Baie de Somme
The bay drains six rivers into the English Channel, principally the River Somme, and covers a total area of 72 km². The bay is noted for its ornithological richness, as well as being a major tourist attraction.
The largest towns on the bay are Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, Le Crotoy, Cayeux-sur-Mer and, a few miles inland of the bay, Noyelles-sur-Mer. These towns are popular tourist destinations and are connected together by the preserved steam railway line, the Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme.
The Baie de Somme is accessible by rail. The SNCF line from Paris to Calais via Amiens and Boulogne-sur-Mer has a station at Noyelles-sur-Mer. Trains may be direct Intercité trains from Paris or Boulogne or TER services from Amiens (with a change of train from Paris) and to Calais.
The bay can be reach by car by the A16 motorway from Paris (junction 23 Abbeville) then briefly the A28 (junction 2) and D3 to Saint-Valéry, from [(Rouen]] and the rest of Normandy via the A28 (junction 2) then D3 or from the North, Calais, via the A16 (junction 24 Rue-Forest-Montiers) then D1001 and D940.
The land around the bay is flat and though you may drive around the bay, why not rent a bicycle and use the many cycle paths.
The narrow gauge railway from links all four towns around the bay everyday throughout Summer and weekends and selected days in Spring and Autumn. See below.
Cayeux-sur-Mer is a seaside town on the English Channel. The town centre is away from the bay itself; on the coast, with its territory stretching North to the bay.
Famous and probably the longest of Europe), with about 400 cabins. The beach is of pebbles. The boardwalk is borded with creperies (pancakes) and little shops in huts (semi-precious stones, beach toys etc).
Chapelle des Marins
Built in the immediate vicinity of the sea, the chapel of the sailors (Chapelle des Marins) was built in 1859, thanks to a funds gathered by sailors. Its porch houses a particularly elaborate carved wooden tympanum depicting the Virgin Mary arriving by boat at the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer. Open every day for prayer and visiting.
A 19th-century lifeboat that can be visited. It is on the intersection of Boulevard General Sizaire and Rue de la Halle. 1084 Boulevard du Général Sizaire. (0033) (0)6 74 55 04 44.
Baie de Somme Railway
The Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme (CFBS) is a narrow gauge preserved railway that circles the Baie de Somme. The railway is managed by a non-profit organisation, which runs trains from March to December between the towns of the Baie de Somme: Le Crotoy and Cayeux-sur-Mer via Noyelles-sur-Mer and Saint-Valery-sur-Somme.
The four towns are the principal stations. Le Crotoy and Cayeux-sur-Mer are at both extremities of the network.
Noyelles-sur-Mer is an interchange station with the national railway to Paris, Amiens, Boulogne and Calais.
Most trains from Le Crotoy and Noyelles terminate at Saint-Valéry, you must change train and walk from the Saint-Valéry Port to Saint-Valéry Ville stations to get a train to Cayeux.
Seal spotting (Le Hourdel)
The Hourdel is a hamlet in the town of Cayeux-sur-Mer, located south of the Bay of Somme on a spit of land called the Pointe du Hourdel. It is located 6.6km from Cayeux centre and 9.8km from Saint-Valery-sur-Somme by bicycle. The Hourdel is a place known for the observation of seals in the Baie de Somme. The Hourdel is home to the largest seal colony sea seals in France. With its pebble beach and lighthouse, it is a must visit of the sites of the Bay of Somme.
Whilst seals will some time lay on the pebble beaches that are accessible they will likely be on sand banks in the bay or estuary. Bring binoculars to spot both species of seals: grey seals or common/harbour seals.