Getting there
Our house in Vieil Hesdin is really easy to get to. It takes about an hour from the Eurotunnel exit: you head south on the A16 autoroute, take the Berck exit and head east to Hesdin on the excellent N39. This makes it an ideal holiday home for families not wishing to travel too far into France, or indeed for short breaks. For those preferring to fly, it's an easy two hour drive from Charles de Gaulle Airport, heading north on the A1 autoroute to Arras, then across to Hesdin on the N39.
About the village
Vieil Hesdin, as its name implies, was the site of the old Hesdin before it was sacked by the Spanish in 1553. Hesdin was rebuilt at its present site, but today Vieil Hesdin remains a pretty, peaceful village situated on the banks of the river Canche, just a short drive from Hesdin. There is an ancient convent not far from the house and most of the village (including our house) is in a conservation area. Plenty of quiet roads and tracks for cycling or walking along the river or in the nearby woods.


About the area
Nord Pas de Calais is a region much appreciated by the Brits and other northern Europeans for its excellent beaches, its history, its cuisine and of course shopping. Le Pays des 7 Vallees is a tourist area within this region having the old market town of Hesdin at its heart. Situated at the confluence of the rivers Canche and Ternoise Hesdin has an impressive central 'Grande Place' dominated by the 16th century town hall. Market day is Thursday, but the boutiques, restaurants and bars, its historic church and buildings, and its status as a 3 star 'ville fleuri' (flowered town) make it a town pleasant to visit on any day. North of Hesdin is the 'Foret d'Hesdin' extending to over 1000 hectares. 15 km of forest roads and 5 km of one of the national Grande Randonnée footpaths make it ideal for walking, cycling and picnics.

Map of Vieil Hesdin  -  click here

New Pictures  -  click here

Vieil Hesdin 3 bedrooms, sleeps up to 7 people
Gardens, terrace, peaceful village location.

The House
This is a 17th century farmhouse, now completely modernised. Though not isolated, it is very peacefully situated on a quiet country lane well away from the nearest main road. What is unusual and pleasant about the house is that you drive in from the lane through high gates into a courtyard which is surrounded on three sides by the house and its barns. On the third side it opens out to the garden - about an acre in all, largely laid to grass and completely fenced in, making this an ideal and safe area for children to play. There is an open-fronted barn overlooking the courtyard which has been set up with table tennis and other games.

The house is very comfortable and well furnished, though with an eye to making it suitable for families with children. The entrance door leads into the well fitted and equipped kitchen which opens to the dining room - see picture above and on next webpage.   Large antique pine dining table for 8;   French windows to the garden. From the kitchen there is a short corridor (door to shower room with wc and washhand basin) to the large airy living room with French windows on both sides to the garden and courtyard. Comfortable sitting area (two sofas, two armchairs), with satellite  television (standard UK channels), dvd player and surround sound hi-fi. Beyond the living room is a large double bedroom with twin beds
and separate single sofabed.

Back to the kitchen, a door leads to another double bedroom with
king-size double bed  and en suite bathroom, and another door takes you up a few stairs to the third double bedroom, with three single beds.

In all then there are two double and one triple bedrooms and two full bathrooms.

Things to do

There is so much to do that it is only possible to give a brief summary.

Battlefields: Agincourt with its new visitors centre is about 12 km away, and the battlefields of the Somme are within easy reach, as is La Coupole, constructed in 1943 and now a history centre with presentations on the occupation of Northern France.

Beaches: Berck Plage is about half an hour's drive as are the quieter resorts of Merlimont and Stella-Plage. Le Touquet is a little further. There are all the usual seaside activities on offer - windsurfing, sailing, fishing plus kite-flying - a speciality of this region.

Markets: there are markets in most main towns, e.g. Fruges (Saturday morning), Hesdin (Thursday morning) and a fish market in Etaples.

Museums: Many museums including a ceramic museum at Desvres, an ancient Abbey at Valloires with beautiful gardens and a mining museum

Sport: Superb golf courses, horseriding, walking, cycling, an aerial adventure course at Guines, boating on the rivers, kayaking and rafting.

