St-Omer, a popular stop for many away from the ports, is an attractive old Flemish town of yellow-brick houses, 43km southeast of Calais. The Hôtel de Ville on place Foch and the chapel of the former Jesuit college on rue du Lycée are genuine flights of architectural fancy, but for the most part the style is simple but handsome. For a little greenery, head to the pleasant public gardens to the west of town or to the nearby marais, a network of Flemish waterways cut between plots of land on reclaimed marshes along the river.

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