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In northern France, in the commune of Pas de Calais you will find Le Touquet Paris-Plage that is commonly referred to as just Le Touquet. It has a reputation as the playground for rich Parisians, attracting celebrities as well as royalty and politicians.
Evolving from what was just an isolated moor, it has become one of the most fashionable seaside resorts and today still echoes its haydays of the roaring twenties when Noel Coward and his friends would frequently visit to relax and enjoy themselves. Beautiful beaches, stunning countryside and warm coastal climates ensure that Le Touquet continues to attract visitors throughout the year.
Read more on this destination in the AA Key Guide to France.
The history of Le Touquet
In 1819 the state put the 1600 hectare site up for sale and it was Jean Baptiste Alphonse Daloz who acquired the sand dune land and wanted to try concentrating on farming and agriculture but this did not work. in 1855 he transformed the land into forest. The in 1874 he invited Hippolyte de Villemessant, the founder of the Paris newspaper Le Figaro who persuaded him to open a resort and so in 1876 the area was established. It became known as Paris-Plage, ‘Paris by the sea’ with the first two chalets erected in 1882 and strict building regulations ensured that only the most recognised of architects were allowed to develop in the area. It was the arrival of John Whitley and Allen Stoneham that saw the area turned into a luxury resort dedicated to sport and in 1912 was officially named Le Touquet.
During the second world war, Le Touquet gained new notoriety but this time as the area with the most mines during the war (over 130 thousand) and the hotels were turned in hospitals. At the end of the war, with a small port, the town grew in popularity again and became the main seaside destination of the Cote d’Opale. In the roaring twenties the rich and famous were drawn to the lively resort with its trendy bars and casino (the first in France in 1927).
Le Touquet today
Since the mid 1990’s the towns Villa’s have become a very fashionable with those who enjoy architectural features. The most famous of the local architects must be Louis Quetelart and visitors love to see his and others significant master pieces. The resort retains its crown as the premier resort on the Cote d’Opale. With unrivalled beaches, golf courses and spas it continues to attract visitors from across Europe and with its close proximity to Channel Ports and Tunnels it remains a popular destination for the British.