Dieppe

Dieppe was France's first seaside resort and is now a designated 'Cité de l'Art et Histoire'. It's a bit like Nice and Cannes rolled into one and transported to Normandy specially for you.  There are masses of restaurants, including one of those quays jam-packed with them.  It's great for shopping too.

The town hosted the Impressionists, Renoir, Monet, Sickert, Whistler and Pissarro, and it was in exile in Dieppe that Oscar Wilde wrote his last work - The Ballad of Reading Gaol. Along with these, Gustave Flaubert and Guy de Maupassant, local literary heroes, were regular customers at the Café des Tribunaux in the heart of Dieppe.

Be sure to arrive before midday for the famous Saturday morning market in Grande Rue, which spreads into several side streets and is the largest market in the region. The cheapest, freshest fish is available from the fishermen's wives who sell their husbands' catch on the quai in the mornings; there's also a 7-day-a-week fish market to the right after you cross the first bridge to Le Pollet; it's open in the mornings only.

If you cross the next swing bridge, the Pont Colbert, and turn left, you will come across a wonderful little bar, Mieux Ici Qu'en Face, at 9 Quai de la Somme.

You're now able to explore the little lanes, flights of steps and the cottages of this, the old fishing quarter of Dieppe.  The painter, Walter Sickert, lived and worked here.

Right up on the cliff top is the Chapel of Notre Dame de Bon Secours, built in 1876 in memory of sailors lost at sea - some beautiful stained glass and the walls are covered with plaques in remembrance of loved ones.

Returning over the bridges in Dieppe itself you will find the Quai Henri IV  is choc-a-bloc with restaurants, most of them good for families.  There are many other eating places in Dieppe, and don't forget La Chaloupe, 18 cours de Dakar, one of those places where you get a four course meal, with wine, cider, bread and coffee included for less than €15.00.

Dieppe has two grand churches, Saint-Jacques and Saint-Rémy, and of course the Castle Museum.

If you want to spend some time paying tribute to the terrible battering soldiers, particularly Canadian, took in World War II in Dieppe, you can visit the Italian-style Theatre and the Canadian Dieppe War Cemetery, as well as the other memorials in Dieppe and along the coast.

For children and those who want a quick tour of the town there is a Petit Train de Dieppe and of course don't forget Estran Cité de la Mer and the sea front with its sea water swimming complex.