CHILDREN don’t need to be bored in Dieppe. There is bathing and plenty of water play at the new swimming pool complex at the western end of the seafront. And it's not restricted to children. Where else would you take a swim in the open air all round the year? Les Bains (now peculiarly renamed as Le Carré) is a leisure centre for water activities with facilities for all ages.
The outdoor pool is heated to a comfortable 25°C. Indoors, the complex has pools, Jakuzzis and slides (including a furious toboggan). And you can tone up with various water treatments on offer. Check the various season tickets on offer. The complex now includes a restaurant incorporated into the premises, but there are teething problems to be resolved.
The minigolf, and a children’s playground, are just next door. Another playground is in the park behind the Cultural Centre. If you have brought your pétanque bowls with you, try them out in the park next to the main post office. Skateboarders gather outside the town hall.
The beach has sand to play on at low tide, when the rock pools at the western end reveal their secrets. Dieppe beach is kept remarkably clean, thanks to the council and to the civic sense of people who use it. A pity the streets of the town centre are not equally free of dog mess.
A visit to the Cité de la Mer, behind the Hôtel de l’Europe at the eastern end of the seafront, is rewarding for children and parents alike, with its aquarium and its exhibits explaining how tides work, pebbles are formed and fishing has developed.
Books and videos abound at the public library opposite the railway station. Or visit Lire sur la plage (the ‘‘Read on the beach’’ hut near the minigolf) in summer. Free deckchairs and free book borrowing.