Out and About
Although tucked away from the disturbances of modern-day life, La Mare Chappey is within easy walking distance of the tiny Normandy village of Nehou with its welcoming bar and shop (known for its fresh baguettes and croissants!) along with our lively restaurant Le Vieux, Nehou, which also sells takeaway pizzas. Also an Exhibition is fully dedicated to one of the most famous generals of the Second World War: General George S. Patton. Who was based here in Nehou.
A special cycling and walking route lies just 400 metres away from the Manoir where there was once an old railway line through Normandy and within a few minutes' drive is the beautifully preserved cobbled medieval town of Bricquebec, Normandy.
The town boasts a good selection of shops, supermarkets, bars, restaurants, an historic chateau and bustling Monday-morning market, famous throughout the Normandy region for its diverse range of tantalising fresh produce.
A few minutes in the other direction is Normandy's St-Sauveur-le-Vicomte, which again offers a good range a shops, bars and restaurants, together with its own canoeing centre - perfect for those who like splashing about in water on their holiday! Forest Adventure centre enthralling tree climb experience for all ages. Those who enjoy rambling through a forest, the Foret de St Sauveur le Vicomte is just on the edge of the town. It has dedicated pathways of differing lengths which are colour coded and signposted and range from 45 minutes to 2 hours. Just in case odd rainy day there’s also indoor swimming pool to let the little ones run off some steam.
Some of the most glorious and deserted Blue-Flag beaches on Normandy's Cherbourg Peninsula - including Barneville Plage, Carteret, Surtainville, and Portbail - are within a fifteen minute drive from La Mare Chappey here in Normandy; Many of these offer a wide variety of water-sports activities, bustling marinas, plus the opportunity of a day-trip by ferry to the nearby island of Jersey.
There is a links golf course at St. Jean de la Riviere(18 mins). There are two nine hole courses at La Glacerie, Cherbourg (25 mins) and there are 18 hole golf courses at Coutainville (40 mins) and Granville (1 hour).
Our Village and Places of Interest
With a population of around two hundred if all the outlying farms and habitations are included, the village proper consists of an imposing church with an immaculately kept graveyard around which is clustered a handful of weathered stone cottages.
Sociable rooks sit atop the old church tower, lazily discussing the goings-on below and swapping local gossip. Solid Norman houses with neatly kept gardens and window sills displaying the inevitable pots of red geraniums line the crossroads over which the elevated church has looked for almost a thousand years, and the odd tractor potters by en route to the patchwork of tiny fields quilting the thousands of acres of gently undulating valley land ringing what was once said to be an island village.
For most local people, the focal point at Nehou is the bar and grocery store, run by the indefatigable Madame Ghislaine; With its quiet streets and people who like to live their lives as they and generations before have always lived them, Nehou is like and yet unlike a thousand such rural French communities which have avoided the depredations of time and progress. For us, it is a heavenly place to be at any time of day or year.."
This is how our friend, writer and former Nehou resident George East introduces readers to his favourite village in all France.
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world have enjoyed reading about Nehou and the surrounding area in this captivating area of Lower Normandy. George's 'Mill of the Flea' series tell of his and his wife Donella's small (and often bizarre!) adventures as innocents abroad from the time they arrived at La Puce, a derelict water 18th - century water mill near Nehou.
Over the years, George has made a host of local characters, places and occasions familiar to readers everywhere, and visitors can enjoy the local markets and festivals of products of land and sea he writes about. The weekly market at nearby Bricquebec is said to be the largest and most popular in the Cotentin area, and a local saying has it that all roads lead to the town dominated by a magnificent castle where William the Conqueror, Queen Victoria and even Field Marshal Rommel have stayed.
The nearby coast boasts the highest cliffs in Europe with spectacular views across to the Channel Islands, and many cafe bars and restaurants in the picturesque yet working fishing villages offer their harvest straight from the sea and on to a plate! Little more than half an hour northwards from Nehou is the bustling sea port of Cherbourg, and the stunning 18 th- century buildings of the university town of Valognes have earned it the title of the 'Versailles of the North'.
Seaside resort, fishing and sailing port. Two long beaches of fine sand, sheltered by the point, facing the Channel Islands. Regular ferries to Jersey and Guernsey.
First French town to be liberated by the American troops parachuted into the area on 5 June 1944. Museum of the army airlift, Cotentin farming museum
To visit the North Cotentin, says George, is to escape into another world. Whether you wish to explore the countryside or coast, dine on fine foods and wines or a huge plate of mussels in cream with an ice-cold mug of local cider, this very special area of France really does offer the chance to escape the modern world and all its pressures.
Mont Saint Michel Mont & Bay
Ancient architecture and France's premier tourist attraction. There are many things to see and to do; the main street with its shops, the museums, the walk around the ramparts with views out over the sands of the bay, as well as the spectacle of the sea rushing in to surround the Mont at each low tide.
A city proud of its ancient religious heritage and its many old houses and mansions, built between the 15th and 18th centuries.
Cathedral of Notre-Dame
The famous Bayeux tapestry masterpiece, embroidered by Queen Matilda in the 11th century. Fine Arts museum, Museum of the Battle of Normandy in 1944. Summer music festival. Chateau of Balleroy nearby. Chateau of Vaulaville at Tour-en-Bessin.
A mere 223 km from Paris, and only 14 km from the sea, this city of 200 000 is located between two rivers, the Orne and the Odon. Already an important place in the Middle Ages, it was seized by William the Conqueror during the XIth century, In spite of severe destruction during WWII bombings, a number of ancient houses and buildings have remained, some of them going back to th XIth century. Caen is also famous for its Museum for Peace, built in 1988, as well for the museum of Normandy and the one on Fine Arts.
Sailing and fishing harbour. Seaside health resort. Strongest tides in Europe. The "Haute Ville" is a picturesque fortified old town with its church of Notre-Dame and 15-18th century houses. Museum of Granville's history, Richard Anacreon museum of modern art, Roc aquarium. Granville wax museum. Regional water sports centre. Golf, Regular ferry services to Jersey and Chausey. Winter carnival. Grand Pardon religious festival in summer.