Local Area

There are a wide range of local activites for both families and couples.

Local towns within easy driving distance include:

Caen - 1 hour
Caen, the capital of Lower-Normandy, situated a few kilometres from the English Channel has exceptional historical heritage just waiting to be explored. We'd recommend William's Castle and the Men's and Ladies' Abbey which figure among the jewels of Norman architecture.

Cherbourg - 1 hour 20 mins
Cherbourg is the gateway to Normandy. It lies on the Cotentin Peninsula which covers an area of about 18 miles and has a variety of landscapes. It has a spectacular coastline and plenty of safe, sandy beaches. The port's attractions include a fabulous aquarium and memorials to the dead of WWII. The countryside of the Val de Saire area, east of Cherbourg, and the Hague peninsula, to the west, also have much to offer.

Mont St Michel - 45 mins
Rising from a hazy expanse of sand and waves, Mont Saint Michel appears like Man’s defiance of the elements and of time. A rock lost in a landscape smoothed by the wind.
Suspended high on the rock, the abbey calls you to discover the wild ambition of its builders and of those who, since 708, had wanted to make this isolated spot a meeting place for all people.
From the top, everything looks surprising: the prodigies of medieval architecture, the strength of nature, the light...
No one can remain unmoved by the message of this place.
As a UNESCO world heritage site, the abbey of Mont Saint Michel is a monument for everyone.

Coutances - 30 mins
The old hill town of COUTANCES, confined by its site to just one main street, has on its summit a landmark for all the surrounding countryside, the Cathédrale de Notre-Dame. Essentially Gothic, it is still very Norman in its unconventional blending of architectural traditions, and the octagonal lantern crowning the crossing in the nave is nothing short of divinely inspired. The son et lumière on Sunday evenings and throughout the summer is for once a true complement to the light stone building. Also illuminated on summer nights (and left open) are the formal fountained public gardens.

St Lo - 30 mins
It is an agricultural center and has famous horse stables. Wood products, plaster, and clothing are manufactured here. An old Gallo-Roman town, Saint-Lô was a medieval fortress and was the scene of a massacre of Huguenots in the 16th cent. Saint-Lô has been rebuilt since its virtual destruction during the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944.

Avranches - 30 mins
Avranches is rich in both recent and ancient history. Late in WWII it was the starting point of General Patton's 'Avranches Breakthrough' that smashed a German Panzer counter-offensive during the Battle of Normandy. There is a Patton Monument in Avranches with WWII tank. The square the Patton Monument is located on is American territory; the ground and trees was brought over from the United States.
On May 22nd 1172 Henry II, both the King of England and Duke of Normandy came to Avranches to make a public penance for his actions (he clamed he had no part) in the murder of Thomas Becket. Henry arrived barefoot and only wearing a shirt and asked for forgiveness in the Avranches Cathedral. The Cathedral was destroyed during the French Revolution. All that remains of the Cathedral is a chained off paving stone located in what is now call La Plateforme, the place where the Cathedral once stood. La Plateforme also offers a wonderful view of Saint-Michel.
Avranches also has a strong relationship with Mont-Saint-Michel. It was in Avranches that the Bishop Aubert had his vision of the angel Saint-Michel. The angel command the Bishop to build a chapel on the rock then called Mount Tombe.
The great wealth of Avranches is a huge collection of ancient manuscripts and books, kept in the former episcopal palace. More than 200 manuscripts from the Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel (from VIIIth to XVth centuries) and 14,000 books (from XVI to XIXth centuries) miraculously escaped destruction during the Second World War. The rest of the Mont-Saint-Michel collection disappeared during the bombings in Saint-Lô.
The town hall of Avranches still houses a collection of manuscripts from Saint-Michel dating from the eight to fifteenth century.
Not to be missed in Avranches is the view of Mont-Saint-Michel found in the Jardin des plantes.

Granville - 30 mins
Granville (pop. 15,000), beautifully situated on a peninsula with a sheltered harbor, became a fashionable seaside resort in the nineteenth century.  In the old walled town, on higher ground, are the beautiful Gothic church of Notre-Dame and the Museum of Old Granville, housed in the Grande Porte. On the Pointe du Roc is a lighthouse from which there are fine views, and near this is an aquarium.

From Granville there are boat trips to the offshore Iles Chausey and to Jersey and Guernsey. These are all within a sixty minute boat journey so are suitable for day trips.

D Day - Beaches
Visit the Normandy Beaches/Landings.
                            Omaha an hour
                            Utah a bit longer..hour and a quarter

St.Malo - 1 hour.
So many bars restaurants and shops. Harbour and Casino.
Take a short (30 mins.) mini train ride tour with English commentary
Dont miss anything that way

see. www.lepetittrain-saintmalo.com

Take a short journey to Cancale from St.Malo to see a lovely fishing village with a massive selection of great restaurants.
Try Fresh Oysters from the end of the jetty. They're fantastic!

Villedieu-les-Poeles - 10 mins.
Famous for its Copper Industry and history.
Many shops, bars and Restaurants

Hambye Abbey - is only 5 mins away
In the heart of the Sienne valley, Hambye abbey is, after the Mont-Saint-Michel (only 45mins away), the most complete medieval monastery in Normandy. This Benedictine Abbey was built during the 12th and 13th Centuries. The community disappeared in the 18th Century and the church was sold and partially demolished. The majestic ruins dominate the ensemble. The monastic buildings that have been preserved, and patiently restored, include the scriptorium, the 13th Century chapter house, the sacristy, and the parlour (with 13th Century frescos). The monastery still has its gatehouse, kitchen and a group of agricultural buildings.