THE NORMANDY AND COTENTIN AREA | LA MANCHE
There are many things to do in this picturesque rural area, making it perfect for your holiday home. Below are just a few of our top recommendations of the best things to do in this area of Normandy. For our list of general Normandy recommendations click here.
See our tour options if you'd like help in getting the most out of your visit.
THE LOCAL AREA
Glatigny and the surrounding towns in La Manche
The tiny village of Glatigny is just a couple of minutes to the most beautiful, long (and often deserted!) sandy beach. It is nestled between the two towns of La Haye du Puits and Portbail, both of which have some superb restaurants and great weekly markets.
Barneville-Carteret is also close by and being a summer vacation spot for many Parisians, is a great location to visit in those summer months. The beach is beautiful and has a number of restaurants and cafés to keep you entertained. There is also a surf school at Carteret.
The well known Cotentin Tourist train (a 1930s train that takes visitors through the area and seemingly back in time!) also leaves from Carteret.
Both Portbail and Barnville/Carteret offer great equestrian stables for horse riding and the rides along the beach aren't to be missed!
Our recommendation for equestrian stables is 'Club Hippique "A Cheval", there is a great range of horses and ponies for all sizes and abilities but they also do rides along the beach, which is magic. Advance booking is recommended as is it dependant on rides.
We can also facilitate personal rides - enquire here.
For those that enjoy a more active holiday "Base de Loisirs" offer many exciting activities including archery, canoeing, climbing and more.
Please do visit the village tennis courts, behind the Marie's office in the village square. These are free to residents and you'll find tennis racquets and balls in the barn.
Mont Castre near La Haye du Puits is a brilliant for families and those that love walking. There are many superb walking routes (none too long, but a few quite steep!) through beautiful scenery and in the summer months it is possible to hire paddle boats to take onto the stunning lake. There are also medieval castle remains from the Gallo-Roman era.
From around June-early September, on most weekends, many towns and villages nearby hold festivals and fêtes with great outdoor music and food.
Most towns also have what is called a Brocante, which essentially is a furniture market, but these really are worth a visit as it is very rare such quantities of antiques are under a single roof for such low prices. By far the best is 'La Clé Des Temps' in Coutances.
La Belle Epoque in St Sauveur Le Vicomte is a little bit more up market but worth a visit, even just for the lovely garden. The town is also very nice to enjoy a stroll and take a coffee.
The closest town of La Haye du Puits has 3 large supermarkets. The closest and largest being 'Intermarché' which is on the road into La Haye du Puits from the house. 'Carrefour' and 'Aldi' are on the Main Street through town.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS IN THE AREA
Normandy is renowned for its food and drink, see our local recommendations below...
La Haye Du Puit
'Pom'Cannelle' - this is a traditional but high quality restaurant offering fantastic but innovative food. Although by French standards a little pricier than average, it is such good value for terrific food and a steal compared with British equivalents.
'Le Commerce' - this is similar to our local 'pub', you will find this often full of locals, and for good reason. The generous local food is very well priced and cooked on an open fire in front of you. The set menus are exceptional value for money.
'L'équinoxe' - this is a local bar, often playing live jazz music in July/August. Whilst they don't really do food, the atmosphere is good and a great place for a drink or coffee.
'Aux 13 Arches' - this is a very good restaurant specialising in seafood (much of which is caught within a couple of miles!), this is a 'posher' place to eat, but again, as seems the way in France, it is very cheap for exceptional food. (Booking recommended)
'Au Rendez-vous des Pecheurs' - a local fish restaurant which overlooks the estuary, and perfect visit for the setting sun. The food is great quality and very reasonably priced. Whilst we you won't find a 'Croque Madam' on the menu, this is a favourite of ours here!
'Le Cotentin' - this is a real crowd pleaser! They do a wide variety of food, including other Mediterranean dishes. It also has good options for vegetarians and those that may want something a little less rich. Good value for money too.
'Le Bac a Sable', Lindbergh plague - a very close beach restaurant just down the road. Whilst not always open (ring ahead and do make a booking) this has a very cool atmosphere and often plays great live music. The location is great.
Barneville - Carteret
'Le Cap' - A restaurant of very good quality and offering, looking right out across the estuary. A real gem and perfect for a special lunch.
