The Bay of Somme – My Experience in Photo’s
What do you think of when you think of The Bay of Somme in France? Does your mind wander back to your childhood lessons in history, World War 1 and The Battle of the Somme perhaps?
Well my recent experience of The Bay of Somme was very far removed from wars and battles. It was filled with peace, nature, exploration and activities. It was explored by means of an 18 km cycle along the River Somme, a helicopter ride over the towns and villages linked to The Bay of Somme, and a nature walk across The Bay of Somme to visit seals and eat cake on a beach. Each activity very different to the next but nonetheless highlighting how amazing The Bay of Somme in Northern France is.
The towns I visited were Abbeville, Le Crotoy and Saint-Valery-sur-Somme. The nearest airport to reach these areas is Beauvais Airport, north of Paris. It takes a little over an hours drive to reach each of these towns, which makes them very accessible and very much worth your visit.
My experience only touched on what can be experienced in and around The Bay of Somme and I hope to return to explore this unspoilt and wonderous region again in the near future. For now though I’d like to share with you my experience in photo’s.
A Cycle from Abbeville to Saint-Valery-sur-Somme
Of course I chose the bicycle with the basket in front, I wanted to look the part after all! We cycled with and were guided by members of the ‘Sports et Loisirs Cyclotourism, Friville Escarbotin’ Association.
The cycle took about an hour and a half and was 18km of flat terrain all the way. There was a moment towards the last 20 minutes of the cycle when I felt like my ‘derriere’ would fall off, but that subsided as the picturesque town of Saint-Valery-sur-Somme came into view.
The waterside boardwalk that led us into the town, brought us by sailing boats, cafés, restaurants and hotels.
I felt great after it all, and surprisingly ache-free the next day too. Saint-Valery-sur-Somme is high on my list of places to return to.
With its winding streets, on-street markets, port and its history of being an artistic retreat for the likes of Victor Hugo and Degas, I look forward to spending more time there.
A Helicopter Ride over The Bay of Somme
Our helicopter ride took place from Abbeville Aerodrome with Greg Hélico and it was a very memorable experience.
The helicopter only takes three people, the pilot and two passengers so there are flight restrictions on both passenger weight and the weather.
The helicopter ride we embarked on is known as the ‘Romantic Flight’.
The reason for this is because it takes in the splendour of Saint-Valery-sur-Somme port, Le Crotoy, the surrounding landscape and finally The Bay of Somme, just as the sun sets, absolutely beautiful.
My photographs are only a glimpse of what I experienced.
A Walk Across The Bay of Somme (Baie de Somme)
The Bay of Somme can be explored many ways and there are numerous tours available. You can even ride The Somme Bay Railway on a vintage steam train!
It is 72 hectares of unspoilt landscape that can be as diverse as muddy plains occupied by birds and ducks hunting for their dinner or salty meadows grazed on by sheep. ‘Agneau de pré-salé’ – Salt Meadow Lamb is considered a top-notch dining experience and delicacy.
Whichever way you choose to explore Baie de Somme it is advisable to take a tour with an experienced and reputable guide, especially if it’s your first visit. Experienced guides know when tides are due and also respect the landscape.
Our tour guide was Olivier Hernandez from Sens Natural. Not only is he a passionate nature lover and an Environmental Engineer with years of experience, he speaks fluent English – which of course as an interested pupil was important to me.
From foraging for edible plants to bird watching. From lessons in the life of a crab, to seal spotting (the largest colony in France) through telescopes.
Olivier even rounded off our tour with the famous Picardy Gâteau Battu cake and hot coffee. Brilliant.
For more information on The Bay of Somme visit the Beauvais Airport Tourism website at destination-beauvais-paris.com.
***Followers of The Life of Stuff on my social media channels including Facebook,Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat will know that I visited Baie de Somme as part of a blog trip to Northern Paris – Beauvais, Oise and the Picardy region. It was a fantastic introduction to Northern Paris and Baie de Somme was only part of it. You can read all about my Gerberoy experience here and do return to read about my other experiences too.