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The Picardy region includes the Baie de Somme and much of the river's plains, including the atmospheric, memorial dotted fields of French Flanders. Picardy also offers beautiful rural views, rich cuisine and plenty to pique the interest of travellers with a cultural bent. Some of the best places to stay in Picardy are places in which to relax, recharge and reflect, on beautiful vistas, fresh air and hard won peace.
Amiens is Picardy's capital, much famed, unfortunately, for its own role in both World Wars. Amiens was almost entirely rebuilt after WWII, but many of its visitors come because of its position within the First World War. Amiens occupied some of the most contested land in all of history, the Western Front.
Like Amiens, nearby Arras suffered terrible shelling during both wars, but this town's old architecture was carefully rebuilt and restored, so if you're looking for old Amiens, visit Arras. Modern Amiens, Arras and Laon are actually lively places, with plenty of interesting cultural attractions, and pretty vistas.
Outside of the towns and cities, on Flanders fields, you'll find the beautiful, stark memorials to those lost on both sides, and from the numerous different armed forces fighting for the Allies. Some of the most poignant places to visit are the tunnels at La Boisselle, which were dug by soldiers in preparation for the battle of the Somme, and the crater pocked battlefield and preserved trenches at Vimy Ridge.
Remembering the fallen isn't the only reason to visit Picardy. The Baie de Somme is a beautiful place (stay in St Valery sur Somme), known for its wonderful artist-inspiring light - both Degas and Seurat painted its moods extensively. The mouth of the Somme is also home to seals. The estuaries along Picardy's small stretch of coast are also well known by birdwatchers.
And if you're travelling with kids you might be interested to hear that Picardy is also home to Parc Asterix.
The region is also very accessible from Calais and Boulougne, so the best places to stay in Picardy can make great stopping off points on the way either to or from a ferry.
The Best Places to Stay in Picardy for a Romantic Break
- Le Macassar, just out of Amiens, is a luxurious, Art Deco style B&B surrounded by romantic gardens. The two rooms and four suites are decorated in bright colours, and some have murals. And there are four public spaces, a Moroccan style den, the Majorelle room - named for the turn-of-the-century cabinet maker of the same name, the library and the gallery, which are both Art Deco wonderlands.
- Domaine de Barive is a beautiful château surrounded by 1000 acres of parkland and landscaped gardens. Boutique rooms and suites mix modern design with traditional materials and colours. There's a very good, very French restaurant and an excellent spa.
The Best Places to Stay in Picardy to Relax
- The Auberge du Jeu de paume is a sophisticated five star château with a Michelin star. The decor is traditional and elegant - probably close to 'sumptuous' without being extravagant. Expect antiques, toile du jouy fabrics, marble floors and a racecourse and polo field.
- Les Corderies is a beautiful modern spa hotel right on the coast. As well as the stunning views, this casually luxurious hotel has a top of the range spa and a fabulous restaurant serving traditional cuisine with clever twists.
Best Hotels in Picardy
Chateau de Fere 29 rooms from $171Fere En Tardenois, Picardy
The 5* Chateau de Fere set in 60 acres of parkland. Opulent bedrooms with chic wallpapers, claw foot bathtubs and views of the ruins and gardens. Spa, sauna, indoor pool, outdoor pool and tennis court. Superb French cuisine in panelled dining room. A luxurious and stunning stay.Romantic Break - Champagne tasting, horse riding and hot air balloons all available, as well as spa treatments and gourmet diningGreat walks - Through the ruins of a medieval castle, in 70 hectares of elegant groundsRomantic - Good for couples.SpaRecommended by - Small Luxury Hotels
Domaine de Barive 22 rooms from $137Sainte-Preuve, Picardy
A beautiful chateau just outside Reims and Picardy. Boutique rooms and suites mix modern design with traditional materials and colours. Fabulous gourmet restaurant serves French cuisine, top of the range spa, acres of parkland to explore by foot, horse or bike. Romantic, gourmet, and lots to do.Garden - 1000 acres of parkland and landscaped gardens to explore.Romantic Break - Everything you could want for including beautiful rooms.Views - Stunning views over the parklands from the restaurant.Foodies - Les Epicuriens serves magnificent French cuisine.
Au Velocipede 4 rooms from $113Saint Valery sur Somme
Au Velocipede is delightful B&B tucked into the medieval town of Saint-Valery-sur-Somme. The rooms carry an understated elegance with simple furnishings and tasteful artwork. The excellent eco-minded restaurant only serves locally sourced, seasonal and fresh food. A seaside charmer.Back to Nature - Seine Bay is home to an abundance of wildlife including seals and seabirds.Great walks - Explore the medieval town of Saint-Valery-sur-Somme on foot, or head down to the coast and walk along Seine Bay.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.
Chateau d'Auteuil 3 rooms from $136Berneuil-en-Bray, Picardy
Chateau d'Auteuil is a delightful B&B set in a bounding parkland estate near Beavauis. The charming antique filled rooms exude old world elegance and style. With glorious surrounding parklands, it's perfect the place for a weekend away in rural Picardy.Country Escape - A stunning chateau set in a beautiful landscaped park, perfect for a country getaway.Great walks - There are a choice of many great walking trails throughout the surrounding parkland.Sights nearby - Visit the stunning Saint-Pierre Cathedral, six miles from the chateau.Fishing - Pack your rods- guests can go fishing on the chateau's lake.
Les Tourelles 35 rooms from $101Saint Valery sur Somme
A red bricked turreted house. Simple, airy rooms with crisp white linen overlook the sea front. A host of surrounding cultural and sporting activities keep children and adults alike occupied. The restaurant serves excellent seafood. The ideal place for a family holiday.Families - Child friendly hotel with baby sitting facilities and a dorm for children under 14, plus it's right on the beach!Beach Life - Direct beach access and a terrace with panoramic views of the Bay of Somme.Kayaking - Kayaking is available at the Bay Seal, a great way to explore the coast.Great walks - Enjoy an evening stroll along the beautiful bay of the Somme.
