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About Channel Ports
Calais, Boulogne and Dunkirk: they're a cinch to get to from the UK, but they're still Europe. However, there's a lot more to these cities than just 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. 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 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.
What Not To Miss
- Be sure to visit the Second World War Museum in Calais, housed in a former German bunker. With a variety of exhibits and artefacts shedding light on life in the area under Nazi occupation, it's a truly fascinating spot.
- Kids will love a trip to the Dunkirk's Parc Zoologique de Fort Mardyck. Whilst it's a fairly small zoo, they still have bears, deer, monkeys, seals and, what's more, admission only costs €3.
- The Notre Dame de Boulogne is a lovely baroque style building with an impressive dome and the largest crypt in France. Brimming with history, it's a serene place to wander around.
- Boulogne's 12th-century Beffroi is a great place to visit if you want to learn all about the city's history, housing a number of historical displays. Plus, if you head up to the top then you can marvel at the breathtaking views of the area.
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.
The best places to stay in the Channel Ports
- Château de Montreuil is a small but pretty manor house/ château, painted white with bright blue shutters. The landscaped gardens offer peaceful views, the restaurant has a Michelin star and the rooms - many of which have four poster beds - are more than comfortable.
- Le Manoir de Bonningues des Ardres, outside Calais, is an elegant Napoleon III manor with just five romantic bedrooms. Traditional, understated and well located for overnight visitors, this is a great spot for a quick escape from Blighty.
- La Prairiere is a charming B&B located just outside Montreuil-sur-Mer. Offering homely rooms brimming with rustic character, the property is surrounded by lovely gardens and breakfast features home made jams.
- Château de Moulin Le Comte is a smart château B&B, well located for the Channel Tunnel or ferry. There's an excellent table d'hôte and the owners are really friendly and laid back - despite living in a beautiful château!
- Les Tourelles in Le Crotoy is a fantastical looking house, painted red with a fairytale turret. Plus, it's right on the seafront. There are dormitories for children and plenty to do nearby.
- La Ferme Du Vert is a beautiful stone farmhouse in a postcard perfect rural village. There are 16 bedrooms and suites sleeping up to five people, whilst prices start from just £63 per night.
- Clos Masure Hôtel de Campagne is set in a 17th-century farmhouse in rural Normandy. With an outdoor pool, a playground for the kids and a spa for the grown ups, it's a top family choice.
- Le Manoir De Graincourt is a five-bedroom traditional B&B located a few minutes from the beach. Their apartments (complete with kitchens) make this an ideal spot for family getaways.
- Le Clos De La Prairie is a farmhouse offering rooms and suites in a variety of sizes. With chic contemporary interiors and surrounded by lovely countryside, it's a splendid stay.
- Chateau de Miromesnil is set in a lovely 16th-century chateau. Offering unfussy accomodation with floral interiors, there's also a self-catering apartment available that sleeps up to ten. A charming spot.
- The Hotel Atlantic in Digue de Mer is an Art Deco styled seafront hotel with spectacular sea views and a fantastic seafood restaurant.
- The Château de Beaulieu offers two Michelin stars in a stunning 17th Century, empire style château, and the rooms have everything you need.
- The Hotel La Matelote is a seaside spot with an excellent fish restaurant, in Boulogne-sur-Mer. The decor is quite sumptuous, there's an underground pool and spa and it's got a Michelin star. Rooms start from just £84 per night.
- La Grenouillere is unusual but spectacular; a collection of huts which look more like they should be standing over tropical seas than over a French Garden. The restaurant favours a sort of Zen eating where everything is naturally sourced and inventively combined.
- If you're looking for a tasty stop off or a quick foodie escape try the Hostellerie Saint-Louis, a traditionally French inn serving delicious food in an elegant restaurant - and the clean rooms start from just £44 per night if you want to stay over.
- Auberge D'Inxent is a charming rural inn offering rooms from just £62 per night. Featuring exposed wooden beams, vine covered terraces and roaring fireplaces, you'll love its rustic atmosphere.
- Le Cercle de Malines, set in a 19th-century house, boasts tasteful rooms from £75 per night. There's a lovely little garden in which to unwind with a book and even dogs are allowed!
