Seaside towns with fabulous seafood restaurants; Anglo-Norman and Art Deco architecture in the super chic Le Touquit; the castle museum, basilica and belfry of Boulogne-sur-Mer; a stroll along the promenade at elegant Wimereux; St-Omer’s narrow, winding streets, fortified upper old town and 13th century Notre Dame cathedral; the Flemish- baroque Heros and Grande Place squares of Arras, surrounded with cafes selling local gingerbreads, and galleries selling local artwork; the citadel and ramparts of Montreuil-sur-mer; locally brewed beer and cider; visit the crystal glass factory at Arque; Opal Capes and Marshes natural reserve, crisscrossed by waymarked trails; the 500ft sheer chalk cliffs at Blanc-Nez Cape, with footpath running above it.
With the most extensive rail network in Western Europe, France is a great country to explore by train. The nationally owned SNCF (Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer) runs fast, efficient services between the main towns. Buses cover the rural areas, but services can be rather sporadic, with departures often at awkward times. If you really want to get off the beaten track, by far the best option is your own car.
Pas-de-Calais is very easily accessible, with short sailings from Dover to Calais by ferry with P&O Stena in 75 minutes, Eurotunnel crossing Folkestone to Calais in about 35 minutes, by hovercraft in 40 minutes and Seacat Folkestone to Boulogne in about 50 minutes.
Le Chateau de Montreuil is a four star hotel housed inside an 18th century country manor with Michelin-star
Hotel de l'Univers in Arras is a charming and historic hotel in a
The Hotel la Tour du Roy is a welcoming, family-run, and friendly 3 star hotel.
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Find out more about France
Paris Airport Main airports are in Paris, Bordeaux and Lyon, with scheduled and low cost airlines flying into the country from all over the UK. Currency Euro (£1 = Euro 1.24) Size Roughly 600 miles wide and 700 miles long Population 66 million Average temperature Varies dramatically, from about 8 degrees in winter in Brittany to 26 degrees in summer in Corsica, with snow on the Alps and Pyrenees year-round
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