The cliffs at Dieppe!

And lets talk about views! none better than from a high cliff or falaise in my belle France. We have them nearby but none bigger and wonderful than at Dieppe in the Seine Maritime dept 76 of the region of Normandie.

I have of course several posts on Dieppe but none on its cliffs ,therefore, let me tell you a bit about the falaises de Dieppe.


Dieppe is in the Côte d’Albâtre or Alabaster coast stretches 130 km from the Seine bay to the Somme bay. This high Normandy coast is characterized by its chalk cliffs and pebble beaches. The cliffs, made up of layers of chalk and flint beds (the black lines that can be seen on the cliff), subjected to the action of erosion, eventually collapse. The landslides found at the bottom of the cliff are made of chalk blocks and flint blocks. The chalk is quickly eroded. On the other hand, the very resistant pieces of flint will erode more slowly to become pebbles.

The Alabaster coast, with its spectacular white chalk cliffs, its seaside resorts, were very often represented by the Impressionists. Renowned seaside resort in the 19C, the city of Dieppe attracted high society and many artists. The Impressionist movement is well represented by works by Renoir, Pissarro, Boudin, and Gonzalès. To see also, Sickert’s works, notably the Saint-Jacques Church (see post) which he declines in series as Monet did with the Cathedral of Rouen.

Claude Monet returned to Pourville from June to September 1882, with his family, and, despite very variable weather, painted on the cliffs between Pourville and Dieppe. This time, the views of the beach and the cliffs are among his favorite subjects. Here in the Val Saint-Nicolas, the hanging valley which is on the coast of herons and which he will represent in series in 1896 and 1897. In these years, he was in Dieppe from Pourville, he painted on the cliffs. These spectacular views of the Atlantic ocean from Val Saint-Nicolas is a recurring motif in Monet’s work in 1897.


On January 15, 1907, Jean-Francis Auburtin (painted the buffet in Paris Gare de Lyonn etc etc) acquired land in Varengeville and had his house and workshop built. From then on, he roamed the high cliffs in search of interesting points of view. He painted the cliffs of Varengeville, Pourville and Dieppe. Like Monet, Auburtin appreciates the cliff terrain movement between Varengeville and Dieppe. He is buried at the Varengeville sur Mer cemetery.

One of the best work is from Claude Monet of course, my favorite painter , I told you that… He painted the Falaises prés de Dieppe, ciel-couvert ( the cliffs near Dieppe in cloudy skies) in 1897 and now shown at the Ermitage museum of St Petersbourg, Russia. Which by the way has several of Monet’s work.


Once there be careful ,it is forbidden and very dangerous to walk at their feet! At low tide, stay by the sea, far from the bottom of the cliff! It does not warn when it collapses !! And yes it does even early this year and people died. Again is beautiful but ask the tourist office before heading there. We go so is possible. The falling of rocks is common and on the beach of Dieppe about 30 meters from the restaurant “Bar O Métre”, rocks felled , there were no casualties, no damage. Cracks caused by the landslide may cause a new cliff face to collapse. You can take a walk consulting the tourist office first on the district of Pollet, one of the most authentic districts of Dieppe, traditionally called the fishermen’s neighborhood. The circuit then continues on the cliff by taking the chemin des douaniers   (customs path) towards the pretty beach or plage de Puys.

One way before going to be sure of the tides which are part of the cause of the falling off is to read the official tides service in France for Dieppe here in French: Tides info at Dieppe

The city of Dieppe on the history and things to see in French: City of Dieppe on things to see and history

The tourist office of Dieppe on heritage in English: Tourist office of Dieppe on its history

The tourist office of the Seine Maritime dept on Dieppe in English: Tourist office Seine Maritime on Dieppe

And there you an introduction to the cliffs of Dieppe a pretty sight and easy ferries to England too. Hope you enjoy the post on the cliffs or falaises of Dieppe.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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3 Comments to “The cliffs at Dieppe!”

  1. Good safety advice. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I’ve been meaning to go to Dieppe for ages, now it’s officially added to my list! Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

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