This part of Normandy has something to tempt pretty much everybody.
To the north are the evocative D-Day landing beaches and their museums,while to the west lies the tourist honeypot of Mont-St-Michel and Brittany. If you are looking for quiet and solitude there are a myriad of lanes for walking, cycling or exploring by car.
More ambitious walkers can tackle the Grand Randonnées or enjoy a more gentle amble along the cliff tops in Swiss Normandy. If you'd rather wander around picturesque towns and villages, Bayeux to the east and Dinan to the west escaped the war almost intact and are justifiably proud of their mediaeval centres.
Normandy also has one of the longest coastlines of any of France's départments, and with it comes a huge variety of seaside towns and ports, such as Port-en-Bessin (above), with enclosed harbours or promenades along wide, sandy, beaches.
Closer to Cormolain there are not only D-day museums but a couple to the area's mining heritage at Caumont-L'Eventé and Le Molay-Littry.
There are also activities for those of you a little more adventurous, there's bungy-jumping while there's plenty of time for reflection at Monet's garden not too far away, or spend time outside with animals in the area's two zoos - Jurques and Champrepus. Even Cherbourg's spectacular Cité de la Mer is only a little over an hour away. Perhaps closest of all is the Château in Balleroy, with its celebration of hot-air ballooning.
Cherbourg maritime museum
Although almost 70 miles away, Cherbourg and its maritime museum are worth a trip. The roads there are good, partly because of the investment spent on them to take ferry passengers away from the port and into France quickly. Unfortunately for the French, P&O stopped using the port soon afterwards and passenger numbers are much lower than the roads were built to cope with.
The maritime museum is housed in the wonderful old railway sheds originally built to allow cross-channel passengers to disembark from their ships and join their waiting trains without having to be exposed to the elements outside.
France has a justly-deserved reputation for the quality of its food and one of the cornerstones of this is its markets, full of fresh produce. Often, it's so fresh, it's still alive and anyone who is slightly sentimental (or vegetarian) has to avert their eyes.
As well as fresh food, some of the larger markets have everything from shoes and clothes to furniture and rugs.
Two of the best local markets are:
Monday - Torigni-sur-Vire
Saturday - St Lô
(More to come when we've worked out when and where they all are!)
La Basse Cour
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