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It’s cold here, but the people are anything but. The locals of Hauts-de-France, a region containing the Calais region and Picardie, are known affectionately as Ch’tis in reference to the Picard form of the standard French C’est toi? (Is it you?). An impressive old town graces the centre of the region’s prefecture Lille – a city thriving in commerce. From here you have Eurostar connections to London, Brussels and Amsterdam.

Glistening beaches line the west coast in towns like Boulogne and Le Touquet – a favourite haunt of the current Presidential couple, the Macrons. Descend further into the region and you’ll happen upon Amiens – an extremely accessible, student city with an outstanding gothic cathedral. The area surrounding Amiens is called the Somme and frequented by tourists and schools visiting the battlefields of the First World War.

Did you know


We're normally trying to keep pigeons off our monuments but this is not so for one statue in Lille. The obelisk which commerates soldiers from the First World War, has stone birds carved in one side in tribute to the brave carrier pigeons that delivered messages between the lines.