Nord-Pas-de-Calais Region of France
The Lille Museum of Modern Art
The Lille Museum of Modern Art has one of the best collections of Modern, Contemporary and Art Brut in France, second only to the great art museums and galleries in Paris.
The Lace Museum in Calais
The International Centre of Lace and Fashion of Calais is a super place, attracting visitors for the fashion element it has on show, the fascinating history of the lace making industry in Calais which goes back centuries, and the working machines. It’s in a converted 19th-century lace factory and makes a great 3-hour visit.
La Piscine, Musee d'Art et d'Industrie Museum at Roubaix, Lille
La Piscine, Musee d'Art et d'Industrie, Roubaix, Lille, one of France's top art museums
Guide to Lille in North France
Lille in north France is an attractive, lively city. It makes a perfect short break if you’re coming from the U.K. on Eurostar or by ferry, and the city is just a couple of hours drive north of Paris, and only one hour by TGV. It has a good selection of restaurants, plenty of excellent accommodation, a lively nightlife, good shopping and many...
The Louvre-Lens Museum in North France
The Louvre-Lens is the latest huge cultural project to open in France, and being France, it’s done on a very grand scale. Located in an abandoned coal mining town in a former industrial part of north France, the Louvre’s new art galleryand museum opened on December 12th, 2012.
Shops and Shopping in Calais
Shopping in Calais is big business, with huge hypermarkets at malls like Cite Europe. Calais is the leading shopping center in northern Europe. But there are also gems to be found in Calais itself, from lace shops to specialised delis. Check out this guide to the best shopping in Calais.
Visitor Guide to Calais in Nord Pas de Calais
Calais is mainly known as the gateway to Europe, the place you pass through quickly on your way to somewhere else. But that's a shame, and with the addition of the new Lace and Fashion Museum, some great new shops and good hotels and restaurants, this former fishing port deserves better. Whether you're staying the night or plan a longer stay,...
Hotels in Lille
Lille makes a wonderful short break. It's near Paris, the U.K. and Belgium, has a vibrant cultural, restaurant and cafe life, and has plenty of places to stay for all budgets. Here is my list of recommended hotels.
Top Attractions in North France
North France is full of top attractions and places to stop at. Too often, visitors drive past them on their journeys south, missing some wonderful attractions, fortified, walled cities, and great museums. So turn off the motorway and see some of my recommended sights. Some are well known; others are well-hidden secrets; all of these in...
The Best Christmas Markets in North France in 2012
North France is famous for its Christmas Markets which are varied and exciting. Being so close to the U.K., they see many Brits traveling over the Channel to stock up on Christmas gifts, wine and food. Here is a guide to the top markets in northern France.
World War I - A Tour of New Memorials, Cemeteries and Tanks
A Guided Tour of new memorials and sites of World War I around northern France and the nord-pas de calais region
Top Attractions in and around Lille
Lille is one of north France’s most attractive cities to visit. When it became European capital of culture in 2004, it took on a new lease of life. Today the capital of French Flanders is full of attractions, both in the city and nearby. Here is my list of the top attractions in Lille.
Restaurants in Lille
Lille is north France's liveliest city and with a wealth of good restaurants making Lille a gourmet destination, there are plenty of good reasons to make this a short break. You can get to Lille easily from Belgium, Paris and via Eurostar, from London
Hotel Chateau Tilques in Nord Pas-de-Calais
Hotel Chateau Tilques is a lovely chateau (castle) hotel just inland from the North French coast. Near St-Omer, the good-value hotel offers a great weekend break or a place to stay on your way south. And there's plenty to see in the area, from La Coupole to the marshlands nearby.
Guide to Montreuil-sur-Mer
Montreuil-sur-Mer in the Nord Pas-de-Calais region is a lovely old town with a fortified citadel and a luxury hotel, the Chateau de Montreuil. It’s a good basis to explore the surrounding rolling countryside with 16 loops of walks ranging from 4 kilometers to 30 kilometers. It’s in an area known as the ‘Seven Valleys’, 7 river valleys with some...
Matisse Museum in Le Cateau-Cambrésis
Matisse Museum in Le Cateau-Cambresis - a visitor's guide to the Matisse Museum in Le Cateau-Cambrésis
Hotels in Montreuil-sur-Mer
Montreuil-sur-Mer in the Nord Pas-de-Calais region is a lovely old town with a fortified citadel and ramparts. It makes a perfect base for a weekend stay or an ideal stop on the way south. There's a good range of hotels and restaurants, both traditional and cutting-edge to satisfy everybody's tastes.
The Wellington Quarry Museum is an exceptional and eerie place. Located in the tunnels that criss- cross the ground 20 meters beneath Arras, the museum commemorates and tells the story of the World War I Battle of Arras on April 9th, 1917.
Restaurants in Montreuil-sur-Mer
Like many small towns, there's plenty of choice for good meals in Montreuil-sur-Mer in Nord Pas-de-Calais. Taking advantage of the freshest fish from the North Sea, there's an abundance of excellent restaurants in the charming town, making this a favorite stop for those wanting a touch of the French good life.
Luxury and comfort in the Chateau de Montreuil Hotel
The Chateau de Montreuil hotel is a pretty, three-storyed whitewashed building with a distinctive English seaside look to it. Located in the pretty fortified village of Montreuil, it makes a perfect stop, either for a weekend spent exploring the area, or for a night on the way to Paris, Normandy or the World War I memorials around Arras.
