Houlgate, France

  • Monday, June 08, 2015
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Something I love and make sure I do whenever I can is go for at least one run when on holiday. Two weeks ago I ran with joie de vivre in the French coastal town of Houlgate, a truly charming location in Normandy close to the D Day landing site code named Sword Beach where the British forces made their landfall during World War 2.
Despite leaving our campsite at 8pm the sun was still high and the temperature around 18˚c as I wound my way through the sleepy streets with their shuttered windows towards the expansive beach. Arriving there I crossed the railway line running parallel and set off towards the town of Cabourg West of Houlgate. I'm not sure why I went West as I had intended going East to run up the Butte de Houlgate, the low hill on the edge of town. I think I was curious to see what lay in that direction. In any event I eventually came to a large yacht marina bordered by restaurants and apartment blocks before turning back towards town and running along the Promenade Roland Garros fronting the beachfront as far as the casino. Reaching the casino the promenade ran out and I was distracted by an enormous flight of brick stairs which I decided to climb. I guess these summited part way up the butte and from there I turned right and ran down to find the main street of Houlgate past the patisseries and creperies and all the way back to the gravitational pull of family at the campsite.
I had a great six mile run, I always love running along the beach and in the sun. I love experiencing different places and cultures through running eyes but I do have two regrets. The first is not pushing on past the marina to Cabourg when a bit of assertive exploration would have got me there (we drove there a few days later) The second is not continuing to the top of the butte once I got to the top of the stairs. I'd love to go back one day and rectify both these things

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