SWC Walk 126 : Calais Walking Guide : 8 walks in and around Calais, Cap Blanc-Nez
8 walks between 5 and 16 miles in the Calais area suitable for day trips by train or ferry.
|Length||8 - 26 km (5 to 16 miles)|
|Toughness||1 - 6 (it varies for the 8 walks)|
|Maps||IGN Top 25 # 2103ET Calais/Site Des Caps. The PDF contains map extracts.|
These walks in the Calais area have all been designed to be possible on day trips (or better still, a short break) from England - either by ferry to Calais or train to the TGV Frethun station (just outside Calais). They are public transport friendly.
Warning, the routes are not necessarily waymarked - please follow the maps.
The walks PDF was kindly created for us and for you by Jeunes et Nature de Calais, a Calais based walking club.
These walks are also on their website, with IGN (the equivalent of OS) mapping and GPS data.
Walk 1 : Calais, North and St Pierre quarter : The Port and the Lace Museum.
Easy. 6 miles / 10 km.
Circular urban walk around Calais town centre, the old town, docks, seafront and pier. Passes the train station.
Start from Calais, central station (Gare Centre-Ville/ Calais-Ville). Things to see:
Walk 2 : Calais, Blériot beach area: Tour of the Forts.
Easy. 6 miles / 10 km
Circular urban/seashore/countryside walk around Calais seafront, yacht marina, dunes and some old forts. Returns via an inland route. Access: A short walk from the train station.
Start from Calais beach, Digue Gaston Berthe (the promenade), by the west pier - a short walk from the ferry terminal or town train station. Things to see:
Walk 3 : Sangatte: Cap Blanc-Nez and the hills of Noires Mottes.
Fairly easy - 1 small hill. 8 km / 5 miles
Circular cliff top walk to the summit of Cape Blanc-Nez. Access by car or Div'in coastal bus.
Start by the access to the sea at Sangatte, near the church. Bus stop: "La Div'in" . Things to see:
Walk 4 : From the TGV station (Calais-Frethun) to the "balcons d'Escalles"
Hard. 26km / 16 miles
Circular walk from Calais TGV station to the Escalles ridge with coastal views around Cape Blanc-Nez, and the Channel Tunnel terminal. Access by TGV, or by Div'in bus as walk 3.
Start from the Calais-Frethun TGV station. Things to see:
Walk 5 : Nielles-lès-Calais: Lowlands.
Easy. 8 km (5 miles)
Circular walk - lowlands and marshes. Access by car
Start from the Town Hall of Nielles-lès-Calais, located in the "Basse Nielles" quarter, 800m east of the church of Nielles. Things to see:
Walk 6 : Coulogne / Guînes: between river and marsh.
Easy. 17 km (11 miles) or 10 km (6 miles)
A figure of 8 walk - Lowlands, a canal, a disused railway line, marshes, nature reserves.
Two possible start points: Coulogne Bridge, or Tournepuits Road in Guînes.
Things to see:
Walk 7 : Guînes marsh: The "Tétards" nature trail.
Easy. 2 km 1.5 miles
A nature trail. May be combined with walk 6.
Start from Guînes marsh, by the St Joseph Village (replica old village) - [French only].
Walk 8 : Wissant-Audinghen: Round Cape Gris-Nez and Tardinghen marsh.
Hard. 13 miles / 21 km
Figure of 8 walk around the clifftops of Cape Griz-Nez. Cliffs and beaches, return by an inland routes of dunes and marshes. Access by Div'in bus or car.
Start from: the church at Wissant, the Church at Tardinghen, or Cape Gris-Nez. Things to see:
By Public Transport (Train to Dover, then Ferry)
There is an unpublicised combined ticket from London to Calais (train to Dover, walk to port, P&O ferry), about £25 return with a Network Card
See Seat 61 - London to Paris, and scroll down to the Calais Day tripper section.
By Public Transport (Eurostar from London St Pancras to Calais-Freuthen
Only 1 hour via TGV, but, as of 2011, only 2 or 3 trains a day. One of the walks starts at Calais Freuthen station. Its outside the town centre, but there is  a free shuttle bus
Expensive in summer (about £80 if booked in advance), but much cheaper (e.g. 2-for-1 offers) in winter.
90 mins drive to Dover, then 40 mins by Eurostart, or 90 mins on the ferry. There is lots of parking by Calais' town beach. If you're stocking up on cheap booze, remember, the hypermarkets are closed on Sunday.
Ferry: Usually cheaper. In winter there are sometimes very cheap daytrip offers - £30 for a car and 4 passengers.
Eurotunnel (car on train shuttle) : Quicker, but usually more expensive than the ferry. The French terminal is handy for the coastal walks. Its near to the large Citi Europe shopping Centre with a hypermarket.
|Author||© 2011 Jeunes et Nature de Calais. We are very grateful to them for the amount of work they put in to produce the PDF.|
After the walk, we would really appreciate your comments
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Download and print the PDF file for complete walking directions.