Sandy shores

Sussex Life|April 2020

Sandy shores
Simone Hellyer explores Le Touquet and discovers a long history of English influence at the popular French seaside resort

On the north-east coast of France sits Le Touquet – a quaint seaside town with a curiously English feel. Given that it can be reached from London in just two hours, Le Touquet is a convenient alternative to the British seaside.

It’s hardly surprising, then, that Le Touquet was once the playground of the top echelons of British society. Founded in 1837 by a Parisian, the town was purchased in 1902 by Englishman John Robinson Whitley, who developed it into a gambling and sport resort – the original tennis club, golf club, equestrian centre and two casinos are still in use today.

We fully embraced this sporty philosophy on our trip by taking to two wheels and exploring the town’s very English history on a bicycle tour of the town. The tour takes in the very grand Westminster Hotel, which was once frequented by such luminaries as Noel Coward, PG Wodehouse and Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. According to our guide, Edward VIII was a frequent visitor to the golf club, where he would insist on using only female caddies. In 1909 former Midhurst resident HG Wells fled to Le Touquet with Amber Reeves in an abortive elopement.


You can read upto 3 premium stories before you subscribe to Magzter GOLD

Log-in, if you are already a subscriber


Get unlimited access to thousands of curated premium stories and 5,000+ magazines


April 2020