the river with a paddle (ideally without getting wet!). 😊

Northern France _ Lille _ Paddle ©le Grand Huit Jb DegandtNorthern France _ Lille _ Paddle ©le Grand Huit Jb Degandt
©Northern France, Lille, Paddle| Le Grand Huit - JB Degandt

Cross Lille by paddling along the Deûle

We’ve all heard about the bustling city of Lille, Eurostar’s gateway to France and capital of the Hauts-de-France region. One of Europe’s cultural hubs, it is constantly expanding its diverse range of shops and lively bars, as well as its museums and festival events. So, it may come as a surprise to learn that you can actually cross the city at a calm and relaxing pace by water, realigning your body and soul to the rhythm of nature.
We head to Lille’s Citadel to begin our paddling trip. Stand-up paddle is a fun and relaxing sport that gently works the entire body as you propel yourself easily through the water. It’s an ideal pastime for all ages, regardless of whether you are 10 or 70. All you need to know is how to swim and have a basic sense of balance.

Book your activity with ‘Le Grand Huit’

The Grand Huit Association can manage all the logistics of your day out, including board hire, paddles and life jackets. They’ll also give you tips and advice to help you make the most of Lille’s natural environment. You just need to bring a towel and a change of clothes (in case you end up taking a dip!) Trainers and sun cream are also recommended.

Local's tip

Olivier Duhamel Villeneuve D'ascqOlivier Duhamel Villeneuve D'ascq
©Olivier Duhamel Villeneuve D'ascq
Head to Lille’s Jardin des Géants [garden of giants]


Whenever I have a moment to spare, I head to Jardin des Géants [garden of giants] a peaceful city haven despite being within spitting distance of the Euralille shopping complex and the MEL [Métropole Européenne de Lille]. With its water features and tall grasses (and of course giants’ heads here and there!), the whispering effect of the wind and the bamboos lends itself to a moment of meditation right at the heart of the city.

Olivier Duhamel’s first love is modern architecture in and around Lille

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