Nord Picardy guide
So peaceful and beautiful is the countryside, it's hard to imagine it as having been the scene of so many major battles, from Agincourt to the Somme. With long sandy beaches and stunning white cliffs, the region's coastline is equally impressive, and the huge Gothic cathedral at Amiens is the largest in France.
With locally brewed Flemish beers, traditional festivals and frequently sighted windmills, the Flemish influence is highly evident throughout this peaceful region of river valleys and forests. The coastline is amazingly varied and rich in birdlife, with both sandy beaches and towering rock formations.
Sophisticated Lille offers a lively experience with superb nightlife, shops, restaurants and the Musée d'Art Moderne, housing works by Picasso. Equally alluring is the splendid Gothic church. In fact the region is particularly noted for its church architecture and boasts many magnificent cathedrals, the largest of which is in Amiens.
Many water activities can be enjoyed on the picturesque Somme river, while nearer the Champagne border the historical town of Compiègne is famous for its royal hunting palace. The popular theme park, Parc Astérix can also be found in this region, and is perfect for a fun filled family day out.
Food and drink
- Strong cheeses such as Maroilles and Vieux Puant (old stinker)
- Hearty stews such as hochepot and carbonade de boeuf
- Flamiche - the local variety of quiche
- Superb fish and seafood
- Flemish beers
Things to do and places to visit in Nord Picardy
- Nausicaa in Boulogne
- Arras with its fine Flemish buildings
- Lille's old quarter
- Walking, canoeing, swimming, white water rafting and fishing in vast lakes
- Drive the dizzy road to Puy Mary for a panoramic view on a clear day over 10 valleys
- Nord Picardy is excellent cycling country