My travel bucket list is huge, and I’m always adding to it. I love dreaming and plotting, planning my next adventure – it’s really important to me to have something to look forward to. One of the regions I’ve just added to the list is Picardy in northern France. If you’re not familiar with the area, you’re not alone, but the more research I’ve done into this beautiful area, the more I want to go.
One of the things that will draw me to an area is a diversity of things to see and do, and with Picardy there seems to be a lovely mix of gorgeous coastline, beautiful chateaux to visit and of course, the WW1 memorials.
The regional Tourism Committee has created a fabulous website, Esprit de Picardie, to help visitors plan their perfect break, bringing together all sorts of suggestions for every type of short break imaginable with a team of English speaking local experts who are available to answer any questions you might have about the area and give advice too – what a great idea.
At the moment, we’re in the centenary period of WW1 and what better time to visit the haunting battlefields and memorials (I can’t believe I’ve never visited)? There’s actually a self-drive Remembrance Trail that you can follow which takes you around key areas, like the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, and Beaumont Hamel, where the British Cemetery’s ranks of headstones are a must visit.
I’m a huge fan of chateaux as well and there are all sorts of different romantic getaways listed on the website, from gastronomic tours to stays in the most gorgeous fairytale castles. The Château de Chantilly is well worth a visit (check out the picture!), and I love the idea of the weekend in the heart of the Champagne producing region, staying in the 5 Star 19th-century Château de Fère and completing the Champagne Tourist Trail – the local advisor even recommends particular producers to go and visit. And at just over an hour from Calais, it’s such an easy area to get to.
For more information, and to browse the wide range of suggested weekend breaks, visit Esprit de Picardie and plan your next adventure!