My favourite place: the Camargue, France

In the December 2017 issue of BBC History Magazine, Jenny Uglow selects the Camargue, France as her favourite place. History Extra caught up with her to find out more...

The Carbonniere near Aigues Mortes, Saint Laurent d'Aigouze, Gard,White horses in the Camargue, France

When did you last travel to the Camargue and why were you there?


In August, on holiday. I visit almost every year

Why do you love the location?

I’ve loved the Camargue since I was a girl, when I spent a bleak Easter holiday there with a howling wind, and saw the black and white film Crin Blanc, about a small boy and a wild white horse. It’s a place of vast skies, where earth and water blend and where people have always fought to tame nature.

What top 3 sights would you recommend people visit there, and why?

The town of Aigues Mortes, whose medieval walls still stand sternly against the flat horizon. Saintes Maries de la Mer, whose great Romanesque church gave protection against pirates and Saracen raiders. Le Grau-du-Roi, where harvested salt still piles up in sparkling white pyramids.

During what period of its history would you most wanted to have visited the Camargue and why?

I would like to have visited in the 19th century, when it was still very wild and lonely – although the mosquitoes would have been terrible then.

Where else in the world would you most like to visit and why?

I would like to visit Alaska and the north western territories of Canada, for the wilderness and the people.

Jenny Uglow is an acclaimed author and historian. Her most recent book is Mr Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense (Faber and Faber, 2017)


You can read more about Jenny’s adventures in the Camargue in the December issue of BBC History Magazine – on sale from 9 November