There is a fabulous Modern Art Museum in Lille. The museum itself is simple a single-storey brick affair with tinted windows to protect the exhibits. In comparison to many of the beautiful buildings that ususally house France's museums, its not much to look at - but it's what's on the inside that counts.
Once inside you'll find the placing of the pictures and sculptures to be very liberated. There are no barriers, ropes or glass anywhere. Among the permanent exhibits you will find six Picasso's, including his famous Musical Instruments and Death’s Head.
Although somewhat unexposed, Lille offers much of the excitement and beauty of Paris - fantastic food and drink, art museums (see above), plenty of shopping mixed with café culture - without the crowds and prices of the capital.
A perfect day trip is the Olhain park as it's close to Lille and Arras. Thanks to its 450 hectares of forest the park provides you with the opportunity to escape the cities and enjoy the outdoors.
Olhain has 300 hectares of national forest and numerous sports and leisure activities - golf, tennis, swimming pools and brasserie. There is also a campsite in the park for those who have come equipped.