Located where the Argues River flows into the English Channel, Dieppe is a historic fishing port and beach resort on France’s Normandy coast. It boasts a rich maritime history showcased at its clifftop castle and is the setting for one of the most tragic Allied raids of World War II.
Things to do in Dieppe
Begin your visit at Château de Dieppe, a fortress-like castle home to a museum and exhibition space. Browse the maritime artefacts and 17th-century ivory sculptures on display, as well as the lace folding fans for which Dieppe was once famed. The museum also houses personal belongings of the French composer Camille Saint-Saëns, after whom Dieppe’s conservatoire is named.
Visit the Memorial of 19 August 1942 to learn about the Dieppe Raid, an amphibious attack that took place during World War II on what was then a German-occupied port. It exhibits uniforms and personal belongings from the Allied (predominantly Canadian) forces who were involved, as well as documents and interviews about the tragic event.
You can pay your respects to those who lost their lives at the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, which is located in the nearby village of Hautot-sur-Mer. Both poignant and peaceful, the cemetery is unique in that it was established by the occupying forces, with the headstones placed back-to-back in a typically German style.
Getting around Dieppe
Dieppe is around 2.5 hours’ drive from Paris and Charles de Gaulle Airport, with regular trains travelling to Gare de Dieppe. Ferries connect to the English town of Newhaven from the Dieppe Ferry Wharf while buses travel throughout Dieppe. The centre of Dieppe is compact enough to explore on foot.