What an easy cruise to Normandy today. We were on the early sailing of the Brittany Ferries ferry Normandie from Portsmouth, leaving Oxford at 6am to catch the 8.15 sailing. The Monday morning traffic behaved itself and the trip to the port was really easy.
Once aboard, a few minutes to drop our kit in the cabin and head for breakfast. Once the kids were refuelled, there was time to sit out on the back deck and read the newspaper in the sun. What a great start to the trip!
We made a trip to the on board cinema which is a great way to pass a couple of hours and really keeps the kids occupied, which is always a bonus!
A bit of lunch and we’re there! Our house is about an hour from the port, the French roads are deserted as usual and we get to the house at about 4.15. Time for a quick change and we’re out in the garden, doing a bit of work before dinner. Not before we have a couple of beers in the sun though.
This life is available surprisingly easily. There a many houses for sale in the area, get in touch if you’re interested in finding out more and learning how you too could make the move to Normandy, either short term or like us, just for a few days.
The countryside around the base of Normandy offers some fantastic views and wide open scenery. For example, this is the view from the location of the 2 bedroom gite that can be found on this site…
The view across to the village of Madre, where the 3 bedroom house is located is pretty special too, you can see for miles! This is perfect walking and cycling country, with plenty of opportunities to sit and watch the world pass by…..
To rent either of these properties or to learn more about the area, please get in touch via the enquiry form.
Autumn is always a wonderful time to visit the Orne region, the forests are just turning to their autumn reds and golds, the harvest is in and it’s festival time. A good example is the music festival that is happening at the moment, details of which can be found here : http://www.septembre-musical.com/index.php
For information about other events in the area in September and October, take a look at this site : http://www.normandie-tourisme.fr/articles/september-2013-1390-2.html
Enjoy your trip to Normandy!
Did you know that Brittany Ferries have a set of very useful guides on their website? Well you do now. The guide for Normandy contains some great tourist information, images and videos. The guides are well worth checking out if you’re planning a visit to the area.
Brittany Ferries guide to Normandy
You’ll also find a really useful events calendar on their site too. be sure to check for offers when you’re planning a trip to Normandy. This may sound like an advertisment for Brittany Ferries (It isn’t, I assure you), but they are the lifeblood of the community that moves between the UK and Northern France, so they are a very important resource for anyone travelling to the area.
One of the major highlights in the Orne area around Madre is a trip to Bagnoles. Celebrating its centenary as one of the main tourist destinations it boasts many restaurants, a lake, casino, high end shops,a racecourse, golf course and everything a thriving town needs. The spa waters are said to have healing properties and on a summers evening, the place really comes alive. Well worth a visit and if you’re in the area, drop by the tourist information office to see what’s going on around the local area.
More information about the town
And even more information
The chateau at Talmont Saint-Hilaire is a great day out with various displays in the summer months including jousting and falconry. There is an English connection as Richard the Lionheart, Richard I of England was also the Prince of Talmont. The tour round the castle is very interesting, with a trip to the top of the ramparts a highlight. All this 3.5 hours from Madre.
Les Sables d’Olonne is a large beach town on the Vendee coast, boasting restaurants, shops, TGV connections and a huge beach. It’s very easy to lose a day here just walking down the pedestrian friendly promenade, stopping for coffee or something a little stronger every do often and enjoying the beach life. Again, all this is about 3.5 hours from Madre and a very easy drive. There’s much to discover on the Vendee coast, including the world famous Vendee globe ocean round the world yacht race that leaves from Les Sables D’Olonne.