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 October 2019
Mary Borden – Sonnets to A Solider:
No, no! There is some sinister mistake.
You cannot love me now. I am no more
A thing to touch, a pleasant thing to take
Into one’s arms. How can a man adore
A woman with black blood upon her face,
A cap of horror on her pallid head,
Mirrors of madness in the sunken place
Of eyes; hands dripping with the slimy dead?
103 years ago, The Somme battle raged on for the 4th month. Mary Borden was running a field hospital close to the Somme Front. A young British officer turned up at Mary’s hospital, a make-shift collection of huts and tents. The officer was accompanied by his dog Rex, and was looking for a lost company of soldiers. Mary described their first meeting: ‘My apron is stained with mud and blood; I am too tired to take it off. My feet are burning lumps as I hobble to open the door. A young officer stands there. He too is splattered with mud; his face is haggard. He introduces himself. He is Captain Spears of the XIth Hussars…’ It was the beginning of a great and enduring love story.
This October there is peace, though the wind has been blowing and though some days are sunny and mild, others see endless rain. The landscape sometimes brooding, sometimes benign. Capricious but beautiful.