Dieppe is a great little town, which is sadly often overlooked by travellers looking to go straight through it and onwards to the rest of France. It’s most famous for being one of France’s key ports, seeing hundreds of passengers arrive everyday on the ferry. The port on the English side is Newhaven, and quite a few passengers take their cars with them to travel forward. But you might like to stop for a while before your onward journey commences.

Dieppe is more popular that France’s other northern ports in terms of tourism, and it’s easy to see why. One of the main tourist destinations in Dieppe is the town’s museum, a large sandstone castle that was built in the fifteenth century. In the French Revolution, the castle was used as a prison, but nowadays it is home to a number of priceless relics, particularly paintings and carvings.

The local aquarium, or Cite de la Mer, is a wonderful place to visit if you need to keep the kids quiet for a few hours. There are touch pools, and a great collection of aquatic life from around the globe.

If you’re interested in taking some cheese back home, head over to Olivier. This shop is Dieppe’s most famous, supplying locals with over one-hundred and thirty different types of cheeses. You know you’re close as you won’t miss the smell!

If you happen to be in town on a Saturday and you’re not still full from the cheese, make sure drop by the Market on the Grand Rue. Everything sold here is fresh; specifically the fish caught that day. There’s plenty to suit everyone’s tastes. You’ll find fruit, vegetables and meats, and a friendly, busy atmosphere.

Just over the road from the market is St Jacques Church, a gorgeous example of gothic architecture. Spend a few hours gazing at the gorgeous stained glass windows and grotesque gargoyles.

Whether you’re interested in history or not, Dieppe is of great historical significance due to its location. It’s worthwhile taking a trip to the Juno Beach Centre, which is a short drive away at Courseulles-sur-Mer. The Normandy beaches were protected by allied troops in World War III. This was opened in 2003 and is a tribute to Canadian troops who died during the Dieppe Raid. Get back in the car to visit a number of museums and memorials along the coastline.

If you’ve taken your car over, it’s always a good idea to just drive out of Dieppe and explore the rolling landscapes of Normandy.  And once you’ve finished exploring this gorgeous little town, you can drive onwards to most destinations in France with ease. Paris is only ninety-three miles away, Calais only seventy-three miles away, Lyon is three-hundred and thirty-six miles away, Poitiers is two-hundred and thirty-five miles away, and La Mans in one-hundred and thirty-eight miles away. If you set off early, you can be deep into France, or even out the other side, within one day. Ferry prices from Newhaven to Dieppe start from around £55.