The 101st Tour de France will commence in Britain 5th July 2014 where the first three stages will take place before the riders and their caravans move to France.
What more fitting place to start this iconic race after its auspicious British first stages than the lovely seaside resort of Le Touquet Paris-Plage on the Opal Coast of northern France – a town that celebrates its British heritage.
The Tour de France will arrive on the evening of July 7th in Le Touquet, a smart seaside town which was created by British entrepreneurs and granted township just one year before the very first Tour de France took place in 1903.
British and international celebrities and royalty played, partied and partook in sports here in the early 20th Century, after it became an international centre for the introduction of superb sports, hotel and holiday facilities. It remains much loved by British visitors for its chic and genteel ambience, its shops, bars, restaurants and of course – the excellent sports facilities.
Le Touquet- Paris -Plage “Paradise for Sports”
Le Touquet has been attracting sportsmen and women for a century, drawn to its exceptional natural beauty, dunes, golden sandy beaches and surrounded by glorious countryside and the largest pine forest north of Paris. Sand-yachting was created here by resident Louis Bleriot, the first man to cross the English Channel by plane and Queen Elizabeth II came here as a teenager to learn how to sand-yacht! The tennis courts in the town are fabulous, the 4th largest complex in France and home to two major tournaments each year. Le Touquet is also the location for the race known as “Enduropale” – one of the biggest motorbike events in the world and the biggest sporting event open to the public in France – after the Tour de France.
Le Touquet has water sports, horse riding, sailing, yachting, tennis, aviation, golf courses that are among the best in Europe and 20 km of bike lanes and landscaped paths. The sporting prowess of this chic seaside town earned it the nickname “Paradise for sports” from none other than Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the International Olympic Committee, a onetime director of sports in Le Touquet (1903-1905).
How to get to Le Touquet
If you want to see the Tour de France 2014 start in France at Le Touquet it’s easy to get to from the UK:
P&O Ferries crossings throughout the day and night – 1 hour 30 minute journey time.
DFDS crossings Dover/Calais (one hour 30 minutes) and DFDS Dover/Dunkirk (2 hours crossing time and 20 mins drive to Calais). And, a great Club Lounge for a journey in style
By car to Le Touquet from Calais is approximately 40 minutes’ drive; train from Calais station to Etaples and taxi to Le Touquet.
Eurotunnel to Calais 35 minutes and approximately 30 minutes by motorway to Le Touquet.
By Air from Lydd Airport to Le Touquet Airport.
By Eurostar London to Calais Frethun and take a train from Calais station to Etaples and from there a taxi to Le Touquet.
Accommodation in Le Touquet
Le Touquet tourist office website offers lots of accommodation ideas and can help you book hotels, chambres d’hotes and search for somewhere to stay close by. There is an excellent mobile home/caravan park in the town but no camping accommodation in Le Touquet. Our tip is to not leave it too late to book if you want to be close to the action.
Accommodation can also be booked in towns close by eg Berck-sur-Mer, Hardelot, Etaples, Attin, Montreuil-sur-Mer and many other lovely little towns.
Read more about Le Touquet:
The Royal Picardy Hotel, Le Touquet – the world’s biggest and most luxurious hotel