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PicardieProperties of the Week

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Meet the Agent in Hauts de France

We needed a change! We'd spent a year thinking about buying a house in France, so eventually we contacted an agent in France. Our idea was to live in Normandy, so we arranged to meet an agent in St. Pol sur Ternoise and set ourselves “unbreakable” rules – as you do!

Not to buy the first house we see
Not to go over our set budget
Not to buy a house that is bigger than we need
Certainly nothing that was in need of renovation!

We booked the ferry and were off. We'd arranged to meet an agent and see six houses. With the first house only 20 minutes away – WOW, Normandy is that close! the first house was beautiful but too expensive, too big and needed a great deal of work. Five more houses but no where to be seen was a sign saying Normandy! The agent explained that we were in “Pas de Calais". So we sat down and talked about the houses we'd seen … with one house in particular! Oh no! We were just about to break all our rules!!

Fifteen years later, still here, we still love it! Being an Agent for Leggett was a natural progression, customer focussed, with a passion for buildings and having a sense of French geography now, I particularly the countryside and architecture of the Picardie region and the local inhabitants the ”Picard" are extremely friendly. The region of Picardy stretches from the long sandy beaches of the Somme estuary in the west to the vast forests and pastures of the Thiérache in the east and down to the chateaux of Chantilly or Pierrefonds near the Paris Area and vineyards of the border with Champagne (Champagne picarde) to the south.

I look forward to showing you the delights of this wonderful region and finding of course, your 'dream home' here, in the Picardie !

Bienvenue en Picardie

Tim Sage
Tim Sage
Jean-Paul Sice
Jean-Paul Sice
John Sjotun
John Sjotun

History

Into the unknown! The best kept secret in France.

Lying to the south of Nord-Pas de Calais, east of Normandie, north of Paris and west of Champagne, lies Picardie, one of the least known regions of France except for its battlefields from the first and second world wars particularly the Somme. In fact the region is rich in early history as well and today it is a region of old fashioned towns and resorts but within it are the great cathedrals and abbeys echoing past glories.

Picardie is not only a rich and fertile land but probably has more historic monuments than in any other region of France. From the Gothic architecture of Abbeville, Amiens, Chantilly and Soissons to the battlefields of Creçy and the Somme, it is here, that the history of France itself begins well over a thousand years ago and that the first seeds were sown of a modern Europe.

The Picardie Coast, only 75kilometres, is the most unspoilt stretch of coastline in the whole of France running from Fort Mahon Plage on the Baie de l' Authie through Le Crotoy and St. Valery on the Baie de la Somme, past Cayeux and down to Mers-les-Bains on the Normandy border.. Due to little development, the coastline has retained its original beauty, bathed in half tones of light - hints of colour, soft and blue, steely and mauve. This is what inspired Degas and Seurat, who came to try and capture this enthralling light.

Within its almost 20,000 square kilometres lie forests and plains, rivers and pastures and don't forget the vineyards of Aisne that border on Champagne!

Food and Drink

Food & Drink in Picardie


Crème Chantilly is a classic on every dessert all over the world! This delicate whipped cream originates from the town of Chantilly in Picardy, in the late 17th century. The recipe of the authentic vanilla-flavoured cream was created by the French Chef Vatel who elaborated it for one of Fouquet's banquets paying tribute to Louis XIV, at the Château de Chantilly (Chantilly Castle) in the Picardy region.

Amiens duck paté is widely known as pâté en croute or paté de canard d'Amiens. This duck product now often including French foie gras and pistachio bits is a delicate terrine baked in a thick pastry crust - a speciality from the Picardy region highly appreciated in the French gastronomic restaurants.

Flamiche aux Poireaux is a tasty leek pie originating from the Picardy region. It is believed to be the Picardy equivalent of the quiche Lorraine since the typical leek pie is also a classic of family meals in Northern France. The plain yet tasty flamiche indeed exemplifies the irresistible French country food!

Other local dishes such as eel, lamb from the salt-flats of the Somme, waterfowl, foie gras, "ficelle picarde", summer fruit, "gateau battu" and cider and champagne from the vineyards of the Aisne all need trying.

Things to Do

Picardie has always been open to artistic and cultural influences. It is the cradle of gothic art with six splendid cathedrals and numerous churches and abbeys. Amiens, with the largest gothic cathedral in Europe as well as the medieval Quartier St. Leu. If you love Gothic, Beauvais, Laon, Senlis, Noyon and Soissons with their massive cathedrals and old centres very much alive, you will enjoy Picardie, especially on market days. Picardie's culture is kept alive in exhibitions and in festivals of music, theatre and film.

The annual festival of Picard chairs and furniture, held at Beaucamp-le-Vieux is an opportunity for people to admire the work of the "pailleuses" (the straw-weavers) of the Bresle and the Liger Valleys who make the renowned "Ch'-cayelle". Other crafts - with the Royal Tapestry Manufactory at Beauvais, Amiens velvet or the embroidery of Saint-Quentin. The Le Creuset foundary at Fresnoy-le-Grand: Pottery and Ceramics in general and glass at the Blangy-sur-Bresle Glassworks or the "Galerie du Vitrail" stained glass gallery in Amiens.

Unspoilt shores, plains and forests, canals and rivers. This is a haven for anyone who likes fishing and water sports, cycling and riding, the region also boasts a number of leisure parks and facilities to enjoy with family or friends. There are over 2000 km of lanes and pathways for cycling and horse-riding. You could try your hand at land-yachting or speed-sailing, kayaking, gliding or hot air ballooning? For golfing enthusiasts there are some of the best golf courses in the whole of France to choose from, all 21 one of them . Archery has been the regional sport since the Middle Ages; there is an archery festival each spring with numerous competitions involving large numbers of participants.

Transport links

Transport links for Picardie

By Air

Flights into Roissy – Charles de Gaulle give a 20 minute drive into southern Picardie while direct flights will bring you into Beauvais – Tille in the heart of Oise (60)

By Sea (from the UK)

Ferries from Dover to Calais and Dunkerque.

By Train

The TGV from London stops at Haute Picardie to the east of Amiens and is also the main TGV station for Disneyland Paris and has daily departures from London to Amiens via Calais and Lille.
Calais to Amiens is 1h 42 mins and Paris to Amiens only 1h 06mins. Paris to Beauvais takes 1 hr 8 mins and Paris to Laon takes 1 hr 38 mins.
There are excellent local networks with frequent connections to Calais, Paris etc. Eurostar: London to Paris Gare du Nord in 3 hours with frequent daily departures.


Rail Travel in Picardie

The TER Picardie is the regional network. It links the major cities and villages throughout the region.

By Road

From the ports of Calais and Dunkerque, the main roads to Picardie are the A16, A26 and A1 motorways. The journey by road from Calais to the capital of the region, Amiens, will take about 90 minutes and is approximately 150km.

How we can help you

Click Here to Ask Our Team a Question We are here to help. Contact us now.

Local knowledge is the key; we help you find not only the property you want, but also the lifestyle. Hauts de France is a large region with many areas of outstanding beauty and miles and miles of coastline, but it is also a subtly varied region. We can help to guide you so you find not only the perfect home, but in the perfect location.

Our own portfolio includes hundreds of properties from manor houses to country cottages, from family homes to barns for renovation and our network of contacts gives us access to many more.

Our experienced team will support you throughout the buying process and beyond to ensure you settle in and continue to enjoy your new home in Hauts de France. From help with bureaucracy, finding artisans and enrolling with clubs or schools we are happy to help. Just e-mail or call us and we will be happy to discuss your project.

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