My travels in Normandy…

Guest writer Pippa Cleeve on the joys of shopping with a motorhome in Normandy There are many reasons to buy a motorhome, but one is for the richness of shopping opportunities it affords. You only need to hop across the Channel and sample the many treats available to buy at a French market to be…

Care for some pear this NYE? Normandy’s answer to bubbly

A picturesque medieval walled town overlooking the Varenne river, Domfront grew up around the strategically situated stronghold Domfront Castle in the sixth century. It was here that the dispossessed Henry Beauclerc, youngest son of William the Conqueror, rallied support among local lords and was eventually crowned Henry I of England in 1100 and Duke of…

Festive fare around the ports

Sail from England into any of Normandy’s four cross-Channel ports and you won’t have to venture far into town to stock up on a wealth of French festive fare for your home celebrations. The main Christmas meal in France is traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve – le Réveillon de Noël – often starting with foie gras…

Glorious Granville

There’s something quite magical about the seaside town of Granville, with its bustling port, dramatic coastline and medieval Upper Town set high upon the hill. Stepping through the historic gate, into what was once a smuggler’s haunt and strategic Norman defence (against the pesky English), is like stepping back in time. During the summer months,…

Normandy from the source

Claude Monet’s gardens at Giverny are known the world over; the weeping willows, lily-pads and ornate bridges were all made famous by his Impressionist paintings, but to see the real thing is a privilege. When I visited a few years ago, under a stormy autumn sky, the flowers were coming to their natural end and…

Hungry for herrings

It’s November on the Normandy coast, and the air is thick with the delicious smoky smell of fresh, grilled fish. It can only be the annual herring and scallop festival in Dieppe. Every year, visitors flock in their thousands to this bustling port town on the Alabaster Coast (as this scenic part of Normandy is known), to…

Perche Power

However well you think you know Normandy, chances are you may be a little hazy about the Perche. Nestled in the south-east of the region, the Perche Regional Nature Park straddles the Normandy department of Orne in the west and Eure-et-Loir in the Centre-Val de Loire region. The Perche is rural Normandy at its very best….

Fun at the Fête du Ventre

Rouen is a foodie city at any time of year, but when the Fête du Ventre et de la Gastronomie Normande [Festival of the Stomach and Norman Gastronomy] comes to town, there’s no better place for a food lover to be. This annual festival takes over the city center and fills streets and squares with…

All things apple

The village of Beuvron-en-Auge, located on Normandy’s 40-mile cider route, is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France and at first glance, it’s easy to see why. With its seventeenth-century half-timbered houses and pretty village square, Beuvron-en-Auge is charmingly picturesque and looks almost like a film set. One autumnal Saturday night last…

Why you should go to Toute la Mer sur un Plateau

1. The Toute la Mer sur un Plateau seafood festival takes place on 28-29 September right on the port of Granville, so you can pretty much eat seafood fresh off the boat! 2. Granville is France’s number one shellfish port, so if anyone can put on a cracking seafood festival, it’s certainly this town. 3….