The department of Somme is located north of Paris and is the historic heart of Picardy. It is a diverse region that combines history and culture with beautiful scenery. This department is relatively easy to visit from the UK. It is an ideal destination if you want to spend a long weekend in France.
The landscape of the Somme consists mainly of limestone plateau. They are mostly covered with fertile soil from the Somme River. It runs from the Aisne through the whole department and flows into the Baie de la Somme, a unique natural area. You will see the sea and long sandy beaches with beautiful dunes and pristine nature. Are you a nature lover? The Baie de la Somme hosts the largest seal colony in Europe and is also the largest transit area for migratory birds. Visit the nature reserve of Marquenterre Ornithological Park where over 200 species of different birds are grouped and discover the beautiful gardens of Valloires.
Somme has a rather special capital, Amiens. The city is characterized by its "floating gardens". These gardens can be visited by boats. They were built in the Middle Ages by vegetable growers. These parcels of land are intersected by canals that are navigable by barges. These barges have a typical front end, enabling them to moor without damaging the shore. Do not forget to visit the impressive Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens and the home of Jules Verne. Also visit the Saint-Leu district, located near the waterfront, every Saturday morning at the waterborne market is held on Place Parmentier. Remember to taste the delicious "Gâteau Battu" and "Ficelle Picarde".
Between Amiens and Abbeville you will find the amusement park Samara. It is the largest archaeological park in France with an educational character. Here you will find exhibits on the ancient crafts and the history of humanity in the Somme valley. In the zoo of the Somme you can make beautiful pictures of animals. Especially children will enjoy to spend the afternoon in the park.
Saint-Valéry-sur-Somme is a beautiful city with a medieval part. The walled city, with its authentic gate doors, hosts beautiful buildings. At the Place des Pilotes, you will find many fish restaurants with fresh seafood. A must see is the former monastery garden with beautiful plants at Rue Brandt. The "Towers Guillaume" offers a beautiful view over the Baie de la Somme.
If you still have time, consider visiting one of the memorials of the war. They are found in the cities of Beaumont-Hamel, Thiepval and Longueval. In the town of Péronne, you will find the Museum of the Great War, where the daily life of soldiers during the war years is depicted.