Rather unfairly, the Nord Pas de Calais has become known as the haunt of day tripping shoppers who head in their droves from England to take advantage of the fantastic wines and food on offer and to enjoy a delicious feast of French gastronomy. If the weather permits, a day at the seaside or sight seeing is also a priority. In fact, the area has much to offer beyond these rather transitory pleasures and is perfect for a weekend break, as there is much to absorb and time passes quickly!
From the coastal resorts of the Côte d’Opale, Wimereux with its parade of enticing shops, hotels, seafood restaurants and sea front to the perennially chic Le Touquet with its airport, casino, golf course and boutiques and the bustling market town of Boulogne with its pretty old town and cobbled streets, to the inland splendour of Lille and the many enchanting villages, river valleys and peaceful countryside, there is much to see and many places to visit.
Flanders forever immortalised in the poetry of World War I is also famous for the excellent beer which is brewed there and which features in many of the delicious local specialities including Carbonnade Flamande (beef stewed in beer) readily available in the plentiful, good local restaurants. With the history of the Great Wars omnipresent, there are many sites including the monument to the Canadian soldiers at Vimy Ridge and the beaches of Dunkerque, famous for the extraordinary evacuation of so many by so few small boats in the summer of 1940. There really is something for everyone in this versatile and readily accessible region. Copyright: Sarah Francis