La Manche region of Normandy’s characterised by its extensive coastline which surrounds a terrain of hedgerows, woodland and pastures (known as bocage). The video below highlights some of the key sights to see. 

The miles and miles of coast are also home to pretty seaside villages and towns. Some of the aerial shots show Granville with its rocky headland, old town and marina together with Barfleur with a beautiful port and quaint cobbled streets. Also on the coast are Regnéville, home to a ruined chateau, the island of Tatihou with its fort and the lighthouse at Gatteville. Many of these locations offer magnificent views. From the high town at Granville you can see the beaches stretching to both the north and south and also overlook the modern town and marina. If you can climb the 365 steps at Gatteville, the view is wonderful. It is hard on the lungs going up and hard on the legs coming down. The stone circular staircase has convenient stopping points thanks to the deep windowsills of the lighthouse’s 52 windows.

Regnéville Regnéville

 

Hommage is paid to the D-Day landings in various sites throughout La Manche region. Featured in the video is the Batterie at Azeville, Saint-Mère-Eglise which was the first town to be liberated and Utah beach – the American troops landed here in 1944. There are many more D-Day sites in La Manche region and most villages have a memorial with names inscribed of those who were lost in combat.

 

D-Day D-Day

Throughout the region are chateaux, abbeys, cathedrals, manor houses and churches. The video shows Coutances cathedral which was rebuilt in the 13th century. It is Gothic in style and was built over the top of a smaller, Romanesque structure. I love this building and almost always call in when I’m in Coutances. The strong lines and  architectural detail on the exterior contrast with a relatively simple interior. There are not many statues but the stained glass windows, The Chapel of Saint Laud painted in strong colours and the lantern tower which allows light to flood in to the cathedral are beautiful. You can do tours of the upper walkways by arrangement or buy an audioguide from the local tourist office. 

Coutances

Last but not least is Mont St Michel – the jewel in Normandy’s crown. It’s a small island commune with its crowning glory of an abbey dating from the 8th century. This is another of my favourite places.

For more information about La Manche visit the website http://www.manche-tourism.com

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