- La Villa Florida is a characterful B&B with just four rooms, designed in an Indian style with dark wood furniture and colourful rugs. Located just a short distance from the sea, the garden also opens onto a golf course.
- Hotel La Chartreuse Du Val St Esprit, set in a stunning castle, offers characterful rooms with oak beams, antiques and floral wallpapers. With three restaurants and lush gardens, you'll fall in love with this spot.
- The Châtellerie du Schoebeque is an 18th Century château converted into a luxurious hotel where you're guaranteed a serious pampering. There's a wide choice of individually themed rooms, suites and cottages, and a sybaritic spa.
- Chateau De La Marine is a chateau-come-B&B offering four elegantly stylish rooms. Enjoy romantic dinners in their gorgeous dining room and head off on long walks around the estate or down to the beach.
For An Apartment or Holiday Home
- If you think a self-catering option would best suit your needs then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, Booking.com.
- The Channel Ports experience their nicest weather during the summer months, with July and August reaching an average temperature of around 18°C. So it's not as balmy as other parts of France, though still perfectly pleasant.
- You're probably best off visiting at this time of year as the weather in the winter months is rather unfavourable. That said, during peak season there will be more tourists about and accommodation will be pricier.
- DFDS Seaways and P&O Ferries both run from Dover to Calais, a journey which lasts approximately 1 hr 30 minutes. DFDS also operate from Dover to Dunkirk, however there's no longer a ferry service running to Boulogne. Instead, you can easily hop on a train from Calais down to Boulogne.
- For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Holiday Autos.
Still not sure which to book?
Best Hotels in Channel Ports
Chateau de Moulin Le Comte 5 rooms from $102Aire-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.Value chicLocal markets - Good for local colour.Sights nearby - Well located for major sights.Great walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - Sawdays
Chateau de la Marine 4 rooms from $217Wimille, Channel Ports
A glorious chateau-come-B&B near the charming seaside resort of Wimereux. The stylish rooms feature refined furniture and tasteful artworks. Let them know if you would like evening meals in the enchanting dining room. The perfect stopping point for a trip through Wimille.Country Escape - Set in a stunning parkland estate, just five minutes from the seaside resort of Wimereux, it's perfect for a country getaway.Great walks - Make the most of the beautiful walking in the surrounding parkland estate.Secluded setting - For escaping.
Le Manoir de Graincourt 5 rooms from $115Derchigny, Normandy
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.Families - Apartments with kitchens are ideal to prepare picnics before a trip to the beach or bike rideSights nearby - Varengeville known for its church and stained glass of G. BraqueGreat walks - On the sandy beach of Berneval, only 4km awayCooking classes - On request, catered to your group needs
Le Cercle de Malines 4 rooms from $97Calais
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.Value chic - Great value and even the dog is allowed to stayLocal exploring - Boasting excellent transport linksLocal markets - Large Calais shopping centresGreat walks - Calais beach walks
La Villa Florida 4 rooms from $98Dieppe, Normandy
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.Local exploring - Set in the quiet town, with the cliffs and beaches nearby, enjoy walks and the sights of nearby Rouen and GivernyLocal markets - Saturday food market in DieppeSights nearby - Château de DieppeSeaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.
Hotel La Matelote 35 rooms from $231Boulogne-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.Foodies - The focus is on quality local produce at Tony Lestienne's Michelin starred on site restaurant.Sights nearby - Boulogne-sur-Mer has the nations's largest fishing port great for a visit and for sampling seafood.Great walks - Grab a packed lunch and take a stroll on the 12 kilometer long beach.Swimming Pool - Small indoor pool
Hotel Atlantic 18 rooms from $274Digue 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.Beach Life - Situated in the charming seaside town of Wimereux, each room overlooks the sea right on your doorstep.Foodies - An excellent restaurant featuring classic french cuisine with a focus on regional seafood.Great walks - Long stretches of sandy beaches make for great post dinner walks.Sights nearby - Visit the interesting historical sight of Fort de la Creche.
