Self-catering holiday rental homes in Nord, France

Nord is a department in the far north of France. The department is part of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region and its capital city is Lille. Situated along the western half of the Belgian frontier, the department is unusually long and narrow. Nord is the only French department in which a Dutch dialect (French Flemish) is spoken along with French as a native language. It is France’s most populous department.

Alongside Lille, other important cities are Valenciennes, Douai, and Dunkirk. There are five principal rivers traversing the department. These are Yser, Lys, Escaut, Scarpe and the Sambre.

Lille is situated on the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium. It features an array of architectural styles with heavy Flemish influence, including the use of brown and red brick. Many neighborhoods consist of attached 2-3 story houses aligned in a row, with narrow gardens in the back. These architectural attributes, many uncommon in France, help make Lille a transition in France to neighboring Belgium, as well as nearby Netherlands and England, where such style of housing is much more prominent. Lille boasts many cultural attractions and is worth a visit when you rent your self-catering holiday house or gite in Nord.

Be sure to take a trip to Dunkirk when staying in a Nord holiday rental home - Dunkirk has the third largest harbour in France, after those of Le Havre and Marseilles. An industrial city, it boasts the Musée Portuaire, which displays exhibits of images about the history and presence of the port. The Musée des Beaux-Arts has a large collection of Flemish, Italian and French paintings and sculptures.

Valenciennes is also worth a visit when you holiday in Nord. It lies on the Scheldt river and is historically renowned for its lace. It also has a Museum of Fine Art.

Travelling to your Self-catering Nord holiday rental accommodation, France

By air: The department has its own airport at Lille, however there are no direct flights to and from the UK. Brussels and Paris are peripheral airports to this department. By rail: Lille is a major crossroads in the European high-speed rail network: it lies on the Eurostar line to London and the French TGV network to Paris, Brussels and other major centres across France including Marseille, Lyon, and Toulouse. It has two railway stations, which stand next door to one another: Lille-Europe station (Gare de Lille-Europe), which primarily serves high-speed trains and international services (Eurostar), and Lille-Flandres station (Gare de Lille-Flandres), which primarily serves lower speed regional trains. By road: No fewer than five autoroutes pass by Lille, the densest confluence of highways in France after Paris: Autoroute A27 : Lille - Tournai - Brussels / Liège – Germany; Autoroute A23 : Lille – Valenciennes; Autoroute A1  : Lille - Arras - Paris / Reims - Lyon / Orléans / Le Havre ; Autoroute A25 : Lille - Dunkirk - Calais - England / North Belgium; Autoroute A22 : Lille - Antwerp – Netherlands.