The delightful and relatively undiscovered town of Wimereux lies between Boulogne-sur-mer on the Côte d'Opale and the port of Calais, and the Channel Tunnel terminal and Boulogne-sur-mer on the Côte d’Opale. Nestling comfortably in a valley, it offers those who know it all the delights of good food and wine, an enviable beach, great ambience, and all within easy reach of the ports or Paris. Well served with shops, restaurants and hotels, the architecture mainly dates from the beginning of the XIXth century and is predominantly Victorian Anglo-Norman in style. With its promenade and beach huts, it retains much of the flavour of this era.
In fact, it was Napoleon who was responsible for creating a port in Wimereux in 1803/04 when he was stationed at Boulogne-sur-mer, contemplating his intended invasion of England. Wimereux was separated from Wimille in 1899. In1840, the future Napoleon III set sail from the Pointe Aux Oies. Another important but little known fact is that the first radio contact between France and England also took place at Wimereux in April 1899.
Originally a small hamlet of 10 families in 1810, it was the arrival of the first train on the Paris-Calais line to Wimille-Wimereux in 1867 which signalled the beginnings of the significant growth of this community. By 1914, Wimereux had 50 Hotels and Pensions and 800 Villas. At the end of the war, the development continued right up to 1920. In the 30’s, the English clientele fell off but they were replaced by the locals who had come to love this delightful resort.
Although the Casino and many of the hotels and villas were destroyed in the Second World War, the reconstruction of Wimereux slowly took place and the construction of its magnificent ‘Dig Espace’, featuring exhibitions of paintings by local artists on the promenade in 1927, represented the highlight of these developments.
For the best cheese and wine, visit Mr Penez at Ma Normandie at rue Carnot, the main street - tel 03 21 32 45 71.
For 'encadrements' and small interior design pieces go to Sous le Sable at 30 rue Carnot - tel 03 21 91 65 09
The many activities on offer include swimming, sailing, sand yachting, windsurfing, horse riding, walking, tennis (five covered courts and four other courts) and an 18 hole golf course which is one of the oldest in the region and where you can see the white cliffs of Dover on a clear day - although on a windy day, a stiff breeze can apparently make the going a trifle rough. You can eat very well at the mini golf course just on the way out of town. Wimereux is known as a ‘kid station’ which is to say, one which is especially safe for children.
Book your crossing now with Eurotunnel -
Distance from Coquelles - 25mins - 28 Kms (Approx)
Tourist Office, Quai Alfred Giard, BP 33, 62930.
Tel 0033 (0)3 21 83 27 17 /Fax 0033 (0)3 21 32 76 91.
Copyright text : Sarah Francis 2011
Wimereux Dune image Copyright: dunesDuGolf
See more images of Wimereux - Copyright Photographs : Mincoin.com and Informationfrance