Le Touquet

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Le Touquet-Paris-Plage
Le Touquet-Paris-Plage - Dunes au nord de la plage (2).JPG
Dunes at the north of the beacon
Blason ville fr Le Touquet-Paris-Plage (Pas-de-Calais).svg
Coat of arms
Location of Le Touquet-Paris-Plage
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Le Touquet-Paris-Plage
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Le Touquet-Paris-Plage
Coordinates: 50°31′07″N1°35′42″E / 50.5186°N 1.595000°E / 50.5186; 1.595000 Coordinates: 50°31′07″N1°35′42″E / 50.5186°N 1.595000°E / 50.5186; 1.595000
Country France
Region Hauts-de-France
Department Pas-de-Calais
Arrondissement Montreuil
Canton Étaples
Intercommunality CA Deux Baies en Montreuillois
  Mayor (20142020) Daniel Fasquelle
15.31 km2 (5.91 sq mi)
  Density300/km2 (770/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
62826 /62520
Elevation0–42 m (0–138 ft)
(avg. 5 m or 16 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting : residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Le Touquet-Paris-Plage (pronounced  [lə tu.kɛː pa.ʁi plaʒ] ), commonly referred to as Le Touquet, is a commune near Étaples, in the Pas-de-Calais department in northern France. It has a population of 50,355 [1] but welcomes up to 250,000 people during the summer. [2]

The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain. The United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered. The communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France.

Étaples Commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Étaples or Étaples-sur-Mer is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in northern France. It is a fishing and leisure port on the Canche river.

Pas-de-Calais Department of France

Pas-de-Calais is a department in northern France named after the French designation of the Strait of Dover, which it borders.


Le Touquet has a reputation as the most elegant holiday resort of northern France, the playground of the Paris and Lille bourgeoisie, with many luxury hotels.

Hotel Barriere Le Westminster, Le Touquet Hotel Barriere Le Westminster, Le Touquet, France.jpg
Hôtel Barrière Le Westminster, Le Touquet

Since the mid-1990s, Le Touquet's villas have become extremely fashionable amongst architecture lovers throughout Europe, rediscovering the "folie" of seaside architecture of both the Roaring Twenties and the 1930s. The most famous local architect is Louis Quételart.

Roaring Twenties period in the 1920s in the United States and Western Europe of sustained economic prosperity with a distinctive cultural edge

The Roaring Twenties refers to the decade of the 1920s in Western society and Western culture. It was a period of economic prosperity with a distinctive cultural edge in the United States and Western Europe, particularly in major cities such as Berlin, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Paris, and Sydney. In France, the decade was known as the "années folles", emphasizing the era's social, artistic and cultural dynamism. Jazz blossomed, the flapper redefined the modern look for British and American women, and Art Deco peaked. Not everything roared: in the wake of the hyper-emotional patriotism of World War I, Warren G. Harding "brought back normalcy" to the politics of the United States. This period saw the large-scale development and use of automobiles, telephones, movies, radio, and electrical appliances. Aviation became a business. Nations saw rapid industrial and economic growth, accelerated consumer demand, and significant changes in lifestyle and culture. The media focused on celebrities, especially sports heroes and movie stars, as cities rooted for their home teams and filled the new palatial cinemas and gigantic sports stadiums. In most major democratic states, women won the right to vote. The right to vote made a huge impact on society.

Louis Quételart was one of the most famous villa architects of the 1920s and 1930s in France. Most of his work is to be seen in Le Touquet-Paris-Plage.


The town of Le Touquet was given its full name by Hippolyte de Villemessant (1812–1879), founder and owner of the Paris newspaper Le Figaro . At the time it was an area of wild sand dunes and forest – part of a hunting estate. Its name came from a Picard word meaning "corner", and was originally applied to the area of coast nearby. It became known as "Paris by the sea", and strict building regulations encouraged the most talented architects to create imaginative and innovative developments.

Hippolyte de Villemessant French journalist

Jean Hippolyte Auguste Delaunay de Villemessant was a conservative French journalist.

<i>Le Figaro</i> French daily newspaper

Le Figaro is a French daily morning newspaper founded in 1826 and published in Paris. Le Figaro is the oldest national daily in France and is one of the three French newspapers of record, along with Le Monde and Libération.

Dune A hill of loose sand built by aeolian processes or the flow of water

In physical geography, a dune is a hill of loose sand built by aeolian processes (wind) or the flow of water. Dunes occur in different shapes and sizes, formed by interaction with the flow of air or water. Most kinds of dunes are longer on the stoss (upflow) side, where the sand is pushed up the dune, and have a shorter "slip face" in the lee side. The valley or trough between dunes is called a slack. A "dune field" or erg is an area covered by extensive dunes.

Resort and the wealthy British

In 1902 Allen Stoneham and John Whitley bought the land, through their company Le Touquet Syndicate Ltd, and were instrumental in developing the town into a golf and gambling resort. In 1909, H. G. Wells and Amber Reeves fled to Le Touquet in an abortive elopement. The two returned to Britain after a number of weeks, though Amber later gave birth to Wells's daughter, Anna-Jane Blanco White, after the relationship ended.

H. G. Wells Science fiction writer from England

Herbert George Wells was an English writer. He was prolific in many genres, writing dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, satire, biography, and autobiography, and even including two books on recreational war games. He is now best remembered for his science fiction novels and is often called a "father of science fiction", along with Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback.

Amber Reeves novelist and teacher

Amber Blanco White was a British feminist writer and scholar.

