Hauts de France Property Blog: News and Information from the region

PAS-DE-CALAIS – ready made business for just £150,000 …

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For all those who wake up on the 1st January of a new year and thank: “it’s time for a change” !! I have the perfect answer – a well established village Bar and Tabac (tobacco/newsagents) business in the heart of a pretty village close to the forest of Hesdin.

A lovely freehold home and well located business opportunity in centre of a pretty village, within walking distance of all the shops and amenities. There is room to add two extra bedrooms in order to create some Bed &Breakfast accommodation and there is further scope to develop the business to more of a cafe with food and to add to the existing local clientele. The news agent and tabac could also be expanded offering some convenience store basics to visitors to the nearby forest.

So what are you waiting for? at just over £150,000, this is the perfect, out of the box ready made business that you’ve been looking for ! …

PICARDIE: Le Crotoy on the Somme …

This weekend I visited a brocante at Le Crotoy, a little town on the edge of the Somme Bay, one of the most beautiful bays in the world, in Picardy. Le Crotoy is very charming and has a lively atmosphere and some grand villas.

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Photo by courtesy of www.thegoodlifefrance.com

The big draw here is the harbour, lined with restaurants whose tables sprawl onto the pavement, filled with diners indulging in fresh local fish and the ubiquitous dish of the north, moules and frites.  I dined at the brasserie La Cote d’Opale which was really friendly and where you can get a tasty meal for about €10.

Read more about Janine Marsh’s travels in My French Life, Picardy

HAUTS DE FRANCE –

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Nord Pas-de-Calais Picardie

These regions are well known to International buyers, Belgians can easily nip across the border while British buyers know that direct access from London or the South Coast is simple and inexpensive.

Many UK buyers love the fact that within a short period of time, they can be in an entirely different culture, spending a different currency and listening to the beautiful French language. We have seen a trend over the last 12 months for buyers seeking mid-range property;  €300-€400,000 – in and around Le Touquet. This area is described as being the most elegant resort north of St Tropez.

Of course, once you move away from the coast (and Le Touquet in particular) prices drop. The average price in Both Pas-de-Calais and Picardy is well under €150,000. Again we have seen many buyers enter the market with budgets of €150- €250,000, which can buy something special away from the traditional hotspots.

View a selection of properties right here …

NORD-PAS-DE-CALAIS – Discover the shopping gems in Northern France …

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Photo: www.thegoodlifefrance.com

Too often we arrive in Calais and excitedly head straight for the open road, en-route to whichever corner of France takes our fancy, but did you know, that if you were only to stop for one day, you would discover that Nord Pas de Calais is a shopper’s delight! Not only is there a Chanel Outlet Store, but all manner of other boutiques and artisan shops offering everything from vintage jewellery, perfumes, designer clothes, to antiques and bric-brac.  Janine Marsh, travel writer and editor of the Website and Magazine The Good Life France writes…

The Opal Coast in Nord-Pas de Calais is a hidden gem, one of those places that not that many people know about and yet, just a quick Channel crossing brings you right to one of the great shopping centres in northern France. 1 hour down the coast is Le Touquet, full of top brand shops with goods from Yves Saint Laurent, Donna Karan, Chanel and many more.  There are also lots of specialist shops where you can pick up something very French – china, chocolate and cheese for instance.

We all know that France is THE place to go to buy wine, beer and spirits at great value prices for parties and weddings but did you know that you could also pick up a wedding dress here on the Opal Coast, a Paris wedding dress no less, for a fraction of the price you’ll pay back in the UK? There are wedding dress shops in the main towns Dunkirk, Boulogne, Montreuil-sur-Mer and Calais and they all offer an excellent choice, friendly service and great value. Read full article here …

So there we have it, next time you’re planning to take the ferry across to Calais, remember to leave an extra day to explore the Opal Coast and enjoy its shopping potential! Leggett have a wonderful range of properties for sale across the whole region – imagine, your dream home might only be a ‘click’ away!

PICARDIE – Department of the Somme – the town of Amiens …

Amien, Somme

Picardie (Picardy in English) is located directly north of Paris and stretches right up to the English Channel near Abbeville. Here, in Amiens, you’ll find one of France’s most inspiring Gothic cathedrals in a town known for its history and art, it is the former capital of Picardie, where the French novelist Jules Verne, renown for his adventure stories, spent the last two decades of his life. Amiens is known for its heritage sites, beautiful parks and gardens as well as noted villages in the region, in full bloom all summer.

The mostly pedestrianised city centre was rebuilt after WWII being complemented by beautiful green spaces alongside the Somme river.

Amiens is an excellent base for visits to the Battle of the Somme Memorials being only 121 km from Calais and 116 km from Paris.

Leggett has a number of beautiful properties for sale in Picardie; search here …

HAUTS DE FRANCE – “it was love at first sight” …

13104Meet Leggett Agent: John Sjotun …

I moved to Marseille in early 2014 after living in New York State for most of my life working as a Financial Advisor and a Marketing Director. Marseille was ‘love at first sight’ for me – I enjoy city life, while being minutes from the beach and the mountains, and a short drive to the beautiful Calanques. The shopping districts, music venues, parks and museums ensure I’m always entertained. I especially love going to the street markets that sell locally grown produce, lavender,artisan crafted goods, cheeses, sausages and the famous Marseille soap.

About me

Being neither French nor British, I nevertheless spent the first part of my adult life in the UK. About 15 years ago I moved to France, and have no regrets. Although my life is now a very French one, I have first-hand experience of seeing France from the other side of the Channel. I know what it feels like to think about moving to France, as well as the practical sides of actually doing so, finding and buying a home, and learning to adapt to the French way of life. I look forward to sharing this knowledge with you, whilst helping you look for your dream home.

Discover the properties John currently has in his portfolio here …

For further properties in Haut de France, visit …

Welcome to ‘Hauts de France’

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The regions of Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardie are soon to be merged and there is great debate in France as to what this new region should be called. ‘Nord-Picardie’ is one of the names proposed, ‘Euronord’ being another. We think ‘Hauts de France’ best suits this wonderful new region  bordered on the north by the English Channel and the North Sea, and  on the northeast by Belgium, right down to Paris in the South. In historic terms, this region covers most of what was once the French part of Flanders, and the old province of Artois.  If the region was much fought over in past centuries, one of the reasons was its wealth. This part of France has fine agricultural land, mostly flat or with gently rolling hills, like the South Downs in England: it was part of the great European cloth-weaving area, and the weavers and tapestry-makers of Lille, Arras and Valenciennes were famed throughout Europe. The fine historic squares of Lille and Arras bear witness to a prosperous past.

Within easy reach of the UK, via the ferry ports of Caen, Boulogne, and Calais, this area makes a perfect choice for a weekend retreat in the countryside. Tim Sage is the Leggett Regional Manager, he and his team have an excellent portfolio of properties spanning this wonderful region. If you’re keen to learn more about the area, just ask Tim !