Lace making is also carried out in this area and there is a Museum of Fine Arts and Lace which also covers the history of the town. A trip away from Calis in either direction along the coast leads to some of the finest sandy beaches in France. To the west of the town the impressive Cap Gris Nez rises from the waters of the English Channel and on a clear day it is easy to see Dover only 22 miles away. This coast was heavily fortified during World War II and many of the old bunkers are now museums.
Arras lies inland and is the administrative capital of the area. It has very many gabled, half-timbered houses and spacious squares. Travelling there you cannot fail to notice the many soldiers‘ graveyards which are still immaculately maintained and which bring back memories of the siege of the town in World War I. The cathedral of St-Vaast conatins a figure of Christ from the 15th Century whilst the Musée des Beaux-Arts has many other ancient sculptures.
St-Omer is well known for its weekly market held on the main square which is dominated by the 50 meter high bell tower of the cathedral of Notre-Dame, which can be climbed for a wonderful view over the town and surrounding countryside. The Saint Omer lies buried within. The Flemish influence on the area is witnessed in the Musée des Beaux-Arts with many historic exhibits. The whole area offers a vast range of relaxing activities from golf, horse riding, boating, fishing and walking and is a very popular destination for short breaks from the UK.
Population: 1 459 500 (2006)
Main towns: Calais, Arras, Henin-Beaumont