Postcard from Montreuil-sur-Mer northern France

Written by on December 30, 2015 in Nord-Pas de Calais

Montreuil-sur-Mer

Montreuil-sur-Mer: a gorgeous little town overflowing with Gallic charm. Less than an hour’s drive from Calais…

Montreuil-sur-Mer is in fact no longer on the sea as the name implies, the tide went out centuries ago and never came back thanks to silting, but it is full of traditional French buildings and cobblestone squares, and packed with history.

montreuil-sur-mer-street

A walk through the main square will take you to a statue of British war commander General Haig, in commemoration of the town having been the headquarters of the British Army during the First World War. The statue is a replica of the original, which was removed by the Germans in the Second World War and never recovered.

montreuil-sur--mer-countryside

For yet older history, take a walk around Montreuil’s medieval ramparts, which were built by Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban when he organised the fortification of northern France during the 17th century. The walk round the ramparts is 3km in total and at a gentle pace takes about 45 minutes, but you don’t have to walk it all. Take a stroll, and on a sunny day you can see for miles around you to stunning countryside. For a small fee you can also visit the citadel, to experience more of Montreuil’s history.

montreuil-sur-mer-square

If you are in Montreuil in July or August make sure to see the local production of Les Misérables, which will take your breath away with its spectacular show. Montreuil-sur-Mer, of course, is the setting for part of Les Misérables, and Victor Hugo spent several holidays there.

Stop in one of the traditional cafes for a drink and a bite to eat, or browse in the shops selling all sorts of beautiful items and enjoy the sights of perfect patisseries in the boulangerie windows or the fabulos fromagerie and specialist chocolate shops like Beussent.

This is a town to lose yourself in, and a town you will want to come back to!

The Saturday market at Montreuil-sur-Mer
Montreuil-sur-Mer, weekend destination
The town that inspired Les Miserable

Related Articles

Le Touquet Paris-Plage, Northern France

Le Touquet Paris-Plage is a small seaside resort on the beautiful Opal Coast of northern France. Architecturally it has a mix of British Edwardian and French Belle Epoque styles. Combined with a zest for outdoor living (and its own microclimate), swanky shops and excellent bars and restaurants. It’s a brilliant place for a weekend break […]

Continue Reading

Museums, Monuments and Arts Venues of Lille

Lille in northern France is one of the most cultural cities in the country. There are more than a dozen museums and art venues in the city and every three years or so Lille goes arty-party mad with a major several-months-long art festival known as Lille3000 in public buildings and the streets. Palais des Beaux […]

Continue Reading

Family-friendly holidays in northern France

If you’re wondering where to go this year for a quintessential French holiday that’s a real family pleaser then look no further! Just across the English Channel you will find long golden sandy beaches, rock pools where you can fish for shrimp and mussels, discover secret inlets and see seals sunbathe. Somewhere you can buy […]

Continue Reading

Le Shopping List for a day trip to Calais France

When it comes to a day trip to France, wine isn’t the only thing that should be on your shopping list… When you take a day trip to Calais, build in time to shop for great French produce. Right next door to the Eurotunnel station is Cité Europe. A huge shopping mall stuffed full of […]

Continue Reading

Gravelines between the sea and the country in Hauts de France

Gravelines is a bright if sleepy little town which rests between the two great harbours Calais and Dunkirk. Once an important entry port to France in its own right, the origins of Gravelines go back many centuries. History of Gravelines It was the primary commercial entrance point for the City of Saint Omer which lies […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top