Annick Joly – Coulogne

On the banks of the lake

Annick Joly is not lacking energy. This service assistant knows how to arrange some lovely walks between Coulogne and Ardres, at the water’s edge if at all possible. « I lived near the lake at Ardres until I was 18. I’ve always been particularly attracted to this lake and to the marshlands of the Calaisis. »

Nowadays this sporty soul lives in Coulogne across from the canal (obviously!). Annick leads people by bike along this waterway right up to the town in which she spent her childhood. The trail is flat and it takes just an hour or so to reach the little burg. « At Ardres, there’s a Gothic church dating from 1503 that’s worth a visit, the Chapelle des Carmes, the bastion, the grain store… ». As well as the lake, or rather the lakes. 

Once there, Eurolac is a paradise for kids who are sure to love sailing their own miniature boats. Grown-ups can try their hand at sailing or fishing. « You can visit the local wildlife centre, enjoy a picnic, take a stroll…» All this as you listen to Annick recount stories of the two giants of this town: François I and Belle Roze. 

At Coulogne, the land of the Coulonneux (pigeon fanciers), gourmet delights are usually what’s in store. « A gateau, the Colonia, was created by Pâtissiers Vasseur. It takes its name from the former name of the town itself: Colonia Wulmeris. It consists of a sponge cake and chestnut cream that is all topped with crème brûlée ». It’s best enjoyed accompanied by historic anecdotes of the town retold by the charming Annick.

You can hire bikes from Opale Vélo Service, 39 bd. Jacquard in Calais. Tel: 03 21 00 07 41.

Area Calais Côte d'Opale