Cap Gris Nez, Audinghen

#2 of 171 in Outdoors in Hauts-de-France
Cap Gris Nez is a cape on the Côte d'Opale in the Pas-de-Calais département in northern France.It is between Wissant and Audresselles, in the commune of Audinghen.The cliffs of the cape are the closest point of France to England – 34km from their English counterparts at Dover. Smothered in sea pinks and thrift, the cliffs are a perfect vantage point to see hundreds of ships, from oil tankers to little fishing trawlers, plying the waters below. On a clear day, the emblematic white cliffs of Dover on the English shore can be seen.EtymologyGrisnez means literally "grey nose" in English. It derives from colloquial Dutch Grizenesse "grey cape"; officially the Dutch name was Swartenesse "black cape" to set it apart from the Blankenesse "white cape" (Cap Blanc Nez) to the north-east. The element -nesse is cognate to English -ness, denoting "headland", as in for example Sheerness.GeologyThe cliffs of Cap Gris Nez are made of sandstone, clay and chalk. They are mainly grey which gives the cape its name. It is also a good place to collect fossils, which are mainly from the Jurassic period. One can find bivalves, gastropods and wood. In the sandstone layers with small pebbles, one can find teeth of fish and reptiles. Sometimes larger ammonites are found in the sandstones. You can plan Audinghen trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.
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  • The closest point in France to England. A pleasant walk from a car park to the lighthouse and the coast which overlooks the White Cliffs if Dover and - less easy to see - Dungeness. Fantastic views...  more »
  • Cap Gris Nez is a very worthwhile detour from the route to Calais. Very fine views across the channel and up and down the coast, with several viewing platforms. Plentiful interesting displays...  more »
  • Don't miss this place when you are in thexarea. Although a bit windy, the view is magnificent especially in a sunny day!
  • A hidden spot with fantastic view, went there twice and never got enough of it.
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