Attacks on cyclists around Dunkirk / Dunkerque ?


Über Member
I'm helping a friend plan a small excursion which at present uses Dover/Dunkirk and then returns via Hoek but we've had 2 independent reports of cyclists being attacked around the Dunkirk port area by roving gangs (one report states that the guys set upon lost all their possessions during July)

Has anyone any up to date information on the state of play in the area?

At the moment we are planning to enter/exit from Hoek now which is a shame as there's a fair bit of going over old ground via that route.

Thanks in advance...


Flouncing Nobber
I know the area moderately well. A lot of it isnt terribly nice at all, and speed of transit is probably the best defence, ie, don't hang about and get off the patch ASAP. Some parts I'd be reluctant to go to in a car.

Dover isn't brilliant either these days, but probably a notch safer than Dunkirk.


Legendary Member
I've cycled in/out of Dunkirk a number of times over the last few years.
No issue with the populace at all
The area around the FERRY port is flat, empty of housing and rural

Dunkirk has 3 ports,
the Ferry port at Loon Plage
The iron ore port at Grand Synthe
The Yacht port at Dunkirk
There is about 7-8 miles between them.

For cycling you do not need to go within several miles of Dunkirk Ville

There is a discussion here about the best exit from the port which I'll find for you


Über Member
Thanks guys - to be clear, I am really after up to date intel on the situation with roaming gangs attacking cyclists, I've got a few routes already, once I've cycled and others (inc a couple from here)

The reports I have heard of have related to using the cycle path (My usual route is through the oil refinery in to Dunkirk town).


The Monch
Inside my skull
The camps are in Grand Synthe, if you want to route around that area.


Legendary Member
Here is your route out.
(camp site at Bergues)

I'd suggest avoiding the EV4 cycle route between Calais and the Belgian border.
It's very exposed to the wind, industrial and not very pleasant.
Head a few miles inland and you are out of the worst of the wind and the industrial areas.



Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Alternatively, just stick to the main road or its adjacent cycleways through Grande Synthe and Petit Synthe, into Dunkerque and towards Belgium. Unless it's late night, I'd expect plenty of help from locals if a gang approached you as you rode past the bank or decathlon!

I've never understood why EV4 still goes wandering off south after all the cycling improvements lately. Is it very slow to change an EV route?


Random geezer
These stories sound bollocks to me, these "roaming gangs" - how exactly do they "roam" - on foot? And nicking the panniers of cyclists seems to me to be
A) painful as most cyclists will fight back and
B) dangerous as any law breaking is likely to provoke an over reaction from the local law keen to have a go at refugees.
Refugees tend to have one focus: getting out of France and into the UK and the vast majority are near Calais. I'd have thought that route used by the Fridays from the port into the town via le route des dunes would be OK because it's miles from the camps. And frankly, anyone taking on the ACME on tour is probably going to regret it.
I suspect the story of violence is an exaggeration, any aggression is more likely to come from local hooligans and there aren't any on the route des dunes.

jay clock

Massive member
Hampshire UK
This sound like the Americans (non Hispanic) in El Paso warning me about the Mexican drug runners and illegal immigrants poised to attack me in West Texas along the border. Zero problems and very friendly locals regardless of ethnicity.
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