France // The north //

The Somme battlefields

Picardy, Artois and Flanders are littered with the monuments, battlefields and cemeteries of the two world wars, but they are nowhere as intensely concentrated as in the region northeast of Amiens, between Albert and the appealing market town of Arras. It was here, among the fields and villages of the Somme, that the main battle lines of World War I were drawn. You can get a real feel of trench warfare at Vimy Ridge, north of Arras, where the trenches have been left in situ. Lesser sites, often more poignant, dot the countryside around Albert along the Circuit de Souvenir.