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Beauvais, handsome by name, handsome by nature

The town of Beauvais, in the Picardie region of northern France, is a town which lives up to its name. "Beau", being French for "handsome" and "fine" suits the town well, as it is a place of history, culture and beauty. It is, indeed, a fine town, in every sense. Beauvais is surrounded by lovely countryside dotted with the grandest of chateaux, and lies in an area which is bursting with historical interest.

Gothic Cathedral

The town itself is famed for its beautiful cathedral, considered to be one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in the country. Although much of Beauvais was sadly destroyed during World War Two (and subsequently rebuilt), the cathedral survived intact, and many visitors come to Beauvais principally to admire this lovely building.

Around town

There is, of course, much more to Beauvais than just the cathedral. Other buildings of historical or architectural interest include the Church of Saint Etienne, with its amazing Renaissance stained glass windows and the Musée Departmental de l'Oise, which occupies the former Bishop's Palace and houses a fine collection of paintings. Here you will also find wonderful formal gardens to enjoy.

Place Jeanne Hachette

On a lighter note, whatever the season do pay a visit to the Place Jeanne Hachette, which forms a beach environment in summer, complete with deckchairs, bar, beach volley ball courts and palm trees! In winter it is perhaps even more magical, with an ice rink and enchanting Christmas market.

Shopping and dining

Beauvais is a large town, and offers superb shopping and dining, along with all other requirements. Several shopping centres should keep even the most determined shoppers happy, and the many excellent restaurants in the town offer a great selection of cuisines and include the finest of French fare.

Out and about

The area around the town is ripe for exploration, and there are a huge variety of things to do. Visit the famous Château of Troissereux, with its lovely gardens, waterway and arboretum, and take a guided tour given by a member of the family who still lives in the house. There is an interesting aircraft museum, and for something different take a look at the Mother of Pearl Museum, which has a fascinating collection of artefacts made from bone, ivory and ebony.

Beautiful countryside

The countryside of Picardie is very beautiful and pastoral, with many fields being stocked with beautiful horses as the area is popular with the equestrian community.

Keeping the kids happy

Keeping the kids happy is always a consideration, and they aren't always that interested in the more high minded cultural and historical assets of a town. Close to Beauvais, however, is a kid's paradise, namely a theme park known as the Parc St Paul. Set in a 33-acre park this has over 30 attractions including fairground rides, a circus and an illusionist show. There is also a selection of restaurants so you can enjoy a really relaxing family day out.

St Leger Park

If, however, you and your children prefer a more natural environment, you should go to the nearby St Leger Park. Here there is a large variety of animals to see and learn about and a superb 33-acre park to enjoy too.

Sports on offer

Sports fans will find that Beauvais and its environs also offer many possibilities for their favoured activities, with horse-riding, fishing, swimming, tennis, golf and boating available to name but a few!

How to get there
Reaching Beauvais from the UK is quite easy. The Paris Beauvais airport has Ryanair flights from Scotland and Ireland, and Paris itself is quite close (43 miles away) so there is a good choice of possibilities for air travel. Rail travel is another option, with the station at Beauvais linked to Paris Gare du Nord (there is a train to Beauvais from Paris Gare du Nord every half an hour). Beauvais lies in northern France, so it is also not too far from the ferry ports for those who like to travel by boat (Boulogne, Calais and Dunkirk) or perhaps to bring their own vehicle. If driving on to the town, Beauvais is simple to find as it lies just off the A16 motorway.

Property prices and availability in and around Beauvais
Despite being within easy reach of Paris, the town and surrounding areas have not yet been inundated with property buyers, as have many areas of France. This is good news as it means that prices are still very reasonable. Attractive property (including country property for renovation) is still available, and there is a potential profit to be made from property in the region.

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Beauvais AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Beauvais?

Beauvais is located in the centre north of France, in the west of the Oise department.

Beauvais Property Map

IN THE REGION OF PICARDY

Picardy Guide

Picardy Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF OISE

Oise Guide

  Oise Map


Population: 56,700


Access: By air: Beauvais has an airport, though flights to Paris are also viable. By boat: Boulogne, Calais and Dunkirk are all accessible. By rail: Trains between Beauvais and Paris Gare du Nord are frequent. By road: Access from the A16 autoroute.


Economy: The traditional economy was tapestry making, but nowadays Beauvais has many thriving industries including the manufacture of cotton and woollen goods, boots, shoes, brushes, toys, bricks and tiles.


Interesting fact: Beauvais is one of France's oldest towns.


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