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A Spanish town - yet far from Spain!

The town of Hesdin, which lies in the northernmost department of France, the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, is situated in beautiful countryside, on the edge of the Fôret d'Hesdin. It is an unusual town, in that it has a distinctly Spanish feel, although sited many miles away from Spain!

Hesdin's relocation

The town hall still bears the Spanish crest, and although this may seem strange, you only have to look at the town's history to understand the connection. The original Hesdin was not located here at all, but occupied an important strategic position close to the border with Spanish Flanders. The town was moved, by force, by the Emperor Charles V, known as Charles Quint.

Pretty and quaint

In other respects, Hesdin is a typically pretty French northern town, with quaint little streets, the River Canche running through the town and a number of attractive bridges which give character and charm.

Architectural splendour

The town has a quite remarkable town hall, and this is a fine example of ornate Spanish architectural splendour. Built to be the home of Charles Quint's sister, it has a superb bay window, an impressive spire and a traditional belfry. All of this overlooks a pretty main square, the Place D'Armes, and this is an ideal spot to take a little rest, enjoy a coffee or glass of wine in one of the many appealing cafés or bars and enjoy watching the life of Hesdin unfold before you.

Hesdin's facilities

Hesdin has a supermarket, banking facilities, a Thursday morning market and plenty of small and interesting shops to enjoy.

Full of history

Anyone interested in history will have a fascinating time in Hesdin. Nearby is the famous battle site of Agincourt, where Henry V of England won his historic victory over a massive French army. Here you can visit the Mediaeval History Centre, and take a battlefield tour too, which really brings history to life. You can also visit Fressin Castle, which stages spectacular re-enactments amidst the mediaeval ruins of the castle.

Plenty to see and do

If battles aren't your bag, however, there is still plenty to do and see. Try a trip to the chocolate factory, at Beussant, or the traditional boulangerie near Hardelot. There is also a lovely working watermill at Maintenay.

Out and about

Visit the beautiful Forêt de Crecy, with its 150 square kilometres of oaks and beech trees. It is a haven for wildlife, and if you are lucky you might catch sight of a wild boar, a deer, or even an owl. The area is also excellent for many sports, and is particularly enjoyable for walkers, horse riders and cyclists. Golf is available locally, as is tennis, swimming and fishing.

How to get there

Being situated in northern France, Hesdin has the advantage of being easily accessible from the UK by a variety of means. You can choose to fly to Paris Beauvais (Ryanair), Paris Charles de Gaulle (Air France, bmibaby, bmi, BA, easyJet, Jet2, flybe or Thomsonfly), Le Touquet (Lydd Air) or Reims (Air Turquoise). The ferry ports of Calais, Dunkirk, and Boulogne are all within easy reach of Hesdin, and there is also the option of rail travel with the Eurotunnel taking you to Calais, or Eurostar to Paris or Lille.

Property prices and availability in and around Hesdin

At the time of writing, property in Hesdin is reasonably priced, but the smart money is on a rapid increase in the near future, as a result of increased governmental investment in the region. Property in Hesdin could therefore be an excellent investment, and has the added bonus of being easily accessible from the UK, meaning that there will be a strong rental market.

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Hesdin AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Hesdin?

Hesdin is located in the far north of France, in the south of the department of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, quite close to its region's border with Haute-Normandie.

Hesdin Property Map

IN THE REGION OF NORD-PAS-DE-CALAIS

Nord-Pas-de-Calais Guide

Nord-Pas-de-Calais Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF PAS-DE-CALAIS

Pas-de-Calais Guide

  Pas-de-Calais Map


Population: 2,686


Access: By air: Fly to Reims, Le Touquet, Paris Beauvais or Paris Charles de Gaulle. By boat: The ports of Calais, Dunkirk and Boulogne are all close at hand. By rail: Travel Eurotunnel to Calais or the Eurostar to Lille or Paris.


Economy: The economy of the town is diverse, with many small and medium sized businesses registered there.


Interesting fact: The original town of Hesdin occupied important territory in the wars between France and Spanish Flanders. The town was forced to move to its present site by the Spanish Emperor, Charles V, in 1554.

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