The Sunday Times described the 7 Valleys of the Pas-de-Calais as Northern France’s best-kept secret! With its rolling contours, this region of France is as green and bushy as anything you will come across in Dordogne. With three National Parks, the fine Opal Coastline with endless sandy beaches and spectacular cliffs, charming villages, and historic battlefields (including those of Agincourt, Crecy, and the First World War) the area of the Seven Valleys offers a glimpse into the past and a taste of authentic French rural life.
It is a region proud of its traditions. Fairs, fêtes and festivals throughout the year are as much part of life here as of the ebb and flow of the seasons. The towns are rich in history dating from Roman times to the last World Wars and France’s famous gastronomic reputation is apparent in the fine restaurants and brasseries throughout the region.
From a UK buyers perspective it is of course proximity to the UK that makes this area so attractive, with both the short ferry crossing and the Eurotunnel to Calais giving the quickest and easiest access to France. As property prices in the SE of England have soared we’ve found that there is a growing trend for Brits who buy a property in this region but continue to have UK-based jobs in London and the SE. Although they might not commute on a daily basis there are plenty of people who are back and forth regularly.
Hesdin and the surrounding area has become a bit of a hub for Brits. The small, historic town has a good choice of restaurants, shops and an excellent weekly market. The 7 Valleys region is on the doorstep - a landscape of rolling countryside, rivers and beautiful woodland.
The Seven valleys area stretches from the Course river basin in the north to the Authie in the south and covers the Bras de Brosne, the Canche, the Créquoise, the Embrienne, the Lys, the Planquiette, the Surgeon and the Ternoise in between. The Canche and Authie are said to be good spots for otter watching, whilst the Créquoise and Planquette can be quite an exciting ride if you are a white-water enthusiast. If quiet, calm contemplation are more what you're looking for, the Embrienne and Lys would be good places to explore.
This region is often overlooked in favour of the vineyards and warmer climate of the other regions in France, but the property for sale here represents really good value with a high quality of life. The stretch of coast between Calais and the River Somme (Côte d'Opale) can lay claim to having some of the best beaches in France, with miles of unspoilt sand and endless horizons where the sea seems to melt into the sky. Try the popular Stella Plage or Berck Plage for a stroll - or a dip if you are feeling brave. The famous beach resort of Le Touquet is close by, as is the medieval hilltop town of Montreuil with its renowned restaurants. The area also has some superb golf courses.
Property prices fair well when compared with the rest of France and are typically 60-70% cheaper than the UK. The architecture is not as ‘picture-postcard' as say, the classic Normandy colombage properties but the area has a strong Flemish influence and this has its own charm.
Rural, inland areas are very reasonably priced, while you can expect to pay more to be based right in the centre of one of the towns or cities. A detached family house in good condition with some land starts from around €120,000 and a ‘project’ farmhouse with land and barns can be purchased from as little as €90,000. Traditional houses have lots of original character and are typically picturesque farmhouses painted white with a central courtyard and spacious out-buildings. It is the convenience and benefits of the region that makes it so attractive to British buyers and travel to and from the UK is quick and easy with good road connections from Calais and the rail links to Paris complete the journey in under an hour.
If you'd like to take a look at all the farmhouses, cottages, longères, maison de maître and townhouses for sale in the Pas-de-Calais currently in our portfolio, simply click here: