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


November 2015

(entries in red indicate new additions)

Départements are identified with their official number:
59=Nord; 62=Pas-de-Calais; 80=Somme



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.





Until 1 Nov 2015

Salon ArtTouquet   Major art fair held annually here at a convenient location between Paris, London and Brussels.  Art works old and new on sale.



Salon ArTouquet

Office du Tourisme - Palais des Congrès

Place de l'Hermitage


Until 12 Nov 2015

Grande Operation de Destockage  Annual sale of bargains in glassware at the famous Arc International glass factory shop. Daily 10am-7pm.


Arc International, Arques, near St-Omer, 62

Until 20 Dec 2015

TERRE D’ASILE La Sauvegarde de l’Ordinaire  Exhibition showing the progress of an item from the moment it arrives at Bethune’s Ethnological Museum. What is it? Where is it from? What is it for? Is it beautiful, useful, old or modern?

Wed-Mon 2-6; closed Tues & public holidays


Chapelle Saint Pry

Rue Saint-Pry

62 Béthune



Until 30 Dec 2015

D’un regard à l’autre: photographies d’Etaples avant 1914  Exhibition of photographs of the fishing port of Etaples dating from before World War I.

Tues, Wed & Fri-Sun 10-1 & 2-6. Admission free.


Maison du port d’Etaples (te 03 21 21 47 37), Etaples, 62


Until 24 Jan 2016

Teniers, indémodable !   Exhibition of some 60 engravings by Flemish artist David Teniers II (1610-90), alongside some of the paintings they inspired. Teniers was known for his lively depictions of festivals, pubs and strange aspects of daily life of his time.
Tues-Sun 10-12.30 & 2-6. Closed Mon. Admission 5 euros; under-18s free.


Musée départemental de Flandre

26 Grand’Place


TL 03 59 73 45 60

Until 6 Mar 2016

Cher Modèle  Exhibition of drawings and sculptures of the human body by Frédérique Lucien, in collaboration with the Musee du Dessin at Gravelines. Held in Bourbourg;s cultural centre and also in the neighbouring church.

Mon-Sat 9-12 & 1.30-5.30.

Admission free.


CIAC, 1 Rue Pasteur, Bourbourg, nr Gravelines, 59

Until 20 Mar 2016

Le Chateau de Versailles en 100 Chefs-d’Oeuvre  Exhibition of masterpieces from the magnificent collection of the Chateau de Versailles. They include paintings, sculptures, sleighs, sedan chairs, harness. Wed-Fri & Mon 11-6; Sat, Sun 10-6.30; closed Tues, & some bank holidays such as 14 July, 1 Nov, 25 Dec. Admission 7.50 euros; seniors & students 5 euros; under-18s free (free for everyone on first Sun of month).


Musee des Beaux-Arts, Abbaye St-Vaast, Arras, 62

Until 21 Mar 2016

MÉTAMORPHOSES  Around 20 works drawn from collections in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, demonstrate how Ovid’s epic poem Métamorphoses has inspired artists from the Middle Ages to today with its mixture of mythological and historical characters.

Wed-Mon 10-6; closed Tues. Admission free.


LOUVRE-LENS, Pavillon de Verre,

Rue Paul Bert

62300 Lens

TL 03 21 18 62 62

Until 9 May 2016

Histoires : Splendeurs et miseres d’une collection redecouverte  Exhibition of 19th-century works, hung in the museum’s Grand Salon looks at the narrative of the paintings.

Tues-Sat 10-12 & 2-6 (Wed 10-6, Thurs until 9), Sun 2-7. Closed public holidays.


Musée de Picardie, 48 Rue de la République, Amiens (80)

Until 15 May 2016

Dessus-Dessous  Exhibition on two sites of installations by Annette Messager, in a variety of shapes and materials, inlcuding soft toys, embroidery, photographs and drawings.

Beaux-Arts: Tues-Sat 10-12 & 2-6; Sun 2-5; admission 4 euros, concessions 3 euros, under-5s and everyone on first Sun of month free. Closed Mon & public holidays.

Cité de la Dentelle: Wed-Mon 10-5; admission 5 euros, concessions 3.50 euros; under-5s and everyone on first Sun of month free. Closed Tues, 25 Dec, & 1-15 Jan.


Musee des Beaux-Arts, 25 Rue Richelieu


Cité de la Dentelle et de la mode, 135 Quai du Commerce;

Calais, 62


Until 22 May 2016

La Fougue du Pinceau  Exhibition of works by painter Robert Combas.

Wed-Mon 2-6.

Closed Tues, and also 25 Dec, 1 Jan & 1 May.

Admission 3.50 euros; children, students and disabled free; free for all on first Sun of month.


