Nord Pas-de-Calais | North-Calais (Now Hauts de France)
The North-Calais Region is in the north of the country and borders on Belgium. Because of its strategic location at the northern edge of France it has been subject to numerous ongoing battles.
Our visits to this Region of France have been limited to the arrival in France at Calais and then a tour down the cost towards Haute Normandie and Basse Normandie. On one of our first trips to France we decided we would travel by train from London to Calais and pick up our car in Calais.
So we can't say much about this Region of France - it is a door way to the country, and like many we passed through it on our way to see other areas. .
Lille, located inland away from the coast, is the largest city with more than a million people. Not listed on many tourist routes, it is a city of industry circled with sprawling suburbs and industry. There are problems with poverty and racial tension. The old part of the city, the "Vieux Ville" is reported to have character. The Eurostar and TGV links means it could be a connection spot on our planned Wine and Champagne Tour as we work from the north downward.
Douai-Lens is located 35km south of Lille and although damaged in both world wars is reported to be an attractive city 18th century houses cut through by river and canal.