Recommended places to visit Poitiers to Dieppe

Discussion in 'France' started by jumartoo, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    We are travelling north to catch a ferry from Dieppe on Aug 15. Not done this route before. Any recommendations on places to visit/places to stay on a fairly straight line. Detours are acceptable if not too far off route.

    We intend to have a couple of days on the coast so have about 5 days to fill.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
     
  2. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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  3. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016
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  4. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    We're at La Suze sur Sarthe near Le Mans at the moment. The aire is great and there's a campsite next door if you prefer them. It's a lovely little town to stop overnight and have a wander.

    Also as a final stop before Dieppe you can't go far wrong with Saint Valery en Caux although it is popular so the aire which is right on the beach does tend to get busy.
     
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  5. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    Thanks for your replies. We are having to do a different trip to our normal ones of climbing, biking etc. Hence needing some help! We can do short walks 10k ish and visiting places, which we are quite enjoying.
     
  6. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    Where there's a lake in France, there's usually good parking and walking/ cycling.
    Usually shown on a map. Often kayak / canoe hire, sometimes free.
    Tourist Offices, and Mairie office always have the local Randonee maps ( free) Every village has to have a Randonee ( what a civilised country !)

    For Cognac tours, or vineyard tours, try Trip Advisor as lots of info in English.
     
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  7. elamessa

    elamessa Funster

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    Your welcome to come to us here in the Limousin. We are between Limoges and Poitiers. A nice walk around the lake and free parking in our garden with ehu if required.
     
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  8. elamessa

    elamessa Funster

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    Just saw your other posts on your trip and it appears you have passed us. Lathus is about 10kms from us and montmorillon is where we do our weekly shopping.
    The offer is still open if you are in the area.
     
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  9. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    The following was an article in The Times recently, I was keeping it a secret, intending to visit it next month, but as a special favour to a special couple, here it is! :) Though the area isn't far from Poitiers so you may not have enough time to dawdle if you want to get north. Of course you may not be interested in the bookshops etc but from the map it looks an interesting area.



    The “undiscovered” France is, in truth, all over the place. Leave the main road and there you are, anonymous amid the unknown. But a part of France hidden to most French people, despite having charm, drama and the world’s greatest medieval church art? Now there’s a puzzle.

    “OK, where is it?” she asked, miffed. She’s French and generally to the fore, knowledge-wise.

    “East of Poitiers!” I cried. And so we set out for the Gartempe Valley. On the approach, we appeared to pass through an invisible gauze that filtered out vulgarity, din and concerns about football and exchange rates. On the other side, we found stillness, deep greenery, rivers, the most startling romanesque frescoes, numerous bookshops and an echo of 1950s England, when children ran free in woods, outrages were homely and doors went unlocked.

    We stopped at Lussac-les-Châteaux, mainly because of Les Orangeries. The first hotel in France thoroughly to embrace eco-consciousness, it wears its self-righteousness lightly. A stone village manor house with parquet floors, it has excellent gardens, furniture from the days when if it didn’t weigh a ton, it wasn’t a wardrobe, and elegance throughout.

    [​IMG]

    Place du Donjon, in castle-filled Chauvigny

    It has been renovated with attention to enviro-detail, but the owner, Olivia Gautier, mentions such matters gently. And the chef, David Royer, handles organic locavorism with more imagination than seems feasible for a fellow with only one head. If you’re within 75 miles, don’t hesitate.

    Onwards we drove to Montmorillon, whose the medieval district rose from the River Gartempe as if it had grown from the rock. It’s glorious, really, with the village church outstanding off right, its crypt stocked with cracking 12th-century frescoes — though the featured lamb looks terribly like a horse. An assistant must have been shouting the anatomical details from a nearby pasture.

    Smartened up no end, the old village now majors on bookshops. If it falls short of Hay-on-Wye, it still provides more browsing than is usual in the middle of French nowhere. Cédric Maussion’s cavern of a shop, Au Cri de la Chouette, contained so many French classics that I felt literate just being there. I asked Maussion to recommend something. “Robert Brasillach,” he said. The bloke executed for wartime collaboration? “A fine writer, all the same.” So I bought an early Brasillach novel. “People will look at you strangely if they see you reading it,” Maussion said. They do anyway, I replied.

    We moved on to the Glass Key, where James Fraser has arrived after a career in publishing in London and a bookshop in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. He sells English-language books, mainly to the French. “I’m often surprised by chaps who look as though they should be on the street, begging,” he said. “They come in here, pull out a wodge of notes and buy English poetry.”

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    The bookish town of Montmorillon

    Montmorillon will get a boost when local lad and multistarred chef Joël Robuchon turns the village’s ancient monastery into an international catering college, with hefty Chinese backing. There’ll also be a restaurant and hotel, slated for 2019. Some locals are excited, others aren’t. Imagine Geoffrey Boycott opening a multinational cricket school in Bedale and you’ll understand.

    We dawdled on by river, forest and meadow, arriving in Saint-Savin with heads empty and spirits light. Here was a lovely village, self-sufficient for centuries, its vast abbey coated with romanesque frescoes unequalled anywhere. Nothing prepares you for their magnificence. Like God’s own comic book, the 50 mighty Old Testament episodes — Genesis through to Exodus — high above the nave, lead you up and back again as the story unfolds. Adam is introduced to Eve (bearded, after a catastrophic 19th-century restoration); the Tower of Babel throbs with confusion and medieval artisans; a drunken Noah has his nakedness covered by his sons Shem and Japheth. This last one smacked me between the eyes. I spent so long, head back — the paintings are 56ft up — that I started to stagger. Stendhal syndrome, obviously, rather than the guilt-ridden doddering of an ageing sinner. Then we went for a pizza beneath the trees dappling the main square.

    Downstream, Angles-sur-l’Anglin unravels sharply down to the river, a jumbled conspiracy of stone, horticulture and thigh-stiffening walkways. It has been going for 1,000 years and requires no improvement. There’s a castle on its rocky spur; a spectacular Magdalenian sculpted frieze, featuring savage beasts and naked women; a grocer’s-cum-bar; and, in Le Goût des Mets, the best-value restaurant we’ve recently encountered (three ace courses on the terrace for £13; 00 33 5 49 84 36 02).

    Over coming days, we bobbed up to Chauvigny, where, in one of its several medieval castles, a birds-of-prey performance starred parrots alongside hurtling eagles. This was innovative, though doubtless worrying for the parrots. We drove to the Portes d’Enfer, where big rocks turn the Gartempe into a torrent sufficient to chuck canoes about. There we had a fine riverside ramble, heartened that if the “gates of hell” were really like this, we’d probably be OK, long-term.

    [​IMG]

    An Old Testament fresco in Saint-Savin
     
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  10. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    Wow @DBK some article. I think we'll definitely head back this way again some time.

    @elamessa thanks for your generous offer but we are further north now. What a lovely part of France you live in. We've been to France many times but never explored this area in depth.
     
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  11. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

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    In early September we will be leaving our static van near La Baule en route to Bavaria and eventually Italy and have been looking for suitable stops en route. This area was on our list of probables for the first night, it is now a definite, thanks to @jumartoo and @DBK :)
     
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  12. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Just north of Poitiers at Jaunay-Clan is Parc Futuroscope with its massive aire. Obviously you have to want to see a variety of audio visual spectacles and an evening son et lumiere to go there, but if that floats your bateau it's an easy option. If you visit, and choose to go on the Dancing Robots ride, I'd advise doing it before lunch.
     
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