Less than a two hour drive from the Channel coast, along France’s uncrowned motorways, enjoy the heart of the Somme. Come for a day, a weekend or longer: the Somme is both nearby and accessible!
It’s the best of France less than 4 hours from London!
Every week, you will find ideas for your perfect short-break: outdoors and active, parks and gardens, culture and heritage, well-being, golf, remembrance, French food and art de vivre, eco-friendly as well as family friendly events…
To the west of the Somme department lies the Picardy Coast, stretching 60km from the mouth of the Bresle in the south, to where the Authie flows into the sea in the north. And set between them, is the estuary of the Somme River, or Bay of Somme. The sea air often casts a delicate veil across the sky, giving the light in this region a very special quality, prized by artists. The high chalk cliffs give way to pebble beaches, then dunes, and finally marshland. Behind the coast, the rolling hills and valleys preserve a rich heritage.
The Bay of Somme is a member of the ‘Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World’, with its expanses of open water, marshes, dunes and saltwater meadows, where the sea and the land seem to merge.
The cathedral is like a vast ocean liner carved in stone with its Gothic ancestry, in fact the largest Gothic structure ever built, and has been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
In summer and in December, as night falls, a light show entitled ‘The Cathedral in Colours’ brings the saints, apostles and other figures that decorate Notre-Dame d’Amiens Cathedral to life, through the projection of high-definition digital coloured images.
Along the waterside, the little houses of the medieval sector of Saint-Leu huddle around the Cathedral. Their jaunty frontages now house bars, restaurants, antique shops, and craft workshops, that will always be rewarding after a short stroll.
Follow in the footsteps of Jules Verne, and visit the writer’s house, the Stone Circus, and many other buildings dating from his time, including the Municipal Library and the Picardy Museum, one of the finest in France for its architecture and the splendour of its collections.
To complete your visit, don’t miss a boat trip in a barque à cornet through the water gardens - the Hortillonnages! This is a mosaic of market gardens separated by canals, forming a watery labyrinth.
Above all, don’t leave Amiens without getting to know its mascot, Ch’Lafleur, a popular puppet who always has something cheeky to say about modern life (see him and his friends at the Chés Cabotans Theatre).
A landscape that reflects the battle lines of 1914-1918... Discover the history of this battle through the Remembrance Trail, with its frequently very impressive memorials, traces of battles past and its cemeteries.
The Somme suffered severely in the battles of the First World War: the invasion and the "race to the sea" in September 1914, the battle of the Somme in July-November 1916 and the battles of Picardy from March until September 1918.
Today, this dramatic period of history can be explored by following the Remembrance Trail.
A wide range of activities are available including horse-riding, hiking, or trips in canoes, kayaks or dugouts, in renowned sites such as the Bay of Somme.
Discover the Somme department through some of its sweet or savoury specialities: fish and shellfish of the Bay of Somme, our famous ficelle picarde, and macarons. Bon Appétit!
• A1 Motorway (Paris - Lille): Montdidier, Roye, Assevillers, and Albert-Bapaume
• A16 Motorway (Paris - Calais): Amiens-Sud/Dury, Salouel, Amiens-Ouest, Amiens-Nord, Flixecourt, Abbeville-Est, and Abbeville-Nord exits
• A28 Motorway (Rouen - Abbeville): Blangy-Bouttencourt, Oisemont-St Maxent, Behen, and Abbeville exits
• A29 Motorway (St Quentin - Amiens): Athies/Ham, Gare TGV Haute Picardie, Villers-Bretonneux, and Amiens J.Verne exits
Main stations: Amiens, Abbeville, Noyelles-sur-Mer, Rue, Albert, Mers-les-Bains, TGV Haute Picardie
From Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, then to TGV station Haute Picardie and bus
From Paris-Beauvais Tillé Airport
Aerodrome in Abbeville or Amiens-Glisy. See the AIP on official website "Service d'Information Aéronautique"
Ports of Dieppe and Calais (Ferries and Eurotunnel).
Somme Tourism Board
Tel. : +33(0)3 22 71 22 71