Northern France

What to do and see within 90 minutes of Calais



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Pictured above: Moulin d’Audenfort hotel; La Solette b&b; La Corne d’Or guesthouse; Le Château de Montreuil hotel. All © Angela Bird.




If you are interested in any of the following
hotels, B&Bs (
chambres d’hôtes), self-catering accommodation (gîtes) and campsites (campings),
please click on the links provided and contact the owners direct.
(I have enjoyed most of these places myself, or have had them recommended to me by friends,
but I disclaim any responsibility for whether they will be to your own taste.)
Area numbers relate to the section divisions in Angela Bird’s Northern France guidebook










Chatellerie De Shoebeque, Cassel
Great views and plushy décor
This swish hotel in the centre of Cassel (an attractive hilltop town equidistant from Calais, Dunkerque and Ypres) was the billet of Marshal Foch during the early part of World War I.  Every room and suite has been given a quirky style of its own: “La Vie en Rose” (in the pink); “L’Aziza” (north-African style); “Les Comédiens” (with pictures of French movie stars), etc.
The breakfast room affords magnificent views over the Flanders plain.
Rooms from about 200 euros(2014).

Chatellerie de Shoebeque,
32 Rue Foch, 59670 Cassel
(tel : 03 28 42 42 67).





Ons Kot,  near Hondschoote

Near the Belgian border
A warm English-speaking welcome
to Ons Kot, a Belgian-owned B&B buried in the countryside near Hondschoote, 17km south-east of Dunkerque. Delicious evening meals available on prior reservation. Room for two from 60€; meal 24€ (2014).

Ons Kot, 1200 Chemin du Clachoire,
59122 Hondschoote (tel : 03 28 20 76 87).








Au Tonnelier, Bergues
In the walled town of Bergues
The 2-star Logis hotel Au Tonnelier offers simple accommodation in the heart of this attractive old market town near Dunkerque. Restaurant on the
spot (evening meal from 23€); others within walking distance. Room for two from 74€; breakfast 11€. Pets accepted 8€ per night.  (2014).
Au Tonnelier, 2-4, Rue du Mont de Piété,
59380 Bergues (tel : 03 28 68 70 05).




Hoastellerie St-Louis, Bollezeele

In the centre of a Flanders village
The 3-star Logis hotel, Hostellerie St-Louis, and its restaurant, at Bollezeele is
popular with British visitors and conveniently placed equidistant from
Calais, Dunkerque and St-Omer.
Dogs accepted. Room for two from 69€ ; breakfast 10€ (2014); meals from 27€.
Hostellerie Saint Louis, 47 Rue de l'Eglise,  59470 Bollezeele
(tel:  03 28 68 81 83).




Pantgat Hof, near Bollezeele
In rural Flanders
The Chiloups have created lovely modern guest-rooms in their former farmhouse known as the Pantgat Hof. Located outside Bollezeele, it is in a peaceful setting not far from Calais and Dunkerque. Room for two from 65€ (2014).
Pantgat Hof, 27 bis Rue de Metz,
59470 Bollezeele (tel: 03 28 68 00 87)




Auberge de la Foret,

La Motte aux Bois

Village centre, near Hazebrouck
The 1-“chimney” Logis hotel the
Auberge de la Forêt lies on the crossroads in La Motte-au-Bois, just south of Hazebrouck and an hour’s drive from Calais. Spartan, somewhat old-fashioned rooms; rather more sophisticated restaurant with cooking that rates the Logis de France’s top, 3 “casseroles,” grading. Room for two from 61€, breakfast c10€ (2014); evening menus from 28€.
Auberge de la Forêt,
La Motte au Bois, 59190 Hazebrouck
(tel: 03 28 48 08 78).