Musee du Touquet-Paris-Plage, Villa Way Side, corner of Avenue du Golf and Avenue du Chateau, Le Touquet, 62






1 Nov


TOUSSAINT (All Saints’ Day)
Public holiday






1 Nov 2015-3 Jan 2016

2e BIENNALE DE MOSAÏQUE  The works of Gérard Brand, an artist who explores different ways of using mosaic – from monumental sculptures to more intimate-scale pictures.

Tues-Sun 2-5.30pm. Admission 3 euros; under-18s free.

Musée des Augustins,

Ancien Couvent des Augustins,

Place Georges Degroote,




6-8 Nov 2015

46e Salon des Antiquaires  Annual indoor antiques fair, with 30 professional dealers, held in the Salle des Fetes. Fri 2-7pm; Sat, Sun 10am-7pm. Admission 4€, children free.


Salle des Sports, La Couture, near Neuve-Chapelle 62

6-15  Nov 2015

Festival International du Film d’Arras The 16th edition of a film festival that screens 50 French and foreign films for adults and children, and provides cinema-goers with a chance to mingle with some famous names.

Arras, 62
(tel: 03 21 59 56 30)

6-20 Nov 2015

Mémoire de ces Hommes  Exhibition about the WWI soldiers featuring on the war memorial of this little Flanders town, using old photographs, archive documents and period objects.


Hôtel de ville (town hall) - HONDSCHOOTE, near Dunkerque 59

7, 8 Nov  2015

Fête du Hareng Roi  The annual herring festival in the fishing village of Etaples is held at a time of year when these fish arrive in local waters in large quantities. Hundreds of tasty herrings are barbecued.


Etaples, near Boulogne, 62

7, 8, 11 Nov 2015

Les Rêves De Notre Dame - Illuminations & Concerts

Concerts inside this English-built, 800-year-old church:

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi / Arvo Pär Stabat Mater; 7 Nov, 3pm;

Arcangelo Corelli Concerti Grossi; 8 Nov 3pm;

La messe dominicale (Sunday service); Sun 6pm

Show: "La Rose Notre-Dame de Calais et la biodiversité"; 11 Nov, 3pm.


The church exterior will be spectacularly illuminated on 7, 8 and 11 Nov, 7.30-10.30pm.


Église Notre-Dame de Calais , Calais, 62


7-11 Nov 2015

Charles de Gaulle : Toute une vie  Exhibition devoted to the legendary General de Gaulle, who married a local girl here in Calais. Daily 2-7pm.


La Halle, Place d’Armes, Calais 69

9 Nov 2015

“Les Noces de Figaro”/ The Marriage of Figaro   Live relay of Mozart’s four-act opera from the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

7.30pm.  Admission 6.50 euros (tickets sold in advance or at the door)


Studio 43, Le Bateau Feu, Pole Marine, Rue des Fusiliers Marins, Dunkerque, 59

tel 03 28 66 47 89





11 Nov


Public holiday
(many museums likely to be closed)




11 Nov


Remembrance Day ceremonies organised by the Somme branch of the Royal British Legion on sites connected with the attacks of 1 July 1916. 
Ulster Tower (9.45am);
Thiepval Monument (10.45am);


Thiepval area, near Albert, 80



11 Nov 2015

Roland Leighton ceremony  At the CWGC cemetery where he was buried in December 1915, Victoria Britten’s fiancé Roland Leighton is honoured by the village of Louvencourt.  After a wreath-laying ceremony at the graveside, the lane leading to the cemetery will be renamed Rue Roland Leighton.

From 10.30am.


Louvencourt CWGC cemetery, Louvencourt, 15km SE of Doullens, 80

14 Nov 2015

Fete de la Saint Martin  Traditional St-Martin’s Day procession, accompanied by a band and lit by home-made turnip lanterns with which children are supposed to be searching the streets for St Martin’s lost horse. 

Procession 6-6.30pm. Starts and finishes at the Salle des Fetes.


Bailleul, 62

14, 15 Nov 2015

Noël à l’ancienne  Old-style Christmas festivities around the picturesque old windmill of this Flemish village, and in the Salle des Fetes.  Sat 3-6.30pm; Sun10am-7pm.


Boeschèpe, near Bailleul, 59

14, 15 Nov 2015

Insectopia  A weekend show devoted to insects large and small, from bees to butterflies. A chance to see how methods of gardening can help these creatures to survive, and to check out insect houses for the garden. 

10am-6pm. Admission free.


Salle des fêtes « La Poudrière » Rue Roger Salengro, LEFFRINCKOUCKE,

15 Nov 2015

Foire aux Poulains  Annual horse fair held on the main street of a village near St-Omer. Competitions for riding horses, ponies, donkeys and the famous local grey heavy horses of the Boulonnais breed. From 10am; grand road parade 3pm. Food & craft market 10am-6pm. Admission free.


