Le Touquet-Paris-Plage |image = |caption = Le Touquet celebration |region = Nord-Pas-de-Calais |department = Pas-de-Calais |arrondissement = Montreuil |canton = Montreuil |INSEE = 62826 |postal code = 62520 |mayor = Daniel Fasquelle |term = 2008–2014 |intercommunality = Mer et Terres d'Opale |latitude = 50.5186 |longitude = 1.595000 |elevation m = 5 |elevation min m = 0 |elevation max m = 42 |area km2
Le Touquet has a reputation as the most elegant holiday resort of northern France, the playground of rich Parisians, with many luxury hotels.
Since the mid-1990s, Le Touquet’s villas have become extremely fashionable amongst architecture lovers throughout Europe, rediscovering the “folie” of seaside architecture of both the Roaring Twenties and the 1930s. The most famous local architect is Louis Quetelart, whose style was named after him: Louis Quetelart Style.
The resort was created in 1876 by Hippolyte de Villemessant (1812–1879), founder and owner of the Paris newspaper, Le Figaro. Then this was an area of wild sand dunes and forest - part of a hunting estate. Its name came from a Picard word meaning ‘corner’, and was originally applied to the area of coast nearby. It became known as “Paris by the sea”, and strict building regulations encouraged the most talented architects to create imaginative and innovative developments.
Le Touquet and the wealthy British
In 1903, an Englishman bought the land, and set out to sell properties to the rich from across the English Channel. In 1909, H. G. Wells and Amber Reeves fled to Le Touquet in an abortive elopement. The two returned to Britain after a number of weeks, though Amber later gave birth to Wells's daughter, Anna-Jane Blanco White, after the relationship ended.
During most of World War I Le Touquet was home of the Duchess of Westminster's (No 1 British Red Cross Society) Hospital for wounded British troops. All the 142 British Commonwealth war graves in Le Touquet's Communal Cemetery in Avenue de 18 Jun are from the hospital. The graves occupy a plot by the cemetery entrance. (The cemetery also contains French and Italian war graves.) In the same cemetery a wooden obelisk was erected by the commune's lifeboatmen in honour of the British.
In the 1920s, Noël Coward and the “smart set” from England spent weekends here, and commissioned more outstanding villa designs echoing traditional and ultra-modern domestic styles. Today the town tourist office offers organised trails to see outstanding examples of 19th and 20th century domestic architecture, which are now preserved and protected. Sayaji Rao III Gaekwar of Baroda also owned a house here.
Inland from the beach, hotels, a casino and a horse racing course, a wide range of sports, particularly golf are offered. The Casino de la forêt provided the inspiration of the casino of Royale-les-Eaux in Casino Royale.
Every year in February, a motorbike and quad race called 'Enduro' is held where bikes race along the beach and through the dunes.
Le Touquet participates in international town twinning; its current partners are:
- Winterberg, Germany (since September 1966), winter sports town
- Rixensart, Belgium, south of Brussels
- Witney, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
- Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia, upscale seaside town in the suburbs of Tunis
- Cary, North Carolina, United States
- Eckbolsheim, France, 5 km (3.1 mi) from Strasbourg
Le Touquet is served by Le Touquet - Côte d'Opale Airport.
- Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques : Populations Légales 2007 de la Commune : 62826 : Le Touquet-Paris-Plage Retrieved 20 January 2010
-  CWGC Cemetery Report.
- "Association Christian Ferras". Associationferras.com. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Le Touquet-Paris-Plage.|
- Le Touquet town council website
- Le Touquet Swimming Pool 'Aqualud'
- Expert view of Le Touquet hotels and attractions
- Photos of the market