Normandy | Places to Stay | Places to Eat | Places to Visit | Things to Do | Events Calendar | Firework Displays | Market Days | Gardens | Children's Activities | History | Geography & Map | Museums | Recipes & Gastronomy| Sports| World War II |Maison de Normandie |
Horses abound in Normandy and it is easy to go riding, hiring horses from one of the many stables. The Haras du Pin National Stud Farm can be visited. Horse-breeding is one of Normandy's occupations and the Haras is in a particularly beautiful situation and surrounded by verdant countryside. It is open between April and October from 9:30am to 6pm, with one hour guided tours available. Lower Normandy is considered the top horse breeding area of France. The Pays d'Auge has many thoroughbred farms and trotters are bred there and also in Bessin, Orne and Manche. There are also stud farms for saddle horses scattered through the region.
Visit the Bayeux Tapestry created in 11th century depicting the conquest of England by William the Conquerer. Centre Guillaqiume Le Conquérant at Bayeux. Telephone 0033 2 31 51 25 50.
The tapestry is 230 feet long by 20 inches and made from a wide strip of linen. The pictures embroidered depict the Norman invasion of England. Thought to have been made in 1090 by a group of women from Canterbury, Kent the tapestry, when finished, was taken to Bayeux Cathedral where William the Conqueror's half-brother - Bishop Odo - held sway. 626 people, 190 horses, 37 ships and 33 buildings appear in the tapestry. Follow the "William the Conquerer" trail through the Seine Maritime and even over to England if you wish. This is organised by the Seine Maritime Tourist Board. Tel: 0033 2 35 12 10 10
Musée “Juin 44” is a talking wax museums that gives a 30 minute presentation of the Battle of Mormandy. Open every Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday between 2pm and 6pm in Place Fulbert de Beina
Musée des Beaux-Arts et de la Dentelle is a lace and art museum in a former 17th century college. the main feature is the collection of needle-point lace. The fine arts section has a permanent exhibition of French, Italian and Scandinavian paintings from schools in the 15th century. Open all year round from 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 6pm and is open everyday in July and August.
Maison d’Ozé in the Pays d’Alencon Tourist Office features a permanent exhibition of the history of the town and is open all year round at no charge.
Musée de l’histoire de l’éigration percheronne au Canada in Tourouvre is open daily 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 6pm except Mondays until the end of October. One exhibition is hall in the Hotel du Cheval Blanc where emigrees signed up to go to New France in the 17th century. Includes an exhibition of archives and documents portraying the reasons why they emigrated.
There are all manner of chateaux to visit -
18th century Chateau du Bourg-Saint-Léonard is open to the pubilc from 2:30pm to 5:30pm until August 31st. Guided tours last one hour. It is surrounded by stables, has an Orangery and contains very fine furniture, Aubusson tapestries and 18th century wood panelling.
Originating in the 15th century Chateau de Carrouges is open from 9:30am to 12pm and 2pm to 6:30pm until the end of August, excluding the 1st and 11th August. This 14th to 17th century chateau includes a moat, terrace, elegant portal and portrait gallery
Chateau d’O in Mortree is a 15th and 17th century chateau with a moat, orangery and outbuildings all based on Gothic, Flamboyant and Renaissance styles. Guided tours of the surroundings are at no extra charge for up to ten people. It is open in July 9-11th, 15-18th, 21-25th and August 4-8th, 11-15th, 18-22nd. Opening times may vary.
Chateau de Sassy in St-Christophe le Jajolet is an 18th century chateau on the edge of Ecouves Forest, famous for its terraced gardens and embroidery flower beds. Guided tours last 40 minutes and it is open from everyday from April to November between 3pm and 6pm.
Chateau du Champ de la Pierre are 17th century gardens and grounds that are open between 15th July and 30th September from 10:30am to 12pm and 3pm to 6pm.
Manoir de la Presnaye in St Germain de la Coudre offers interior and exterior visits of a 14th-16th century manor. Open until 15th September, Tuesday to Friday between 1pm and 7pm. No charge for persons under 18.
The Battle of Normandy Memorial Museum at Bayeux Tel: 0033 2 31 51 46 90 traces the 77 days of the battle. Huge collection of weapons, uniforms and war memorabilia.
There are two nature parks in Orne. The first is Parc naturel régional Normandie-Maine, over 235,000 hectares in size. There are various exhibitions in July and August in the Maison des Métiers at Corrouges. You can also go to one of the Open-air nature bases to partake in canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, exploring the environment etc. The second park is Parc naturel régional du Perche, which covers 182,000 hectares. It has forests, orchards and wet meadowland in the valleys. Many historic buildings such as manor houses, chateaux, churches are to be found there. There are various exhibitions, guided tours and carriage rides drawn by Percheron horses at Courboyer, a 15th century manor .