Cap Gris Nez in northern France.

© Stefan Rotter/Shutterstock

Cap Gris-Nez

Côte d’Opale

Topped by a lighthouse and a radar station that keeps track of the hundreds of ships that pass by here each day, the 49m-high cliffs of Cap Gris-Nez are only 28km from the white cliffs of the English coast. The name, which means 'grey nose' in French, is a corruption of the archaic English 'craig ness', meaning 'rocky promontory'. The area is a stopping-off point for millions of migrating birds. The car park is a good starting point for hikes.

In spring and summer, bird species to look out for include bar-tailed godwits, grey plovers and chaffinches; in winter you might spot merlins and woodcocks.

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