After returning from our last trip in June with a broken ankle, I was undoubtedly more nervous about venturing out on our travels again. I’m pleased to say the nerves didn’t last long. We left on Wednesday and are heading down to Portugal to visit a few places in France and Northern Spain along the way.

Our first destination was Le Touquet, a small seaside town in Northern France. It’s only a 50-minute drive from Calais via the motorway A16. It’s hard to believe we haven’t visited this stylish resort before. This may be due to us saving Brittany and Normandy (being closest to home) until a time when we have a week or two to travel.

Our campsite, Hotelerie de Plein Air Stoneham, was just 1km outside the town. It was approached by driving through pine-wooded surroundings and past the homes of wealthy Parisians who holiday here. Some of these houses are breathtaking.

The walk into town on Thursday took us along the coast road, passing all the colourful beach huts built into the sea wall. (I must admit, though, they are not as pretty as some of our colourfully painted beach huts in the UK seaside resorts). Along the way were several beach bars with windbreaks and deck chairs in the sand.

It is said that Le Touquet is one of the best beaches in France near Paris and is where many Parisians visit to top up their tans. It has a lovely wide, sandy beach stretching 7km. At one end are large dunes and a nature reserve; at the other end is a fragrant 19th-century pine forest.

It’s a popular place for families who are spoilt for choice with things to do; quadricycles, pony rides, horse and carriage rides, bike rides, beach clubs etc. Not forgetting the resort’s signature land sailing. You can join qualified instructors and have a go at sailing in sand buggies. There are 11km of bike paths to explore the area’s history and heritage at your own pace.

Playgrounds are dotted along the front, and trampoline parks for the kids. There is a waterpark – Aqualud, which has indoor and outdoor pools and attractions but has now fallen into disrepair and closed. It’s a shame as it spoils this beach area. Hopefully, they will refurbish it in the future. Parking is plentiful along the seafront. In fact, I’ve never seen as much in a seaside town.

Along the beachfront are several stunning historical villas amongst the new modern apartment blocks. In fact, Le Touquet has no less than 20 buildings listed as Historical Monuments (most from the 1920s).

Heading into town, we were lucky to catch the sizeable twice-weekly market. (I love markets). I was in my element, browsing all the clothes, jewellery and bags. The stalls had some decent shoes and clothes for sale. Needless to say, I didn’t come away empty-handed. We also stocked up on fresh fruit, vegetables and amazing cheeses from the covered market.

There is a distinctly French flair to Le Touquet, with a focus on quality food and eateries. There is nothing like this little gem if you want something unique and upmarket.

As we strolled around the town, admiring the architecture, browsing the shops, drinking coffee outside the cafes, and eating lunch, we fell in love with the architecture. Touquet’s main and central street has many quality shops and restaurants. It is pedestrian-only – with shops offering ice cream, crepes, beach items, clothes, and a casino. It stretches from Le Touquet Beach all the way up to Boulevard Daloz.

The town is known for its chocolate shops, of which there are many. Au Chat Bleu is one of the original chocolatiers, the oldest and possibly the best.

It was disappointing to find that the Old Town Hall, which is an architectural masterpiece that symbolises the town’s opulent past, was covered with scaffolding and tarpaulins. So I’ve pinched a photo from the internet so you can see how lovely it is.

Wandering along Rue St. Jean, which is Le Touquet’s prime street for independent boutiques and top-end designer names, we noticed some armed police standing beside a parked police van. We went a bit further down the road, and I tried to discreetly take a photo of them from a distance. I aimed to post it on Facebook to say how safe it felt to have a police presence. Something you don’t see at home. Looking at the photo later, I can see that I wasn’t as discreet, and they were watching me. I tried to make it look like I was taking a picture of the building and not them. This probably made it worse as I have since found out that they were guarding President Macron’s holiday home, which (unusually, is above an estate agency).

A very imposing, grand building in this area of town is the Hotel Westminster. It certainly looks very grand and is said to be one of the most luxurious hotels in Le Touquet.

I shouldn’t forget to mention the golf courses too. Several groups of English golfers were sitting outside the cafes as we passed.

Le Touquet is a place we will definitely go back to and recommend. It’s an excellent place to visit for a weekend as it’s so easy and quick to get to from the UK.