Nord-Pas de Calais is located north of Paris and situated on the English Channel at the point closest to the English coast. The region also fronts much of the French land border with Belgium. Destroyed by both world wars, home to heavy industry, and cold by French standard, it is not a major tourist region. However, there are some areas of beautiful countryside, fine local foods and many historical landmarks.
Lille is the capital of this region and the fifth largest metropolitan area in France. Lille has a strong industrial background, but it is also known throughout France for its lovely city center and its very active cultural life. The main square, Place du Général-de-Gaulle, better known as the Grand Place, has beautiful historic houses, and a fountain with the statue of a goddes, "La Grande Déesse".
Haute-Normandie is located between Paris and the English Channel. The lower valley of the River Seine rund through this region.
Picardie is located immediatly north of Paris and the region of Ile de France. Although largely inland, the region does border the English Channel near Abbeville. The area is known for its central part in the trench warfare of the First World War and hosts a large number of battlefields, war cemeteries and memorials.