Hautes de France (Previously Picardie

With access to the English Channel between Nord Pas-de Calais and Haute Normandie, the Hauts-de-France Region borders Normandy, Grande Est, Ille de France Regions of France and Belgium to the east.

Located less than an hour from Calais on the English Channel side, or just about 15 minutes from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport when you are leaving Paris, and voilia, you are in this historic region.

This is one of those Regions that you will most likely pass through. We have only driven through this Region. So it is on our list of places to explore.

It was on one of our very first trip to France that we travelled a bit in the Picardie Region, as it was called before 2014. Many travellers will pass through this Region, landing in Calais and then travelling on to Paris.



The city sites on the River Somme, it, and the canals that run through the city creates a very pleasant atmosphere.


Amiens Cathedral


The Amiens Cathedral, built 1220 to 1270, is the longst and tallest of the Gothic churches ofthe 13th century, and is the largest in France. It has been designated a World Heritage Site. At the time of constructions, stone masons were trying to get more height so that more light could enter the church. This was the big success. The stone-vaulted nave reaches a height of 42.3 meters, only surpassed by the incompleted Beauvais Cathedral.

Amiens is 115 km from Paris. Our 2018 vist was as a day trip. It was a pleasant drive from Paris to Amiens. There are a number of underground parking garages so if you do arrive by car, parking is availalbe at a number of locations. Famous people from Amiens includes author Jules Verne and Emmanuel Macron, the President of France at the time of our visit.


On our 2018 trip to France, one of our day trips was from Paris to Amiens and Beauvais. Our friends of Paris took us first to Amiens to see the largest of the Gothic cathedrals in France, and then to Beauvais to see the tallest, of the portion was was completed. The church collapsed and was never fully completed.

Beauvais Cathedral

Half of the cathedral has collapsed, and for the half that remains, there are massive timber supports for the walls. The vaulting of the interior exceeds 46 m, or 150, which was the highest of any cathedral in Europe.. Work started in 1247 and was unterrupted in 1284 when the vaulting of the choir collapsed.

Beauvais Cathedral Clock

The church houses an elaborate astronomical clock from 1866 as well as tapestries from the 15th and 17th centuries.


Beauvais was extensively damaged during both World War I & II. Much of the older part of the city was destroued. The cathedral was badly damaged but what remains, basically have of it, is well work a visit.



Hotel de Ville CalaisOn our first trip to this region we travelled from London by train, caught a ferry and arrived in France in the town of Calais.Unlike many who would have arrived, caught a train and left, we stayed the night in Calais.

Much of the town has been rebuit., The 12th Century watchtower remains as well as the church of Notre-Dame was parts date back to the 13th Century. The Hotel de Ville is impressive.

Worst of planning this visit is that it was a Sunday when we arrived, and that is why we had to stay the evening as the specific car arrangements we had meant we would pick up the car on Monday morning.

But Sunday in Calais is rather limiting. It was pretty still. The only traffic in the city that we remembered was that going to and from the ferry terminal. This is all before the new tunnel, it was to be opened but was delayed.

Our fond memory of Calais. Well we had a great crepe dinner. The food was excellent. When we returned I realized I had lost the address of the restaurant.