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St George's is a friendly and welcoming Anglican, Christian community, based in the early 20th-century English church which sits near the Thermes and Casino. The congregation consists largely of British residents of Vernet and the neighbouring towns and villages, but we are augmented by visitors and holiday-makers of many nationalities throughout the year. There is a regular Sunday service of Holy Communion at 10am. In 2019, St George's became home to France's first set of English change-ringing bells (10 bells, 5-0-15 in C). A band of ringers, both French and British has begun to be trained. On the last Sunday of the month, we usually have a 'bring and share' lunch at the house of a member of the congregation. Please check the 'Services & Events' page for dates, and contact us for details if you'd like to come along. The church is also used for weddings, concerts and other services and functions. The village, once known as 'the Paradise of the Pyrenees', is associated with Rudyard Kipling, who spent time here a century ago. The Church celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2013. One of the attenders at worship in the early days was Princess Beatrice, the youngest daughter of Queen Victoria.
Getting to Vernet
- By Plane: the nearest airport is Perpignan. Other airports within about a two hour drive are Béziers, Carcassonne and Girona. The last of these is known as Barcelona (Girona) but is well north of Barcelona (and thus closer to Vernet).
- By train: the nearest station is Perpignan. The TGV from Paris takes about five hours. Note that the branch line from Perpignan to Villefranche-Vernet-les-Bains is currently closed after a bad accident, with no sign that it will be re-opening any time soon.
- By boat and then driving: Calais and Dunkerque are the obvious ports, but if coming from the north of England, consider also the Hull-Zeebrugge overnight ferry. Zeebrugge isn't much further to drive from than the two French ports.
- By car from Calais: Try to give Paris a wide berth unless you like heavy traffic. The route round the east side of Paris via the A104 is probably best. Alternatively, miss Paris entirely and drive via Rouen. Once south of Paris, there are essentially three motorway routes to choose from: the western A20 via Limoges, the central A75 via Clermont Ferrand, or the eastern A6 via Lyon. Unusually for France, the long stretch of the A75 from Clermont-Ferrand to Béziers is toll free, apart from the spectacular Millau viaduct (which can be avoided by a detour through the town if you're a cheapskate). The A20 also has a good toll-free stretch between Vierzon and Brive. The eastern route sets you up for some spectacular mountain scenery if you head towards Andorra from Toulouse, via the col (or toll tunnel) de Puymorens. Alternatively, you can continue on the motorway via Carcassonne.
- From Perpignan airport there is a shuttle and buses into town.
- From Perpignan, take the 240 bus all the way to Vernet. The bus station is at the back of the train station and is easy to find.
Vernet is well geared-up for an influx of tourists during the holiday season. There is plenty of accommodation to be found on sites such as Booking.com and Airbnb. There are three campsites in the village. Unless you're staying in Vernet itself, you'll probably want a car to get around. You'll probably want one anyway if you're planning food shopping in the main supermarket, which is at the bottom of the hill on the way out of the village. The other villages in our valley, Casteil and Corneilla, are 20-30 minutes walk from Vernet.