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Introducing Calais

As Churchill might have put it, 'never in the field of human tourism have so many travellers passed through a place and so few stopped to visit'. There would seem to be few compelling reasons for the 15 million people who travel by way of Calais each year to stop and explore – pity the local tourist office, whose job it is to snag a few of the Britons racing south to warmer climes – but in fact the town is worth at least a brief stopover.

The city, a mere 34km from the English town of Dover (Douvres in French), also makes a convenient launching pad for exploring the majestic Côte d'Opale.