Walloon countryside, tiny towns, farmland and forest await in this peaceful and picturesque corner of north-east France.
If only the sheep would quieten down... That’s as bumptious as this tranquil corner of France gets. Ardennes is an unspoilt rural département in the north-east – not to be confused with its namesake broader region, which extends into Luxembourg and Belgium. The area’s World War II past is hard to fathom, so serene is the landscape of farmland and sleepy villages. Local hub Charleville-Mézières is a town of elegant squares, a museum or two, and go-slow cafés and bistros, united by their quiet charm. The Ardennes hills, and rivers Meuse and Semoy are a big draw for outdoorsy peace-seekers, wonderful for walking, fishing, kayaking and climbing. And when aren’t you in the mood for a little champagne tasting?
You only have to look at the 50-shades- of-green scenery to realise this region gets a lot of rain. Summer months are driest and warmest – any time between May and September – with July and August being peak visitor season.