Heading south through the northern region of France, Pas-de-Calais, the second section of the Via Francigena is rich in history from both World War I and World War II. Take in the French countryside alongside the dense cultural history and traditional French farming villages.
This trip createstonne(s) of CO2, we offset it for free
The French countryside
During your trip, you will cross some of the most typical countryside in France. The North of France is completely different from the South or the West.
Here you will pass through old mining towns and cross green grass nourished by the North rain. Breath the fresh afternoon air that tastes like nothing else in the afternoon sunshine.
Birthplace of Benoit Labre
Born in 1748 in Amettes, Labre was called the “God vagabond” because he was a beggar pilgrim who travelled many European pilgrimage routes.
He is the Holy patron of the homeless, the beggar, pilgrims and itinerant. His feast day is on the 16th of April.
Arras City Hall
The Gothic and Renaissance style Arras City Hall is a UNESCO World Heritage site recognizable by its tall Belfry. The city hall is located on Heroes Square, which is built in a style that is typical for the North of France. It is surrounded by houses built in the Belgian style. The Belfry of Arras was destroyed in 1914 and rebuilt between 1922 and 1932.
You can visit the city hall and climb the 75m tall belfry which contains 37 bells. The views from the tower are breathtaking and well worth all the steps.
Wisques to Arras
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Arrive – Wisques is a village in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France. Here you can enjoy a traditional French meal and visit the Benedictine Abbeys.
Day 2 22.6km
Today’s short walk is through the countryside and villages where you can stop to enjoy a coffee and even get some lunch at the many cafés and bars. Passing through Wizernes, Helfaut, and Inghem, each village will provide an opportunity to explore what local life is life.
Your stop for the night will be Thérouanne, once a Roman capital and one of the richest bishoprics in Northern France, it is now just a small town.
Day 3 18.8km
Today you will leave Thérouanne and pass through the gently sloping countryside. Prepare to be awarded by sweeping views over crop fields. Halfway through today, you will pass through Enquin-les-Mines where you can grab a bite to eat.
Your stop for the night will be Amettes, where you can visit the birthplace of Saint Benoît Labre, one of the patron saints of pilgrims who died on the steps of a church in Rome.
Day 4 20.8km
BRUAY LA BUISSIERE
The walk today will be somewhat longer than the last two days. Although still mostly through the undulating countryside, you will be moving through larger villages and towns.
This area once used to be a hive of activity when mining was the main industry here but it is much quieter now. Bruay la Buissiere, your stopover for the night is a former coal-mining town. There is a large art deco style swimming pool that you may be able to go for a dip in depending on the time of year.
Day 5 22.1km
BRUAY LA BUISSIERE
Much like the previous days, the walk will be through a mixture of villages and open countryside with panoramic views as far as the eye can see over huge crop fields.
Acq, where you will be staying, is a small farming village just north-west of Arras, your final destination for this section.
Day 6 14.6km
A short walk today will take you from the farming village of Acq through rolling fields before you arrive into the town of Arras, which is the capital of the Pas-de-Calais department.
Arras is a popular tourist destination thanks to its splendid Flemish and Baroque architecture. While you are here, a must-see is the Town Hall and its majestic bell tower, which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
Today we bid adieu! After breakfast, we bid you farewell, unless you are continuing on the Via Francigena with us. The next section starts from here.
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