'Hôtel de la Marine' - this is a high-end hotel and restaurant which is a good spot for a little indulgence!
'Restaurant Les Ormes'- this is a great spot for a chill out and a coffee on the beach side. It has a very quality feel, but not uncomfortably so. The food here, especially lunch is exceptionally good. Very fresh and healthy.
'L'escale' - right on the waters edge at Carteret this evening bar has a fantastic feel. It has more of a modern vibe than most places in the area and a great atmosphere of a summers evening.
'La Potinière' - this restaurant has the perfect location - right on the sand at Carteret! La Potiniere is the perfect spot to return to for drinks and food after enjoying the beach.
'La Cale', Blainville - If you like seafood and live music this is the place for you! The owners and atmosphere are brilliant, as is the very regular live music. The food is good but simple - this place is all about the music and atmosphere - not to everyone's taste, but we think well worth a visit!
Please note it is cash only.
'Le Rideau Cramoisi', St Sauveur le Vicomte - this place has the feel of a 'pub'; a wonderful lively atmosphere, regularly hosting live music and an eclectic decor. Whilst not to everyone's taste, we do recommend!
'La Cheneverie', Port-en-Bessin - An absolutely stunning Manor House hotel offering exceptional food and service! This is more expensive than most local places, but very worth it.
Very much recommend the Sunday Jazz Brunch.
There is a place called 'La Maison du Biscuit' in the village of 'Sortosville-en-Beaumont' and I am genuinely struggling to work out how to describe it, but I nonetheless do have to recommend it! The best I can do is ask you to imagine a village curated by Willy Wonka and John Wayne, and maybe you'd come close! 'La Maison du Biscuit' sells every kind of biscuit, chocolate, sweets, honey, alcohol, wholefood, I could go on and on! It's also a great cafe to while away a few hours in a very unique place! A recommended place to buy very well presented, but reasonably priced gifts. Let us know what you think!
In most restaurants you can get what is called a Café Gourmand, which is essentially a strong coffee and a selection of miniature desserts - a fantastic indulgence!
Rich history, beautiful towns and World War Two history - there is much to choose from
There are many WWII sites of interest, one of the biggest being near Caen; the whole area unfortunately is dripping with this bloodied history. There is a book in the house showing damage to the nearby town of La Haye Du Puits, but this is not a unique story. Do let us know if you'd like one of our personal D-Day tours.
Mont St Michel is not too far away, and is a breathtaking place, highly recommend a visit.
The Bayeux Tapestry is close by too and while being magnificent in its own right, also has many other local attractions in the beautiful historic town. Our Medieval tour covers these and many of the local historic buildings.
There are many Cider, Calvados, Pommaeu and wine tours in the area, which are a great way to spend an afternoon or day! Let us know if you'd like to experience one of our food & drink tours or winetastings
Granville is a well worth a day out. Containing both the home (and now museum and gardens) of Christian Dior and the Museum of Modern Art of Richard Aanacréon; it's a fascinating place to visit. Granville itself is beautiful.
The Parc Zoologique Cerza is a cross between a conservation area designed for the welfare of animals and a zoo for the enjoyment of visitors.
With over 1500 wild animals, from 5 continents, in 70 hectares of forests and valleys and things for all ages it really is a brilliant day out.
If you get the ferry from Dieppe, La Harve or Calais it is en-route to or from Glatigny Farmhouse
The race circuits in Le Mans are a must for motor sport fans and is just under 3 hours inland. from Glatigny Farmhouse. Worth the drive - especially if you driving something track-worthy!
There are also regular boat rides over to the beautiful Channel Islands of Jersey, (which you can see from Glatigny beach) Guernsey, Sark and Alderney and if you are in the area for a decent period of time, I would recommend a day trip over.
The town of "Villedieu les Poêles" is around 1 hour away (and not too far from Mont St Michel) and is an amazing place to visit to see artisanal metal work, mostly bell forging, which has been the towns main export since the Middle Ages.
For the more adventurous, there are many adventure parks, adrenaline sports and activity centres - please do let us know what your preferences are and we'd gladly help you build your itinerary for your stay! Our personalised experiences offer a wide range of exciting adventures to choose from!
Within the Glatigny Farmhouse holiday home there are many leaflets and books with more recommendations on what to do in the area.