Abbeville sits around 20 km inland from the mouth of the Somme River in the French region of Picardie. Originally famous for weaving and cloth production, today it is a popular destination for tourists who come to use it as an ideal base from which to explore the Picardie region and the city itself.
Travel to Abbeville is easy whichever of our ferry crossings you take to France. Travel from Dover to Dunkirk and there’s a drive of a little over 90 minutes from the ferry terminal or it’s an even quicker 1 hour 10 minutes if you travel from Dover to Calais or Newhaven to Dieppe.
WHY VISIT ABBEVILLE?
Abbeville is a charming town in the heart of Picardie which has a great deal to attract the visitor.
Although left largely unscathed by the First World War, like most of the major population centres in Northern France, Abbeville had a turbulent time from 1939 to 1945. It was occupied by the Germans and many of the ancient buildings were destroyed in the fighting. The cathedral was severely damaged but, luckily, it survived.
So today much of Abbeville is relatively new and a visit not only offers you the chance to explore its pretty streets and the surviving ancient buildings, there is also a great deal to explore and experience in the surrounding area and along the coastline. I’s a great place for gourmets with a huge choice of restaurants in Abbeville serving both local specialities and more Flemish-influenced dishes
At the nearby coast there are plenty of opportunities for watersports fans to enjoy sailing, kayaking, kite and windsurfing or just to have some traditional beach fun.
Its location means that it is also ideally placed for visits to other major towns and cities in the area including Rouen and Lille.
WHAT TO SEE IN ABBEVILLE
Of the many things to do and see in Abbeville the most impressive ancient building is the Collegiale Church of Saint-Vulfran. It was built in the gothic style in the 15th century and is especially well-known for its ornately decorated facade. After nearly being destroyed in the war the church has now been extensively restored.
Another must is the Abbeville belfry. It was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005 and is one of the oldest belfries in France, having been built 1209. Since 1954 it has been home to the Boucher de Perthes Museum where there are displays of artworks and artefacts from the 16th century onwards as well as regularly changing exhibitions.
The Church of Saint-Sepulcre is best known for its contemporary stained glass windows which were designed by Alfred Manessier and installed in the 1980s to replace the ones destroyed in the war. In creating the brilliantly colourful windows Manessier was inspired by the unique natural light of the Somme region.
For garden lovers there are the Jardin d'Emonville that surrounds a large mansion and the less formal Parc Municipal de la Bouvaque. Both are the perfect places for a picnic or just a stroll through beautiful surroundings.
The area around the Bay of the Somme is especially well-known for its bird life and there’s nowhere better to explore this than in the Parc Ornithologique du Marquenterre. Set in dunes and pine forest it’s easy to spot all kinds of birds from ducks to oyster catchers and from storks to herons.
WHERE TO STAY IN ABBEVILLE
Make the most of your stay by choosing one of the very many hotels in Abbeville. You'll find many Abbeville hotels, when you visit our hotel partner, booking.com.
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