Welcome to no.56
Your oasis on the Somme
This beautiful B&B which offers the services and features any small hotel would envy, is located at the epicentre of the battle of the Somme. Once ravaged by gun and shellfire, No.fifty6 is now an oasis of peace and tranquility in the beautiful French countryside.
From the moment you enter the warm and tranquil guesthouse, you’ll be welcomed with cake, coffee and captivating stories in the lounge. This is the beginning of your wonderful stay in the historic village of La Boisselle, Northern France.
With five artistically decorated bedrooms to choose from, each with its own en-suite shower, free Wifi, and tea and coffee making facilities, you’ll be spoilt with serene comfort, sumptuous breakfasts and enviable views from every window. Delicious, locally sourced evening meals are an option - the best times are had around the No.fifty6 dining table discussing all sorts of things. David and Julie are hosts without compare. It is what they love to do.
Prepare to walk in the footsteps of the fallen and fill your senses with the sights, sounds and emotions of the Battle of The Somme on our Walk With Me experience, or simply enjoy a slice of café life in the nearby French towns.
You won't find us on any hotel booking sites, Airbnb etc. as we prefer the personal approach from start to finish.
We are delighted to have been awarded Winner status in the Tripadvisor Travellers' Choice for 2 consecutive years, and winner of the prestigious Excellence Award in 5 consecutive years. It is why our guests come back again and again.
"You two are amazing. When we visited in June 2017, I never thought I would be pulling German barbed wire out of a ditch near your front yard or watching Sarah pull out and hold up a clip of 100 year old ammo. Unbelievable.
When I was in Saltzburg Museum following our extraordinary experience with you two I took a few pics on my phone that may help to explain what the long hunk of metal is that came out of the trench by your front gate.
I cant begin to tell you the debt that I feel our family owes you two. You are definitely in a different league from anything I have ever experienced before.
Hoping to hear from you.
30th April 2021
If March was contrary, weather wise, April has continued the theme, the first half of the month very cold with hard frosts which have caused problems for vineyards and fruit growers throughout France. The sun has been there by day to fool you into thinking it is warmer than it is, but too cold to work in the garden and a need to wrap up warm for walks. The last week however has seen the wind change direction, the sun seems to shine brighter and the Spring warmth has returned. So now is the time to get rid of winter from the garden and of course explore the landscape here as we love to do.
The farmers are busy, tractors rolling up and down the large fields, potatoes going in, distinguishable by their neatly peaked ridge rows, wheat growing, colza/rape/canola now tinging some fields with a brilliant yellow. Blossom everywhere on trees and the birds nesting in our eaves as they usually do.
Great blue skies for photography so David has been in his element, capturing moments and images which catch his eye, as we walk this hallowed landscape.
A place we go to frequently on our walks is Caterpillar Valley Cemetery. It is a beautiful place, surrounded by fields and with stunning views. Buried within its walls is Captain Hugh Stewart Smith, of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. An only son, he was killed near High Wood in August 1916. He is not a well-known poet, but among his possessions, in his diary was found this poem. He captures among the death surrounding him, the ordinariness he longed for:
On the Plains of Picardy
Lay a soldier, dying
Gallantly, with soul still free
Spite the rough worlds' trying.
Came the Angel who keeps guard
When the fight has drifted,
"What would you for your reward
When the clouds have lifted?"
Then the soldier through the mist
Heard the voice and rested
As a man who sees his home
When the hill is breasted –
This his answer and I vow
Nothing could be fitter –
Give me peace, a dog, a friend
And a glass of bitter!