Beautiful region in France that’s Europe’s answer to the Cotswolds

Beautiful region in France that’s Europe’s answer to the Cotswolds

Le Perche in southern Normandy is noted for its natural beauty which attracts cores of visitors with its rolling hills, forests and valleys. The region has been likened to the Cotswolds, with its gentle, rural feel and spread across a number of counties.

With the French capital a couple of hours away, La Perche has proven so popular it has been dubbed “Paris in exile”.

It is recognised as a bargain-hunter’s paradise because of the number of antique dealers, vintage markets and weekend sales held there.

People are said to come here from all over Europe in search of beautiful furniture and antique treasures.

One of La Perche’s main towns is Nogent-le-Rotrou, where old houses and a medieval castle are chocolate box-like.

Not far to the east of La Perche is Chartres Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and masterpiece of the Gothic style.

The hilltop castle of Châteaudun, nostalgic charm of the Bagnoles-de-l’Orne spa resort, the historic centre of Dreux former country capital, Mortagne-au-Perche, are among the region’s highlights.

Alençon and Argentan offer plenty of opportunities for walks while characterful villages, including Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei, Domfront and Bonneval make for appealing stops.

There is a wide choice of castles to consider too, including Carrouges Castle, Anet Castle, Maintenon Castle, and the Castle of O.

Sées Cathedral is also recommended as “a true gem” of the Norman Gothic style.

La Perche is served by a range of accommodation to suit varied budgets, including family friendly Château de Beguin, Hotel Le Tronçais and Hôtel de l’Ecu in Saint-Amand-Montrond.

Food-wise, there are two Michelin restaurants which come highly recommended: Les Pieds dans l’Eau and La Croix d’Or, which is hailed for its authentic family atmosphere.

Les Pieds dans l’Eau is noted for its dedicated chef who cooks up modern bistro cuisine, with dishes such as pork filet mignon with foie gras sauce.

Related Articles