Northern France
What to do and see within 90 minutes of Calais


If you want even more ideas, try this book!


Cover picture:
The lighthouse of Petit-Fort-Philippe, Gravelines, near Dunkerque
© Luke Smith
Cover design:
Adrian Hulf
Published by Malnoue Publications

Email address:
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Click here to order the book from Amazon

And here’s a first review from the Amazon site, posted by a satisfied reader!

5 out of 5 starsA gem of a book
A brilliant book, packed with information on things to do just across the Channel. We've visited the Somme before but tended to be unadventurous about exploring elsewhere in the area - this book will inspire you to root out other places well worth taking the time to visit..”




In the UK the book can be ordered through any bookshop - the shop should
receive copies from its wholesaler within one or two days.

It may also be ordered through Amazon UK .

You may find it on the shelves of some shops - usually larger bookshops with good travel sections, such as Waterstone's, Dillon's, Borders, Ottakar's.
London it is usually to be found at Hatchard's (Piccadilly), and in the specialist travel bookshops Stanford's (Long Acre) and Daunt's (Marylebone).

In France, the book should be in many supermarkets, good bookshops and in many "Maisons de la Presse" shops and newsagents of the
départements of Nord, Pas-de-Calais and
(See bottom of page for information on distribution and a few additional sales points.)



This year-round destination just across the Channel is rich in history, proud of its traditions and warmy welcoming to visitors.

Its beaches are magnificent and architecture astonishing. Excellent museums cover everything from fishing to fine art, and a branch of the Louvre is due to open in Lens in 2009. Belfries and carnival giants join Amiens’ Gothic cathedral on Unesco’s World Heritage register, while the estuary of the Somme is designated one of the world’s most beautiful bays.

Photograph: Susan Crosland

A freelance journalist, with a second home in western France for the last 35 years, I've spent more than three decades digging out offbeat entertainment for family and friends. My first guidebook, to the Vendée region, appeared in 1994 and quickly became the “bible” for British visitors to the area. It is now in its third edition.

This new guidebook covers an  undervalued area just 22  miles from Britain’s shores. More than 11 million people arrive at the Northern France ports from Britain every year.  Many are just passing through en route to somewhere more fashionable, but those who take the time to leave the motorway will soon share my view that this is a fantastic region to stay in.

I have worked as a sub-editor for magazines, ranging from The Field to the Orient-Express, written on French-related topics for Blue Riband, France, and Brittany Ferries' Voyage magazines, and have produced extensive UK-wide coming-events guides for Country Living (of which I was for eight years Contributing Events Editor) and for The Illustrated London News. 
In France, I was for four years Vendée correspondent of the glossy French bi-monthly magazine Côté Ouest, providing features (in French) on traditions, cultural events, artists, craftspeople, restaurants and smart shops in the region.


Northern France:
What to do and see within 90 minutes of
Angela Bird



Planning your trip: When to go, How to get there, Where to stay.

Useful information: Accessibility, Beaches, Bird-watching, Boating, Children, Church-going, Cycling, Electricity, Entertainment, Fishing, Gardens, Golf, Hotels B&Bs and restaurants, Internet, Maps, Markets, Medical treatment, Money, Motoring, Pets, Public holidays, Public transport, Riding, Safety, Security, Shopping, Swimming-pools, Telephoning, Tennis, Tipping, Walking, Weather, Wildlife.

Food and Drink of the North

A Little French History

Pick of the North: My 80 favourite places.


Area 1. Dunkerque, Cassel and French Flanders
Bailleul, Bergues, Cassel, Dunkerque, Esquelbecq, Godewaersvelde, Gravelines, Hazebrouck, Hondschoote.

Area 2. Calais, Boulogne, St-Omer and World War II
Ambleteuse, Ardres, Arques, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Calais, Guines, Lumbres, Marquise, St-Omer, Wimereux, Wissant & Les Deux Caps.
Special section: V weapons.

Area 3. Le Touquet, Montreuil, Hesdin and The Seven Valleys
Beaurainville, Berck-sur-Mer, Buire-le-Sec, Desvres, Étaples, Fressin, Fruges, Hardelot, Hesdin, Merlimont, Montreuil, Le Touquet.

