When the spring or summer period begins, some want to set sail for new horizons while others decide to stay in the Audomarois… Who could prove them wrong? If our territory attracts many tourists, it's not for nothing! Indeed, there are thirty-six things to do and as many places to visit, guaranteeing a total change of scenery! Among these many places to discover and visit, nature holds an important place and provides hikers and walkers with so many ideas for enriching outings.

Around Aa, its history and that of its industries

The history of Audomarois has been built around a central element, water, brought in abundance by this river so well known to cruciverbists, the Aa! This resource made it possible in particular to develop the paper business. In this regard, the Maison du papier d'Esquerdes, built on the ruins of an old water mill, offers everyone the opportunity to discover the history of paper and, for the youngest, to improvise as a papermaker!

First destination: the Audomarois marshes recognized by UNESCO

The "first river in France" also facilitates the cultivation of cauliflower and other vegetables by irrigating our marsh, an environmental jewel that needs no introduction... Sublime in any season and at any time of day, it can be discovered on foot, by bike, on a solex, but also on the water, on a bacôve! The cultivated marsh has a certain picturesque character, while the Romelaere is conducive to the discovery of fauna and flora.

Clairmarais and its forest

On the outskirts of this nature reserve, you can also visit the village of Clairmarais, with its traditional farms, the ruins of the Cistercian abbey and its national forest. If you still have strength, various marked paths are available to you near the nature barn, such as the Booneghem trail, offering a walk between Flanders and the Marais.

The Laensberg trail between Tilques and Serques

Another circuit to discover as soon as possible, the Landsberg path, linking Tilques to Serques: beyond the "guillotine bridge", the marsh-resort opens its doors to you... A place inviting you to stroll, where walkers meet summer visitors and anglers!

The nature reserves of the Aa valley

Another suggestion: a short hike or cycle ride near Lumbres or a steam train ride on the old railway line linking Lumbres to Arques, to discover the beauty of the Aa valley! You will also appreciate in this sector the nature reserve of the cave and the lawns of Acquin-Westbécourt as well as the limestone hillsides of Wavrans-sur-l'Aa, presenting an unusual relief for our region as well as a breathtaking panorama. .

old stones

Strolling around is also an opportunity to admire the vestiges of our history. You will sometimes come across a mill, sometimes an old chapel or even a castle... If your excursion takes you around Longuenesse, be sure to pass by the Abbey of Saint-Paul de Wisques, built on the site of a castle built shortly after the Hundred Years War. The four towers and the keep have remained intact!

And yes, even if the grass may seem greener elsewhere, the fact remains that here too we can exclaim WOUAH!

Discover or rediscover the audomarois!

To discover the Audomarois, do not hesitate to consult the website of the Tourist Office of the Pays de Saint-Omer or to "like" the Facebook page "Walks in Audomarois and the Pays de St Omer"!

Author: Jérémie FLANDRIN. Article inspired by the "audomaroise escapades" published in the July-August 2015 magazine Audomarwouah

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