Harley and Camera Chronicles: Exploring the Enchanting Seven Valley Region on Two Wheels

Nestled in the picturesque Pas-de-Calais department of the Hauts-de-France region lies the enchanting Seven Valley. A haven for Harley riders and passionate photographers, this captivating region offers a myriad of breathtaking landscapes, charming villages, and historical sites waiting to be discovered. So rev up your Harley, grab your camera, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the lens as we unveil the hidden gems of the Seven Valley.

A Harley 48 motorcycle parked on a road, with a captivating sunset as the backdrop.

Exploring the Scenic Routes:

As a Harley rider, one of the most exhilarating experiences lies in traversing the scenic routes that wind through the Seven Valley. Here, you will find an abundance of roads that offer panoramic vistas and an ever-changing tapestry of natural beauty. The D939 is a route that meanders through rolling hills and picturesque farmlands, treating riders to stunning views of the lush green countryside. As you navigate its curves, be sure to stop at viewpoints that overlook the enchanting valleys and capture the breathtaking landscapes through your lens. Another road worth exploring is the D928, which takes you through quaint villages and dense forests, offering a captivating blend of rural charm and natural serenity.

Capturing Village Charms:

The Seven Valley region is adorned with charming villages that beckon photographers to capture their timeless beauty. Hesdin, with its quaint streets and medieval architecture, provides a canvas for striking compositions. Explore the winding alleyways, lined with half-timbered houses and colorful storefronts, and let your camera capture the essence of this picturesque village. The central square, Place d’Armes, offers a vibrant atmosphere with its bustling market and inviting cafes, providing ample opportunities to capture candid moments and the spirit of daily life. 

The sleepy village of Auxi-le-Château offers an idyllic setting with its picturesque riverside houses and stone bridges. Stroll along the tranquil riverbanks and photograph the reflections dancing on the water’s surface. The village’s charming church, Eglise Saint-Martin, stands as a captivating subject with its graceful architecture and historical significance. As the golden light of sunset bathes the village, it creates a magical ambiance perfect for capturing breathtaking images.

For a taste of medieval history, visit Saint-Riquier, a village steeped in heritage. The harmonious blend of ancient abbey ruins and cobblestone streets offers a glimpse into the region’s rich history. Explore the captivating architecture of the Abbaye Royale de Saint-Riquier, founded in the 7th century, and capture the interplay of light and shadows within its majestic walls. Don’t forget to wander through the village, immersing yourself in its timeless charm, and discovering hidden corners that await your artistic eye.

Unveiling Historical Treasures:

For both photographers and history enthusiasts, the Seven Valley region boasts an array of historical treasures waiting to be discovered. The Abbey of Saint-Riquier stands as a testament to medieval grandeur, with its magnificent architecture and tranquil gardens providing a captivating backdrop for photographs. Step into the abbey’s hallowed halls, admire the intricate details of the stained glass windows, and capture the serenity that pervades this ancient place of worship. The gardens, meticulously designed in a French formal style, offer a visual feast with their symmetrical patterns, vibrant blooms, and tranquil ponds – a haven for photographers seeking natural beauty.

Explore the mystical ruins of Château de Bagatelle, an ancient castle that transports visitors back in time. As you wander through its crumbling walls and explore the hidden chambers, let your camera capture the sense of mystery and nostalgia that permeates the air. The castle’s sprawling grounds provide an opportunity to photograph the remnants of a bygone era, where nature intertwines with history in a captivating fusion.

Immersion in Natural Splendor:

Nature lovers and photographers alike will be enthralled by the natural splendor of the Seven Valley region. Valloires Abbey Gardens, a haven of serenity and vibrant colors, invites visitors to capture the symphony of blossoms through their lens. The meticulously manicured gardens, adorned with a stunning variety of flowers and plants, offer a myriad of textures, colors, and fragrances. From the delicate petals of roses to the vibrant hues of tulips, this paradise of blooms provides endless possibilities for stunning floral photography.

Marquenterre Park, a birdwatcher’s paradise, offers an opportunity to photograph the graceful dance of migratory birds against the backdrop of stunning coastal landscapes. As you traverse the park’s trails and observation points, keep your camera ready to capture the captivating flight patterns and vibrant plumage of resident and visiting avian species. The park’s unique blend of marshes, dunes, and woodlands creates a diverse ecosystem that supports a wide array of birdlife, making it a haven for wildlife photographers.

Savoring Local Delights:

A journey through the Seven Valley region is incomplete without savoring the local culinary delights. Take a break from your photographic adventures and indulge in the flavors of the region. Sample the mouthwatering potjevleesch, a traditional terrine of meats, which showcases the region’s culinary heritage. This savory delight combines different types of meat, typically chicken, rabbit, veal, and pork, cooked slowly with aromatic spices and herbs. The result is a tender and flavorful dish that pairs perfectly with local beers or regional wines.

For cheese enthusiasts, the region offers a treat in the form of tarte au maroilles, a savory cheese tart made with the pungent Maroilles cheese. The combination of the tangy cheese, flaky pastry, and sometimes bacon or onions creates a delightful blend of flavors that is unique to the region. Indulging in this local specialty is a must for food-loving photographers looking to immerse themselves in the gastronomic culture of the Seven Valley.

As the engine roars beneath you and your camera captures the beauty that surrounds, the Seven Valley region unveils its magical allure to Harley riders and photographers alike. From the scenic routes that wind through the countryside to the picturesque villages frozen in time, from the historical treasures that whisper tales of the past to the captivating beauty of nature, this enchanting region promises an unforgettable adventure. So embark on the journey, immerse yourself in the essence of the Seven Valley, and let your lens tell the tale of this hidden gem in the heart of France. Roaming through the lens, you will discover a world that transcends mere photographs—a world that captivates the soul.