Bed & Breakfast in Picardie, France
Despite its proximity to Paris and the English channel as well as its rich cultural and historic heritage, Picardy is quite overlooked as a tourist destination. Actually, it has a lot to offer and visitors staying at a bed and breakfast in Picardy may enjoy all the wonders of the region coupled with convenient location and the invariable warm hospitality typical of local people. Being one of the historic regions of France inhabited since prehistoric times, Picardy boasts a plethora of ancient cities dating back to Gallo-Roman times such as Laon, Saint-Quentin, Soissons and Château-Thierry in Aisne, Beauvais and Senlis in Oise, Amiens, Abbeville and Montdidier in Somme. It has suffered from severe battles during the two world wars and much of its heritage was lost. Still visitors may enjoy fine Romanesque and Gothic architecture, which has reached its peak in this region especially during the 12th and 13th centuries. The castles, cathedrals and churches of Amiens, Laon, Braine, Urcel, Guise, Château-Thierry, Soissons, Beauvais, Pierrefonds, Clairmon, Senlis, Montdidier and Péronne are simply impressive, some are even listed by UNESCO. Neoclassic architecture also has a prominent place mainly in the large towns like Beauvais, historic areas like Chantilly and royal residences such as the one in Compiègne. Picardy bed and breakfasts in these steeped in history and culture places are to be found in restored chateaux, elegant neoclassic buildings, houses with exposed red brick walls. A bed and breakfast in Picardy may also be discovered in picturesque houses with colorful shutters, countryside estates, farms and barns, some with old-style thatched roofs. Countryside B&Bs in Picardy are convenient starting points for visiting the two amusement parks in Oise - Parc Astérix (Plailly) and Mer de Sable (Ermenonville) as well as for green tourism in Picardy. The region has 32 000 hectares of forested area including the the forests of Compiègne, Chantilly, Saint-Gobain and Crécy, which is the largest green belt area in Europe. It also boasts 2000 km of hiking routes and is perfect for bird-watching (Baie de Somme), fishing and hunting (Péronne), hot-air ballooning, sailing, boating, jet skiing, golfing.