Wissant: Cap Blanc-Nez hike

The Deux-Caps are a must for all travellers staying in the Hauts-de-France region.

la baie de wissant sur la côte d'opale

Cap Blanc-Nez: a hike popular with the locals and tourists alike

The high Cap Blanc-Nez cliffs are topped by grassy heathlands. There are still vestiges of the Second World War here, and history enthusiasts love to look out for the old bomb craters. Cap Blanc-Nez is also home to many species of birds: jackdaws, kestrels, kittiwakes as well as herring gulls. But birds aren’t all you can see here! From time to time you’ll catch a glimpse of the grey seals and common seals lazing on the sands at the bottom of the cliffs.

Which route to take for this Cap Blanc-Nez hike from Wissant?

The starting point for this lovely Cap Blanc-Nez hike is located in Wissant, at the Town Hall. The walk goes through a loop bringing you back to your departure point taking you along a different route than the outbound path, with a positive altitude difference of about 130m. Leave the village and head for Herlen farm. Then turn left to go to the hamlet of Sombre. When you arrive at the transformer station, turn right and walk along the edge of the field, admiring the view of Boulogne-sur-Mer, Calais and Cap Gris-Nez. When you reach the fork, turn left and follow the signs taking you to the hamlet of Haute Escalles. You’ll then pass in front of the “La Grand’Maison” gîtes: turn left there to go along a dirt track to the undergrowth. You’ll then arrive at a place called Le Tape-cul.

Don’t forget to wear a good pair of walking shoes, sunglasses and sun-cream because this walk will take you about six hours. With its 18 km, this Cap Blanc-Nez hike departing from Wissant will offer you the opportunity to get a good breath of fresh air, with a pleasant hint of sea-spray. A word of caution, the last few kilometres take you along the beach: it is therefore important to consult the tide tables to avoid getting caught out by the rising tide. Don’t forget your camera, there’s no shortage of beautiful scenery all along this hike.

les deux caps sur la côte d'opale

Some lovely viewpoints dotted along the way

If the Cap Blanc-Nez hike is so greatly appreciated, it’s because there are many unmissable viewpoints along the way! You’ll be able to admire Cap Gris-Nez, the French cliff closest to England (27km away), so-named because its sandstone rock gives it a greyish colour. As for Cap Blanc-Nez it boasts white chalk cliffs. You’ll also be able to admire the Mont de Couple during your walk.

With an altitude of 164 metres, it is the highest point in the Two-Capes area. The scenery in this Nord-Pas-de-Calais nature reserve is extremely varied with marshlands, valleys, forests and hedged farmland. If you climb up to the summit you’ll have a beautiful view over the whole Wissant area. During your Cap Blanc-Nez hike, you’ll also be able to see the Column of the Great Army (Colonne de la Grande Armée) of Napoleon in the distance. Situated in Boulogne-sur-Mer and 54 metres tall, the statue of Napoléon turns its back on England. As for the Dover Patrol, a great obelisk standing at the summit of Cap Blanc-Nez, it was erected to honour the British soldiers who fought in the straits during the Great War.

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