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Hauts-de-France


Don't just pass through as you emerge from the Channel tunnel or ferry port France's northern tip has lots to offer


DOES the name ring a bell? Perhaps not. Back in 2014, Nord-Pas de Calais and Picardy were officially merged to form the super-sized region known as HAUTS-DE- FRANCE. Now that we've cleared that up, allow us to wax lyrical about the countless reasons this often-overlooked province is in fact worth a (lengthy) visit. Not only is it a rather convenient destination for those


travelling from the UK via ports and Eurotunnel, it is also the gateway to some fabulous tourist sites and ideal for city breaks. Although perhaps best known for its elegant lace industry and delicious sweet Chantilly cream, Hauts-de-France has a few surprises tucked up its sleeve. For starters, it boasts an impressive concentration of


family-friendly museums and attractions. But the jewel in the crown is, without a doubt, the magnificent (both architecturally and for its content) Louvre-Lens – the regional outpost of Paris’s flagship museum. The region's capital, Lille, is just the ticket for a short (but sweet) cross-Channel break. Home to the Palais des


Lille is a super short-break destination, packed with culture


Beaux-Arts de Lille, which houses works by artists such as Rubens and Goya, plus a collection of ceramics, it is a cradle of art and culture. Also unmissable are its main central place and towering belfry. It is also the birthplace of Charles de Gaulle – you can visit the iconic former president's childhood home. The area has no shortage of picturesque gems like the


towns of Arras (featuring another splendid central square), Compiègne and Chantilly (cream! horses!). Every last nook of this widespread region speaks to its


history – from Amiens's impressive Gothic architecture and iconic cathedral to the numerous cemeteries and memorials paying tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice during the two world wars. From the Somme battlefields to the amazing Wellington Quarry in Arras, there are extraordinary sites to experience. History aside, there is plenty to keep little ones busy thanks to a packed year-round calendar of carnivals and festivals, including a wide array of "géant" parades featuring oversized papier-maché local legends… ■


E-mail: campinglechampneuf@orange.fr www.camping-lechampneuf.com


FURTHER INFORMATION Hauts de France tourist board • www.french-weekendbreaks.co.uk


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CAMPING & HOLIDAY PARKS 2021


IMAGE © SHUTTERSTOCK


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