Mini guide to Calais
Nine million British travellers each year head to Calais, which is located only
65kms from the coast of England. Although Calais may have taken a verbal (yet
spurious) beating over the years for its lack of defining French charm, it is,
however, a town rich in history and cultural heritage. Calais is also a gateway
to some quaint old towns that are scattered throughout the region, including the
laudable town of Cassel.
If you're thinking about exploring Calais on foot, then it's best to remember
that the city is divided into two main parts. Calais-Nord, the old town, was
rebuilt after WWII and is dominated by the place d'Armes and rue Royale.
It is separated by canals from Calais-Sud, which features the Hôtel de
Ville and the main shopping streets: boulevards Lafayette and Jacquard. Boulevard
Jacquard is named after the inventor of looms who mechanized Calais' lace making.
Taking the time to appreciate the many towns that are not too far from Calais
is recommended. For example, Cassel, with its splendid architecture and quiet
parks is only a short drive away. Alternatively, the seaside resort of Le Touquet
has clean beaches and a hectic nightlife.
Calais is situated only 65kms off the coast of England. As a result, there
is a seemingly perpetual flow of Britons traversing the Channel for the continental
delights in France. Now that the Channel Tunnel links the two countries, the
trip over is nothing more than a stroll in the park.
The British destroyed Calais in WWII to prevent it from being appropriated
by the Germans for use as a military base. Through the centuries Calais has
had a somewhat ill-starred history. In 1346, Edward III seized it for use as
a beachhead in the Hundred Years War. Calais remained in the hands of the English
until 1558. In the 19th century, Nottingham lace makers set up business, and
the city has since been frequented by hordes of Britons.
If you are travelling from any major city in England or France, finding your
way to Calais shouldn't pose a problem. The TGV links trains from the French
cities, while the English rail services have trains running from London via
Dover. Travellers from London have the luxury of choosing to travel by train,
car or ferry.
Selection of hotels in this region:
Ibis Calais Car Ferry
Le George V Hotel
Suitehotel Calais Coquelles
Copthorne Hotel Coquelles - Calais
Click below for a
full list of hotels and online booking