Thursday, 15 June 2017

Madhouse Diaries : Cap Blanc Nez, Top and Bottom

A few weeks ago, on a long French bank holiday weekend Sunday, we headed to the cliffs of Cap Blanc Nez (or Cape White Nose, just next to Cape Grey Nose - I swear I'm not making this up !) above the port of Calais.

We parked up next to the World War II memorial to Dover Patrol and straight away, had some great views across the rolling farmland, down to the beaches below.

The monument isn't the only nod to the area's implication in the Second World War. There is also a look out point situated on top of an old blockhaus or bunker.

Watching the cross-Channel ferries coming in and out of the port and being able to clearly identify them shows how great this place must have been as a strategic lookout in wartime. You'd see any enemy ships coming from miles away.

We could clearly see the coastline of England across the Channel too - it's incredible how close it looks on a clear day. It's amazing to think the German and English troops fired their bombs at each other from these very cliffs. The pockmarked fields behind us were a testament to this stage of the fighting.

The last time we came, which was a good few years ago, you could just wander straight down across a big hill to the beach, but they have put in designated gravel paths that wind around the fields with lots of steps. Luckily we had lots of furry caterpillars to spot on the way, to keep morale high !

There are some fabulous views of the beach on the way down too.

Scrambling down the final steps, you arrive on top of another big bunker. If you take a photo standing on top of it, it gives the impression that it's a big sandy beach.

There is a sandy area at low tide.

But it's mainly shingle. As if our legs hadn't already had enough of a workout heading down to the beach !

We wandered along looking for fossils to add to Sophie's collection or interesting stones and shells.

The kids went wading through the big rock pools and we found a few indents in the rocks that could have been fossils - it's always hard to tell !

After running down to the sea for a quick paddle, we turned around and headed back the way we'd come.

You know the bad news, kids? We've got to climb all the way back up that hill now !

Unless anyone fancies a bit of rock climbing straight up the cliff? I would have done, in my student days !

Country Kids


  1. Tres Jolie photos. I love the scenery, must have been really relaxing with the view, apart from the walking. 😊

  2. Most beautiful views! A lovely relaxing day at the beach.

  3. Gorgeous, I love these kind of views. When I first saw your cliff picture, I thought it was East Sussex, lol Mich x #CountryKids

  4. Like Mich I thought that was the cliffs in East Sussex at first then realised it had to be Dover. It does indeed look very close from your camera. I've never explored that stretch of Northern France but it looks very interesting with all the old war bunkers there. A shame about the paths on the way down but I guess the farm fields were being destroyed with running straight through. The beach at the end does look worth the walk.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

    1. Both sides of the Channel look so similar - you can see how the land all joined up originally !

  5. It looks like a lovely beach with some great views!

  6. Now this looks familiar. Hubby and I visited a while ago and it's the closest point of france to England he believes. It's also where the Battle of Britain was filmed he says. #CountryKids

    1. Definite yes for the first and quite probably for the second ! :)

  7. It's great to still see places that have stark reminders of such a sad part of our history.