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Spring 2022

Discover Paris in the spring, Caen in Normandy and its marvellous markets plus Yvoire, a picturesque village on the edge of Lake Geneva in Haute-Savoie. Explore Saint-Omer, a historic city in the far north that's full of secrets and treasures, and Evian, where Frankenstein's monster stayed! Head with us to Metz in Lorraine to find out about its incredible past, La Couvertoirade, one of the prettiest villages in France, and the UNESCO heritage of Avignon. Guides, gorgeous photos, what's new in France, the best tours and delicious recipes from the legendary Le Nôtre bakery in Paris - and more.

Discover Paris in the spring, Caen in Normandy and its marvellous markets plus Yvoire, a picturesque village on the edge of Lake Geneva in Haute-Savoie. Explore Saint-Omer, a historic city in the far north that's full of secrets and treasures, and Evian, where Frankenstein's monster stayed! Head with us to Metz in Lorraine to find out about its incredible past, La Couvertoirade, one of the prettiest villages in France, and the UNESCO heritage of Avignon. Guides, gorgeous photos, what's new in France, the best tours and delicious recipes from the legendary Le Nôtre bakery in Paris - and more.

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The Audomarois

Marshlands

Hire a boat or take a guided ride in traditional

wooden bacoves along tree-lined canals

buzzing with bird life, where migrating herons

stop off and the postman delivers post by

boat, the only area in France with such a

service to homes which sit on floating islands

in the marshes. This 15 square mile network

of canals and farmland is unique in France

and a UNESCO-listed Biosphere Reserve. It

was started by monks in 638. They diverted

the River Aa, divided the land into plots and

farmed the land. Today a few dozen market

gardeners continue to work the plots. It is

the cauliflower capital of France with some

5million grown each year.

Visit the Maison du Marais, less than 10

minutes on foot from the centre of Saint-

Omer. It’s dedicated to the history of the

marshes, features exhibits, an educational

garden, and boat tours of the marshes.

lamaisondumarais.com/en

Marshland activities

Meet the last of the Saint-Omer boat

makers: In a wooden shed on the edge of the

marsh, a team of enthusiasts make up the

last Audomarois shipyard in existence. Take a

fascinating guided tour, and discover how this

family business continues to hand-make the

traditional wooden boats of the marshes using

500 year-old plans and wood that is up to 100

years old.

You can also hire a boat here:

lesfaiseursdebateaux.fr

Explore in style: Hire a 2CV, VW camper van

or vintage electric bikes for a day, half-day or

weekend. les-belles-echappees.com

Beer: While you’re at their office, nip to the

brewery on the grounds of an extraordinary

Abbey. Founded by Saint Bernard de

Clairvaux in the 12th century, the once

monumental Monastery of Clairmairais was

yet another victim of the French Revolution

The Good Life France | 33

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