Hardelot is a charming resort with 13 kms of unspoilt sandy beaches providing a paradise for windsports’ enthusiasts. Here you can enjoy year round sailing, kite flying, canoeing, sailing and windsurfing – not to mention sand yachting. The resort first came to prominence in Edwardian times. An Englishman, Sir John Whitley, owned the local Château and promoted the outdoor sporting life and King George V even stayed here. Indeed, it was Louis Bleriot, the celebrated aviator, who was the first to cross the channel in an aeroplane and who invented the ‘aéroplage’ or beachair, the forerunner of the sand yacht. It is an idyllic spot to take the children for a summer holiday. The resort is coded as a ‘Kid’ resort. There are 38 ‘Kid’ resorts in France now, all of which focus in particular on a welcome, equipment, activities, security, environment and animations especially geared for children.
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If the pleasures of the beach should fade and you are inclined to spend a day on the greens, then there are two excellent golf courses at Hardelot. Both The Pins golf course (18 holes), the older of the two courses and reputed to be the most technical in Europe, and the Dunes (18 holes) are high quality and attract players from international to amateurs and beginners. The two courses both enjoy beautiful settings amongst the pine forests and secluded villas which lie between Hardelot and Neufchâtel Hardelot, slightly inland.
The town centre has plentiful restaurants, brasseries and bars, not to mention ‘crêperies’ and there is no shortage of chic shops including an excellent interior design shop and next door a shop with everything a doting parent could wish to buy for their newborn or small offspring. Beyond that is a newly opened specialist food store, L’Epicerie’, brimming over with delicious local produce – a welcome gift for anybody in self catering accommodation. In general, local produce is much in evidence, whether it is Samer Strawberries, chocolate from Beussent or Perlé de Groseille, a sparkling redcurrant wine or just the usual plethora of delicious cheeses, patés, charcuterie and good wines.
There are fine hotels, top rate chambres d’hôtes, gites rureaux and apartments and villas to rent, whether on the sea front or in the forest for a more peaceful location. There is a riding school and pony club for those keen on equestrian pursuits with riding through the pine forests or on trails leading to the beach.The tennis club which is open all the year round, has courses for children from the age of 5 years upwards. There are major in-house and national tournaments throughout the year for all age groups. There is nightlife as well in this bustling resort. Hardelot is within easy reach of either Boulogne, Calais or the Tunnel.
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Distance from Coquelles – 45 mins – 48 Kms (Approx)
Hardelot Tourist Office, 476 Avenue Francois 1er, 62152. Tel 0033 (0)3 21 83 51 02 / Fax 0033 (0)3 21 91 84 60.
Copyright Text: Sarah Francis.
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