Hotels in Le Touquet Paris-Plage
Le Touquete Paris-Plage is northern France's most chic resorts, with plenty of places to stay. Take your pick from this list, running from the very grand Hotel Westminster to the budget Red Fox.
Nausicaa, the National Sea Experience Centre, is one of the main reasons many people visit Boulogne. It was opened in 1991 as a brave venture when Boulogne was losing its position as a major Channel port. Today it’s a wonderfully easy-to-negotiate journey through the wonders of the sea, catering for families, enthusiasts and school parties and...
Le Touquet Paris-Plage
If you think of Le Touquet as a stately old lady, then think again. The resort on the north coast of France that was the darling of the jet setters of the past is still a lively, sporting, all-year round seaside holiday town with plenty to attract everybody.
Attractions in Le Touquet Paris-Plage
The chic resort of Le Touquet Paris-Plage on the north French coast has been attracting visitors for over a century. There’s plenty to do in Le Touquet, with many of the activities sports related. The cultural minded should make for the Le Touquet Museum and its collection of paintings from the Etaples group of artists.
The British World War I Memorial in Arras
The British Memorial in western Arras was set up in 1916 as part of the exisitng French cemetery. After the war, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission brought the other cemeteries in Arras to create this one memorial. It has 2,652 tombes within its walls. It also commemorates 35,942 soldiers missing from the United Kingdom, South Africa and New...
The Wilfred Owen Memorial
The Wilfred Owen Memorial in Ors, northern France, is a startling and impressive memorial to one of Britain's greatest war poets. Opened in October 2011, it adds to the sites of World War I that you can visit in the area.
Historic Arras is a good place for a short break
Arras, capital of the Artois region of northern France, is best known for its spectacular Grand’Place and the smaller but delightful place des Heros. One of the prettiest towns in northern France, it was also vital in World War I, and contains the famous Wellington Quarry.
The Musée de l'Hospice Comtesse in Lille
The Musee de l’Hospice Comtesse (the Hospice Museum of the Countess) is set on the banks of the former old port in Lille in northern France. Established as a religious community to care for the sick and the poor in the 13th century, it stands in a beautiful courtyard. Wander through the rooms to see the story of caring for the needy in an atmosphere of austerity and peace.
Vimy Ridge, the Canadian Memorial Park and Vimy Memorial
The Canadian National Vimy Memorial and Memorial Park in northern France commemorate the Battle of Vimy Ridge, fought on April 9th, 1917 by four Canadian divisions. The 240-acre Park is on the site of the battle, on land given by a grateful France to Canada. The soaring, significant Vimy Memorial stands on Hill 145, part of the Canadian...
Cabaret Rouge World War I Cemetery
The Cabaret-Rouge British and Commonwealth War Cemetery at Souchez is large, with 7,655 Commonwealth burials from World War I. The War Cemetery stands on the D937 Arras-Bethune road, just north of Arras. Taking its name from a small café that stood by the road here, Cabaret-Rouge was a cemetery as early as March 1916.
Neuville-Saint-Vaast German World War I Cemetery
The Neuville-Saint-Vaast German War Cemetery is the biggest German war cemetery in France, located in the village of Neuville-Saint-Vaast near Arras in Nord-Pas-de-Calais. Impressive and moving, it encapsulates the German War Commission's motto, Reconciliation above the graves.
French National War Cemetery at Notre-Dame de Lorette
Notre-Dame de Lorette is the largest French military cemetery, with over 40,000 soldiers, both known and unknown from France and her colonies, buried here. Soldiers from World War I and unknown bodies from both world wars are commemorated on this wildswept hill opposite Vimy Ridge.
Guide to the Palace of Compiegne
The Palace of Compiegne is well worth a visit. This gracious, mellow stone, neo-classical building north of Paris and just far enough away from prying eyes, was where French Kings surrounded themselves in luxury, followed in almost indecent haste after the French Revolution of 1789, by Napoleon Bonaparte and his successors. It has three museums,...
Nord-Pas-de-Calaid Tourism Office
The official tourism site, with details on cities, waterways, golfing, industrial tourism, nature and industrial tourism in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France.
Guide to Cassel in Nord Pas-de-Calais
Charming little Cassel is perched on the top of Mount Cassel, looking out over the flat surrounding landscape of Flanders. There is much to recommend it and unusually for such a small town, has good hotels and a delightful local estaminet to eat in.
Visitor Guide to Compiegne in Northern France
Compiegne is not a well-known destination, but don’t dismiss it. This small town just north of Paris has a lot to offer. First and foremost is the over-the-top Compiegne Palace with its outstanding parkland and formal gardens. Then there’s a delightful model museum, and nearby the evocative Armistice Museum, a reminder of World War I and its...
The Other Side Nord-Pas-de-Calais Guide
A British-run site devoted to exploring the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France, with extensive details on beer, chocolate, cycling, markets and seafood.
Calais Cote d'Opale Tourism Office
The official Calais - Cote d'Opale tourism site, with information on hiking, gourmet finds, lodging, shopping and outdoor activities in the area.
Guide to Attractions in Compiegne
Compiegne, just north of Paris, is best known for the grand Palace of Compiegne. But there are other treats in store in this small town. This guide takes you to the Palace, the Historic Figurine Museum and the surrounding Forest of Compiegne.
The Museum of Flanders, Cassel, Northern France
The Museum of Flanders, Cassel, Northern France -- France's new Museum of Flanders in Cassel