A rural visitor destination ‘par excellence’, the Thiérache has many hidden treasures along its country paths. The wooded countryside with pollarded willow hedges is reminiscent of Normandy, but make no mistake this is the domain of Thiérache fortified churches and Maroilles cheese.
Enjoy the simple things in life during a peaceful stay, punctuated with discoveries of all sizes, ranging from tiny restored village wash pools to the grand Utopian Familistère, and maybe accompanied by a glass of farmhouse cider or a Maroilles tart.
What to see and do in the Thiérache ?
The unique and rich historical heritage of 60 churches mostly fortified during the 16th century by the villagers themselves who were weary of the pillaging and devastation by the frequent wars waged in this frontier region.
Château-fort de Guise castle, the thousand-year old stronghold of the famous Dukes of Guise, with its impressive keep and 17 hectares of fortifications. The Familistère de Guise, a Utopian dream come true by JB. Godin in the 19th century, an astonishing, marvellous social and industrial reminder.
Parfondeval, a typical little Thiérache village classed as one of the « Loveliest villages in France », with its remarkable fortified church, half-timbered, brick and cob buildings and « La Chouette » discovery trail.
The Benedictine Abbey of Saint Michel en Thiérache and the Museum of rural and woodland life. The customs post at Macquenoise otherwise known as « Courquain » in the film « Rien à déclarer (Nothing to declare) ». A wealth of delicious local produce to try and buy, including cheese, cider, fruit-based aperitifs and craft items.