Northern France

Holiday Highlights

  • Return journey on the Baie de Somme Railway
  • Visit Pegasus Bridge and Memorial Museum
  • Return river cruise along the Seine River
  • Free time in Amiens, Rouen, St Malo, Quimper and Nantes
  • Private guided tour of Belle Ile
  • Chartered ‘retro’ train on the Vendée Railway
  • 15 days from £2,895pp
Tailor this tour for independent travel

Tour Dates:
Wednesday 19 June to Wednesday 3 July 2024

Journey with us through Northern France, a destination known for its history, cuisine and spectacular coastline. With historic cities, rivers, coast and heritage railways there is something for everyone on this tour.


Day 1 – London to Amiens

Early afternoon Eurostar from London St Pancras to Amiens via Lille for a 3-night stay. We arrive late afternoon and our hotel is located next to the railway station.

Day 2 – Baie de Somme Railway

By train to the Baie de Somme Railway to spend a full day exploring this heritage line and its steam locos and rolling stock. We return by rail in the early evening to Amiens.

Day 3 – At Leisure in Amiens

A day at leisure in Amiens. The city’s famous UNESCO World Heritage Gothic Cathedral is certainly worth visiting. Wander through its medieval quarter and see the floating Marsh Gardens (Hortillonnages) within Amien’s winding network of canals, giving the city the nickname of “Little Venice of the North”. Or visit Paris, just over an hour away by train on a regular service.

Day 4 – Onwards to Rouen

A mid-morning train takes us to Rouen for a 2- night stay. We arrive early afternoon and the rest of the afternoon is at leisure. There are several museums and churches in Rouen to explore including a tower where Joan of Arc was held while being tried for heresy.

Day 5 – Along the Seine

A boat journey up the River Seine to the village of La Bouille. We spend a few hours here to enjoy lunch and to explore the small but pretty medieval village which stretches along the Seine River. We retrace our steps back to Rouen along the Seine, arriving back late afternoon for an evening at leisure.

Day 6 – Pegasus Bridge

Departing by road this morning we travel to St Malo, a port city on the north coast of Brittany. En route we will stop at Pegasus Bridge and Memorial Museum. June 2024 marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day and the capture of this bridge played an important role following the Normandy Invasion. The bridge is a replica of the original which is now a war memorial and is the centrepiece of the Memorial Museum. We continue to St Malo for a 3-night stay.

Days 7 & 8 – Free Days in St Malo

This beautiful city curves out to the sea on a stunning natural harbour and has some of the best beaches on the Emerald Coast. St Malo is a maze of medieval streets bursting with history and culture and the stunning Gothic and Romanesque Cathedral de St Malo dominates the skyline of this ancient walled town. A trip by boat or rail to the quaint medieval village of Dinan is highly recommended. It is also possible to take a trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mont St Michel or, you may wish to make the short journey to the historic city of Rennes to explore its transport network.

Day 9 – To Quimper

Today we transfer by road to Quimper, stopping at Pontivy en route. Pontivy is a picturesque market town on the river Blavet that has medieval roots and became one of Napolean’s ‘new towns’ in the 19th Century. There will be time for lunch before we continue to Quimper for a 2-night stay.

Day 10 – At Leisure

A day to explore Brittany’s oldest city with its famous Gothic Cathedral dating back to the 12th Century, Le Jardin de la Retraite (Retirement Garden) and the impressive Musée des Beaux-Arts. Or you may wish to take the short journey to the nearby popular resort of Bénodet.

Day 11 – Belle-Ile-en-Mer

Travel by rail and ferry to Belle-Ile-en-Mer. On arrival we transfer to our hotel in the village of Sauzon for a 2-night stay.

Day 12 – Tour the Island

Today we have a private coach tour around the island to discover some of its most beautiful spots as well as visiting its main historical sites including the Aiguilles de Port Coton (the offshore rock formations that Monet once painted).

Day 13 – Journey to Nantes

By coach to the port of Le Palais to catch a morning ferry back to the mainland. From here we take a train to Nantes via Auray for a 2-night stay. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure.

Day 14 – La Vendée Railway

Travel by road to visit the Chemin de Fer de la Vendée to ride a chartered ‘Picasso autorial’ retro train from the 1950’s. Our return journey departs from Mortagne-sur-Sèvre and travels 22km to the end of the line at Les Herbiers. We return by coach to Nantes.

Day 15 – Homeward Bound

Early morning train from Nantes, via Lille to arrive back into London St Pancras late afternoon.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Holiday Inn Express, Amiens

BW Hotel de Dieppe, Rouen

La Maison des Armateurs, St Malo

Mercure Hotel , Quimper

Hotel Cardinal, Belle Ile

L’Hotel, Nantes

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • All rail travel as stated in Standard Class
  • Excursions as specified
  • All transfers as specified
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £2,895
Single room supplement: £695
Deposit for this holiday: £200

Booking form

Download your tour booking form here.


Why Choose Ffestiniog Travel?

  • UK's first rail tour operator to run an overseas escorted rail holiday in 1974
  • Created for people who love rail holidays and exploring the world’s heritage railways
  • Dedicated rail holiday specialist - great destinations, sightseeing and unparalled railway content
  • Train ticket supplier for worldwide rail operators - we can plan and arrange your rail journey to anywhere
  • Knowledge of the world’s rail routes makes us leading specialists in escorted and Tailor Made rail holidays
  • Over 60% of our existing rail tour travellers return to holiday with us year after year
  • Committed to supporting rail travel and heritage railways around the world
  • Our profits support the continued preservation of the famous Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways
  • Small, dedicated rail holiday travel team offering an award winning personal service

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