NORTHERN FRANCE, FRANCE
EXPERIENCE SOMETHING SPECIAL AT THE TOP OF END OF FRANCE 'HAUT DE FRANCE'
Hauts-de-France is one of 13 regions in mainland France. It is indeed the northernmost region of France and the capital city is Lille. It is an increasingly popular tourist destination for Australian and New Zealand visitors travelling to see battlefields and memorials associated with WW1 as well as discovering the regions’ rich cultural heritage. With over 6 million inhabitants it is France’s 3rd most populous region. The region consists of five departments: Nord, Oise, Somme, Pas-de-Calais and Aisne.
AMIENS in the SOMME department
Among the best features of the Somme are the famous cathedral of Amiens, UNESCO World Heritage Site, les hortillonages - the floating gardens of Amiens with its marshes used for vegetable farming, the lakes of High Somme, the Picard coast and its high chalky cliffs, the Bay of Somme and the Marquenterre ornithological park - a favourite place for numerous bird species. Amiens is often a starting point for Aussies visiting the The Australian Remembrance Trail including Bullecourt, Naours, Vignacourt, Pozieres and of course the Sir John Monash Centre.
ARRAS in the PAS DE CALAIS department
The natural sites and diverse landscapes of the Pas-de-Calais, ranging from the Opal Coast to the audomarois marshes and through the Capes site, are great for relaxation and sports activities, such as speed-sailing, sand-yachting, golf, walking, swimming, and cycling. The capital, Arras, is the most charming town known for its Belfry, underground boves, weekend market in the Place des Heros and the truly amazing Wellington Tunnels - an underground city of ancient quarry tunnels which hid thousands of Allied soldiers in WWI.
LAON in the AISNE deparment
Mixing nature and historical heritage, the Aisne is home to the town of Laon and its Gothic cathedral, the fortified churches of Thiérache, but also the Saint-Gobain forest and the nature reserve of Isle marsh.
CHANTILLY in the OISE department
A top destination for equestrianism, the Oise is the area of vast forests great for sports activities, majestic castles, Gothic cathedrals, royal abbeys and towns steeped in history and traditions. Chantilly and Senlis will enchant you - as will the Chateau de Pierrefonds and the village of Compiegne - where the Armistice was signed.
LILLE in the NORD department
The Nord is home to the city of culture, Lille, renowned for its Palace of Fine art, its old town and its huge annual flea market. With its bustling commercial centre and lively nightlife, is the largest city in the region. The towns of Arras and Lens, which is home to the Louvre-Lens art museum, have a strong Flemish influence in both their architecture and food, as does much of the region thanks to its proximity to Belgium, Paris and the rest of Europe! but also offers visitors the fortified cities of Bergues, Gravelines, and Le Quesnoy, the picturesque Flanders mills and the famous Dunkirk carnival.