Le Val Joly, near Watten
Not far from ferries
A 2-star site by the river Aa with 109 pitches. No website, but it is recommended by campers for its friendly welcome, good value and for its proximity to the ferry ports of Calais and Dunkerque. Play area and fishing on site. Open April to October.
Camping Le Val Joly, 1 Rue de l'Aa, 59143 Watten (tel: 03 21 88 23 26)











Peaceful 18thC country house near Ardres

The Château de Cocove is surrounded by parkland near Recques-sur-Hem,
about half an hour’s drive south-east of Calais. The 3-star hotel may not be quite as grand as the name implies, but rooms
are reasonable and the restaurant is good. Rooms from 98€ for two (2014); menus from 28€.
Château de Cocôve, Avenue de Cocôve, 62890 Recques-sur-Hem
(tel: 03 21 02 68 29)




Converted watermill, near Licques

The Moulin d’Audenfort stands beside a ford on a gurgling river. It’s popular with British visitors for its attractive setting, warm welcome, simple rooms, and good food. Rooms from 52€ (2014); breakfast 7.50€, menus from 23.50€ (restaurant closed Mon).
16 Impasse du Gué, Audenfort, 10km S of Ardres (tel: 03 21 00 13 16)






Marais d’Opale & St-Omer area
Two charming adjoining cottages (Planty and La Chaumière) for rent near St-Omer golf course, Rando-Rail, La Coupole and recommended wildlife walks.
Owners: M et Mme Lasset:
(tel: 03 21 39 97 50;
mobile: 06 78 01 78 82).



In Boulogne’s old town
The Enclos de l’Evêché is a lovely old town house near the domed cathedral of Boulogne (open-air public parking adjacent). It has five elegant bedrooms (from 70€ for two, 2008), and its own restaurant (closed Sun evg-Tues lunch inclusive), with menus from 19.50 euros (Wed-Sat lunchtimes, except public holidays).
Enclos de l’Évêché, 6 Rue de Pressy, Boulogne sur Mer (tel: 03 91 90 05 90).





On seafront at Wimereux
Mary Avot’s B&B in an elegant Edwardian-style villa, La Goélette, on the promenade at Wimereux (between
Calais and Boulogne) is in a wonderful position, with great sea views
to enjoy from the breakfast room. Room for two from 90€.
La Goélette, 13 Digue de mer,
 62930 Wimereux (tél : 03 21 32 62 44)





Near St-Omer, Calais & WII relics
The Château du Gandspette is a 3-star campsite at Eperlecques, within 30 minutes’ drive of Calais. It is very close to the awe-inspiring Blockhaus d’Eperlecques,
a sombre remnant of WWII.
Château du Gandspette,
133 Rue du Gandspette,
62910 Éperlecques (tel: 03 21 93 43 93).











Outside Guînes; handy for Calais
The Castel-Camping Bien-Assise campsite, at Guînes (where Henry VIII met French king Francis I at the Field of the Cloth of Gold) is a popular stop for visitors
travelling to and from England, as Calais is only 15 minutes’ drive.
Here is a review from Alan Rogers’ website.
La Bien Assise, on D 231 road,
 62340 Guînes (tel: 03.21 35 20 77).










Seven Valleys area

The Clos de la Prairie is a prettily-converted farm on the edge of a village, providing eight attractive ground-floor bedrooms, with outlook over green countryside.

On the same site is an excellent restaurant (evening meal 38€ in 2013), where guests also take a wonderful breakfast (15€ in 2013). Lovely country walks nearby.

Le Clos de la Prairie,

17 Rue de St-Rémy,

62870 Gouy-Saint-André

(tel : 03 21 90 39 58)









Near Desvres and Le Touquet

Les Marronniers sleeps five in a 2-bedroomed cottage (all ground-floor accommodation). Located on the edge of the village of Courset, it is ideal for exploring the Seven Valleys, the Opal Coast and many other attractions. Open all year. South-facing garden for warm days; open fireplace for log fires in winter.
Take own linen.
Hilary and Jean-Pierre Darque, Contact via website.





Seven Valleys area

The Abbaye de St-André offers three adjoining gites, or holiday cottages, in a corner of a vast, enclosed farmyard of a former abbey, between Montreuil and Hesdin. Each has a small private garden,
plus a large grassy communal space in front.
 Vitse family, Hameau de St André,
62870 Gouy-Saint-André
(tel: 03 21 90 32 97).

