Top places to visit in Northern France


Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, feast on Flemish fare or party late into the night, Northern France has masses to offer. Take the ferry with P & O Ferries to Calais and take your pick of wide sandy beaches, incredible hotels and picturesque villages.

We have hand picked our favourite places to visit in Northern France that are all within a few hours drive of Calais. So get your bags packed and your shades on and get ready for an action packed holiday in France.

Sponsored content

Chill in Honfleur

Head to this picturesque little port where the changing light inspired the great impressionist painters of our time. Enjoy fresh oysters and plenty of art galleries as you explore the pretty town.

Stay at the stunning Fereme Saint Siméon, an ornate 17th century Normand house high in the hills above Honfleur. With blooming country gardens, opulent rooms and exquisite service, this beautiful hotel is the perfect place for a relaxing break. Stroll through the grounds, sink into their blissful spa pool and then feast at the hotel’s restaurant after another busy day on the coast.

Drive time from Calais 2 ½ hours

places to visit in Northern France|  Fereme Saint Siméon

Kite surf at Wissant

Located in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France, this quiet little fishing village has one of the widest beaches in Northern France. Favourable winds make for killer kite surfing conditions, especially during the summer when the weather is beautifully balmy.

There are plenty of rustic B and B’s to chose from and a vibrant Wednesday market, where you can pick up fresh fruit and artisan produce from the surrounding countryside. (Photo by Lucile Persyn).

Drive time from Calais 20 minutes

Kite surf at Wissant

Explore Boulogne’s Old Town

Wander through the fortified old town of this historic city to the Imperial Palace. Once the headquarters of Napoleon’s army, this breath taking neo-classical building has been pain-stakingly restored to its former glory.

Next, head past the delicious restaurants and vibrant stalls that line Rue de Lille and walk up to the magnificent Notre-Dame Basilica. Built in 1827, this eye catching cathedral dominates the city’s sky line. Enter the crypts beneath the basilica and marvel at the intricate Roman frescoes that cover the walls deep beneath the city.

Drive time from Calais 30 minutes

Boulogne’s Old Town northern france

Party in Paris

Sack off Sacre-Cour, give Arc de Triomphe a wide birth and leave the Eiffel Tower for next time and head to the capitol to party. Paris is packed with cool cocktail bars, old-fashioned boozers and incredible late night hotspots.

Try your luck and ring the buzzer of Le Très Particulier, the bar at the Hôtel Particulier de Montmartre. Bag yourself a seat in their swanky garden for a glass of champagne, then imbibe late into the night at Le Glass, a hipster hangout that serves crisp cocktails and cheeky hotdogs.

Drive time from Calais 3 hours

Hôtel Particulier de Montmartre

Feast in Lille

From French foodie favourites to Flemish fare, Lille offers a gutsy gastronomic feast for hungry visitors. Tuck into moules frites at Aux Moules, a local hangout that has been serving this classic dish since the 1930’s. For something more sophisticated try the set lunch at Bloempot. The Flemish style food is modern, fresh and seasonal. Remember to book your table as this restaurant gets busy.

Wazemmes Sunday Market is a great spot for sampling maroilles – a pungent local cows-milk cheese, as well as different meats and perfect pastries.

Drive time from Calais 1 ¼ hours

Bloempot restaurant lille

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *