Northern France still bears the marks of the Great War. As early as August 1914, the British fought their first battles in France at Le Cateau Cambrésis. The front line speedily established itself to the west of Lille. British and Commonwealth troops came to the aid of the French and distinguished themselves at the Battle of Cambrai. At Fromelles, the Australians experienced the worst 24 hours in their nation’shistory, while at Le Quesnoy the New Zealanders liberated the town. That same day,Wilfred Owen, fell at Ors. Today, you can relive the story of three English-speaking families paying homage
totheirforebears who fought in the Great War.
Savour French Flanders through a rail or ferry break. Lively Lille brims with regional fare, fashion boutiques and fine arts. Sample Dunkirk’s sporting beaches or stroll round the harbour, home to bobbing boats and big-time eateries. Head to sparky Douai famed for its giants festival, or Cambrai’s cobbled streets for the golden age of art. Or try Valenciennes, where native-born artists Watteau and Carpeaux add to an already ambitious arts scene.
French and Flemish flirt furiously at Godewaersvelde whose Border Life Museum chuckles at the smuggling antics surrounding the Belgian border – seen at its best from Mont des Cats. Call in at Cassel, a captivating setting for the Flanders Museum’s unique look at Flemish cultural life; then head for Bergues whose canals and bridges star in a blockbuster comedy set in Le Nord – with the richly rural Avesnois is home to the famous Maroilles cheese.
If it’s sand, sea and sport you seek then Dunkirk’s vast beaches offer them by the bucketload. Go surfing, shrimping or kite–flying, or try Bray Dunes for sand–yachting. Sample beachfront mussels at Malo-les-Bains with its colourful beach huts. Visit leafy Gravelines for its fortified walls and family–friendly museum. Cross to Petit-Fort-Philippe, famed for sand–yachting or take in a whiff of The Smokery at Grand-Fort-Philippe a boat trip away.
Le Nord doesn't just offer beautiful landscapes playing with the clouds: it is also possible to practice all sorts of activities "accessible" and to expect "real" feelings!
Everyone is different ... The objective is a personal development through activities, self expression, develop potential, autonomy, rediscover the outdoor life. In a word, "be recognized and heard"! The proposed activities are conducted in a cordial spirit : special visits, accessible restaurants and quality accommodation, nothing should be left to chance!