10 day visit to Northern France

Discussion in 'France' started by maison, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. maison

    maison Funster

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    We normally travel straight through Northern France en route to Burgundy so we are visiting Northern France itself for 10 days at the end of this month.

    Travelling via the tunnel we intend to visit Amiens, Honfleur and revisit the Bayeux tapestry which we last saw over 30 years ago.

    Does anyone have any recommendations as to what else to see, where to stay etc? In November there are not many sites open so we will be using Aires a lot but would like to visit the occasional site if possible.

    All contributions gratefully received!
     
  2. Viennese

    Viennese Funster

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    The coastline around Etretat and Fecamp is well worth a look -white cliffs like Dover

    I would also recommend the Lutyens Memorial to those who died at the Somme.

    Deauville of course, as well as Honfleur...

    So many interesting towns to visit - Amiens is great.
     
  3. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    Don't know why Northern France doesn't get a better write up , we go regular , but stay really north not down Normandy end , along the Belgian border , Dunkirk , ipers , and loads more places , it's not got the best weather but is cheap to get to and if you go for three or four days you can get real good fares on the tunnel and if you are a smoker and wine drinker , the savings you can make on your duty free can pay for your trip
     
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  4. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    weve just had 4 days along the belgian coast between Dunkirk and ostende theres a tram runs all along the coast nice towns and an esplanade along much of it so nice for gentle cycling
     
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  5. Roryboys Dad

    Roryboys Dad Read Only Funster

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  6. maison

    maison Funster

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    Many thanks for the ideas.

    We have "done" the Belgian border area and were lucky enough to take part in the official procession and Remembrance Service in Ypres on 11th November a few years ago, standing right under the Gate for the service.

    It is the area between Calais and Le Havre we are particularly interested in this time, but agree with the above postings that, what we have seen in the North, makes it we'll worth visiting, particularly if your time "over there" is short.

    Thanks again to all.
     
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  7. peter21

    peter21 Read Only Funster

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    We saw the Bayeux tapestry a week ago. Suggest you get there at opening time...we started at 9am and when we left at about 10am there was already a long queue waiting to get in (on a wet weekday). We stayed at Camping des Bordes de l'Aure...walking distance from tapestry but shuts 31/10 so probably no good for you.
     
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  8. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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  9. brynric

    brynric Funster

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    We visited part of the French coast in the late summer and had a really good time. Good bits included Honfleur, vast car-park of an Aire but an easy walk into town and an enjoyable meal on the port.
    Etretat, well set out aire next to municipal and easy walk to quite a busy town.
    Bayeux, some great museums and sights. It's just a pity they still haven't brought the tapestry up to date. It hasn't changed since you were last there. The invasion museum was well worth a look
    Mont St Michel was our westernmost point. We stayed at the new commercial aire which was excellent if rather picky about which credit card it accepted. It was about 3k to the Mont which was easy as we cycled. There's a track all the way alongside the river then a shuttle-bus along the course way.
    We also stayed at Arromanche but the weather was foul. Several aired along the Cotentin peninsular were dull but the dog got some fair walks.
     
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  10. maison

    maison Funster

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    Many thanks for the useful information.

    A bit disappointing that they still haven't finished the Tapestry;) But the detail about getting there early is very useful, thanks. Will also check out the invasion museum.

    Not intending to visit Mont St Michel this time. (We accidentally got locked in a room there thirty years ago and had to wait for the next guided tour to arrive in order to escape. No idea how they managed at Colditz!)
     
  11. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    If you are going to see the tapestry have a good look at the people in front of you in the queue.

    If they have got clip boards and pencils, leave the queue and go for 2 beers.

    We got stuck behind some British academic types who stood there for ages sketching scenes and holding up the whole queue whilst prattling a load of crap to everyone unfortunate enough to be stuck behind them.
     
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  12. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Bethune and Arras have that big open square with tall surrounding buildings thing going on and are worth a look. Arras has a Vauban fort with an unusual memorial to executed French resistance members in its outer ditch. Just outside Arras there's the Carriere Wellington museum which is based in the old quarry workings used by the Allies in WWI - very different. Ypres (Belgium) has all the WWI heritage sites in the town and nearby. On the 'Autoroute Anglais' up towards Calais there's La Coupole, which is a visitor centre set up in an old underground V2 launch site - a bit like visiting a sinister Nazi version of Tracey Island. Gravelines has a star fort, beach and aire, and is only 30 minutes from Calais. Deauville and Trouville are classy seaside resorts, though obviously it's the low season now. Honfleur has a quaint harbour, huge aire, and some posh galleries dotted around - a favoured destination for Parisians.

    If you want to go further west than Bayeux there's an impressive medieval chateau with nearby aire at Fougeres, and up near Perros Guirec, specifically Tregastel, there's the lovely pink granite coast. Tregastel has a good aire opposite a supermarket.

    The Bayeux Tapestry has a Disneyland style queuing system - if the line is still out in the courtyard you've got a winding metal barrier maze inside to get through too. Keep an eye out for the rude bits on the Tapestry - the ones you never see in the school textbooks.
     
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