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


July 2016
 (entries in red indicate new additions)



This website is a supplement to Angela Bird's guidebook, Northern France: What to do and see within 90 minutes of Calais (left), which gives full details in its 176 pages of hundreds of interesting and off-beat tourist sites throughout the region.
What you see on the website consists of either extra topics not covered in the book (Calendar, Restaurants, Travel routes, Internet links etc), or updated information (new tourist attractions open - or old ones closed) since the book appeared.
For the complete picture, order Northern France through bookshops in the UK and Ireland, or
from Amazon ; it is also on sale in good bookshops throughout Northern France.

The listings on this site are supplied in good faith, gathered by the author from various sources.

However it is always wise to check details with organisers or tourist offices before making a special journey.

Official county identifications:
62=Pas de Calais





Until late July

Les Soldes / Sales!  This is the official period for which French shops are authorised to hold sales.  Make the most of it!


Throughout France

Until 11 July 2016

Clovis Normand: itinéraire d’un architecte en montreuillois 

Large exhibition in the citadel’s old arsenal building about a 19th-century architect, born in nearby Hesdin, who restored many local churches, belfries and other buildings, including the impressive abbey, the Chartreuse de Neuville, visible from the ramparts here.

Open Wed-Mon 10-12 & 2-6. Closed Tues.  Citadel admission 5€

Citadelle, Montreuil,sur-Mer, 62 (tel : 03 21 86 90 83).

Until 16 July 2016

Midsummer Festival  A series of cultural events in the new Elizabethan-style theatre; full details to be announced.


Chateau d’Hardelot, Condette, nr Hardelot, 62


Until 29 Aug 2016

Charles Le Brun : Le Peintre du Roi Soleil

Exhibition devoted to the court painter of King Louis XIV, who was responsible for the decoration of the mirrored gallery at Versailles. A total of 235 works, from private and public collections, include sculptures, drawings, tapestries, portraits and animal paintings.

Open Wed-Mon 10-6; closed Tues.  Admission 10€, 18-25 years 5€; under-18 free.


Louvre Lens, Lens, 62

Until 18 Sept 2016

« Amiens, la cathédrale en couleurs »

The summer illuminated show, at nightfall, bringing to life the wonderfully-carved medieval sculptures on the West Front of the cathedral. Not to be missed!  Daily: June 10.45pm; July 10.30pm; Aug 10pm; Sept 9.45pm. Free; no booking required.


Cathedral, Amiens, 80
(tel: 03 22 71 60 50)

Until 22 Oct 2016

Les Fouilles archéologiques de la citadelle d’Amiens : Des Romains à Renzo Piano Building Workshop  Objects and treasures unearthed during the transformation by architect Renzo Piano of the city’s citadel site into a university complex. Items found bear witness to 2,000 years of history.

Tues-Sat 10-12 & 2-6 (Wed 10-6; Thurs open until 9); Sun 2-7. Closed 1, 5, 16   May.  Admission 5.50 euros, under-26 free; free for all on Thurs from 7-9pm, & on first Sun of month.


Musée de Picardie, Amiens, 80


Until 1 Nov 2018

Quand La Chartreuse était Belge (1915-1918)

Exhibition in connection with the centenary of World War I, a time when this enormous former monastery outside Montreuil became the largest Belgian civil hospital in France, caring for some 1,200 patients.

Exhibition open Tues-Sun 11-6 (closed Mon). Closed 3 May.

Admission to exhibition and garden 3€; disabled, students, & children 8-14 1.50€; the above, including guided tour of whole site, 10€ and 5€.


La Chartreuse de Neuville, Neuville, nr Montreuil-sur-Mer, 62

Tel 03 21 06 56 97

Until 16 Nov 2016

Ecrivains en guerre 14-18 : nous sommes des machines à oublier Exhibition about those who left written testimony of World War I, such as Blaise Cendrars, Ernst Jünger, Guillaume Apollinaire, Wilfried Owen and others.

Daily 9.30-6 (from 1 Oct Thurs-Tues 9.30am-5pm; closed Wed). This exhibition free; main museum 9€, seniors 7€, children 7-15 years 4.50€; family (2+2) 24€



Historial de la Grande Guerre, Peronne 80

Until 31 Mar 2017

Guerres, Sciences et Technologies, 1914-1945 

Temporary exhibition showing scientific and technological advances between the start of World War I and the end of World War II. It looks at the development of artillery, aviation, tanks, chemical warfare, individual firearms, telegraphy, detection, medicine (including some of Marie Curie’s original glass slides) and cryptography.

