Last updated on 13/12/2012
Baie de Somme
Fancy a breath of sea air, as much seafood as you can eat and long walks in the dunes to recharge the batteries? For a weekend, take off to the Somme Bay in France, less than three hours from Brussels.
Located on the edge of the Channel and classified one of the most beautiful bays in the world, the Somme Bay stretches over 70 sq km. It's an expanse of dunes, marshes, rocky cliffs and estuaries ideal for long walks. To admire the flowers and wildlife that thrive here, visit the Marquenterre ornithological park, the only nature reserve on the north coast of France. (www.marcanterra.fr)
These vast open stretches between sea and land are also ideal for more adventurous types. As well as horse-back rides in the dunes, a canoe trip on the sea, a ride in a steam train along the coastline or discovering the Somme Bay in a sand-yacht, there's plenty to enjoy. Open to all, sand-yachting means you can admire the scenery whilst taking in the sea air (www.somme-tourisme.com).
But the Somme Bay also contains many charming villages. For example Ault is worth seeing for its fishing port, old mansion houses perched onto the cliff-tops, its peaceful environment and its view over the Channel.
If you have a little spare time before leaving, also stop off at Amiens in Picardy. This historical town, birthplace of Jules Verne, houses the largest gothic cathedral in France. (www.amiens.com)
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