The Long, Long Trail's Battlefield Guide to Arras

Arras is not only an interesting town to visit in its own right - it's a great centre for touring the battlefields of Loos, Notre Dame de Lorette, Vimy Ridge and of the battlefields of the Somme, Arras and Cambrai.

Arras vista

Basics

Arras is a sizeable town, just off the Calais-Paris motorway and with excellent rail links. Most people in the tourist spots in the area speak English well, many fluently. The majority of local people do not. The currency in use is the Euro. Credit cards are widely accepted but beware: not all petrol filling stations in France accept British or American cards.

Getting to Arras

By car from UK: Arras is a 112 km (just over 1 hour) drive from Calais. This is by autoroute, which is a toll road for which you will need some cash. Route with map.

By car from airport: Arras is a 158 km (around 1 hour 30 mins) drive from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. This is direct by autoroute A1/E15.

By rail: Arras has a main railway station, is a main exchange on the French railway system and well served from all directions. Timetables

What is there to see?

The Arras area is so full of places to go and things to see it is hard to know where to begin. The battlegfield areas lie to the north, north east, east and south east of the town. "Must not be missed" sites include:

  • The Canadian memorial and preserved battlefield of Vimy Ridge
  • French national memorial and cemetery on top of Notre Dame de Lorette ridge
  • German cemetery at Neuville St Vaast
  • The British Memorial to the Missing and military cemetery on the Faubourg d'Amiens (short walk from town centre)
  • The beautiful reconstructed town centre and the caves ("soutterains") running out to the front line
  • Wellington Quarry: caverns used in both wars with a visitor centre (short walk from town centre)
  • The memorials in Bullecourt
  • The Fampoux/Roeux area for cemeteries and memorials

Tourist essentials

  1. The main tourist office in in Arras is situated at the Hôtel de Ville, Place des Héros.
  2. Monday is closing day: most shops and facilities are closed, at least for the morning.
  3. Eating and drinking: there are plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes in Arras, most grouped around the central squares and the railway station, fitting all budgets. The larger villages around have some too. You will probably need a packed lunch or picnic when you are out on the battlefields for the day.
  4. Banks and ATMs (cash machines) : lots in Arras.
  5. Parking: there are several ground-level and underground car parks in the town centre (well signposted), but little on-street parking. No problems parking at sites on the battlefields.
  6. Supermarkets: there are all kinds supermarkets in Arras.

Accommodation

When booking any accommodation, buyer beware. The Long, Long Trail can not be held responsible for the availability, price or performance of any of the accommodation listed here. Obviously.

The hotels is Arras are well signposted. Look out for orange street signs.

There is a wide selection of accommodation in the town and surrounding villages

Note: international dialling code to France is 33. Numbers are shown as they would be dialled from overseas. when calling in France itself, drop the 33 and add a zero at the front of the number. Most hotel receptionists speak some or very good English. This is not always the case with the smaller hotels and guest houses in this area, but a friendly approach or a clearly written email will usually work well.
 

