A region largely undiscovered, often overlooked by US travelers but that has a lot to offer in terms of nature, art, daring arts scene, architecture, remembrance and  rugged charm.

It is a place of contrast and diverse culture.  The architecture has been influenced by the Flemish style, but Gothic and Baroque as well as  industrial styles are also apparent.

You will go from long sand beaches to pastoral countryside, from mining sites to historic towns with cobble stoned squares and gothic cathedrals.



Visit the New Louvre Gallery in Lens

Explore the great collections in this aluminum and glass design building.  Its Galerie du Temps aligns thousands of years of art in a single room.

Enjoy The ‘Guggenheim effect’ – the extraordinary renaissance of Lens has started with the opening of  the world-famous gallery.

Fabulous restaurants have opened,  the art deco facades have been cleaned up and a myriad of chocolate shops have flourished.

Hike on the terrils

 The debris left by digging out the coal have been turned in to hiking trails, covered with bushes and trees.

They offer spectacular views over the surrounding area.

Pay tribute to the Poilus

Follow the 40 mile  Remembrance Trail with your guide and discover the tragedy of the First World War, what the French call the Great War.

Explore unusual sites such as the Carrière Wellington, a network of underground war tunnels.

Pay a visit to the region’s war cemeteries, such as the world’s largest French war cemetery and a stately ossuary at Notre-Dame de Lorette.

See the Lochnagar crater, the Dunkirk’s battlefields and The Neuve-Chapelle Indian Memorial.

You will be moved by the row after row of white gravestones – a reminder of the terrible loss of lives.

Visit a quaint village

Gerberoy is a quaint village with cobblestone streets, flower-bedecked houses and half-timbered houses.


Enjoy the charm this fortified town and it 17th- and 18th-century houses covered in roses.

The Rose Festival that has been held in the village every year since 1928.


Tiara Chateau Hotel Mont-Royal

5-star hotel – La Chapelle-en-Serval

Set in a circa-1900s chateau in Parc Naturel Régional Oise-Pays de France, this refined hotel is 10.1 km from l’hippodrome de Chantilly horse-racing track and 42.4 km from central Paris.

The plush rooms and suites come with marble bathrooms, 24-hour room service and iPod docks, as well as free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, DVD players and minibars. Upgraded quarters add balconies, forest views and/or kitchenettes.

An ornate, fine-dining restaurant features a terrace. There’s also a formal, wood-paneled bar/restaurant. Other amenities include an upscale spa, an indoor pool, a hot tub and a fitness room, plus squash and tennis courts.

Auberge du Jeu de Paume

5-star hotel – Chantilly

On the prestigious Domaine de Chantilly country estate, this polished hotel is a 10-minute walk from the Château de Chantilly (a striking royal castle, museum and stables), and 2 km from Golf De Chantilly.

Lavish, 18th-century-style rooms feature antiques and original artwork. All have free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and iPod docks, as well as tea and coffeemaking facilities. Suites add separate living rooms and Nespresso machines.

There are 2 upscale restaurants, plus a bar and a terrace with views over formal gardens. Other amenities include a spa and a fitness center.


Clarance Hotel

5-star hotel – Lille

Set among landscaped gardens in a stately 18th-century townhouse, this elegant boutique hotel is a 10-minute walk from the Citadel de Lille (Louis XIV’s military fortifications) and 1 km from Le Palais Des Beaux Arts (fine arts museum).

Bright, stylish rooms have a poetry theme and offer flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi and Nespresso machines, as well as minibars and Bluetooth speakers. Suites add extra living space; 1 features a glass roof.

An upscale restaurant serves refined cuisine made from produce grown in the hotel’s own garden. There’s also a relaxed bar/tearoom. Private parking is available (reservation needed).


Couvent des Minimes

4-star hotel – Lille

Set in a former convent dating to 1613, this luxe spa hotel is a 7-minute walk from Mane village center and 1.4 km from Salagon musée et jardins.

The elegant rooms are individually decorated and feature free WiFi, TVs, minibars and DVD players, as well as tea and coffeemaking facilities. Suites add lounge areas, while some have 2 bedrooms and/or separate living rooms.

There’s a fine-dining restaurant, a bistro with a terrace, a wine bar and a library. Other amenities include a gym, an outdoor pool, a tennis court and gardens, plus a spa with 6 treatment rooms, a hammam and an indoor pool. There’s also event space (including a church).

Najeti Hotel de l’Univers

3-star hotel – Arras

A 4-minute walk from the Musée des Beaux-Arts d’Arras at the Abbaye Saint-Vaast, this traditional hotel in a 17th-century monastery is also a 5-minute walk from the underground tunnels at Les Boves and a 9-minute walk from Gare d’Arras train station.

The modern, individually decorated rooms feature en suite bathrooms, flat-screen TVs and free WiFi. Suites add sitting areas with sofas.

There’s a fine-dining restaurant, and a hot breakfast buffet is offered for a surcharge. Other amenities include a bar, event space and private parking (fee).


L’Hermitage Gantois

5-star hotel – Lille

A 4-minute walk from Mairie de Lille metro station, this upmarket 15th-century hotel is a 6-minute walk from Le Palais Des Beaux Arts de Lille and a 15-minute walk from Gare de Lille-Europe.

Upscale, individually decorated rooms and suites feature marble bathrooms, tea and coffeemaking facilities, minibars, free WiFi and satellite TV. They are located around the inner patio; some feature fireplaces, pull-out sofas, iPod docks and/or wood paneling. Room service is available 24/7.

Breakfast is available (fee). There’s a formal restaurant, a casual brasserie and a glass-roofed bar. The spa features treatments (fee), an indoor pool and steam room.

Marotte Hotel

5-star hotel – Amiens

Combining a classic 19th-century building and a contemporary extension, this genteel hotel is a 6-minute walk from the Cathédrale Notre-Dame d’Amiens, a 7-minute walk from the Gare d’Amiens train station and a 14-minute walk from the Hortillonnages floating gardens.

Refined, upscale rooms include Wi-Fi access, desks and flat-screen TVs. Suites provide plush sitting areas; some add whirlpool tubs, saunas or duplex levels. A penthouse offers a full kitchen and a roof terrace with city views. Room service is available.

There’s a wine bar and an elegant, classically furnished tea room. Breakfast is available for a fee.


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