Centre of historic Montreuil
The Château de Montreuil is a Relais et Châteaux establishment offering 4-star comfort, a peaceful garden and a Michelin-starred restaurant in the centre of this attractive fortified town. Rooms from 200€; menus 38€-90€.
4 Chaussée des Capucins, 62170 Montreuil (tel: 03 21 81 53 04).


In centre of historic Montreuil

A 3-star hotel in the centre of Montreuil, the Hotel Hermitage is resolutely modern. Backing onto the Wine Society’s France shop, it is built within the shell of an ancient brick monastery. Lifts to all floors; restaurants within easy walking distance. Rooms from about 90€ in the week; more expensive at weekends.
Hotel Hermitage, Place Gambetta,  62170 Montreuil (tél : 03 21 06 74 74).






In centre of historic Montreuil
An elegant 3-épi bed-and-breakfast,
La Rodiere is an 18th-century town house, on a town-centre square. Rooms on second floor. Double room 95 euros (2013). Restaurants within walking distance.
La Rodiere, 77 Rue Pierre-Ledent, 62170 Montreuil
(tel :  03 21 81 54 68).


In the valley of the river Canche
The Moulin de Fillièvres is a comfortable B&B in an old watermill located
at Fillièvres, between Hesdin & St-Pol-sur-Ternoise, in an area known for its
many delightful gardens. Convivial evening meals around a large table with your hosts, the Legrands, on prior reservation. Courtyard parking.
Rooms from 50€ (2008); dinner 21€.
Le Moulin de Fillièvres, 16 Rue de St Pol, 62770 Fillièvres
(tel : 03 21 41 13 20).






Near Agincourt and Arras
 The Maison de Plumes is a boutique hotel in in a romantic-looking 18th-century country house, handy for visiting Vimy and Arras in one direction; Agincourt and Montreuil in the other. Check out the website for the sumptuous decor; rooms are all called after exotic birds. Lunches and evening meals available on prior reservation. Rooms from 89€; dinner 35€. (2010)
Maison de Plumes, 73 Rue d’Aire, 62134 Heuchin, near Anvin
(tel: 03 21 41 47 85).



Near the seafront at Berck

Excellent dining in the 2-star Logis hotel L’Impératrice, set in a side street a stone’s throw from the sea at the rather Blackpool-like resort of Berck-sur-Mer, south of Le Touquet. Garage parking available.
Hôtel-Restaurant de l'Impératrice, 43 Rue de la Division Leclerc/2 Rue de Rothschild, 62600 Berck-sur-Mer (tel :03 21 09 01 09).









On the Somme estuary
Its exotic brick pinnacles make it easy to find the attractive waterfront hotel Les Tourelles in the small seaside resort of Le Crotoy. Stylish décor in rooms, bar and restaurant, though not all rooms are en-suite. Doubles from 65€ (2008), breakfast 10€; menus from 23€. Dogs accepted.
Les Tourelles, 2-4 Rue Pierre-Guerlain, 80550 Le Crotoy (tel : 03 22 27 16 33).




In Amiens city centre

The modern Ibis Amiens Centre Cathédrale hotel is a good choice for those touring the Somme battlefields, but who may have companions less keen on war. It’s a short stroll to shops, museums, restaurants and the world-famous cathedral.  The hotel offers underground car parking and a fairly basic restaurant; lots of good restaurants within walking distance.  The breakfasts (2008) have taken a turn for the better, and are really good now, with top-quality jams etc (8€). Room for two around 61€ (2008); rates are slightly lower at weekends.
Ibis Amiens Centre Cathédrale  4 Rue du Maréchal de Lattre
80000 Amiens (tel: 03 22 92 57 33).





Quiet village location
Near the tourist attraction of Samara, this old presbytery offers B&B in ground-floor rooms and – on prior reservation – evening meals as well. Les Prés du Mesnil is in La Chaussée-Tirancourt, 13km north-west of Amiens.  Room for two 50€ (2008) ; meal 22€.
(From Gîtes de France list, click on Gite No G20201 for full details)
Les Prés du Mesnil, 1 Rue à l'Avoine,
80310 La Chaussée-Tirancourt
(tel : 06 81 96 37 59).




