Whichever of the two neighbouring mountains you choose to climb — Eclusier-Vaux or Frise — you won’t be disappointed, and your selfies are sure to be on point. But first, you need to cross 8 miles of larris (sloped calcareous grassland) that is so typical of the Haute-Somme, with trails carefully maintained by Hauts de France’s Conservatory of Natural Areas. The view from the vantage point atop Montagne de Frise is breath-taking. Standing here in the peace and quiet, looking out across the meandering Somme, it’s difficult to imagine that it was the scene of some of the most bloody episodes of the First World War. On the front line, you can still see the trenches, as well as the scars of where shells landed.
A poignant climb that becomes even more so with the work of writer and poet Blaise Cendrars, who explored the watery land during his leave from the front in 1914. But where many fell, nature has risen, with rare fauna and flora blossoming and transforming the area into “a little corner of paradise in the land of poppies”. From its spur, Eclusier-Vaux also looks out on the Haute Vallée de la Somme and offers amazing vistas over a patchwork of ponds and marshes. A rich biological ecosystem and an extraordinary landscape that is sure to stir up some emotions.