Hotels

Astoria Carnot **
Address: 10-12 Place du Marechal Foch, 62000 Arras
Tel: 33 3 21 71 08 04
Fax: 33 3 21 71 60 95
Email: contact@hotelcarnot.com
Website URL: http://www.hotelcarnot.com/
29 room hotel. Situated in Arras town centre facing railway station and a 5 minute walk from main squares. On street parking and paid parking at adjacent Hotel Mercure.
Balladins Arras Confort **
Address: Rue Cambrai, 62000 Arras
Tel: 33 3 21 48 77 22
Fax: 33 3 21 22 27 91
Email: via website
Website URL: Click for hotel page on Balladins web site
A Balladins group hotel
Budget 45 room hotel. Situated out of Arras town centre on main road to Cambrai, facing University of Artois.
Diamant **
Address: 5 Place des Héros, 62000 Arras
Tel: 33 3 21 71 23 23
Fax: 33 3 21 71 84 13
Email: info@arras-hotel-diamant.com
Website URL: http://www.arras-hotel-diamant.com/
12 room hotel. Situated in Arras town centre directly on one of the two large squares. Underground paid car park nearby.
See other guests comments on Tripadvisor
Ibis **
Address: 11 Rue de Justice, Place Ipswich, 62000 Arras
Tel: 33 3 21 23 61 61
Fax: 33 3 21 71 31 31
Email: via website
Website URL: Click for hotel page on Accor hotels site
An Accor Group hotel
63 room hotel. Situated in Arras town centre located between the two main squares. Underground paid car park nearby.
See other guests comments on Tripadvisor
Les Trois Luppars **
Address: 49 Grand Place, 62000 Arras
Tel: 33 3 21 60 02 03
Fax: 33 3 21 24 24 80
Email: via reservation form on website
Website URL: http://www.ostel-les-3luppars.com/
42 room hotel. Situated in Arras town centre directly on one of the two large squares. You can park on this square except on market days or when there is a major event. There is an alternative underground paid car park nearby.
See other guests comments on Tripadvisor
Mercure Atria ***
Address: 58 Boulevard Carnot, 62000 Arras
Tel: 33 3 21 23 88 88
Fax: 33 3 21 23 88 89
Email: H1560@accor.com
Website URL: Click for hotel page on Accor hotels site
An Accor Group hotel
80 room hotel. Situated in Arras town centre facing railway station and a 5 minute walk from main squares. The hotel has its own underground car park.
See other guests comments on Tripadvisor
Moderne ***
Address: 1 Boulevard Faidherbe/2 Place Foch, 62000 Arras
Tel: 33 3 21 23 39 79
Fax: 33 3 21 71 55 42
Email: contact@hotel-moderne-arras.com
Website URL: http://www.hotel-moderne-arras.com/
54 room hotel. Situated in Arras town centre facing railway station and a 5 minute walk from main squares. On street parking and paid parking at adjacent Hotel Mercure.
Best Western Hotel l'Univers ***
Address: 3 Place de la Croix Rouge, 62000 Arras
Tel: 33 3 21 71 34 01
Fax: 33 3 21 71 41 42
Email: palace.hotel@scarlet.be
Website URL: http://www.hotel-univers-arras.com/
A Najeti Group hotel
A very smart 38 room hotel. Small car park and some limited on-street parking just outside. Situated in Arras town centre.
See other guests comments on Tripadvisor
 

Guest Houses / B&B

Gite Monts d'Artois
Address: 8 Rue Molonne, 62153 Ablain Saint Nazaire
Phone: 33 3 21 45 19 02
Email: charles.boca@wanadoo.fr
Website URL: http://www.lamaisondhotes.com/
Out of Arras but well situated for Vimy Ridge and Notre Dame de Lorette.
La Maison d'Hotes
Address: 1 Place Guy Mollet, 62000 Arras
Phone: 33 3 21 58 85 94
Fax: 33 57 38 80 71
Email: franck@lamaisondhotes.com
Website URL: http://www.lamaisondhotes.com/
5 rooms. Situated in Arras town centre a 2 minute walk from main squares. Some on street parking and paid parking at Grand Place.
See other guests comments on Tripadvisor
Les Volets Bleus
Address: 47 rue Briquet Tailliandier, 62223 Anzin Saint-Aubin
Phone: 33 3 21 23 39 90
Philippe and Patricia Rousseau
Email: contact@voletsbleus.com
Website URL: http://www.voletsbleus.com/en/index.htm
In a suburb of Arras near a golf course. Well situated for the battlefields and close to a bus stop for town.
See other guests comments on Tripadvisor
 

Camp sites

Camping Arras
Address: 166 rue du Temple, 62000 Arras
Phone: 33 3 21 71 55 06
E-mail:


Camping La-Paille-Haute
Address: Boiry-Notre-Dame, village near Arras
Phone: 33 3 21 48 15 40
Fax: 33 3 21 22 07 24
E-mail:
camping.flandres.artois@wanadoo.fr
Website URL: http://www.la-paille-haute.com