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


May 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), now out of print pending a new edition for about 2016.


If you can borrow a copy of the old edition from a library, you will find 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 last book appeared.


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




9-17 April 2016

Festival de l’Oiseau et de la Nature  

A week of bird related walks, talks, films and other events in and around the Somme estuary.


Abbeville area, 80

17 April 2016

La Route du Louvre  A marathon of 42.195 km between the city of Lille and the Louvre-Lens museum in the mining town of Lens, plus classes and shorter courses for runners and joggers of all levels, with a carnival atmosphere along the route.


Lille to Lens


Until 22 May 2016

Robert Combas: La Fuge du pinceau  Exhibition of works by an artist known for his bright colours – even for sombre subjects such as war – who is a leading figure in the movement of “Figuration Libre”.

Wed-Mon 2-6. Closed Tues. Closed 1 May.

Admission 3.50 €


Musée du Touquet Paris-Plage, Villa Way Side Avenue du Golf, Le Touquet Paris-Plage, 62


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 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


1 May



FETE DU TRAVAIL (public holiday)




1 May  2016


Grande Brocante 

Large junk fair in a pretty village. 6am-pm. Admission free.



Arnèke, near Cassel 59

1 May 2016

Braderie Brocante de la Fete du Muguet 

Annual 1 May brocante fair, with some 300 stalls set up through the streets of this historic little town.

Brocante 8-6 ; distribution of muguet (lily of the valley ; traditional French offering to lovers on 1 May) 6pm ;  free concert from 6.30pm.


Guînes, near Calais, 62

1 May 2016

Brocante and car-boot sale 

Around 500 stalls at this seaside village.

Audresselles, nr Calais, 62


1 May 2016

30e Salon du souvenir militaire 

This town in the heart of the Somme battlefields is an appropriate place to hold the militaria collectors’ fair.

Open 8.30-3. Admission 3€


Espace Mac Orlan

Avenue de la République, Péronne, 80

1 May 2016

Fete au Jardin des Plantes  

Garden fair, the place to pick up plants, seeds, vegetables etc, and to discuss the finer points of horticulture with local gardeners – both amateur and professional.  10am-5.30pm. Admission free.   


Jardin des Plantes

Boulevard du Jardin des Plantes, Amiens, 80

Tél : 03 22 78 09 83


1 May 2016

Réderie Quartier Marivaux  Large junk fair with 200-300 stalls.


Rue Marivaux, Amiens, 80

4-8 May 2016

Les 4 Jours de Dunkerque   Major cycle race along the roads of Northern France. Check the daily itinerary on the website if you are thinking of touring, or you might get delayed while the race passes !


Start & finish : Dunkerque 59


5 May 2016





Throughout France




5 May 2016

Braderie brocante 

Junk fair, with around 200 stalls.


Samer, nr Desvres, 62

5 May 2016

Brocante et exposition de véhicules anciens 

Brocante fair and displays of vintage cars and motorised bikes.



Mailly-Maillet, nr Albert, 80


5 May 2016


MAPID (Marché aux Puces International de Dunkerque)  Huge flea market, with 1,000 stalls, in the city centre. 8am-5pm. Admission free.



Dunkerque, 59

5-8 May 2016

Arras Jazz Festival 

Concerts on an Italian theme for this year, with some free and some ticketed events.

Information on 03 21 15 09 19.


Hotel de Guines, Rue des Jongleurs, Arras, 62

7 May 2016

Brocante/Marché aux Puces  Around 200 brocante stalls laid out along the river Aa.


Saint-Venant, nr Aire-sur-la-Lys, 62





8 May


(public holiday)




Throughout France




8 May 2016


Brocante fair, with between 100 and 200 stalls.


Saint-Riquier, nr Abbeville, 80


8 May 2016

Rederie  Local event, with stalls in the main street of this small village


Couin, nr Arras, 62

14 May, 2016

Braderie semi-nocturne et Floréales  Sale of plants and assorted bric-a-brac in this picturesque village on the river Somme. 10am-8pm.


Long, near Abbeville, 80

14, 15 May 2016

Mei-feest Traditional farming is evoked with shows of horses and cattle in the streets of this Flemish village. Also a brocante fair on the Sunday, and a flower market.


Steenvoorde, nr Cassel 59





16 May 2016


WHIT MONDAY  (public holiday)



Throughout France




16 May 2016

La Ronde des Marcassins  

Large Whitsuntide cycling event, held in even-numbered years, with several circuits of different distances through the undulating countryside.


Tournehem sur la Hem, near Licques (62)


18 May-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

19-21 May 2016

26ème Festival International du Film Animalier

A weekend of screenings of films about animal life. (All films are in French.)

Admission 5€; children 3€.


Place Emile Leturcq, Albert, 80 (Tél. 03 22 74 37 04)

21 May 2016

La Nuit des Musées  Special late-evening openings and events in museums throughout France. Click on website to find out what is happening in your chosen area.


Throughout France

22 May 2016

Bourse aux plantes  Plant sales throughout the picturesque streets of St Valery’s ancient upper town. 8am-6pm.



Herbarium des Remparts and adjoining streets, St-Valery-sur-Somme, 80

22 May 2016

Foire aux Livres  Book fair, also postcards, posters and other printed matter. 8-6.

Place Darnétal, Montreuil, sur-Mer, 62


22 May 2016



Vide-grenier et brocante  Junk and brocante fair in picturesque village centre, with around 200 exhibitors.

Rue de la Mairie, Saint-Josse-sur-Mer, near Montreuil, 62







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