One of my favorite things about living in London was how easy it was to go on weekend getaways 0 not only in Britain, but also in mainland Europe. And not only easy, but it is also extremely cheap! Being home to four major airports means that London is served by just about any European budget airline, affordable train tickets are available as long as you book your travels a few weeks in advance and getting from London to France is made super easy thanks to the frequent ferry services. You drive onto the ferry in Dover and 90 minutes later you drive your car off the ferry in Calais. Once we noticed that there were ferry sales all the time and Enterprise had its fantastic weekend rates for car rentals, we started to look into the French coast to find the best places for a weekend getaway that would involve cheese, wine and fresh baguettes. Our list grew quickly: the Cap de la Hague and Cherbourg in Normandy, Mont St Michel, St Germain-sur-ay, Villers-sur-Mer – to name just a few places on our seemingly endless France travel wish list.
We got to Boulogne-Sur-Mer in no time – we still had breakfast in our London apartment, and reached the city just in time for a lovely seaside lunch.
We fell in love with the town instantly: a charming fishing port, plenty of restaurants that serve fresh sea food, and an 11th century Belfry that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Old Town is eye candy with its beautiful architecture and the quirky town square makes this a town like no other. Old cars and car parts stick out of the ground throughout the square and show once again that junk can actually be pretty cool, if you know how to present it!
What Boulogne-Sur-Mer is most famous for is its Medieval Castle, whose foundations date back to Roman times. We also found ourselves marveling at several stunning churches, including the basilica of Notre Dame with its 100m high dome and one of the largest crypts in France, and the Gothic church of St Nicholas which still houses several original statues from the 15 century.
After exploring the town and indulging in too many French pastries, we decided to head to the beach to walk off some calories before a cheese-rich French dinner. It was too cold already for a swim, the summer season had just ended, but we decided to come back during the summer season one day.
The countryside around Boulogne is also stunning – lush green rolling hills, grazing horses, impressive white cliffs and sweeping views over the Atlantic – a welcome change from our usual city escapes to Paris!