Theme parks and centres: Bagatelle at Merlimont with 44 family attractions; Nausicaa, a sealife centre at Boulogne, one of the best in Europe; Aqualud at Le Touquet - a water theme park with a 'Magic River'

NEW FOR 2014!!!  Superb Aquatic and Bowling Center in Hesdin   There is now a new centre in Hesdin – about 10 minutes drive from the house – comprising an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, water shutes and slides, a cafe and bowling alleys. Situated on the southern side of Hesdin, near Lidl shop. Plenty of easy parking. Entry for a family of four (2 adults, 2 children) is 14€90.    More information at

Towns and cities: Amiens with its beautiful cathedral, miraculously spared in the 1940 bombing; Arras with its impressive 'Places des Heros' with buildings dating from the 11th century; St. Omer with its cathedral and Musee Sandelin; Montreuil-sur-Mer, just 20 minutes away; and more....

Eating out

This is a region of excellent restaurants from the well known 3 star Chateau de Montreuil to the excellent "fermes auberges" of the region with all kinds of town and country restaurants in between. Being close to the sea, you can eat excellent fish and shellfish. Several restaurants within a short drive of the house.

Buying wine and shopping

Wine is not produced in this area, but there are many places to buy excellent wine, from the supermarkets to the specialist wine stores of Calais eg Le Chais, Perardel, Eastenders, and even Sainsburys and Tescos. You will also find smaller specialist wine merchants in most towns.

The hypermarkets, created out of the English cross-Channel shopping movement, include Cite Europe and the complex at Coquelles in Calais. But better, and sometimes cheaper, can often be had further away from Calais, and there are two good supermarkets in Hesdin, not far from the house.

You can also buy foie gras near Hesdin, and local cheese, fruit and veg at the markets.

Changeover day is Friday. Short breaks available outside of high season.

Please contact Janet Rankin on 01424 830279 or 07714 897117 for more information..

PRICES 2014/15 - prices shown are per week   Short breaks available - please ask for price



Up to 4 people sharing

5 to 7 people sharing

2 January to 2 April, 17 April to 21 May 2015



3 to 16 April



22 to 28 May



17 April to 21 May, 29 May to 2 July



3 to 16 July



17  July to 27 August



28 August to 3 September



4 September  to 22 October



23  - 29 October



Heating and logs per week, October to April


Breakage deposit


Linen and towels available on option at £7.50 per person.  

Comments from previous guests...

Just a quick mail to thankyou for allowing us to stay in your beautiful farmhouse. We had a wonderful time there. Your house is so welcoming and homely.  Home away from home. By far the best rental property weve ever had.
We will definately recommend this wonderful house to our friends and we will certainly be booking again.

We have enjoyed a really wonderful week in this beautiful house and were most pleasantly surprised to see the spacious accommodation and garden area. The house is very well equipped with dishwasher, television, internet access and numerous games and pastimes, including a superb ping-pong table which we all used a lot! Vieil Hesdin itself is very peaceful but is in easy reach of Hesdin, Montreuil, Abbeville, Arras, Azincourt and, of course, the beaches. The Carrefour at Hesdin is just a few miles away and the Thursday market seems to cover much of the town and is quite an experience. We would really recommend Maison Sainte Colette for a memorable taste of France in lovely surroundings. We will be returning!!

Thank you so much for the use of Maison Colette', we all thoroughly ejoyed the break.
The boys loved the outside space, the gardens, bikes, cllimbing frame and table tennis. This was a great bonus because they never got bored which meant that we in turn could relax.

My husband and I really appreciated the well stocked kitchen and the herb garden. Credit crunch meant that we ate in more than I would have liked! So the quality of the kitchen equipment meant tht we were really happy to cook in at the house.

May I congratulate you on providing a lovely house in a perfect location for a relaxing and most enjoyable holiday.

It was one of the most comfortable, spacious and well equipped holiday houses we have ever stayed in and will be recommending it to our friends.

Corsica - click here