Driving holiday norther france

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Sid_the_Squid
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Driving holiday norther france

Post by Sid_the_Squid »

Hey all,
a few friends and I are planning a short driving holiday in northern france next month, as I've only ever been through france before I don't really have any ideas where to go or what would be good to see.
I like costal regions, but not to rural, the inital plan is to keep north and west.
Any tips on nice places to visit, nice roads to drive on, or places to stay would be greatly welcomed.

Thanks all
:)

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Paul-R
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Post by Paul-R »

If you say North West then you're going inland away from the coast.

There are a number of places to go. One that I've been meaning to go to for a while is the Nasicaa sea zoo in Boulogne. http://www.nausicaa.fr/Anglais/accueil.htm Boulogne is also nice to walk around especially the old walled town up the hill. You can walk round the wall as well.

A few years ago my wife and I went to the town of Arques. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arques,_Pas-de-Calais Arc International is huge and has factories all around the world as well as its founding place. They own a surprising number of names including Pyrex. Arques owes its existence to the glass factory there and there are tours round parts of the works. It's all in French though.

Not too far away is the village of Cassel http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassel,_France where the Grand Old Duke of York is supposed to have marched his men up and down. To be honest there's not much there but you can drive to the top. There's what appears to be an old school (very closed when we went) there but we stopped for a picnic and to take in the views of the very flat surounds.

A bit further inland is the Ardennes region. Both in France and Belgium it's surprisingly hilly and very pretty to drive around. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ardennes

Apart from this all I can suggest is you get loads of leaflets from the Office du Tourisme in Calais and, above all, just drive around slowly on the back roads with your eyes open!

Sid_the_Squid
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Post by Sid_the_Squid »

Thanks for the tips paul, Ardennes does look lovely :)
I realise I was not clear with my intentions, were planning to get to Calais, then go west, there will be some driving south but following the northern coast line. If I had a longer break I'd ideally drive all the way down to the Côte d'Azur.

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Xaccers
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Post by Xaccers »

Paul-R wrote:If you say North West then you're going inland away from the coast.
Never Eat Shredded Wheat

North West would be Britanny/Normandy

Went there as a kid and it was alright. Prefer Corsica for French speakers.
You could visit Mont Saint Michel.
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Paul-R
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Post by Paul-R »

Xac wrote:North West would be Britanny/Normandy
D'ohhhh!

I knew what I meant when I typed it - my fingers just didn't behave themselves.

What I MEANT to say was if you move inland from the coast.... etc

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Post by citroenesque »

I have spent a fair amount of time travelling in France.

For what it's worth (this is just my opinion!), I'd say Dieppe is well worth a visit. Boulogne-sur-Mer is OK but wandering the shopping streets you get the feeling that the populace/visitors can be a little, how you say? Mutant? :lol:

Honfleur's worth a visit, if for no other reason that the little art galleries there.

Normandy is great (if the weather's good) - Arromanches is interesting, Bayeux a must, Ste-Mère-Église if you like your D-Day history... but avoid Grandcamp-Maisy, St. Lo and Isigny-sur-Mer.

Granville is interesting (on the west coast of the Cotentin peninsular).

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Post by Sid_the_Squid »

Thanks citroenesque, both Dieppe and Bayeux are on the route I was thinking of, anything in particular a 'must see' in these areas?

Don't know if will make it as far as Granville though.

Xac I thought about visiting Mont Saint Michel, don't know if i'll get that far.

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Post by citroenesque »

Don't forget Pegasus Bridge, Bénouville/Ranville nr. Caen (Again if you're into history). Try to do a lunch at the Café there - loved their omelette!

Deauville is very 'Blackpool' and fun if the weather's good. The countryside around Liverot's nice (buy cheese and calvados. Yum).