Lower Normandy

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Why not spend a week or more in this beautiful part of France?

Whilst the primary reason for my own move to Normandy was my interest in the pivotal part the area had to play in the WWII conflict, the peninsula of La Manche is surrounded by over 200km of fantastic and varied coastline and countryside to explore. Starting on the west coast, the bay of Mont St. Michel sweeps round to the glamorous spa resort of Granville with its Christian Dior Museum and gardens. Some of the finest oysters are farmed in and around Agon-Coutainville. Miles of accessible and clean sandy beaches stretch up to the chic boutique ports of Barneville-Carteret. Following the route des Caps, or the sentier des douaniers (coastal footpath) is a great way to explore the cliffs and coves of the pink granite coast up to the rugged landscape of La Hague. Heading east from Cherbourg with its wealth of shops, galleries and state of the art aquarium, the region of Val de Saire, with its ports of St.Vaast and Barfleur, famed for their mussels and the fascinating Ile de Tatihou nature reserve. The plains of the East coast are home to some of Normandy's finest stud farms, and Utah beach, which marks the beginning of the landing beaches, war cemeteries and museums.

Inland, the landscape is defined by traditional agricultural practices, which over the centuries have created the 'bocage', a well preserved network of small fields, hedgerows and ancient sunken lanes. Dairy herds are the backbone of Norman farming and the world-renowned Camembert and Creme Fraiche must be sampled along with a good bottle of cider (or Calvados!), purchased from one the many local producers. Normandy boasts many fine manoirs, Châteaux and gardens, many of which are open to the public.

Day trips to Paris, Jersey, St. Malo and the Mont St. Michel are all feasible and easily arranged. For a directory of quality local accommodation visit our partners Normandie Cottages.