Things to do
Surrounded by history, No.fifty6 is the perfect base from which to explore the region of Picardy and the Somme.
THE SOMME BATTLE EXPERIENCE – WALK WITH ME.
Whether you’ve been to the Somme before or visiting for the first time, David and Julie offer a battlefield experience like no other. Don’t expect a dry, old history lesson here. Their passion and knowledge of WW1 history is brought to life as they take you through a fully immersive, emotional journey and sensory experience.
Whether you’re interested in tracking down family ties or simply interested in the history, your hosts will personalise your experience with real, individual stories and accounts of life as a soldier in 1916.
A SLICE OF FRENCH LIFE
From coffee to cognac, painting to photography, shopping to people watching, the nearby towns offer a taste of French life at its best.
- Take a coffee in Albert Square and marvel at the Basilica
- Fill your suitcase with gifts from the Christmas markets in Arras and Amiens
- Enjoy the beautiful countryside and quietly watch the native wildlife
- Go on a steam train at Le p'tit train de la Haute Somme
- Experience the big town atmosphere on a day out to Lille or Paris
- Enjoy fine French dining at one of many wonderful restaurants
- At the end of the day, relax with interesting people in the warm, candle lit lounge at No.fifty6
We are happy to recommend places to visit and restaurants to eat at in the evenings. If you would like any further information, please contact us.
30th June 2020
As we write this, 1st July is upon us, a date synonymous with The Somme, the date on which the 1916 battle commenced. For us it is a day for reflection and looking forward, a date bound up with so many reasons why we now call The Somme our home.
This year of course, Somme commemorations are different due to Covid. There are no big organised ceremonies but the essence of The Somme is not to be found in any ceremony. It is to be found looking over the now beautiful fields, the skyline, the dips and curves which caress The Somme. Come here and you truly connect with the land and its history. There is no place in the world like it. Come and remember, come and reflect. Come on a personal journey, as we did many years ago, a journey for us which continues still. The boys who were here, those who still lie, those who went home who have now all passed, they maybe would like pomp and ceremony with the great and the good at Thiepval, but we also believe they would have appreciated being remembered in quiet, personal ways, more than 100 years later.
So while we would have been happy to stand in a favourite spot this morning, we are inextricably bound and connected to The Lochnagar Crater. For the first time in 41 years, Richard Dunning has not been here for a 1 July. So we were more than happy to lead, on his behalf, an intimate, short, symbolic service at Lochnagar this morning at 07.28hrs, the time the Battle commenced. Julie led the proceedings with words read from Richard, one wreath and one French gerbe were laid by Mayor Christian Bernard, and our friend Cyrille Delplanque played the bagpipes to start and finish, and we blew our whistles just as the men did to encourage their comrades over the top. We stood in silence to honour them.
We can never say thank you in person to the men who walked this hallowed ground 104 years ago today, but we can remember, we can reflect and we can pledge to be good people, live good lives, and embrace our fragile, hard won freedoms to do good. Thank you to that gallant generation who gave so much. We will remember them.