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.

31st May 2021

After changeable  weather in April, it is as if a “low” has sat over Northern France  for the whole of May. Day after day of chill winds, low temperatures and rain, more rain. Persistent rain, long showers, short sharp showers, drizzle, we have had them all. We have seen rainbows, different skies, stormy beauty, but it seems every day, rain. We know we are not alone with this weather across Europe. Just the last 3 days early summer has arrived with wall-to-wall sunshine and warmth, hurrah!

However, there is always beauty. A stormy Somme sky is beautiful. Rainbows falling on Cemeteries bringing a particular poignancy. The fields have now turned to vivid green as the new growth has responded to the life-giving rain. Everywhere now looks lush, renewed, we now need the warmth, which has started this past weekend.

Despite the weather there has been plenty to keep us busy this month, we have continued walking, and we have some stories to tell here.

But all this rain of course makes us think of how this affected the soldiers who were here in all weathers. After a walk, we come back to a warm house, hot tea and dry clothes - not so easy in the trenches.

Rain too, has its own poetic rhythm as we hear it on our windows. It is no better used in poetry than by Edward Thomas in his poem simply called “Rain.” Written while he was in a hut on the battlefields.

Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain

On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me

Remembering again that I shall die

And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks

For washing me cleaner than I have been

Since I was born into this solitude.

Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:

But here I pray that none whom once I loved

Is dying tonight or lying still awake

Solitary, listening to the rain,

Either in pain or thus in sympathy

Helpless among the living and the dead,

Like a cold water among broken reeds,

Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,

Like me who have no love which this wild rain

Has not dissolved except the love of death,

If love it be towards what is perfect and

Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.

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