Find out why Dunkirk is attracting groups looking for somewhere less-trodden but bountiful with attractions. 

A group touring the Tourville Historic Shipyard, Dunkirk

Source: Guillaume DESCAMPS

Discover the construction of a life-size replica of a 17th century war ship in Escape Tourville. 

The coastal city in the north of France has seen major investment in revitalising the area as a key tourist destination in recent years.

It was thrust into the spotlight with the 2017 film Dunkirk (featuring Harry Styles), but there is much more than meets the eye. How about these for starters?

Espace Tourville

At the heart of this craft village in the port of Gravelines, halfway between Dunkirk and Calais, is an extraordinary structure. Described as a ‘maritime cathedral’, the Jean Bart is being built as a life-size replica of one of the 17th century ships from the great navy of Louis XIV. 

Groups can see a team of marine carpenters and blacksmiths working on the ship, armed with 84 cannons, learning how they assemble the huge pieces of oak to create the skeleton of the vessel. 

Port Museum

Telling the story of the Port of Dunkerque from a privaterring and cod fishing harbour to a major industrial and merchant port, there is plenty for groups to explore at the museum. 

A group touring the Maritime & Port Museum in Dunkirk, France

Source: ©Théo Chrétien

Displayed in a former 19th century tobacco warehouse the Port Museum gives visitors an insight into the world of a large port, from both a historical and contemporary perspective.

There are three ships moored opposite the museum; the three-master Duchesse Anne, the Sandettie light vessel (both listed as historic monuments) and the Guilde barge, all of which add to the experience and allow visitors to immerse themselves in the lives of sailors and boatmen. 


A great way to experience the only fortified town in France entirely surrounded by water, is by boat. 

The original star-shaped fortress remains almost entirely intact, with its bastions reinforced by demi-lunes and counterguards. There are landscaped gardens to visit inside the bastions and around the former military buildings and in the outer fortifications, groups can visit a bird sanctuary and a Vauban Nature area. 

Explore the preserved dune landscape

A group walking along sand in Dunkirk, France

There are 15 kms of sandy beaches with more than 1,000 hectares of preserved natural environment from Dunkirk to Bray-Dunes. 

Whether on foot or on a cycling trip, the preserved dune landscape between Dunkirk and the Belgian border boasts the title ‘Grand Site de France’ and for good reason. Admire the changing colours of the landscape with a variety of views and look out for remnants of World War Two along the way as bunkers, shipwrecks and fortifications appear on the beach or in the dunes. 

Dunkirk War Museum

The museum is located at Bastion 32, the headquarters of the French and Allied forces during the Battle of Dunkerque and Operation Dynamo. With group rates, it houses a rich collection of artefacts, mock-ups, photos and maps of military operations. 

To find out more about visits to Dunkirk visit