Early in the 19th century, after the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Dieppe found a cheerful, more peaceful vocation, as France’s first-ever seaside resort. Following English fashions, Parisians took to holidaying by the sea at Dieppe, with the first purpose-built Etablissement des Bains (or sea-bathing establishment) in France set up here in 1822.
The resort became a magnet for the British too, including a bohemian artistic set who appreciated the more relaxed atmosphere this side of the Channel during the Belle Epoque. Artists from both sides of the Channel found inspiration here. Ferry links made Dieppe a much-appreciated first port of call for many British visitors.
During World War II, an Allied raid to test the strength of German defences around Dieppe ended in tragedy. Today, along with its pebble beach, Dieppe attracts the crowds with its port, seafood restaurants and many historic and cultural attractions, the last aspects recognised in its official classification as a French Ville d’Art et d’Histoire. The ferry service from Newhaven still draws many British visitors to Dieppe.