On N43, Wittes, N of Aire-sur-la-Lys, 62 (tel: 03 21 39 06 70)

15 Nov 2015

Les Foulées de la Rouge Flamande  Called after the local, chestnut-coloured dairy cows, this day of running and jogging races brings together 1,000 participants, and takes place around the ancient walled town. Routes from 1.16km to 10.6km. Participants must show a doctor’s certificate of fitness to enter.

From 9.20am.  Start and finish Place du Marché aux Bestiaux.


Bergues, 59

20 Nov 2015

Découvrir les champignons  A guided walk in the woods with a French mushroom expert, learning to recognise different fungi in the woods.  

Admission free (but must register in advance as numbers are limited, see right).

Meet 2.30pm in Mt St Frieux  car park.

à 14h30 - Retour vers 17h00. Sortie gratuite limitée à 25 personnes.


Mont St Frieux, nr Hardelot (Must obtain tickets in advance from Hardelot tourist office (tel

20-22 Nov 2015

Terroirs, Vins et Saveurs  Large food and wine fair, featuring many small-scale producers and more than 70 wine-growers. Fri,  Sat, Sun 10am-7pm. Admission 5€ ; disabled & under-12s free.


Artois Expo,
50 Ave Roger Salengro, St-Laurent-Blangy, NE of Arras,  62

21, 22 Nov 2015

Fête du Hareng  For Boulogne’s annual herring festival, giant barbecues are set up along Quai Gambetta to grill the fish that are washed down with Beaujolais Nouveau. Folk-dancing and other cultural manifestations, and a chance to wander round the boatyards that line the quay. Some 10,000 visitors expected during the weekend. Tuck into a grilled herring, bread and a glass of beaujolais for just 3€. Sat, Sun 10am-7pm.


Boulogne-sur-Mer 62



Nord/Pas de Calais region


Somme département



18 Nov- 30 Dec 2015

Marché de Noel  Christmas market, with wooden chalets set up in Place Rihour. Daily 11am-7pm.


Lille 59

20 Nov- 30 Dec 2015

Marché de Noël  Amiens’ Christmas market stretches through the city’s streets and squares, with 130 stalls set up in little wooden chalets. Mon 2-7.30pm; Tues- Sun 10.30am-7.30pm. Closed 25 Dec.


Amiens, 80

22 Nov 2015

Rencontre des Collectionneurs  An indoor collectors’ fair, held in this charming little town.



Salle Municipale, St-Riquier, nr Abbeville, 80

27 Nov 2015

Christmas Illuminations at Le Touquet  Switch-on for this Christmas’s illuminations at this famous seaside resort. Especially good round Place de l'Hermitage. Admission free.       


Le Touquet, 62

27-29 Nov 2015

Marché de Noël  First weekend of an unusual Christmas market in a garden setting near Montreuil. Christmas decorations on sale, and brocante stalls, plus free visits of the gardens.

2-6pm. Admission free


Manoir d’Hénocq, Enocq, nr Montreuil, 62

27 Nov- 30 Dec 2015

Marché de Noël  Christmas market, with 60 wooden chalets set up in the picturesque Grand’Place. Stalls sell gifts, food, mulled wine and hot chestnuts. There are cookery demonstrations and an open-air ice rink. Mon-Fri noon-7.30pm; Sat 10am-9pm; Sun 10am-7.30pm. 24 Dec 12-5; closed 25 Dec.


Arras 62

28, 29 Nov 2015

Week-end La Region des Musées   State museums in the region, from Dunkerque to Berck, offer free admission to their collections for two days.


Boulogne, Berck, Dunkerque, Montreuil, Desvres, Gravelines, Calais, Etaples and Le Touquet


28, 29 Nov 2015

Marché de Noël  Christmas market held in the picturesque cobbled streets of this hilltop town.


Cassel, 59

28, 29 Nov 2015

Marché de Noêl  Christmas market at this seaside resort.

Place des Pilotes, St-Valery-sur-Somme, 80


28 Nov-13 Dec 2015

Creches de Noël  Exhibition of more than 400 Christmas cribs on display in the parish church (you are advised to visit them BEFORE the very busy final weekend, which coincides with Steenwerck’s Christmas market).


Parish church, Steenwerck, near Bailleul 59

29 Nov 2015

2e Réderie  More than 100 exhibitors are expected at this junk fair.


Salle R Viarre, Abbeville, 80

29 Nov 2015

Festival des tartes  The eleventh edition of this tart festival and competition. Visitors can taste sweet and savoury confections (savoury in the morning; sweet in the afternoon), and have a chance to buy home-made tarts in aid of good causes.

A Christmas market will be in full swing outside.

10am-5pm. Admission free.


Salle des Fêtes et Mairie d'Hucqueliers







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