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


October 2013
(entries in red indicate new additions)


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



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.





Until 31 Oct 2013

“ Ah, la vache ! “ Exhibition about cows of every type, about milk and beef products, also featuring paintings and farm visits.  Sun 3-7. Admission 2 € 50, children 2 € (free for all on Sun)


Musée de la vie rurale, Steenwerck, 59

Until 10 Nov 2013

Les Peintres de la Cote d'Opale

Annual summer exhibition of artists such as Tattegrain, Chigot, Lavezzari and others who painted in late 19th/early 20th century around the Cote d’Opale’s fishing ports of Berck, Etaples, Wissant

Sat, Sun 3-7pm.


Bernard Boulenger - Antiquités,
15 Ave de la Concorde, Hardelot (tel: 03 21 83 75 10


Until 15 Dec 2013

« Métiers d’antan : Mémoire des activités Étaploises » à Etaples  Exhibition devoted to jobs and industries in Etaples between the late 19th century and the 1930s. Advances in transportation changed lives and occupations for ever.


Musee Quentovic, Etaples, 62

Until 15 Dec 2013

Les Peintres de la Côte d’Opale à Etaples  A collection of paintings by members of the international colony of artists who lived and worked in the fishing port of Etaples from 1885 to 1920.


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


Until 14 Jan 2014

Geneviève Claisse  Colourful, abstract geometric works by and artist from northern France, made from the 1960s to the present.


Galerie Wagner, 96 Rue de Paris, Le Touquet Paris-Plage

4 Oct 2013-

2 Feb 2014

MICHEL PAYSANT , INSTALLATION NUSQUAM 1.2   An installation by a French artist on the theme of immigration, inspired by a text from Thomas More’s Utopia.  Tues-Sat 10-12 & 2-6 (Wed 10-6; Thurs until 9pm); Sun 2-7. Admission 5 euros, under-26 free. (free for all on 1st Sun of  month).


Musée de Picardie

48, rue de la République, Amiens

Tel : 03 22 97 14 00


Early Oct

Ducasse de Sailly  The local giant “Odin the Viking” gets an outing in the parade associated with Sailly’s autumn funfair.


Sailly-sur-la-Lys, near Armentieres 62

5, 6  Oct 2012

Fête du Houblon  Annual hop fair, with Sat evening entertainment and a large Sunday brocante fair. 7am-6pm. Admission free.


Steenvoorde, near Cassel 59

6 Oct 2013

Rederie d’Automne  Amiens’ grand annual antiques fair, with 2,000 exhibitors in the streets around the market building, and 80,000 visitors expected. 6am-6.30pm. Admission free.


Amiens, 80

13 Oct 2013

FOIRE AUX PLANTES  Exhibition and sale of plants and flowers, and local food.  From 9h30


Salle des Fetes, Curlu, 80

14-20 Oct 2013

La Semaine du Goût  A week dedicated to local food specialities and general gastronomic pleasures throughout France. In Arras there will be many chances to sample potatoes in homage to Charles de Lecluse, born in the city, who introduced the potato to France.


Information from tourist offices everywhere ; for Arras, Arras tourist office (tel 03 21 51 26 95)  62

13 Oct  2013

Fête du Cheval Boulonnais  The 51st edition of an annual day celebrating the beautiful, grey draught horse of the Boulogne region. Showing, demonstration and sale of horses on the main square.10.30-5.


Grand’Place, Hucqueliers, near Montreuil (62)

mid Oct

Portes Ouvertes des Ateliers d’Artistes  Artists in the north of France throw open their doors for a weekend to visitors.
Click here to download information for selected areas of the Nord département;


Throughout Nord, 59

mid Oct

Fête de la Chicorée  Festival of crazy entertainment, with very little to do with the ubiquitous plant that is used here not just as a vegetable or a salad, but as a coffee flavouring and as the basis for a liqueur. Events are held at Audruicq, St Folquin, Vieille Eglise and Nouvelle Eglise.


Audruicq and area, near Calais, 62

20 Oct 2013

Fete de la Saint-Hubert  Hunting festival, with horses, hounds and huntsmen in their best attire, and a blessing of the animals at 11am.



Mont des Cats, near Godewaersvelde, 59

27 Oct 2013

Bike and Run  Large sporting event on the beach for runners and cyclists. In teams of two, they must swop between bike and foot during the race, passing a series of checkpoints.


Beach, Le Touquet-Paris-Plage 62

30 Oct-3 Nov 2013

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


27 Oct 2013

La Transhenson The annual festival of bringing the semi-wild Henson horses of the Marquenterre back to their winter grazing areas at the Domaine de Marcenterra. Participating riders gather around 9am at the Espace Equestre Henson, St Quentin-en-Tourment, and set off to round up the free horses (some 200 of them) on the east side of the Parc Ornithologique du Marquenterre (parking available at the Parc), reaching there about 10am. The riders then drive the horses back to the Domaine, where there will be an afternoon of entertainment from 2-6pm. Guided walk for pedestrians starts from Parc Ornithologique 11am, reaching Domaine de Marcenterra around 12.30pm.


Marquenterre area 80

late Oct

Brocante de Gandspette  Large annual antiques and junk fair always held on the fourth Sunday in October. 3km of stands out of doors, numbering some 400 exhibitors in all. 9am-6pm.


Eperlecques near St-Omer 62




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