Europe,  France

Chillin’ in the French Countryside – Ascq, France


Summer in the French Countryside

The south of France is pretty well known for it’s beautiful countryside, it’s amazing weather and it’s incredibly serene vibes but who would’ve thought with the summer sun rolling in that the North of France could offer the exact same thing (almost 😉)?

Ramblin in the countryside
The trail through the wheat fields to the Musée de Plein Air

The Village of Ascq, France

Ascq is a tiny village situated just between the northern city of Lille and the Belgian border, known for it’s endless fields of wheat and it’s particularly calm and beautiful countryside.

For such a tiny village it also has a particularly gruesome history, namely that of the 1944 “Ascq Massacre”, in which the Nazis killed 86 men in the village.

Rambling in the French countryside
Rambling through wheat fields

The Ascq Massacre

A train carrying members of the Nazi SS organisation (who had set off for Normandy) was approaching Ascq station when a bomb exploded, causing the train to derail.

The SS commander on board, Walter Hauck, ordered the Nazis to search all the houses on both sides of the track and arrest every male they found.

Happiness in the french countryside

When they found a man they pulled him out of his home and stood him next to the railway line, executing every single one.

A Real Tragedy

In all they shot 70 men in the houses, 16 in the village, and then later executed another six more who they further arrested and charged even after the massacre.

Although this event is a terribly sad and cruel moment in history, the memory of such a crime doesn’t detract from the peace and tranquillity of Ascq’s countryside, and it’s hard to believe that anything so brutal could have happened in such a quiet and typically French village.

Le Musée de Plein Air

Once you’re through the wheat fields (where you’ll also see rabbits, rats and hundreds of bright blue dragonflies) you come to the Musée de Plein Air; an open-air museum that has dismantled various old houses in northern France and rebuilt them all in one beautiful landscape with the aim of educating visitors on the history of the region of northern France.

smelling the flowers
There are so many beautiful plants and flowers in the Museée de Plein Air

Northern France is historically an agricultural and industrial region, and this is made even more clear by all the stuff there is to see in the Musée de Plein Air.

Included in the musée is a mini farm (with a sleeping pig and a huge, fat rabbit); open-view ateliers where people still work in the old trades (such as ironmongery and building old wooden-games), and even a “medicinal” garden where every plant growing in it has it’s own use (including a marshmallow plant which I learnt you can boil in water and it actually makes marshmallow!!).

Blue cottage

There is so much to see and learn about how the region of northern France has operated over time, and how it has developed.

After easily passing 4 hours there, I realised I had sunburn from being out in the sun all day (whoops!) in addition to approximately 20 mosquito bites (I’m mildly allergic to mosquitos so it looked like I had a strange skin condition 😂 ).


But just walking around in the nature is one of my favourite things; looking at bugs, watching butterflies fly past, smelling flowers, having a picnic…. a perfect day in the French countryside!

Wheelbarrow life
Just doing a spot of gardening
Chilling in the chapel
An old chapel 
Another chapel
France used to be an openly Catholic country but now the notion of “laïcité” – religion  forbidden from interfering with the state or public education in the country – is one of the countries strongest beliefs). Here’s another chapel!
close up of the chapel
Picking flowers
So many beautiful, bright flowers 
Who doesn’t love donkeys! 
“You looking at me?”
Sittin on a stump
Tree alleyway
The long pathway to the chapel
More flowers
Let’s just pretend this is my house
Cute cottages
Wooden sculpture
Cute French cottages
Cute cottage
cute cottage
Cute cottage windows
Happiness in the wheat fields
Happiness in the countryside!
Pigeon house
This is a house for pigeons
Pigeon house front
Cottage with window hearts
The heart cut into the window 😍
Wheelbarrow of cuteness

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