Area 4. Amiens, Crécy and the wildlife of the Somme Bay
Abbeville, Amiens, Argoules, Auxi-le-Château, La Chaussée-Tirancourt, Crécy-en-Ponthieu, Le Crotoy, Frévent, Long, Naours, Quend-Plage, Rue, St-Riquier, St-Valéry-sur-Somme.
Special section : Jules Verne

Area 5. Arras, Albert and the Somme battlefields
Albert, Arras, Auchonvillers, Avesnes-le-Comte, Bray-sur-Somme, Corbie, Doullens, Lucheux, Péronne, Pozières, Villers-Bretonneux.
Special section : The Somme Battlefields.

Area 6. Lens, Béthune, Battles of the Artois, and the mining basin
Aire-sur-la-Lys, Aubers, Béthune, Bruay-la-Buissière, Lens, Lillers, Merville, St-Pol-sur-Ternoise, Souchez.
Special sections : Coal-mining. Battles of the Artois.


176 pages (of which 16 in colour), with more than 100 photographs; numerous maps and town plans.
UK distributor: Portfolio Books, London

First edition published 2007
Price £9.95
ISBN 0-9545803-1-1


The book is available :

in the UK and in the Irish Republic:
bookshops - including:
LONDON, Stanford's, Daunt's, Dillons, Hatchard's, Waterstone's etc;

ELSEWHERE: may be ordered through any UK and Ireland bookshop; and is often on the shelves at branches of Waterstone's, Dillon's, Ottakar's etc. (It’s not very likely to be on the shelves of WH Smith’s; they tend to stock more general books on each country.)

UK distributor: Portfolio Books, Suite 3 & 4, Great West House, Great West Road, Brentford, Middlesex  TW8 9DF (tel: 020 8326 5620; fax: 020 8326 5621).

in Northern France:
The book should be on sale in an increasing number of supermarkets and large bookshops in the Nord, Pas-de-Calais and Somme départements. 

French stockists as at February 2008:

In the area:
Abbeville: Aire de la Somme motorway service area, on A16 at Sailly-Flibeaucourt.
Albert: Maison de la Presse, 8 Place d’Armes; Musée Somme 1916, Rue Anicet-Godin (beside church).
Arras: Librarie Privat Brunet, town centre; Leclerc supermarket, Dainville (off N25, to SW of town centre).
Auxi-le-Château:: Tabac-Presse Le Magenta, 7 Place de l’Hôtel de Ville.
Bergues: Presse Gambetta, 24 Rue de l’Hotel de Ville.
Boulogne: Nausicaa shop, Nausicaa, on seafront; Boulogne railway station newsagent kiosk.
Calais: Histoire de Lire, Boulevard Lafayette; Calais Presse, Place d’Armes;  BP petrol station shop at Virval, 320 Route de St-Omer (near A16/A26 junction); Eurotunnel terminal “Relay” newsagent kiosk at Calais-Coquelles.
Le Crotoy: Maison de la Presse, 10 Rue de la Porte du Pont.
Dunkerque: Demey/Majuscule, 47 Place Jean Bart.
Fruges: Maison de la Presse, 40 Place du General de Gaulle.
Montreuil: Maison de la Presse, 13 Rue Herambault; Librairie Magnier, 54 Place du General de Gaulle.
Péronne: Historial de la Grande Guerre, Péronne château; Maison de la Presse, 14 Place Louis Daudré.
Rue: Maison de la Presse, 18 Rue Colonel Tetard;  Marquenterre bird reserve shop, St-Quentin-en-Tourmont.
St-Omer: Librairie Indépendant, Rue des Clouteries.
Wissant: Tabac-Loto Le Flobart, 2 Rue Lieutenant André Baude.

And outside the area covered by the book it can be found at:
Cambrai: Furet du Nord.
Douai: Furet du Nord.
Lille: Newsagent kiosks at Lille-Europe and Lille-Flandres railway stations.
Villeneuve-d’Ascq: Furet du Nord.

Farther afield still, it’s also on sale at:
Roissy: Newsagent kiosk in Charles de Gaulle airport 2.
Paris: Gibert Jeune Rive Gauche, 4 Pl St Michel, 6e; Mediastore Maillot, 17e; WH Smith, Rue de Rivoli, 1er

And, in Belgium:
Bruges: Libairie Reisboekhandel.
Ghent: Librairie du Voyage.

In France, the book is distributed by specialist map and travel-guide company
Cartothèque EGG, ZAC de la Liodière, Route de Monts, BP 30445,
37304 JOUÉ-LES-TOURS CEDEX, France (tel: 02 47 62 28 28; fax: 02 47 62 28 30).



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guidebook | guidebook update | history |
| introduction to Northern France |
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| practical info |  restaurants |  tour operators  |   travelling from UK to Northern France |

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