Discover the best budget boutique hotels in Champagne-Ardenne, France

If only the sheep would quieten down... That’s as bumptious as this tranquil corner of France gets. Ardennes is an unspoilt rural département in the north-east – not to be confused with its namesake broader region, which extends into Luxembourg and Belgium. The area’s World War II past is hard to fathom, so serene is the landscape of farmland and sleepy villages. Local hub Charleville-Mézières is a town of elegant squares, a museum or two, and go-slow cafés and bistros, united by their quiet charm. The Ardennes hills, and rivers Meuse and Semoy are a big draw for outdoorsy peace-seekers, wonderful for walking, fishing, kayaking and climbing. And when aren’t you in the mood for a little champagne tasting?