51 km - Zoological Gardens - Clères

Located at the headwaters of Clerette River, 27 kilometres northwest of Rouen, Clères is a small and modest town, which has a major and original attraction in the region. Indeed, zoological gardens are one of the most interesting curiosities of Upper Normandy.

Just nearby the old town centre, Clères Park is stretched over 13 hectares. Established in 1920, it includes a rich architectural heritage with a Renaissance castle of the sixteenth century, a manor of the fifteenth century made of brick and timber frames, and the ruins of an ancient feudal castle of the thirteenth century. The park is also a huge botanical garden with many different species.

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22 km - Lillebonne Gallo-Roman site

Near the Seine, 40 kilometers east of Le Havre, Lillebonne is a peaceful little town with a rich archaeological past.

In the first century AD, Lillebonne site was chosen by the Romans to be the capital of Calètes, Gallic people who inhabited western Pays de Caux. "Juliobona" in honour of Julius Caesar, was founded.

Lillebonne preserves the remains of a Gallo-Roman theatre built at the arrival of the Romans, updating around 1816.

First edifice that looked like an amphitheatre, it was enlarged in the second century AD and became a theatre that can receive up to 10,000 people. Its vast terraces and its two lateral entrances are still well noticeable. Of an exceptional scale, it is the largest and best-preserved Gallo-Roman building north of the Loire.

The city also retains lots of Roman baths and aqueducts, works discovered in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The town hall houses, as for it, in its gardens a Gallo-Roman villa.

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Pays de Bray in Normandy

Pays de Bray is a small area between Seine-Maritime and Oise, in the north of Rouen, a small green land with a particular charm that bears the nickname of “boutonnière” (buttonhole). Its almond-shaped form is the result of an accident of relief: a nicked pit through plateaus!

Many rivers come into being there before going separate ways, watering green pastures...

From Beauvais to Dieppe, this is a land of wooded countryside suitable for dairy farming which has been developed from the late Middle Ages to trade with Paris and competes with Brittany and Normandy...

In the nineteenth century, Pays de Bray chooses to take another direction, the cheese’s one, with Neufchatel Bondon, Camembert from Bray, Hay cheese... cheeses that have now almost disappeared; and that have been replaced by fromages frais, such as the famous "Petit Suisse" by Gervais, invented by a farmer from Villiers-sur-Auchy!

Pays de Bray does not have any big city but three small capital cities, three provincial towns: Neufchatel, Forges les Eaux and Gournay that live mainly upon agricultural products processing and upon many sites and villages as the green Avenue between Dieppe and Forges, Mesnières or Merval castles...

A rich land that has known how to preserve its traditions, a rural lifestyle close to nature and its culinary talents with dairy food, apples, meat and poultry

Pays de Caux in Normandy

Pays de Caux is an amazing territory that stretches from Le Havre to Dieppe, even to Tréport some will tell you!

This is an area of
​​chalk plateaus, coastal side with more or less high cliffs punctuated with seaside resorts and marinas. Poetically called "Alabaster Coast", many artists, painters and writers get completely hooked on these pastel landscapes flooded with light. Let’s only evoke Etretat, Yvetot...

Inland, this is an agricultural region, first linen producer, with soft curves, bathed of many rivers as the smallest one of France, the Veules, which has just enough time on 1100m to cross a village formerly occupied by several mills before flowing into the sea. Veules the Roses is also famous for its watercress beds...

In this beautiful countryside, sandstone, flint, brick and half-timbering are the materials used for houses building... often sheltered behind planted banks, called “clos-masures”.

We recommend you a detour through the valleys of Dun and Durent for pretty
tourist routes...

Norman Abbey’s road

Normandy accounts a large number of abbeys, evidence of their importance in history: abbeys were important spiritual and cultural centres, leading to a significant economic prosperity in the area.

Historical road of Norman Abbeys enable you to discover these places, some become art centres, exhibition or entertainment places, while others retain their original purpose: to welcome religious communities.

In love with beautiful stones, fascinated by history, attracted by a certain serenity ... Do not miss to visit these places, as majestic as different, and as impressive as relaxing. We love the tranquillity that emanates, the feeling of sweet life that prevails there.

Following the meanders of the Seine, moving sometimes away to discover other treasures, to arrive on the coast and go along seafront, the tour leads visitors to an amazing journey through history. Orders mainly represented are the Cistercians’ one, the Benedictines’ and then the Carthusian Order.

Renowned for their beauty and former influence, Norman abbeys are unavoidable: Abbey of Jumièges, Notre Dame du Bec Hellouin, Notre Dame de Mortemer, the Romanesque one of Saint Georges de Bosherville or Saint Wandrille Abbey, Graville priory... in total thirty abbeys plus some 24 sites in the area, museums, castles and gardens...

The discovery of this road is to combine to historical roads Vexin, Ivory and Spices of Normandy to enjoy the beauties and treasures of Normandy.

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Historical Ivory and Spice road

Historical Ivory and Spice road begins in the northern department of Seine Maritime, not far from Tréport, at Eu castle.

Now converted into a town hall, it used to be a famous holiday resort appreciated by Louis Philippe. From the first castle where William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders get married, there is nothing left, destroyed on the orders of Louis XI!

The trip then go along the coast to Le Havre, port city founded by Francis I, following Alabaster Coast and its breathtakingly high white cliffs, by rerouting occasionally inland to discover little treasures...

Since time immemorial, this Norman land is an openness to the world, hence adventurous and curious sailors left to discover new territories, prompt to install branches and shops to bring aromatic spices, beautiful ivories, precious woods, unknown fruits...

Since the Middle Ages, Dieppe people reach Africa, while Fécamp people cross Atlantic Ocean toward American coasts, bringing back fabulous cargoes that made the wealth and fame of Pays de Caux.