Hidden Bay Hotel 10 rooms from $206Cayeux sur Mer
A stylish seaside hotel in Cayeux-sur-Mer, on the Seine Bay. The rooms are simply decorated and some offer views out over the bay. Sample delicious seafood in the restaurant and look out for the regular jazz sessions held in the hotel's bar. Great spot for wind or kite surfers.Local exploring - The perfect location for exploring the picturesque coastline around Cayeux-sur-Mer by foot or bike.Great walks - Make the most of the beautiful walking all along the Seine Bay.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.
Chateau de Noyelles 8 rooms from $91Noyelles-sur-Mer, Picardy
A charming guesthouse in the heart of the Somme Bay, surrounded by orchards. Chic and sophisticated rooms, are individually decorated with antiques, grand mirrors, chandeliers and fireplaces. Phenomenal local seafood and organic veggies are served in the elegant dining room. A grown up getaway.Country Escape - A beautiful country escape nestled on seven-acres of landscaped park with orchards, neat lawns and rose beds.Families - Kids of all ages are welcome here, there are spacious rooms for families and babysitting can be arranged.Great walks - Explore the beautiful countryside, the hotel provides packed lunches for day trips.Kayaking - Guests can go seal watching on kayaks at low tide- a truly remarkable experience.Recommended by - Sawdays
Le Macassar 2 rooms from $206Amiens
A luxury Art Deco B&B with beautiful rooms and romantic gardens. Rooms and suites are decorated in stunning colours with murals on the walls and all the mod cons. A charming Italianate courtyard and boxed hedge gardens. Romantic and close to the river.Romantic BreakSights nearby - Villers Bretonneux, Thieval, and Vimy Ridge are all battlefields from WW1.Birdwatching - At the Picardy coastal area at the mouth of the Somme estuary.Romantic - Good for couples.Recommended by - Sawdays
La Femme d'a Cote 4 rooms from $113Saint Valery sur Somme
A stylish modern B&B in Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, at the entrance of the Somme Bay. The sleek and comfortable rooms feature minimalist decor, and some feature open fireplaces. Perfect for exploring the lovely riverside town, as well as surrounding countryside.Local exploring - Perfect for exploring the lovely riverside town of Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, with its cobbled streets and medieval ramparts.Birdwatching - Twitchers will be pleased to hear there are plenty of seabird watching opportunities along the Somme Bay.Sights nearby - Visit the fascinating Chinese Cemetery of Nolettes.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.
Auberge Le Fiacre 14 rooms from $103Picardy
Peaceful hotel in 300-year old farmhouse. Light rooms have wrought iron beds, modern furniture and bathrooms. Outdoor heated pool, and gardens. Wonderful cuisine of game and fish in the charming restaurant. Spacious, laid-back and good value.Hideaway - Take a dip in the heated outdoor pool flanked by a pine wood, or for a blustery coastal walk before apertifs by the fireGreat walks - Through the Crècy ForestSights nearby - The Chateau of RamburesTraditionalRecommended by - Sawdays
Le Cise 15 rooms from $233Ault, Picardy
A collection of Belle Epoque villas, suites and rooms set atop a cliff boasting impressive sea views. Design is fresh and contemporary with minimalist style and plenty of light. A fine dining restaurant offers superlative cuisine and sauna, pool and jacuzzi allow for complete relaxation.Total relaxation - A tranquil coastal property located just three hours from Paris. Ideal for relaxing weekend breaks.Sights nearby - Visit the pretty Chapelle Notre-Dame d'Onival in Ault.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.Views - Great views from hotel
Le Chateau de la tour 47 rooms from $285Chantilly (Chemin du Château de la Tour)
Sophisticated and elegant rooms in a castle-style hotel. Antique furniture, chandeliers, large doors and windows impart a classy vibe. The stylish bar hosts live band performances and the restaurant serves delicious traditional cuisine. Close by to Paris, makes a perfect weekend getaway.Romantic Break - With no children allowed, lovely bedrooms and great food, it's perfect for a weekend a deux!Local exploring - Just 5km from Chantilly, and half an hour from Paris, there's loads to be discoveredBack to Nature - In a unique and natural setting, this place really refreshes your sensesSwimming Pool - An outdoor pool is available
Les Corderies from $200Saint Valery sur Somme
A top of the range hotel and spa on the coast. Stunning rooms and suites combine traditional materials with contemporary presentation for chic effect. Fabulous restaurant serves traditional cuisine with an inventive twist, outstanding spa facilities, and large conference rooms.Luxury - Casual luxury in a resolutely contemporary style.Spa breaks - Top of the range spa and therapeutic treatments.Foodies - Traditional cuisine with inventive twists.Designer - Design furniture and oak materials create a modern and authentic space.
Auberge a la Bonne Idee 23 rooms from $126Saint-Jean-aux-Bois,, Picardy
A totally charming maison d'hotes with cosy rooms, decorated with classic French country chic. A large garden and plenty of walking trails make this a great stay for those with pets. The gourmet menu, beautiful to behold, will impress even the most ardent foodie. A wonderful rural stay.Country Escape - The ideal country retreat with cosy rooms, a welcoming flower filled garden and a terrace for evening meals.Foodies - Chef Yves Giustiniani has created a colourful menu with plenty of locally sourced delicacies.Sights nearby - Chateau de Pierrefonds is a must see for anyone with an interest in the history and culture of the area.Great walks - Make the most of the great walking and hiking trails on your front doorstep.