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Where to go?

Ireland
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for Kilkenny
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Where to go?

We are a couple who got free tickets to Beauvais for week in June. We don't want to go to Paris. We want to hire a car and spend a relaxing week in the countryside and coast. We have been to Normandy before and seen all the WWII sites, Bayeux, Honfleur etc. etc. We would like to go somewhere different, but don't mind some of the same places.

I am wondering what else is good in Normandy, or should we head for Brittany (not been before)?

We like walks - fairly strenuous - forest, cliff, beach. Culture especially lovely architecture, cheese and cider, and anything quirky not touristy.

We probably would like to stay one night in Beauvais as we arrive fairly late, then have two or three night stays in different locations, returning to Beauvais for the last night. But we don't mind staying all in one location if it is worth it.

All suggestions welcome.

Edited: 10 April 2012, 04:34
Essex
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1. Re: Where to go?

How about the Perche or Sarthe?? Both lovely regions of Normandy with pretty 'rolling' countryside and some great walks??

http://www.parc-naturel-perche.fr/

http://lepaysbellemois.com/

http://www.tourism.sarthe.com/

Ireland
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2. Re: Where to go?

Thanks for such a quick reply and for the links. They look lovely, We obviously have a lot to look forward to. I don't think we need to look any further, these areas seem just what we need.

Essex
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3. Re: Where to go?

I stayed in Belleme a couple of years ago. A very pretty town. Lots to do in the area and some excellent walks in the surrounding countryside. Visit the local tourist office where the staff can provide you with a brocure of 9 different walks out of town. I managed 2 of the shorter ones (was there 2 days) but there were some good long hikes and I think I will go back again some time to test those out!

Paris, France
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4. Re: Where to go?

If Brittany is on your radar I can give you some good suggestions. You can have a look at a report I wrote about spending 5 days exploring the area near Dinan, Saint-Malo, Mont Saint-Michel and other places within a 1-2 hour driving radius from there. The report has loads of photos and descriptions and at the very end of the report I've created a section designed to assist travelers to the area where I've given just about every on-line web resource you would need to plan a vacation in any part of Brittany (tourist office websites etc.). Here is the link:

http://tinyurl.com/82azcyh

This next report covers the Gulf of Morbihan in Brittany. This area may be further than you want to go but at the beginning of the report it does cover Fougères, which is near Dinan/MSM.

http://tinyurl.com/8xuuryc

Now, if you wanted to do something different that most people don't do I could give you info for an itinerary to spend your week circling within about a 100km radius of Paris. I have loads of trip reports about doing day trips into the countryside near Paris so I am well acquainted with the area around Paris. Heck, you could spend a week exploring the Picardie region between Beauvais in the west and Reims in the east and bounded by Laon on the north. But I have a feeling you'll like what you see in my Brittany report about the area near Dinan.

By the way, since you mentioned cheese and cidre you may be interested in visiting the Pays d'Auge region south of Honfleur if you haven't been there already. This is cheese and cidre country and there are many lovely places you can visit to sample these and other local products. Have a look at this thread and you'll get all the info you need about the Pays d'Auge.

tripadvisor.com/…39058384

Ireland
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5. Re: Where to go?

That was so helpful. I was very distracted looking at those wonderful photos. So Dinan is definitely somewhere we would like to go. I have already booked the first night in Belleme on Essexwanders recommendation and I think we will certainly head down to Dinan for two or three nights. then work our way back to Beauvais. I wish we had two weeks but we only got a week.

You do much more justice to Brittany than the Lonely Planet guide book does. It made it look sort of boring. I am fascinated how celtic it is - passage tombs, standing stones and spiral carvings - just like in Ireland.

Essex
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6. Re: Where to go?

Well, that is the makings of a very good trip - I hope you enjoy it!

F_M's photo's and trip reports are excellent and I have 'pinched' some good ideas from hiim over the years!

Paris, France
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7. Re: Where to go?

Thanks EW. You're no slouch yourself. ;)

Irish- If you like Celtic culture then you'll love Brittany. You didn't say what time of year you'll be here but especially in the summer months you should try to attend one of the Breton festivals that are held all the time all over Brittany called a Fest-Noz or a Fest-Deiz.

http://www.tamm-kreiz.com/

…brittanytourism.com/festive-brittany/fest-n…

http://www.fest-noz.net/

…angloinfo.com/information/2/festivals.asp

And as you may have noticed, I am a man who loves his megaliths and if you do too then you'll find lots of them in Brittany. It's got the highest concentration of these features anywhere on the planet.

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Where to go?

FM gives such good advice and really guided us in our trip last year. Loved the church enclosures and the amazing carvings and art inside the churches in Brittany, plus the gorgeous little coves that our Irish DIL says are just like home.

…blogspot.com.au/2011/06/brittany-and-beyond… and

…blogspot.com.au/2011/06/brittany-and-beyond…

Ireland
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9. Re: Where to go?

I am really looking forward to this trip now. I found an apartment in Dinan and have just car booked. We will just try and see what we can while we are there. Bringing the walking boots.

Thanks to everyone for their help.

MD
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10. Re: Where to go?

Seconding Belleme. The area between Mortagne au Perche, Belleme, and Remalard is known as the golden triangle. It should be lovely in June.

The Relais St Louis in Belleme was just awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand, as was one of our favorite restaurants, La croix d'or in nearby Le-pin-la-Garenne. Wonderful food, warm hostess, pretty setting.

This area is great for walks (there's a rail-trail) and country drives. I hope you can make time to see the Manoir Courboyer at the headquarters of the Perche regional park.