Ambleteuse: Fort Vauban, Slack and the dam

If one comes from Boulogne-Sur-Mer heading north, one should make a short stop in Ambleteuse, a village a few kilometres from Wimereux. One will discover that the small town is home to the estuary of the Slack, the local river that sands have gradually narrowed down and which became a reserve in plant biodiversity. Note that the estuary of the Slack once went up to Marquise inland. However, a deposit of sand and gravel formed from Pointe aux Oies gave birth to the dunes while the former estuary was gradually clogged by the alluvial deposits of the rivers.

The village of Ambleteuse has retained its tranquility, one can practice water sports and seafood fishing: mussels, crabs, clam abound. One will not find any shops or restaurants on the waterfront, but a nice seawall lined with colourful houses and nicely restored and colourful paintings. In summer, the main beach of Ambleteuse is monitored (area next to ​​Fort Vauban) and a small kiosk is installed near the Fort on the dike (possibility to have a drink).

Seawall promenade in Ambleteuse

Seawall promenade in Ambleteuse: some beautiful houses but no shops

Kiosk in summer in Ambleteuse

A small kiosk is installed in summer next to the beach

If one parks in the village and walks along the coast, one will follow the Slack and its meanders on the right by the trail leading to the fort built by Vauban in the late seventeenth century, where the river flows into the sea. The idea was to build a protection for the harbour, which remained unfinished, due to siltation and currents making it impractical.

Slack and meanders in Ambleteuse

The Slack and the meanders of Ambleteuse

In the last high tides, the fort was left surrounded by water. It is fun to get around it on foot at low tide, to walk along the pebble beach to La Pointe aux Oies towards Wimereux, and to return to the village by an inland path in the dunes of the Slack.

Ambleteuse Fort in France

Fort Vauban restored in 1967 by Dr. Mereau and the dunes of the Slack in the background

The light is often beautiful in this part of the coast, it is also very changeable, and water can quickly take on very dark shades or otherwise subside, softer and clearer. If the fog is present, persevere, do not interrupt your walk, a thinning will reward one’s tenacity and one will appreciate once more the blue sky, light contrasts between the dunes, beach and sea.

Beach of Ambleteuse in summer - North of France

The beach in summer, narrow but the setting is pleasant

Walk along the dunes and the beach of Ambleteuse from sunrise to sunset, at any season and any weather, one really has a new show and a new light every time before one’s eyes. One will never get tired of it, and one will witness the evolution of a fragile seascape at the mercy of erosion, tides and winds.

Dunes of slack in North of France

Stroll around the dunes of the Slack

The bravest will sink into the hinterland and in the dunes. Observers will not leave the Slack and meanders to stay on the lookout for birds or will be in the dunes near wetlands. Those who prefer not taking their eyes from the sea will offer themselves to the dike, sunbathing or on a shore fishing trip in the rocks. North of the dam, there is also a small beach with a beautiful view of Audresselles.

Plage au nord d'Ambleteuse avec vue sur Audresselles

North Beach of Ambleteuse (some pebbles or a concrete slab to stretch on) – view of the beach of Audresselles in the distance

If one is looking for more confidential beaches, we advise one to read our article on secret coves and beaches of Côte d’Opale.


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