If you know which of the Channel Ports you want to stay in go straight to:
Calais, Boulogne and Dunkirk: they're a cinch to get to from the UK, but they're still Europe. But there's a lot more to these cities than convenient transport links and cheap booze. It used to be that these industrial cities offered very limited accommodation, but that's all changed, and today these bustling ports are worthy of a lot more than just a brief stop. And some of the best places to stay in the Channel Ports are places you'd be happy to spend your whole holiday.
If you're looking for a rural idyll by the seaside there's beautiful countryside in the Pays Boulonnais, particularly around Montreuil in the 'Seven Valleys'. Many of the coastal resorts along this stretch have spruced themselves up in recent years. And no visitor to the region would want to miss the stunning central squares in Arras.
The Côte d’Opale, the stretch of sand dunes between Calais and Boulogne, is another naturally spectacular place to visit with wide, wild beaches and dramatic cliffs. This length is much loved by walkers, and the trails, which cross between farmlands and the coast, are also popular with cyclists and horse riders. This region also offers rich pickings for foodies - especially lovers of cheese and moules and frites
Dunkirk has a special place in many family histories. But today the wide open stretches of sand where the D-Day landings took place are fringed by fishing villages and seaside resorts. And of course the many memorials, museums and cemeteries commemorating that period.
There are lots of small museums and memorials but in Bayeux you'll find the Commonwealth War Cemetery, the largest British Commonwealth wartime cemetery in France.
Our selection of the best places to stay in the Channel Ports region offer both great places for a quick stop-over and options for those who want to stay a little longer.
A top of the range hotel and spa on the coast. Stunning rooms and suites combine traditional materials with contemporary presentation for chic effect. Fabulous restaurant serves traditional cuisine with an inventive twist, outstanding spa facilities, and large conference rooms.
Bollezeele, Channel Ports
A traditionally French property and well placed, Hostellerie Saint Louis is ideal for Channel crossings. Delicious food in the elegant restaurant and spotlessly clean bedrooms. A gourmet stop off and at excellent value for money.
An attractive stone farmhouse hotel and restaurant in a rural village. Bedrooms and suites can sleep up to five people. All decorated in warm earthy colours with parquet floors, white washed walls, and wooden beams.
An elegant country Napoleon III manor. Just five romantic bedrooms with parquet floors, high ceilings and attractive fabrics. Traditional, understated, and great value for an escape to the countryside or stop over en route to tunnel or ferry.
Maison d’hôte in a late 19th-century lacemaker’s house renovated with taste and charm. It is eclectically decorated and has a small peaceful garden. On the edge of Parc Saint Pierre and just minutes from the ferries. A perfect stop off.
A B&B with bags of character. Unique rooms have Indian-style decoration with dark wood furniture, colourful rugs, and tiled bathrooms. The garden opens onto the golf course and the sea cliffs are close by. Quiet, quirky and welcoming.
Le Crotoy, Picardy
A red bricked turreted house. Simple, airy rooms with crisp white linen overlook the sea front. A host of surrounding cultural and sporting activities keep children and adults alike occupied. The restaurant serves excellent seafood. The ideal place for a family holiday.
Aire-sur-la-Lys, Channel Ports
A smart chateau B&B with simple rooms, friendly hosts, and an excellent table d'hote. Great value, perfect for stop offs en route to the Channel Tunnel or ferry and exploring the surroundings.
In the heart of rural Normandy, this authentic 17th-century farmhouse delivers a meticulous hybrid of old and new. A traditional, lovely garden and exterior is counterbalanced by a pool and sleek interiors where you'll find neutral tones and minimalist design. A chic base for exploring the region.
B&B in a lovely manor house just 5km from the ferry and minutes from the beach. Traditional rooms have period furniture and floral accessories, apartments have kitchenettes. Manicured gardens and a billiards room to enjoy, plus cookery classes on request. Low-key, family friendly, and great value.
Gorgeous farmhouse with attentive hosts and an excellent restaurant. Various rooms and suites can accommodate couples, families and groups of friends. Interiors designed with contemporary elegance enhance a sense of wellbeing. A great choice for a country escape.
A charming bed and breakfast with comfortable accommodation 2.5 miles from Montreuil-sur-Mer. Rooms are simple and homely with authentic wooden beams. A wonderful open fireplace in the communal lounge and lovely surrounding garden. French breakfasts with home made jams. Classic french countryside.
16th century chateau just outside of town. Unique rooms have floral interiors, modern bathrooms and garden views. Kitchen-garden, tennis court, 15th century chapel and terrace. Apartment with kitchen and living room is ideal for a family group.
Boulogne (La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil)
Unusual but spectacular. Design centric rooms and suites made from natural fibres emulate the ethos of the kitchen. Fresh, natural, and uncluttered - mentally too. A zen habitat for those looking for something gourmet and different.
Gosnay, Channel Ports
An historic castle set in acres of lush parkland. Large comfortable rooms with oodles of character - flowery printed wallpapers, oak beams in the ceilings, and antique furniture. Three restaurants to choose from and a fantastic selection of wine from the cellar. An affordable country escape.
Cassel, Channel Ports
18th century château converted into a luxurious hotel where serious pampering is guaranteed. A wide choice of individually themed rooms, suites and cottages - from Morocco, to Africa, to La Vie en Rose. A lovely veranda and sybaritic spa. A great choice for indulgence.
Boulogne-sur-Mer, Channel Ports
A cosy restaurant with rooms. Bedrooms and reception rooms are smartly furnished with red and gold decoration and mahogany furniture. The ground floor harbours a small pool and jacuzzi although it's all about the restaurant here. The michelin star outlet is famed for seafood. Unmissable.
Digue de Mer, Channel Ports
Excellent seafood and spectacular sunsets at this Art Deco seafront hotel. Contemporary rooms with floor to ceiling windows that let in lots of natural light and offer spectacular views. The fantastic restaurant serves fresh fish of the day. An all encompassing seaside hotel.
Montreuil-sur-Mer, Channel Ports
English country house meets French château. A white building with blue painted shutters and doors. Rooms with pastel colours and views over beautifully landscaped gardens, and a lively and popular restaurant. A fantastic country escape.
Busnes, Channel Ports
Two-Michelin starred restaurant in a stunning 17th century château, surrounded by sloping gardens. The bright contemporary rooms feature parquet floor and beautiful French furnishings. Unforgettably exquisite cuisine to be enjoyed in Empire-style surroundings. The perfect gourmet getaway.