Blériot Plage

Beach in Calais

This broad, gently sloping sandy beach stretching for 8km is safe for swimming and gets packed in summer.

It's named for pioneer aviator Louis Blériot (1872–1936), who began the first ever trans-Channel flight here – it lasted 37 minutes – on 25 July 1909. At the beach's western end is a statue of Hubert Latham (1883–1912), the first aviator to attempt the crossing days earlier on 19 July 1909 and, due to engine failure, the first to land a plane on a body of water.