Things to do

Surrounded by history, No.fifty6 is the perfect base from which to explore the region of Picardy and the Somme. 

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.

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 April 2024

April, come she will, when streams are ripe and swelled with rain….so the song lyric goes.  And there has certainly been rain, more rain and winds, temperatures much colder than average, with 2 night frosts last week,  The heating remains on and warming meals are sill the order of the day. We feel we are on the cusp of more settled weather though and the cold, rain and wind hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of either our guests or ourselves. It has been a very busy month here, with never a dull moment. We wouldn’t want it any other way. Though we sometimes wonder when we find the time to write this- but we do enjoy putting together this summary of goings on here. We get great feedback about the newsletter and that is so lovely, knowing our scrawlings are read and enjoyed across the world.

Despite the weather, the farmers have been seeding, spraying, and feeding crops though everything is a little behind. Outside our front door the landscape is bright yellow from the rape crop – also known as colza or canola depending on where you are – Mash Valley and the ridge behind is smothered  in a bright yellow coat.

Other signs of Spring are the beautiful bluebells in Delville and High Wood. We remark that this little plant, straggly and inconspicuous as a single flower transforms when it works with fellow bluebells to come together to form a carpet of blue/violet like a satin carpet for an emperor. The blue hue caressing the curves of the trench lines in Delville Wood Definitely a case of strength in numbers and a place once ravaged and war torn now beautifully transformed by nature. The Somme is very good at that.

There has been plenty to occupy us this month – in fact we haven’t stopped and there is always something interesting going on.

 This month’s poem was brough to mind by guests Darryl and Janet from Australia. Before their visit they wrote:

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