Nord-Pas de Calais is Britain's first stop in France; it's where the ferries dock and the Channel Tunnel emerges into daylight. Bradt's Cross-Channel France is the only English-language guide dedicated to the region. It delves not only into the port towns, but also into the forgotten France that's rarely reached. It takes visitors to sample Vieux Bologne the smelliest cheese in the world, and to climb the hill at Cassel – up (and down) which the Grand Old Duke of York marched his 10,000 men. It leads travellers to Agincourt, the site of a cornerstone battle in British history, and to Dunkirk, from where World War II troops were evacuated. It also reveals where visitors can shop for cut-price goods, where they can cycle, walk and ride horses, where they can find the best seafood and seaside resorts, and how they can enjoy colourful regional events like the Festival of the Giants. Bradt's Cross-Channel France is packed with information for day trippers and those on longer family holidays.
John Ruler writes on the Nord-Pas de Calais region for newspapers and magazines and has an extensive photo library. He is also a specialist in horse riding.