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


June 2016
(entries in red indicate new additions)




This website is really just 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.

62=Pas de Calais




Until 12 June 2016

La cartographie ou le miroir du monde: Mercator et Ortélius, deux géographes flamands.

Both originating from Flanders, Gérard Mercator and Abraham Ortélius are considered the founders of modern geography. Mercator published his famous world projection in 1569. A year later Ortélius produced his atlas, le Theatrum orbis terrarum, which was the first time maps of the world had appeared bound in the same publication.Tues-Fri 10-12.30 & 2-6; Sat, Sun 10-6. Admission 5€, children and disabled free.


Musée Départemental de Flandre, 26 Grand’Place, Cassel 59


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 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 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 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

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

3-5 June 2016

Terres en Fête  Annual farming show, with demonstrations for the general public, and a chance to see breeds of cattle, horses, pigs etc, and enjoy traditonal food and entertainment. 9am-7pm. 6€, under-12s free


Tilloy-les-Mofflaines, nr Arras, 62

4, 5 June 2016

Rendez-vous aux Jardins  A nationwide weekend of garden-visiting, with some private ones throwing open their gates to visitors.  This year’s theme is « colours».
You can search for gardens by département or by region on this government website or on this site devoted to parcs and gardens.

Throughout France

5 June 2016

Brocante du centre-ville  Brocante fair spread throughout the streets of this attractive walled town.  Starts 8am.



Bergues, nr Dunkerque, 59

12 June 2016

Journée des Peintres dans la rue

Artists set up their easels in various corners of this pretty seaside village.


St-Valery-sur-Somme, 80

13-19 June 2016

Festival International des Arts de la Rue 

Annual festival of street theatre, with performers staging shows around the cathedral and in the picturesque St-Leu area of the town.


Amiens, 80

15 June-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)


16 June 2016


Grande cavalcade  Whit Monday carnival procession, with Jehan, the Estaires giant, and his « guests » - other giants invited for the occasion and, for 2016, the eagerly awaited presence of the current “Miss France”. At the end of the musical parade comes Aliboron III, the town’s donkey. Starts 2.30pm.


Place Louis Blanquart, Estaires 59

16-19 June 2016

Festival de Théâtre  Fifth edition of this festival, with play enacted in a lovely courtyard setting.



Saint-Valéry-sur-Somme, 80

16-19 June 2016

Golf: Najeti Open
Part of the PGA Challenge Tour, this is France’s second-largest golf tournament attracting more than 150 players from 22 different countries.

Aa-St Omer golf club, nr Lumbres 62

18, 19 June 2016

Journées du Patrimoine de Pays / Journées des Moulins  Events, displays and talks at windmills, watermills and other rural buildings throughout France.


throughout France

19 June 2016

Marché sur l’eau   Annual recreation of the old floating market, by which the market-gardeners of the Hortillonnages area of the city came to sell their fruit and vegetables at the quayside. Costumed boatmen bring items for sale in their old craft. 10.30am-1pm.


Quai Parmentier, Amiens, 80

19 June 2016

54th Fête des Fraises  The traditional annual strawberry fair held in this picturesque village. Concerts, shows and a brocante fair run aongside the stalls selling the summer fruit.


Samer, nr Desvres, 62

21 June 2016

Fête de la Musique  A nationwide event, with music-making events in unexpected places.

Throughout France

23 June every year

Feu traditionnel de la Saint Jean   The St-John’s-Night fire, or "ch'Fu d'O" is a traditional annual event in this picturesque little village on the river Somme. Blessing of candles and torches at the church, 9.30pm followed by a colourful procession to the bonfire site at the Chateau.


Long, near Abbeville, 80

late June-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

24-26 June 2016

Weekend inaugural du théâtre elisabéthain  The grand opening of Hardelot’s new Elizabethan-style theatre.


Chateau d’Hardelot, Condette, nr Hardelot, 62

25 June 2016

Fête dans la Rue  Festival in the streets of this small town, with free entertainment, art exhibition, craft market and traditional Picardy games. 4pm-midnight. Admission free.


Corbie, near Amiens, 80

26 June 2016

Transbaie  Running race of 20km across the broad estuary of the river Somme, with more than 6,000 participants. Start 11am.


St-Valéry sur Somme 80

28 June-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

30 June-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





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