Camping in Picardy
35 in France, Picardy
The birthplace of Gothic architecture in France with no less than six cathedrals, Picardy is still predominately rural with deep river valleys, forests of mature beech and oak, peaceful lakes and sandy beaches providing plenty of contrast.
France itself was born in this northern province located between the Marne and the Somme rivers, for it was here that the Franks – ancestors of the French – first settled. Picardy tends to be a region that most people travel through and this was the invaders' route. Evidence is visible in the 17th-century defensive citadels designed by Vauban at the end of a long period of conquests by English kings and Burgundian dukes.
From a more recent age, acres of immaculately tended war graves are a sobering reminder of two Great Wars. At Vimy Ridge near Arras, World War One trenches have been preserved intact, a most poignant sight. Elsewhere, almost every village between Arras and Amiens has its memorial. Picardy’s coastline is the least urbanised in all France with miles upon miles of beautiful sandy beaches and dunes – great for windsurfing, land yachting, sailing, swimming and building castles. Do not miss the magnificent ‘Baie de Somme’ or the largest bird park in Europe, the Marquenterre.