Published On: Mon, Jan 8th, 2024

The beautiful 90-mile European old coastal road under an hour from Britain | Travel News | Travel

One of France‘s best-kept secrets is its D940 coastal road, linking Calais to Ault.

Despite one of its starting points being Calais, where many Britons arrive via ferry or Eurotunnel for their holidays in France, this road is often overlooked. 

Located well under an hour away from the British coast for those who head to France via Le Shuttle, the D940 runs parallel to the A16 linking Dunkerque to Paris. However, the two roads could not be more different from one another.

The D940 is an old road stretching around 86.4 miles across northeastern France. For the most part, it is a single-carriageway, making it easier to navigate for British tourists who are used to driving on the left side.

The road takes in some well-known spots, including the fishing port of Boulogne and the small seaside town of Touquet, famous for its lively nightlife and red-brick lighthouse. 

However, this road is made for travellers who want to explore lesser-known villages and areas of France while admiring the sea.

Motorists who want to cross the whole D940 in one go should prepare to drive for approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes – without traffic.

But those who can take their time along this road should make at least a few stops to properly enjoy the local food, history and scenery. 

One of the best areas where travellers can take a break is Hardelot Plage, where local families gather to spend the day together on a seemingly neverending sandy beach.

The area also includes a number of shops, cafes and a country park filled with plant life and beautiful birds.

Those who want to experience a typically French seaside town should also stop at Berck sur Mer, which over the years attracted many impressionist painters – including Manet – who wanted to immortalise its beauty. 

Nowadays, Berck is famous around the world for its annual Kite Festival, which attracts a global audience every year.

History buffs will also be delighted when crossing the D940, as it can lead to several museums – including the Museum of the Atlantic Wall.

At its northernmost point, this coastal road is so close to the British Isles that, on a clear day, the Dover cliffs can be spotted from the area known as Site des Deux Cap, near Calais. 

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