Just across the channel and within a short drive of Calais and Dieppe respectively, you will find the perfect spots for the perfect holiday in Northern France: our popular parcs at Guines and St Valery in Picardy. Naturally, they make ideal stopping-off points before you hit the road south, but Picardy has a lot to recommend it for longer stays too.
The landscape is full of rolling hills, rivers, lakes and deserted windmills, making it a real treat for the eyes, while both the Somme valley and the beaches of Dunkirk make for popular and thought-provoking visits, as do all of the battlefield tours and memorials you will find here.
The coast also teems with long golden beaches and elegant seaside resorts. Le Touquet is a fine example, with its smart hotels, great restaurants and long, sandy beach showing why it has been a fashionable destination since the 19th century.
Further inland, most visitors find Picardy’s capital, Amiens, to be an unmissable attraction, not least for its stunning gothic Cathedrale Notre-Dame, which was built in the 1300s to house the head of John the Baptist, and its picturesque, flower-lined canals; though the gothic Cathedrale St-Pierre in Bauvais is arguably just as fine.
Having said that, Picardy offers many great buildings, including the immense Chateau de Pierrefonds and the epically beautiful chateau at Chantilly.
Picardy also offers its own unique take on French cuisine, and local specialities include Pot au feu, a rich and satisfying beef stew, the famous Duck paté of Amiens, and most uniquely of all, Agneau de pré sale, which is lamb from the Baie de Somme, where the sea frequently covers the pastures, creating meat that is full of its salts.
For details on the other France regions in which Eurocamp operate please see France holiday section.
Camping in Picardy is always popular with Eurocamp customers, because not only is it close at hand, it offers a real variety of places to see and things to do:
More than simply the home of the exquisite Notre Dame Cathedral, Amiens is justly called the Little Venice of the North, and its network of canals and patchwork of marshland market gardens, or Hortillonages, are well worth a visit.
Work on the gothic Notre Dame Cathedral in Amiens began in 1220, and was built to house the head of John the Baptist, which is still displayed here. However, there are also many wonderful statues and reliefs to enjoy.
As the stage for the epic evacuation of the British Expeditionary Forces during Operation Dynamo, Dunkirk has a special place in the hearts of many visitors, and the special exhibition at the Musée des Beaux Arts tells the story wonderfully.
This unusual museum occupies the site of the underground city built by the Germans from which to construct and launch V2 rockets against London. Chilly at times, the cinematic and photographic exhibitions make a visit more than worthwhile.
Chateau du Pierrefonds
Guided tours of this immense, moated Chateau are hugely popular. Built in the 14th Century, it had fallen into disrepair by the 1800s, when Napoleon III had it restored to the full, medieval magnificence it retains to this day.
The poppy-strewn fields of the Somme will always be remembered for the terrible battle that took place here. So the Circuit of Remembrance you can travel here is a sombre but nevertheless beautiful experience.
Lying close to the border with Belgium, Lille is a charming city with a wonderful old town at its centre, Vieux Lille, where narrow streets and cobbled squares reveal a host of stylish shops and inviting cafés and restaurants.
Beyond the ferry terminus, you will find that Boulogne hides its historic beauty within the walled Haute Ville, where the Porte des Dunes opens to reveal the gorgeous place de la Résistance. The domed Notre Dame Basilica is also magnificent.
With no less than 35,000 creatures on display in an exhibition area of 5,000 square metres, Nausicaä is one of the world’s great sealife centres, with aquariums and exhibitions to enchant the whole family, and especially younger visitors.
Offering play areas and rides for all ages, Parc Bagatelle is a great family day out, with everything from roller coasters to restaurants right here. Younger guests will also be enchanted by the Wild Cat show, featuring real lions and tigers.
Aqualud Water Park
This stunning water park lies adjacent to the beach at le Touquet and offers a plethora of indoor and outdoor pools. While there’s plenty for tots here, teens will be thrilled at the range of high adrenaline slides, including the fearsome Twister.
When you’re looking for a little Gaullish adventure, Parc Astérix offers families with older children a host of attractions and shows, plus rides including the fearsome Menhir Express log flume and the fabled Forest of the Druids.
Picardy offers a host of opportunities for sailing and windsurfing around its coastline, with craft and equipment for hire at Chamouille and Le Touquet, not to mention the chance to experience white water rafting and canoeing at Picquigny.
There are some 20 glorious golf courses across Picardy, offering you not just great golf but splendid scenic views across this peerless countryside. Golf du Touquet is one of the best known, but Golf de Belle Dune and Saint-Omer are also highly recommended.
You will find many equestrian centres in Picardy, offering you the chance to ride around everywhere from the Bay of the Somme to Crecy. You will also find horses for hire at Conty, Le Crotoy and Naours.
Picardy has such a varied landscape and such a wealth of trails that walking here is just one surprise after another. Some of the finest walks are around the Bay of the Somme, though we also love the gentle trails around Chéret and Laon.
If you’ve ever fancied trying your hand at this challenging sport, the Picardy coast offers 15 miles of prime sand yachting nest to the Marquenterre Nature Reserve and at at Le Crotoy and Fort-Mahon-Plage.
Amiens Jazz Festival
If you can make it to Amiens in March, you will find yourselves at one of the finest Jazz festivals in France, with performances from one of the most eclectic line-ups you will ever see!
Throughout the year in Picardy you will see signs for local Réderies. These flea markets and antique fairs are incredibly popular here, and the perfect place to pick up a piece of French history.
The Somme Poppy Marathon
Every charity marathon is special, but this event in aid of disabled servicemen and women is especially so, as it crosses the hallowed sites of the Somme’s WW1 battlefields.
Picardy may not have a famous cuisine, but there are some gems to be enjoyed here if you know what to ask for:
A popular stopover on the journey South, it is well worth taking a few days to appreciate this peaceful parc, its glorious countryside and bustling resorts nearby.
With its beautifully natural environment, St Valéry offers a very relaxing ambience. It is also close to the channel ports and a number of pretty towns.
Between the woods and the sea – Le Touquet is the perfect spot for a rendezvous with France's stimulating and stylish north coast.
A truly exceptional eco village tucked into a pristine landscape of pine forests, rolling sand dunes and wide, open skies. Belle Dune is a delight.
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