First Class Self Catering Holiday Accommodation in Normandy, France.
Activities & Eating Out
Things to do locally
There are literally hundreds of kilometers of walks in this part of Normandy. We provide maps and books of walks in the area, both coastal and in the countryside. We have walked many of these ourselves and would be happy to make recommendations. You can take a number of walks directly from the cottage through woods, along bocage tracks and quiet side roads. St Pois has a walking club which organises a monthly walk in the locality, normally lasting between 2 - 3 hours. You would be most welcome to join in if you wished. During the summer months they take place in the evening. There is another in Bécey who organise similar walks every first Monday of the month.
The cottage is situated on the slopes of Mont Buon, a 209 meter high hill, which was held by German troops during World War II. From here they were able to observe Allied movements over the whole of the River Sée valley to the coast at Avranches. Old German trenches can still be seen on Mont Buon. There was much action between German and Allied troops in the immediate area of the cottage. The town of Mortain (20 minutes) was the site of a fierce six day battle between German and American forces. We have a booklet of local peoples experiences of the occupation which is available to guests.
If you enjoy cycling, there are hundreds of kilometers of quiet roads through beautiful countryside. Even the main roads are not that busy. Bring your own bikes or hire them locally from a British run bike hire company who will deliver the bikes to the cottage (or to another location if you prefer), and collect when you are finished. Full details at www.brittanybordersbicycling.com/index.html.
Overlooking Lake Dathée, about 20 minutes drive from here, is a very picturesque, undulating 18 hole golf course and driving range. Type www.golfdevire.fr into your browser for more information and superb photos o the course. Besides golf at Lake Dathée there is fishing, windsurfing, pedalos, catamarans, kayaks, rowing boats, centre boards and sailing dinghies for hire. Beginners sailing courses are available.
Near Pont Farcy (30 minutes) is the stunning scenery of the Gorges de la Vire where you can take in the view by kayak or canoe. Canoes can be hired at Avranches. You paddle 7 kms down the lower reaches of the River See towards Mont St Michel where you and your canoe are picked up and taken back to where you started.
There are many horse riding establishments in the area where you can take lessons or just go riding, and hippodromes where there is trot racing in the summer.
At Brècey (10 minutes) there is a leisure area where there is an outdoor swimming pool and paddling pool, and a tennis court. There are also indoor pools locally.
At La Ferrière-Harang (40 minutes), there a zip wire and a luge which are great for both children and adults. For the more adventurous, there is bungee jumping.
There are an abundance of local markets. Most towns have them and if you are a keen on local markets you will be able to find one nearly every day of the week!
France is, of course, famous for its cuisine and for its cafés and restaurants serving wonderful food and wine at very reasonable prices. On arriving here ourselves, we were amazed at the number of good quality cafés and restaurants in this, a primarily rural, area.
Many of the local villages have cafés serving typically, a four course lunch including wine or cider for around €12. We can recommend some of our favourites, but you will no doubt enjoy finding some for yourself. Just look out for those being well patronised by the locals. Some of these cafés are also open in the evenings.
One local restaurant which is nationally famous, and is a five minutes drive away, has a lunchtime menu for €17 for 2 courses, and a 3 course menu for €22. There evening menus are €32 for 2 courses, and three courses for €39. The food is superb and highly recommended. They even do takeaways - probably the most up market takeaway you will ever experience! If you would like to whet your appetite further have a look at the menus on www.lemoulindejean.com.
Also open lunchtimes and evenings is the Auberge du Moulin at Brouains which is about 10 minutes drive away and again, the food is superb. Go to www.aubergedumoulin.net to see menus and photos. This restaurant is part of the old Moulin de la Sée, one of 70 moulins (water mills) along this stretch of the River Sée. The museum next to it shows how these moulins used to work along with many examples of their produce.
There is also a very good Pizzeria in Brécey (Le P'tit Nicolas) which not only do very good pizzas but also other dishes including an excellent steak.
The information pack in the cottage gives more details of local places to eat.
Your holiday price includes one complimentary evenings babysitting and/or transport to and from a local restaurant if required.
If Birdwatching is your interest, you will not be disappointed. The headland above our favourite beach at Carrolles is a migratory hot spot. GONm (Normandy Ornothological Group) have a migration watch point and ringing station here each autumn. All of the coastline round here, with its mix of sand dunes and sandy beaches, cliffs and headlands, mudflats and vast expanses of salt marsh, can produce excellent birding at any time. Species which were formerly known as Mediterranean species such as cattle egret, great white egret and fan tailed warblers are becoming more common here.
In addition to the usual garden species we have Buzzards overhead every day. Woodlarks are common in spring and autumn as are spotted flycatchers in summer. Less commonly, we have seen cirl bunting, siskin, crested tit, hobby, redstart and black redstart, even an occasional merlin and hen harrier hunting low over the field next to us.
In the woods of Mont Buon, on the other side of the road to the cottage, crested tits can sometime be seen as well as deer and foxes. If you are very lucky you may see wild boar and beech marten.