Dear Wessex Scene,
As part of my English and French degree, I’ve just arrived in the city of Le Havre on France’s north coast to work as an English language assistant in two French colleges.
There are loads of reasons why Le Havre is a great place to visit. Firstly, it’s really cheap and easy to get to – it costs from just £25 to get the ferry from Portsmouth to Le Havre as a foot passenger. Once you’re there, the city is really easy to get around using the buses and the tramway opening in December will only make it even easier to explore the city.
Le Havre has been criticised in the past for being a concrete city but there are also some beautiful green areas. Les jardins suspendus (hanging gardens) are stunning and give a breath-taking view over the whole city and the sea beyond (pictured). If that doesn’t float your boat, there’s also a beautiful forest and a beach (admittedly, a stony one).
If concrete isn’t a problem for you, the city centre is great fun to explore. There are two shopping centres packed with everything you could need and some awesome buildings like the town hall or Le Vulcan, a building shaped like a volcano. Markets are everywhere, as are the gorgeous bakeries and chocolatiers which stereotypes would probably lead you to expect.
If you fancy a relatively cheap jaunt en France, Le Havre is definitely worth a look – I can think of far worse places to be spending a year!