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The Far Northern Regions of France - Overlooked?

Looking at my copy of the France volume (from 2011, haven't seen later ones), there is no reference to Picardie or Amiens, Nord-Pas-de-Calais or even Lille, Avesnois, Thierache, French Ardennes or much of Champagne outside of Reims (e.g. Laon). Lorraine is possibly covered (Alsace is of course), I'd need to check again. In my own experience travelling in France, these are extremely interesting areas and I'd suggest they be included in the future assuming they are still being left out.

I realize France has great riches but the north - meaning not Normandy in this case but the far northern fringe has a fascinating history, some fine architecture, great churches and museums, and excellent local food. The only drawback, for those affected by it, is the weather, but when travelling in summer, late spring or early autumn much of the inconvenient weather can be avoided.

There is much countryside in the north, Avesnois and Thierache, especially the former are green and rolling, reminiscent of Normandy.

I looked through the forums for any detailed discussion of this issue - very little. A real pity and Americans are missing out IMO by not seeing these places.

Posted by
16860 posts

You are correct that Rick's guidebook is selective, as is any resource. Since both the Italy and the France books have passed 1100 pages, the publisher has decreed that no more pages can be added. Most of us don't have the budget of time and money to see everything, so we look for the best value for time and money, the most bang for the buck. Once a traveler has seen most things in the standard guide and still craves more of France, then that might be the time to explore the areas you named. For details on those less-visited areas, I would look for a regionally focused guidebook, with Michelin Green Guide being the most likely source.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for these replies. With respect, I think it begs the question what is "more detailed information". In any case, one might consider it an opportunity: publish a volume on areas of France not addressed in past decades.

I am familiar with Lonely Planet but I like the Steves' touch as there are no other books out there with that particular approach.

Anyway, just some feedback.... Thanks,