The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Issue No.26

Coast to coastThe Opal

Coast to coastThe Opal Coast runs the length of the coastline of Pas-de-Calais from the border withBelgium round to the border with Picardyand is dotted with pretty and authenticfishing villages. Le Touquet Paris-Plage, AKAthe Monaco of the north, and Wissant beachare regularly awarded top ten beaches ofFrance status, and you’ll discover variedcoastal styles from golden sands to dramaticcliff tops from which you can see the WhiteCliffs of Dover, rocky outlets where you canfish for shrimp, and secret bays where sealsfrolic.Boulogne-sur-Mer, a Ville d’Art et d’Histoireand the biggest port in France, is brimmingwith attractions. “If it (Boulogne) were but300 miles further off… how the Englishwould rave about it” said Charles Dickens ofthe town where he lived for three years. Hewould almost certainly recognise the oldtown today with cobble stoned rue de Lille,and the incredible Basilica of Notre Dame.It’s also home to Nausicaa, the FrenchNational Sea Centre, which is one of thelargest aquariums in the world.Town and CountryArras is the capital of Pas-de-Calais, it’sarchitecturally splendid with huge squaresbordered by tall houses with Flemishfacades. It’s home to a UNESCO listed belfry,voted favourite monument of the French in2017 (France 2 TV). This small city is like anurban oasis set in lush countrysidesurrounded by pretty villages with easyaccess to Arras’ many charms and facilities.

charming towns, such as Montreuil-sur-Merwith its cobbled squares and ancientramparts. A visit to the town in 1837inspired Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables.Eevery year around 600 locals put on afabulous show of the author’s famous storycomplete with horses, cannons andfireworks! There are excellent restaurants,fabulous food and wine shops and a superbmarket.Living in France and working in the UKFor those who have flexible workingconditions, a move to “very south Kent” assome call Pas de Calais, really could be atremendous way to maximise both home andwork opportunities.Fibre optic high speed internet is being rolledthroughout France including rural villages inthe north. There are excellent transportconnections between Pas de Calais and theUK, for instance passenger train Eurostarfrom Lille to London takes 1 hour 22 minutesand from Calais Frethun direct to St Pancrasits just 56 minutes. There are also Eurotunneltrains (car/train) service and ferries runbetween Dover Calais and Dunkirk.Barrister in Boulogne-sur-MerWhen Wendy and Adam Clemens’ daughtershowed them a house for sale on theinternet, the couple were hooked. The 19thcentury Hotel Particulier (mansion house) inSt Etienne au Mont, just outside Boulognesur-Mer,was like a dream of their ideal homesays Wendy “it was a moment of fallingmadly in love”. They sold their house in Essexin the UK, moving to France in 2017. Thehouse was structurally sound with lots oforiginal features, beautiful wood flooring,grand windows and doors, but needed