The small town of Armentières is right on the Belgian border, 15 minutes from Lille and just 20 minutes from the Belgian city of Ypres. If you’d like to keep your holiday local there’s a lake with an activity centre and beach, as well as an assortment of open farms and quaint, rural museums to browse.
But maybe you’re curious about the delicious local beer, First World War history or UNESCO World Heritage belfries. You could indulge that curiosity for days at cute old towns, breweries, hop farms, battlefields and war museums. And with Lille at your fingertips there’s no excuse not to see what you can find.
Lets explore the best things to do in Armentieres:
1. Beffroi d’Armentières
The indisputable must-see in Armentières is the red brick and limestone belfry, which is attached to the town hall.
This UNESCO-listed building echoes the history of the town, having been wrecked and then proudly rebuilt, first in the middle ages and then after the First World War.
The architecture now is neo-Flemish, and the stained glass windows honour the old local trades of beer brewing, spinning and weaving.
There are 200 steps to the top where you’ll be wowed by a 360° panorama of the town and the Hauts-de-France and Belgian countryside.
Tours are held on specific days in summer, or by appointment with Armentières’ tourist office.