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France | Discovering the Delights of Vieux Port in Normandy

France | Discovering the Delights of Vieux Port in Normandy

On our circumnavigation of France last October (see here), we’d heard that ‘Normandy is often described as the Devon of northern France, with Brittany as the corresponding Cornwall‘ Fortunate to have a few days to spare before we head south towards the Charente Maritime… we thought why not explore more of Normandy and where better to start than ‘Vieux Port’ near Honfleur.

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Vieux-Port is a truly quaint village located on the banks of the river Seine. The site of an old roman port, it’s full of thatched roofs and colourful gardens with a free motorhome aire overlooking the Seine. For anyone new to the region, this area is part of a pictuersque driving route through rural Normandy (See here for a map of the ‘Thatched Cottage Road‘) Similar to the Fruit Road (more east towards Jumièges and Duclair), the ‘Thatched Cottage Route’ meanders its way through Vatteville, Aizier and Vieux-Port and takes you to the western confines of the Vernier marhslands.

If you’re looking for something that reminds you of the village scenes in Joanne Harris’ novel ‘Chocolat‘ then you’d be better heading for the likes of Sarlat or Talmont sur Gironde…. but if you’re someone who liked the TV series ‘Lovejoy‘… then this place might just be for you… Full of half timbered rural cottages with glorious riverside views of the Seine… you could easily be mistaken for thinking you’d wandered in parts of Suffolk/Essex or even Kent.
Spending a day driving through Normandy, it’s easy to see why the thatched cottage has become synonymous with the rural life of Normandy. Each house seems to own a river view, apple orchard and some of the prettiest ‘wattle and daub’ exteriors we’ve seen across France (perhaps only matched by those in Alsace.

Every region should have Something special

The region itself is famed for it’s Calvados (apple brandy) yet is also the birthplace of William the Conqueror, home to the world-famous D-Day Landing Beaches and has a coastline that has inspired many Impressionist artists in chic seaside locations such as Honfleur. With valleys and hillsides perfect for walking or cycling, it’s also full of world-famous stud farms, highly popular races and secret pathways.
So if you’re intending to visit in a motorhome, then this free e-book of over 20+ motorhome stops throughout France might give you a few places to help start planning your journey into France… (see above ebook). But if you’re not in a motorhome and are just visiting with your family then Normandy offers a freedom to explore and discover… it just feels so safe, welcoming and most importantly seems to have plenty to do..
Ranging from Monet’s gardens at Giverny to the city famed for it’s links to Joan of Arc (Rouen)…. You can’t help but be amazed at the region’s impact on history (from WW2 back to the Battle of Hastings… ) and its pivotal part in British/European History. So if you like Gothic Cathedrals with elegant spires and well restored medieval quarters then you’ll probably prefer heading to Rouen, but if you like to amble through the countryside enjoying the views and hunting for that perfect picnic stop or an opportunity to broaden your children’s horizons… then Normandy and the Thatched Cottage of Fruit route is well worth va visit… just make sure you leave a little time to enjoy those colourful sunsets across the Seine after a busy day exploring the region.

vieux port

so where did we park the bus for the night?

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About The Author


Ever wanted to pack your bags, just jump in a motorhome and go off and explore Europe as a family? Well, that’s exactly what my family has done since September 2015. Visiting 35 European countries, travelling over 54,000 miles and grabbing over 450 family experiences on the way… enjoying Bobsleigh in Norway, Climbing into Mt Etna in Sicily or Kayaking the River Dordogne.

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