Local Interest





Many travellers rush through Normandy intent on getting to their holiday destination as soon as possible, to begin the holiday.  Understandable of course, but in doing so, so much may be missed.  Normandy is ‘just over there’, and offers so much to the visitor.  Here is just a  sample taste of what’s on offer.


Normandy is surrounded, literally, by beautiful sandy beaches stretching the length of the coastline. Within easy reach of le Mesnil Rogues is Coudeville Plage, St Mere sur Pair, Joulouville, Carolles, St Martin de Brehal and so many more.  Normandy is famous for its’ mussel beds which can often be seen at low tide and then the moules frites sampled at many of the local cafés and restaurants.


The local town of Gavray is just 4 miles away for all day to day requirements, bakers, 8 – 8 supermarket, restaurants, cafes, butchers, banks, medical centre and pharmacy with English speaking pharmacist.  The largest town, Granville, is 12 miles away, on the coast, with a range of restaurants, the old town (Haute Ville), the new town, shops, and the beautiful sandy beach with sea-water swimming pool, rock pools and promenade for strolling:  www.manchetourisme.com, http://normandy.angloinfo.com, www.ville-granville.fr

Granville was the birthplace of Christian Dior, whose house and gardens are open to the public www.musee-dior-granville.com

The towns of Coutances, Villedieu les Poeles (famous for its bell making and copper pans), and Avranches are all within an easy 30 minute drive.



Mont S Michel

Along with the Landing Beaches, Mont S Michel has to be Normandy’s best known historical site http://mont-saint-michel.  It is easily accessible, within a 30-40 minute drive on the A84 or the more scenic coastal road.  It is busy in the summer, but if you pick your time, early morning or evening, you may be pleasantly surprised to find that the coach parties have gone and you can explore.  During July and August the Mont is open well into the evening, all lit up, and quite breathtaking.

The Landing Beaches

The D-day landing beaches are on the other side of the Peninsula, so a day trip, but one worth making.  Follow the 1944 Historical Trail from Carentan www.carentan-circuit-44.com or pick the landing beaches you may particularly want to see; Arromanches, www.arromanches360.com, with the mulberry harbour and superb museum or perhaps Pegasus Bridge www.memorial-pegasus.org the site where the first liberators, the men of the 6th British Airborne Division landed.

The historical tapestry and pretty town of Bayeux is also on this coast of the Pensinsula www.bayeux-tourism.com

Champrepus Zoo

You may, by now, have had enough history, be trailing round a fractious child or two, so perhaps this is the time to visit the zoo!  The Zoo de Champrepus is just 10 minutes away www.zoo-champrepus.com and we understand has calmed, pleased and intrigued many young and not so young.  Well worth a visit!

As you can see, Normandy does have plenty to do and see.  This is just a taste of what’s to come, but while you’re here, look up the Maison du Parc in the Marais close to Carentan www.parc-cotentin-bessin.fr a chance to see otters, water rats, bird life, frogs (the lily-pad variety) and much much more.  Perhaps take a boat trip to the Isles de Chausey.  Boats run daily (sometimes hourly, depending upon the tide) from Granville; the trip takes approximately 40 minutes and you arrive on a charming island, no cars, just beaches and wildlife.  There is a cafe and small supermarket so you only need take yourselves and your bucket and spade.

Golf Courses

I don’t know a 9 iron from a steam iron, so can neither vouch for nor recommend any of the golf courses in the area, but there are quite a few within a 30 – 40 mile radius, from the 9 hole links course at Barneville Carteret www.golfcotedesisles.fr to the 18 hole course in the heart of the Suisse Normande , www.golf-de-clecy.com .  Other websites to look at for further information on golf courses, and their facilities, in the area are:  www.golfdevire.fr, www.golfcentremanche.com.  The links course at Granville, 27 holes, www.golfdegranville.com is the closest and is advertised as one of the best links in France.


Every spring Coutances is home to what has become one of Europe’s most famous Jazz Festivals, Jazz Sous les Pommiers www.jazzsouslespommiers.com  The date varies from year to year, but always coinciding with Whitsunday.  Don’t worry if you can’t get tickets to see any of the big acts, there is so much music and dancing and life going on in the streets of Coutances, you won’t be disappointed.

Jazz in the Baie is a summer festival which takes places in a number of locations all centred round the bay of Mont S Michel, so it may be a concert on the beach, in a church on in the middle of the street.


www.bonjourlafrance.com/france-regions/normandy/events-calendar.htm is a useful website for finding things.  Somehow, in Normandy, things just happen.  So many times we have been pleasantly surprised by coming on a market, street theatre or music, a fête or ferieés,  or perhaps fireworks. 

We can’t promise you endless sunshine, but we can promise endless beaches, peace, quiet, beautiful countryside, and wonderful food.  We still haven’t discovered all there is to see and do in Normandy, which is what takes us back year after year and continues to intrigue and delight.   We so enjoy our times in Normandy and we hope you will too.

Sue North 


Sue North, 1 Heathcote Place, Hursley, Winchester, Hampshire SO21 2LH

suenorth50@gmail.com:  0044 (0) 1962 77 54 46 or 0044 (0) 7764 94 26 92