By travelling along this route marked out by some thirty sites, we discover Normandy history, its insatiable appetite for travel and discovery and its incredible desire to be rooted in its land with its typical and authentic villages, castles and manor houses, its welcoming harbours and  its legendary beaches ...

Fecamp, Le Havre, Dieppe, Yvetot, Yport Varengeville, Etretat… welcome you to make you discover their wealth...

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28 km - Clos Arsène Lupin

The elegant seaside resort of Etretat pays tribute to the irresistiblegentleman-burglar” invented by Maurice Leblanc housing Arsene Lupin enclosed plot, museum created by the granddaughter of the Norman author.

Maurice Leblanc indeed located some of the adventures of the bandit in Pays de Caux and especially in Etretat, novels that travelled around the world. The museum is housed in a beautiful villa surrounded by trees typically of that area, in the heart of the city. It is in this noble house of the nineteenth century that the author invented most of his novels with hero Arsène Lupin.

The visit takes place with infrared headphones that tell you trials and tribulations of the burglar, narrated by the same person who played Arsène Lupin in the 1970s, Georges Descrières.

You really get into the hero’s life, in his lair... In an atmosphere of mystery, you just have to listen to him talking about his adventures, confessing his confidences... And with him you will try to elucidate the famous riddle of the Hollow Needle.

Through seven strategic locations, the scenographical route is exciting to discover. A fun way to share the intimacy of the author and his famous character. But let’s not reveal more...


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28 km - Musée de la Marine de Seine

Town of the Regional Natural Park of Brotonne, Caudebec-en-Caux looks like a seaside resort with the Seine River that goes along.

Caudebec tells you the history of the river through its numerous economic activities, story to follow in the Seine river maritime museum.

Arriving on site, in order to put you in the mood, you are greeted by old wood crafts, most of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth, as Gribane, sailing boat ancestor of the barge Maguy, pretty "inboard", or as Joble, transport vessel...

But let's visit. A dozen of rooms are devoted to the history of navigation on the Seine River, ports, international trades, shipbuilding, and crossings... In this context, customs and traditions are mentioned.

And if you've ever wondered what may look like a tidal bore and how does it form, you will love the movie devoted to this strange phenomenon. This huge breaker went back up twice a year the river at the same speed as a galloping horse, reaching its full load between Villequier and Caudebec.

By now, it is no more than a memory, since development and deepening works have been made on the river. The movie is then a precious collection of archives.

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43 km - Museum of old Le Havre

Injured, bruised by its devastation in 1944, the city of Le Havre did not forget its history and makes it relive through a museum that tells its maritime vocation since the sixteenth century.

At the heart of the old district of Saint-François, the museum of old Le Havre is housed in a stone house with timber-frames of the seventeenth century, which have belonged to the ship-owner Dubocage-de-Bléville.

On the ground floor the city is presented during its construction in 1517 by François I, with a lot of plans, drawings and models. The first floor is dedicated to the marine life of Le Havre from the Ancien Régime to the nineteenth century. During this last time the activity of the harbour enjoyed a real boom, through the importation of raw materials (coal, ore, cotton, spices...) and by the passenger transport.

One room is dedicated to the shipbuilding of Le Havre, evocating the proliferation of building sites.

Le Havre is also a pleasant seaside resort, popular for its sea bathing, and this since the Ancien Régime. You can notice it through old postcards and souvenirs full of sweet nostalgia and not without charm.

Finally, the last floor presents the rebuilding of the city, completely demolished in 1944, by the architect Auguste Perret. A fascinating tour that shows you Le Havre before and after the Second World War.

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56 km - National Museum of Education

The National Museum of Education now located in Rouen in the beautiful home of "Quatre fils Aymon” (Four sons Aymon), was founded in Paris in 1879 by Jules Ferry as "Educational Museum"... Its primary mission was to provide teachers the opportunity to better understand the current educational reform...

Over time, the collection thus built up has taken a remarkable historical importance: textbooks, educational games, students’ works, photographs, and prints. Since the 70s, the educational museum is consolidated into the National Museum of Education, moved to Rouen in 1980. It is now one of the five national science museums.

With a collection mainly targeting professionals, the museum becomes an exhibition centre open to the public. We find a permanent exhibition relating "Five centuries of history", where are presented and explained the basics of learning from the Renaissance to the twentieth century, elite training from the Ancien Regime and the toy world since the sixteenth century.

Temporary exhibitions complete this interesting collection.

Another advantage of this visit: the building housing the museum. At the heart of Old Rouen, the house of “Aymon four sons” is a beautiful house of the fifteenth century made with timber frames. This remarkable place, whose ground floor was for a long time a shop, became a hotel in 1850. Suffering from a bad reputation, the building is ironically nicknamed "the Weddings’ room."

Abandoned, the house is purchased by the city and finally owned by MNE (Nature and Environment House).

Tel: 02 35 07 66 61 
51 km - Flaubert Pavilion in Croisset

This garden Pavilion is all that remains of the property at the edge of the Seine River which Flaubert’s father acquired in 1844.

Flaubert was particularly fond of this residence, where he lived for 35 years and wrote most of his major works. The guests he entertained in the waterside pavilion included his friends Maupassant, Louis Bouilhet, George Sand, and the Goncourt brothers.

The property was sold shortly after Flaubert’s death in 1880, and subsequently destroyed. Thanks to a fund opened in 1904, the Pavilion was repurchased and converted into a museum that was inaugurated in 1906.

Flaubert’s writing articles (goose quills, inkpot) are exhibited here together with portraits, drawings, views and engravings of Le Croisset, and objects that once adorned his study, such as the famous golden Buddha. 

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