Château de Montreuil 16 rooms from $280Montreuil-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.Total relaxation - Unwind in style- sit in the lovely garden with afternoon tea (or something stronger) or lounge by the pool with a good book.Foodies - The on site restaurant is a renowned local favorite, serving up delicate and precise gourmet dishes.Great walks - No better way to pass your evening than a stroll along the lovely beaches of the Opal Coast.Sights nearby - Explore the UNESCO biosphere reserve of the Audomarois Marshes.Recommended by - Good Hotel Guide, Relais & Chateaux
Hotel La Chartreuse du Val St Esprit 53 rooms from $177Gosnay, 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.Hideaway - This historic château is the ideal bolthole boasting three restaurants, landscaped gardens, two tennis courts and chic bedrooms.Great walks - Wander through the hotel's tenacres of parkland and landscaped gardens.Views - Great views from hotelRomantic - Good for couples.Recommended by - Small Luxury Hotels
Châtellerie de Schoebeque 15 rooms from $182Cassel, 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.Total relaxation - A large converted country house in a peaceful setting with massage services and lovely terraces for relaxing on.Great walks - Walk through 'Le Jardin du Mont des Recollets' a garden inspired by old art masters.Sights nearby - Pack a picnic and set out to explore the beautiful old windmill.Restrictions on children - Children not allowed
Château de Beaulieu 18 rooms from $286Busnes, 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.Foodies - Chef Marc Meurin will never fail to impress and with two Michelin stars this shouldn't be a surprise.Great walks - Take a stroll around the extensive gardens and soak up all the natural beauty and tranquility.Fishing - There is plenty of local fishing, just ask the hotel to organise it for you.Cooking classes - Love the food? Learn to cook it with in house cooking classes.Recommended by - Relais & Chateaux
Chateau de Miromesnil 5 rooms from $131Channel Ports
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.Groups - The modern apartment has plenty of living space, with tennis, horse riding nearby, or take a stroll to the chapel in the gardensSights nearby - Dieppe, with its castle and museum, its churches and pleasant marinaLocal markets - Every Saturday in DieppeSecluded setting - For escaping.
Clos Masure Hôtel de Campagne 13 rooms from $113Normandie, Normandy
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.Spa - spa facilities include a fitness centre, solarium and a range of body treatments.Sights nearby - Not far from Rouen with its cathedral, and just 15mins from DieppeSwimming Pool - Heated outdoor poolViews - Great views from hotel
La Ferme Du Vert 16 rooms from $86Boulogne
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.Sights nearby - Well located for major sights.Great walks - Good for walkers.Local markets - Good for local colour.
Hostellerie Saint-Louis 25 rooms from $83Bollezeele, 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.Foodies - Excellent "à la carte" menus prepared by the owner Philippe Dubreucq.Hideaway - A charming country property in a quiet setting.Sights nearby - Visit Dunkerque and the harbour.Great walks - Pretty walks on Flanders Hill.
L'Escale Malouine 4 rooms from $80Dunkirk
Excellently placed to explore Dunkirk from or the perfect spot for a stop off before tunnel or ferry. A B&B with four rooms and friendly service. Very affordable.Local markets - Good for local colour.Sights nearby - Well located for major sights.Great walks - Good for walkers.
Auberge d'Inxent 5 rooms from $80Inxent, Channel Ports
A rural inn near the river with bags of character and an excellent table d'hotes. Wonky beams, fireplaces, vine covered terraces, geraniums, and trout fresh from the river. A great choice for a country escape, and great value.Value chic - With simple rooms from just €77, it's great value for moneyTraditionalFishing - Excellent fishing nearby.Full of characterRecommended by - Sawdays
La Grenouillere 12 rooms from $160La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil, Channel Ports
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.FoodiesGourmetEco breakSailing - Can be booked nearby.Recommended by - Relais & Chateaux
Le Manoir de Bonningues les Ardres 5 rooms from $86Calais
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.Local markets - Good for local colour.TraditionalSights nearby - Well located for major sights.Great walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - Sawdays
Le Clos de La Prairie 8 rooms from $126Gouy-Saint-André, Channel Ports
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.Great walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - Sawdays
La Prairiere 4 rooms from $126Wailly-Beaucamp, Channel Ports
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.Birdwatching - Marquenterre - an area of natural beautySights nearby - Les Jardins de Valloires - gardensOther Activities - Fantastic local beachesGolf - Le Touquet golf course