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Arras and Picardy, France Steam Railway Holiday


Picardy Best

Our pic of the best of Northern France

Holiday date: Saturday, 19th August 2023
5 days for  £1029 per person
£2058 for two people sharing
Single supplement £160
Tour reference: PB5/1
Price, based on 1.05 Euro to the £. (see Booking Conditions for currency fluctuation clause)

The Artois and Picardy regions of Northern France are often overlooked as folk pass through heading further afield. But here you will find interesting attractions amid a rural landscape dotted with charming towns and villages.

Holiday Highlights

Steam around the Baie de la Somme to St Valery
Fascinating boat trip in the marshes of Clairmarais
WW1 history and steam by the Somme
Beautiful Flemish buildings in the town centre of Arras
The Aa Valley Railway in the…Aa Valley!
A stella line up of attractions in Artois

Holiday Itinerary

Day 1 - Saturday

This is the only Inside Track holiday that kicks off with a lunchtime Eurostar journey to Calais Frethun – “sacre bleu”! Nearby is the inimitable Aa Vallee Railway, our first exciting attraction. We’ll journey between Arques and Lumbres passing the spooky La Coupole – an enormous wartime relic.

By James Cridland -, CC BY 2.0,
Day 2 - Sunday

A very special outing to the south starts with steam courtesy of our good friends at APPEVA. This rustic, narrow gauge, railway has become one of the region’s top tourist destinations. Originally a supply line to the trenches it later carried sugar beet. The route follows the banks of the Somme and features both a tunnel and a zigzag switchback. Our afternoon travels take us to nearby Peronne for the fascinating military museum housed in the imposing town chateau.

Meals: Breakfast
By Didier Duforest - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Day 3 - Monday

More steam this morning, especially arranged, at the little known Vallee de la Scarpe Railway that tracks the canal-side at St Amand les Eaux. Fine views of wildfowl, fisherman, a smoky run-past and gulls circling languidly over the distant landfill site! Later, we return to Arras by rail and explore above and below the streets to discover the fascinating history of the town.

Meals: Breakfast
Day 4 - Tuesday

A gem of a day out to the coast commences by rail to Noyelles where we join the famous Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme. This impressive and popular tourist railway runs in a huge horseshoe around the bay amid wetlands teeming with birdlife. Our clever itinerary will ensure we get the best out of the railway and allow for a little time in the delightful sailing town of St. Valery – yachts galore! Our return route to Arras is charmingly rustic and very relaxed.

Meals: Breakfast
By Gzen92 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Day 5 - Wednesday

We are going to finish with a truly authentic taste of Northern France. So, by rail to Hazebrouck and then into the marshes of Clairmarais for a flat bottomed boat trip to observe the lives of the market gardeners that make a living here – this really is rustic. We then drive into Lille, jump on a Eurostar and say au revoir – très magnifique!

Meals: Breakfast
By Marc Ryckaert (MJJR) - Own work, CC BY 3.0,


Coming soon!

Our Hotel(s)

4 Star

The Mercure Hotel, Arras

We have selected this modern hotel as our base, because it is perfectly located within historic Arras just a short walk from the railway station, town centre, cafes, restaurants and the famous Flemish-style arcadel buildings – unique in France.

Features and Facilities

Air conditioning
Non-smoking rooms
Coffee/tea making facilities
Hair dryer in bathroom
Satellite/cable colour TV
Alarm clock
Individual heating and air conditioning adjustment
Operator wake up call

What's included


All heritage railway rides
All public transport journeys, in standard class accommodation
Private coach transfers throughout the holiday


All entrances
Detailed itinerary/information pack
Services of courier throughout


Hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis

What's not included

Travel to/from the holiday start point
Personal holiday insurance
Other meals
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