In a picturesque Picardy village

The Jean de Bruges hotel is in a beautifully restored 17th-century building
alongside the magnificent abbey church of St-Riquier, a few km north-east
of Abbeville. You can also drop in for
tea in the hotel’s elegant conservatory.
Hôtel Jean de Bruges
18 Place del’Église, 80135 St-Riquier (tel : 03 22 28 30 30).








In the centre of Arras
A beautiful town house, La Maison d’Hôtes La Corne d’Or has a lovely interior, with rooms decorated in either classic or modern style. Rooms from 77€, breakfast 7€. Franck et Isabelle Smal also offer evening meals, on prior reservation. (See review below.)
La Corne d’Or, 1, Place Guy Mollet,
62000 Arras (tel:  03 21 58 85 94;
mobile 06 09 40 72 49).




It's easy to drive past La Corne d'Or, above, because it does not appear as imposing as one might expect of such a fine establishment. Look out for the public car park opposite (there is also some private parking at the rear).
This stylish
maison d'hote is ideally situated in the centre of Arras, a few steps away from the Grand’ Place. The building was once the guest wing of a wealthy merchant's house, and has been restored by the present owners, Franck and Isabelle Smal.

The interior is an eclectic mix of traditional and modern decor and furnishing, with paintings and photographs on display throughout the house. We stayed in the Regina Suite consisting of a large bedroom with TV, sitting-room with sound system and some CDs, a large bathroom and a separate wc.
   We ate dinner out at one of Arras' fine restaurants, although, with sufficient notice, the Smals will cook for guests.
   Our breakfast was a wonderful surprise, with freshly prepared fruit juice and fruit salad, an interesting selection of bread from the local bakers, and

confitures. In addition, one day we had superbly cured bacon, and the next, pain perdu (we think this came in at just under a million calories, and negated the need for lunch - despite spending most of the day walking around Vimy Ridge and talking to some of the Canadian visitors).
   Franck also showed us his cellars, on three levels below the house, whose history he is keen to unravel.





Village centre, near Arras
You feel very welcome at La Solette B&B at Hauteville, a few km west of Arras. No evening meal here, but there are facilities for heating your own food, and you can look forward to Madame Debaisieux’s freshly-baked breakfast treats. One room is on the ground-floor. Double room from 50€ (2008).
La Solette, 10 Rue du Moulin,
62810 Hauteville (tel: 03 21 58 73 58).


La Paille Haute, near Arras
2-star campsite in the countryside to the east of Arras, near the Artois battlefields. La Paille Haute is open April to October, for stays of two nights minimum duration.
Camping La Paille Haute, 145 Rue
de Sailly, 62156 Boiry-Notre-Dame, near Monchy-le-Preux (tel: 03 21 48 15 40)





Step back into the 1920s at Corbie
Le Macassar is a house on the main square of Corbie, 15km east of Amiens.
It has recently been transformed by Ian and Miguel into an elegant boutique hotel, in a wonderful blend of Art Deco and Art Nouveau style. Rooms 160€ to 240€, including breakfast, and evening drinks. Voted one of the
Top 10 Inns and B&B's in Europe of 2008, on Trip Advisor’s “Travelers’ Choice” awards
Le Macassar, 8 Place de la République, 80800 Corbie (tel: 03 22 48 40 04).



Somme battlefields area
British-owned self-catering accommodation in three separate gîtes. Chavasse Farm, at Hardecourt-aux-Bois, is located 13km east of Albert. The owners’ collections of relics from WWI make it hugely popular with battlefield visitors.
Chavasse Farm (tel (UK): 07855 850 889); email




Somme battlefields area
Avril Williams’ “Ocean Villas” tea-room, B&B and self-catering cottages, just north of Albert, have become an institution. Standing almost on the front line of the battle of 1 July 1916, this idiosyncratic place is beloved of battlefield visitors, and packed with military memorabilia. Evening meals available on prior reservation.
Avril Williams' Guesthouse,
10 Rue Delattre,
80560 Auchonvillers (tel: 03 22 76 23 66).






