Dieppe

Normandie Tourisme
With its deep harbour protected by white cliffs, Dieppe has long been a favourite for cross-Channel visitors. As to daring Dieppe sailors, they explored the globe. Learn about the town’s maritime connections up at the cliff-top castle, down at the Cité de la Mer, and in a theatre dedicated to the tragic Allied Dieppe Raid of 1942. For sheer pleasure, head for the beach, quays and restaurants.

Dieppe

A long and fascinating history

Dieppe has a long and fascinating history of seafaring, known to go back to the Vikings. The port’s name reflects the fact that it offers deep waters. Fishing was always a vital trade here, and from the 15th century, this included long-distance cod-fishing off Newfoundland – links between Dieppe and Canada down the centuries have been particularly strong.

Many bold adventurers set out from the port to explore and trade in Africa as well as the Americas. In the 16th century, the Dieppe shipping magnate Jean Ango became a celebrated figure for his massive wealth, thanks to having a finger in many a pie. Commerce in spices and ivory thrived in particular. One of Dieppe’s most successful naval men, Abraham Duquesne, served Louis XIV ably, although he remained a Protestant in a strongly Catholic nation. Corsairs from Dieppe regularly harried the English navy. In 1694, a joint Anglo-Dutch fleet came and destroyed large parts of the historic port.

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.

 

Practical information

Dieppe-maritime tourist office

> Website

 

Tides schedule in Dieppe

> Schedule