Open daily 9-6 (1 July-31 Aug 10-7).

Admission to whole site 10€, children 6-16 yrs 7€ ; family (2+1) 22€, with further children at 2€ each.


La Coupole, Helfaut, nr Saint-Omer, 62


1 July 2016

Commemoration of the Battle of the Somme  A moving ceremony is held each year at Lochnagar Crater, starting at 7.28am – the time of the British attack.
Later in the day there is a British Legion/CWGC Service of Remembrance at Thiepval (10.40am, with British military band), at the nearby Ulster Tower, and at the Newfoundland Memorial at Beaumont-Hamel.


The whole area around Albert and Thiepval will be impossible to access around the time of the 1 July commemorative events for the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.  This is not a year to be attempting to take part if you do not have an official ticket.


La Boisselle, near Albert, 80; also Thiepval & Beaumont-Hamel. 80

1-3 July 2016

Main Square Festival  Among those topping the bill at this rock festival, held in the mighty citadel of Arras, is Iggy Pop.


Arras, 62

2, 3 July 2016

Les Fêtes Guillaume  Two days of festivities throughout this medieval town to celebrate the memory of William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, who set off from this port to conquer England in October 1066.


St-Valéry-sur-Somme 80

5-10 July 2016

Festival de Saint-Riquier  Annual baroque music festival in this charming village with its splendid abbey church.


Abbey church, Saint-Riquier, nr Abbeville, 80

Next in July 2017

Fête de la Mer  Biennial event, with lots of sea-themed events in town and on beach.


Boulogne-sur-Mer, 62


14 July


(Bastille Day, national holiday)



Throughout France


14 July 2016


Antiquités Brocante Enormous annual Bastille-Day antiques and brocante fair, with 500 stalls spread throughout the picturesque streets of Montreuil. 6am-6pm.


Montreuil, 62

14 July 2016

Brocante  Annual junk fair in this pretty little town near Desvres.


Samer, near Desvres 62

15-17 July and 22-24 July 2016


Pozières dans l’ombre et la lumière  Since 2006 the village of Pozières has mounted a night-time sound and light show on a WWI theme.


Pozieres, near Albert, 80.

23, 24 July 2016

Fête de la Groseille   Annual currant festival, with tastings, fruit-pressing demonstrations, music, traditional games, pony rides. There is a brocante fair in the village on Sunday 20th.

Sat, Sun 10am-6pm.

Admission free.


La Maison du Perlé, 50 Rue Principale, Loison-sur-Créquoise, 15km SE of Montreuil (tel: 03 21 81 30 85).


23, 24 July 2016

“Chevaliers”  Demonstrations of jousting amd other medieval, horse-related activities.

Centre Historique Médiéval, Azincourt, near Fruges, 62

23, 24 July 2016

Concours Spécial - National Juments  A weekend devoted to the sturdy white Boulonnais horse, once so vital to farmers and fishermen, with a national class for mares. The 19-hectare site is to become a centre for information and improvement of this local heavy horse breed.


Ferme de la Suze, 480 Avenue Henri Mory, Samer, 62

29 July-1 Aug 2016


5-8 Aug 2016

Son et Lumière “ Les Misérables à Montreuil-sur-Mer”  You’ve seen the film, now visit the town where one of the key scenes of Victor Hugo’s novel took place. Enjoyable open-air show within the walls of the citadel, telling the story of Victor Hugo’s visit to the town and of his epic novel “Les Misérables”. Book tickets in advance through Montreuil tourist office. Starts 10.30pm inside the Citadel. Admission 18 euros, children 8 euros; advance booking recommmended.



Montreuil-sur-Mer, nr Le Touquet, 62
(booking on: 03 21 06 72 45)

31 July 2016

Cortège Nautique sur l’Aa  Water-borne procession of traditional boats in the picturesque district of Haut-Pont, along the river Aa to the west of St-Omer’s railway station. Main processions 4pm and 10pm (with fireworks)
Some details of previous events here.


St-Omer 62



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