Somme battlefields area
The Camping du Port de Plaisance, on the outskirts of Péronne, has attracted much praise from users. It’s a 20-minute stroll to the town centre (shops, restaurants and the wonderful WW1 museum the Historial de la Grande Guerre).
Here is a review from Alan Rogers’ website.
Camping du Port de Plaisance,
Route de Paris, 80200 Péronne
(tel : 03 22 84 19 31).




Somme battlefields area
The well-run Camping Bellevue, in the village of Authuille, gets the thumbs-up from battlefield visitors, who like the fact that you can walk the area direct
from the site. Good restaurants within walking distance.
Camping Bellevue, 27 Rue Albert,
80300 Authuille (tel: 03 22 74 59 29).











Quiet village location
Gina Bulot’s friendly B&B, Les Cohettes at Auchy-au-Bois, is 6km west of Lillers and 20km north-west of Béthune is a firm favourite with British visitors. Convivial evening meals may be booked in advance. Room for two from 50€ (2008); dinner 22€.
Les Cohettes, 28 Rue de Pernes,
62190 Auchy-au-Bois (tel: 03 21 02 09 47).





Gracious living in a château
Marc Meurin’s grand country-house hotel outside Lillers, the Château de Beaulieu, enjoys a peaceful setting and is especially renowned for its Michelin-starred restaurant. Rooms 150€ to 420€ (2008); meals around 100€.  Le Château de Beaulieu, Rue de Lillers, 62350 Busnes (tel : 03 21 68 88 88).






Comfortable rooms around farmyard
The five ground-floor
chambres d’hote here are set around a farmyard on the main street, opposite the village church. Evening meals make good use of the farm’s produce (leeks, potatoes, cauliflower and carrots); breakfast includes Madame Caboche’s delicious home-made jams. Rooms 38€; meals (with drinks) 16€ (2008). 34 Rue Principale, 62190 Ecquedecques, nr Lillers (tel : 03 21 02 33 19).




Stylish rooms in countryside
The Cour de Rémi, 10km north-west of St-Pol-sur-Ternoise and fairly handy for Agincourt, has very cool décor for its converted outbuildings, and an interesting menu in the dining-room. Chic rooms from 80€ (2008); menus from 29€.
La Cour de Rémi, 1 Rue Baillet, 62130 Bermicourt (tel: 03 21 0333 33)






Here are some other websites with suggestions for holiday accommodation.

Where relevant, select from lists by using the identifying number for each
département (county) - 59 for Nord;  62 for Pas-de-Calais; 80 for Somme -
or by the official region (this area takes in the regions of Nord/Pas-de-Calais, and Picardie), or by standard of accommodation desired.

It is possible to specify, for example, that you want to see 2-star establishments
that provide evening meals, and also accept dogs.


The Gites de France organisation has masses of holiday accommodation – B&Bs, holiday cottages and rural campsites - graded by 1 to 4 “épis” or ears of wheat.
Or go straight to:


Clévacances  Similar to Gites de France, Clévacances grades B&Bs and holiday cottage accommodation by 1 to 4 “clés”, or keys.



Logis de France  A France-wide grouping of individually-owned hotel-restaurants, graded by 1 to 3 “cheminées”, or fireplaces.




Alan Rogers’ Quality Camping & Caravanning Sites: FRANCE.  The “Bible” of campers. Click here to order a copy from Amazon., and click here to visit the Alan Rogers website where you can see reviews of many campsites.



The “Savoir Plaire” logo is an indication of a warm welcome. The Nord/Pas-de-Calais Regional Tourist Board awards this badge to tourist accommodation, restaurants and tourist sites that are especially visitor-friendly.
You can download the 2008 booklet (in French) from here
or go to another tourist-board page for this and other brochures.





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