Book a romantic retreat and discover the beauty of northern France
If you want to treat your partner to a romantic getaway that’s not too far from home, there is a wealth of gorgeous places to visit in northern France that ooze charm and romance. There’s plenty to see every season of the year, and of course, there are always endless cosy cafés where you can enjoy a coffee and croissant or fantastic Michelin starred restaurants where you can spoil yourselves with an indulgent five course meal – or more!
Head for the charming town of Saint-Omer, just over half an hour’s drive from Calais, with its 800 year old gorgeous gothic cathedral and beautiful gardens located at the foot of the huge Vauban fortifications. The Saturday morning market is a great place to stroll and sample local specialities and you’re spoiled for choice in the local restaurants.
If you want to get close to nature, the Somme Estuary is a place of haunting, ethereal beauty with its wild sweeping marshlands and picturesque seaside towns. Stay in the picturesque town of Saint-Valerie-sur-Somme with its cobbled streets, fisherman’s cottages and medieval ramparts. Take a trip around the Baie de Somme in the local coastal steam train, or hire a bike and cycle along one of the many coastal trails. Walking tours out into the Estuary itself are available as are seal watching trips. Another place of magic and mystery is the stunning forest of Compiegne in Picardy. Herds of red deer and other game live in this centuries-old forest which was once the hunting place of the French kings who stayed at the Imperial Palace in Compiegne. If you venture into the forest – on foot, bicycle or horseback – you’ll come across quaint villages which have changed little over the years, all offering menus based around local specialities. The nearby Chateau de Pierrefonds is a charming folly, styled on a medieval castle and used for the filming of the television series Merlin.