canal - boats - barges - river - hiking - Scarpe - Douai - Northern France (c)ADLangletcanal - boats - barges - river - hiking - Scarpe - Douai - Northern France (c)ADLanglet
©canal - boats - barges - river - hiking - Scarpe - Douai - Northern France (c)ADLanglet
The largest inland port in France

Along the canal

Pay a visit to the port of Douai. Along the waterways, enjoy a peaceful atmosphere and admire the whereabouts of the barges.

Travel by boat from Belgium to Paris

The River Scarpe rises in the Pas-de-Calais and flows through it for several kilometres before entering the Douai region. It divides in the commune of Courchelettes to give rise to the Scarpe diversion canal, dug in 1891. It connects the Sensée canal to the river Deûle and trade by waterway is still thriving. Even today, graceful and imposing barges (the standard gauge, the Freycinet, measures 38.5m!) cut through the water every day towards Belgium or the Paris region.

The locks: go with flow

Several locks regulate the flow and level of these rivers. Observe how they work and how quickly the barges pass through the ones at Douai or Courchelettes. Smaller locks, on the other hand, simply serve to regulate the flow of water, such as the lock at Lambres-lez-Douai or the Augustin lock in Douai.

Electric boat tour

Then it’s time to pass some time on board an electric boat taking in a guided tour of the Scarpe, and learning more about the role this river has played in the development of the town. You will also learn more about the history and facades of Douai as you cross the town by water.

From may to october

A journey on a barge

On board a larger boat, the Eureka, you can benefit from the captain’s insights about the river and have the opportunity to pass through a lock. Here you will see the lock from the inside! It is also possible to have lunch on board this boat, or to treat yourself to a musical aperitif cruise, where an artist will serenade you or play an electro set. On the upper deck, enjoy the sunshine to the rhythm of the lapping water.

From july to october


A walk by the Scarpe

Perhaps, take a walk along the Scarpe or the canal, following the signposted footpaths, on foot or by bike. The towpaths are well-surfaced and even allow you to join the Sensée canal which will take you as far as Arleux. You will come across walkers, sportsmen, rowers, fishermen, but also ducks, coots, moorhens, and you can test you speed racing with the barges!

Venez nous rencontrer !

à 30 minutes de Lille

à 1h10 de Paris

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