During most of World War I Le Touquet was home of the Duchess of Westminster's (No 1 British Red Cross Society) Hospital for wounded British troops. The #2 Canadian Stationary Hospital had the distinction of being the first Canadian Unit to land on French soil. No. 2 Stationary opened at the Hotel du Golf at Le Touquet on November 27, 1914. All the 142 British Commonwealth war graves in Le Touquet's Communal Cemetery in Avenue de 18 Jun are from the hospitals. The graves occupy a plot by the cemetery entrance. (The cemetery also contains French and Italian war graves.) In the same cemetery a wooden obelisk was erected by the commune's lifeboatmen in honour of the British. [3]

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is an intergovernmental organisation of six independent member states whose principal function is to mark, record and maintain the graves and places of commemoration of Commonwealth of Nations military service members who died in the two World Wars. The Commission is also responsible for commemorating Commonwealth civilians who died as a result of enemy action during World War II. The Commission was founded by Sir Fabian Ware and constituted through Royal Charter in 1917 named the Imperial War Graves Commission. The change to the present name took place in 1960.

In the 1920s, Noël Coward and the "smart set" from England spent weekends here, and commissioned more outstanding villa designs echoing traditional and ultra-modern domestic styles. Today the town tourist office offers organised trails to see outstanding examples of 19th- and 20th-century domestic architecture, which are now preserved and protected. Sayaji Rao III Gaekwar of Baroda also owned a house here.

P. G. Wodehouse lived in Le Touquet from 1934 to 1940 until he was interned by the Germany army [4] .



Every year in February, an off-road motorcycle and quad beach race called Enduropale (formerly Enduro du Touquet) is held along the beach and through the dunes, with some 1,000 motorbikes, Quad bikes and 250,000 spectators. [5]


Le Touquet has been host to four stages of the Tour de France. The resort first hosted a stage during the 1971 Tour de France, as the finish for Stage 6b, from Amiens, on 2 July. Following this, the resort hosted Stage 3 of the 1976 Tour de France, on 27 June. This was a 37 kilometres (23 mi) individual time trial which both started and finished at the resort. The following day, Le Touquet was the departure point for the fourth stage, to Bornem in Belgium. The 2014 Tour de France began Stage 4 at Le Touquet on 8 July, with the stage taking a 163.5 kilometres (101.6 mi) route to Lille Métropole. [6]


The Le Touquet Tennis Club is the home of international tournaments. It has 33 courts (25 clay courts and 8 indoor courts), 2 club-houses, 1 central court with 900 places, 2 paddle-tennis courts and 4 mini tennis courts.


Inland from the beach, hotels, a casino and a horse racing course, a wide range of sports, particularly golf are offered. The Casino de la forêt provided the inspiration of the casino of Royale-les-Eaux in Casino Royale .

Notable people

Twin towns

Le Touquet participates in international town twinning; its current partners are:


Le Touquet is served by Le Touquet - Côte d'Opale Airport. Le Touquet airport is a popular destination for British general aviation due to its geographical proximity to the UK, often becoming the first overseas flight destination for many private pilots.

Trains operated by SNCF operate to Étaples-Le Touquet in the adjacent town of Étaples. These operate from Paris Gare du Nord to Boulogne-Ville (Intercités); from Boulogne-Ville to Arras (TER Nord-Pas-de-Calais); from Lille Flandres to Calais-Ville (TER Nord-Pas-de-Calais); and from Étaples-Le Touquet to Lille Europe (TERGV).

See also

Related Research Articles

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Gare dÉtaples-Le Touquet railway station in Étaples, France

Gare d'Étaples-Le Touquet is a railway station serving the towns Étaples and Le Touquet, both in the Pas-de-Calais department, northern France. The station is located in the centre of Étaples.

Gare de Montreuil-sur-Mer railway station in Montreuil, France

Montreuil-sur-Mer station is a railway station on the line from Arras to Étaples via Saint-Pol-sur-Ternoise. It is located in the commune of Montreuil-sur-Mer in the Pas-de-Calais department, France. The station is served by TER Hauts-de-France buses between Étaples-Le Touquet and Saint-Pol-sur-Ternoise.

Le Touquet AC

Le Touquet Athlétic Club Football Côte-d'Opale, commonly known simply as Le Touquet, is a French association football club based in the commune of Le Touquet-Paris-Plage in the Pas-de-Calais department of northern France. The club was founded in 1933 as the result of a merger between two local clubs, Olympique Touquettois and US Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, and adopted its current name in 1996. Its stadium is named after former France, Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier, who was a player and coach at the club during the 1970s.

The Communauté d'agglomération des Deux Baies en Montreuillois is a communauté d'agglomération, an intercommunal structure, in the Pas-de-Calais department, in the Hauts-de-France region, northern France. It was created in January 2017 by the merger of the former communautés de communes Montreuillois, Opale Sud and Mer et Terres d'Opale. Its population was 68,673 in 2014. Its seat is in Montreuil.


  1. Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques : Populations Légales 2007 de la Commune : 62826 : Le Touquet-Paris-Plage Retrieved 20 January 2010
  2. Tuesday, July 8th - Stage 4 - Le Touquet-Paris-Plage / Lille Métropole www.letour.fr, July 2014
  3. CWGC Cemetery Report.
  4. "In Defense of P. G. Wodehouse"
  5. "Enduro du Touquet". letouquet-holidays.co.uk. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  6. "Stage 4: Le Touquet-Paris-Plage to Lille Métropole". Tour de France. Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  7. "Association Christian Ferras". Associationferras.com. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  8. von Bodenhausen, Baroness Reihild, PG Wodehouse: The Unknown Years, Stamford Lake.
  9. Macron Country - Brittany: Why this region of progressive, lapsed Catholics was a Macron stronghold., Jean-Marie Pottier (Slate.fr), Slate.Com, 2017-05-09