Top ten countryside attractions
RURAL TOWNS AND VILLAGES THROUGH THE COUNTRYSIDE
See, do, eat and more
The marshes around Saint-Omer
A boat trip around the Audomarois Marshes
Saint-Omer, city of art and history has a lovely market and a preserved heritage : cathedral, Jesuit chapel, castle mound, great houses…
The Hôtel Sandelin, which houses the collections of the museum, is one of the finest examples of an XVIIIth Century mansion house.
This is without doubt one of the most pleasant spots in the Pas-de-Calais. Situated in Saint-Omer, the Audomarois Marshes earned the UNESCO « Man and the Biosphere » label in 2013.
This area covers 3,700 hectares and stems from 13 centuries of work in altering the course of the River Aa, clearing and transforming a swamp into a marshland that can be cultivated and inhabited.
Today, the marshes can be visited on Bacôves; small traditional wooden boats. La Maison du Marais visitor centre presents the natural environment of the marshes as well as guided boat tours.
Rémi Colin, the last local boat maker, or ‘Faiseur de Bateau’ proposes visits of his workshop as well as boat trips onboard his hand-made embarcations, Les Faiseurs de Bateaux.
Vintage motoring with ‘Les belles échappées’
In the Audomarois countryside, « Les belles échappées » offers excursions with retro accents aboard a Citroën 2CV, Combi Volkswagen, Vespa Calessino…
Combining the pleasures of driving with discoveries, a road book is supplied to every driver prior to departure.
Among the new offers to explore : trips on classic mopeds that have returned in force and themed circuits with a chauffeur so you can be guided in total freedom.
From Canterbury to Rome, the Via Francigena
In the Pas-de-Calais, one road in particular leads to Rome.
The Via Francigena begins in Calais and crosses the department up until Rocquigny in around a dozen stages of approximately 20 kilometres.
This former pilgrimage route is a blessing for walkers that want to head off the beaten track.
On the way, the Via Francigena reveals one or two secrets: Licques Abbey, the old linden of Quercamps, the Acquin- Wesbtécourt grotto, the birth house of Saint-Benoît Labre…
Take your time in the gardens
The countryside is brimming with scenery that recalls Monet.
At Reflets de Jardin in Penin, magnolias and rhododendrons stretch out around a body of water that is dotted with water lilies.
In Chériennes, the Jardin des Lianes offers a horticultural trail that is reputed for its rare hortensias.
At La Caloterie, the Jardin de la Goutte d’Eau is home to an English-style quadrille with mixed border.
In Séricourt, people flock to see the cathedral of roses and the topiary garden. Whilst at Bergueneuse, steel sculptures sit alongside the irises and the peonies.
Strolling on the ramparts of Montreuil-sur-Mer
Montreuil-sur-Mer is just the type of little town that people love to explore when on holiday.
With is narrow, cobble-stone streets, its picturesque houses and fine restaurants, this fortified town seduces visitors immediately.
To fully appreciate the charm of Montreuil-sur-Mer, the simplest thing to do is to take the path along the ramparts, a circuit spanning 3km between the town and the countryside.
Discover the pottery of Desvres
For three centuries, the potters of Desvres have excelled in the art of ceramics.
At its high point, the production at Desvres exported to the whole world, with its all-round knowledge a particularity of the site.
The museum showcases the history of this savoir-faire through a presentation of 600 objects, from the very first production in the 18th Century to the most contemporary creations.
Dive into history at La Coupole
A gigantic WW2 underground bunker, La Coupole was designed to prepare and launch V2 rockets, the secret weapons with which Hitler planned to destroy London.
Converted into a historic remembrance centre, La Coupole allows visitors to understand the challenges of total war and the stages in the conquest of space that stemmed from the technology used for the V2.
La Coupole also includes a 3D Planetarium that offers an unforgettable journey into Space.
Discover the Pas-de-Calais in the company of a greeter!
Pas-de-Calais Tourism has established a network of greeters « Made in Pas-de-Calais ».
This volunteer network now has sixty members.
It allows visitors to see the area in a different way, in the company of a local who knows and loves the area.
Visits are free of charge, for 6 people maximum.
Sampling the best of gastronomy
For several years, Montreuil-sur- Mer has forged a reputation for its culinary savoir-faire.
Michelin star chefs and local producers have contributed to making this fortified town with just 1000 inhabitants one of the hotspots of French gastronomy.
In order to promote the arts of the kitchen and advise visitors, Chef Alexandre Gauthier and expat Londoner Tim Matthews, owner of Maison 76, had the idea of creating La Destination Gastronomique: an on-line guide to help you sample the best of Montreuil-sur-Mer.
Treat yourself to the chocolates of Beussent
These ‘Grand Cru’ chocolates are among the very best. Reputed for the quality and care taken in their production, the chocolatiers at Beussent produce their chocolate from beans grown at their own plantation situated in the Amazon region of Ecuador.
Visiting the chocolate factory and enjoying a tasting allows enthusiasts to discover all the secrets of this exceptional chocolate.
Visits and sampling on site with prior booking.