Bedrooms 5, Sleeps 10
Monet’s house and studio face the stunning gardens, including water garden with lilies and famous Japanese bridge, which inspired many of the artist’s most famous impressionist works. May or June is a lovely time to visit to see the garden blossoming.
Open 1 April - 31 Oct, Tues - Sun 0930-1800. Popular all year round with visitors, arrive early to avoid the crowds and leave time to visit the new Musee des Impressionnismes, Giverny, which has taken over from the nearby Museum of American Art and focuses on the history of impressionism and its aftermath.
Chateau Gaillard at Les Andelys was built in less than a year between 1196 and 1197 by Richard the Lionheart as an English frontier stronghold to defend nearby Rouen from the French.
Partially destroyed in 1603 on the orders of Henry IV, the castle, built on high white cliffs above the River Seine offers spectacular views of the river and old town. Visits daily (except Tuesdays) mid-March - mid-Nov. Climb the direct steep path or take the longer winding road by car.
A medieval knight called Herluin felt the call to God and built the original abbey here in 1034. It became one of the most important centres of Christian learning thanks to the monks Lanfranc and Anselm in the eleventh century.
Both later became archbishops of Canterbury as did a third monk - Theobald. The old bell tower of St Nicholas remains from the fifteenth century together with cloister and ruins. The current monastery around a yard adjoining the cloister dates from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries although subsequently the abbey was seriously damaged and used as military stables.
In 1948, a group of Benedictine monks returned to the abbey - now a historical monument - and have brought it back to life. Wander the grounds for no charge. The monks offer guided tours of the buildings. The flower-filled hillside village of Bec-Hellouin close by has lovely old timbered houses and tiled wash-house by a stream.
The small rural town of Cormeilles in the heart of Normandy’s beautiful lush green Pays d’Auge is famous for its dairy produce and apples.
Visitors to Cormeilles will find typical half-timbered houses, beautiful church and thriving Friday market selling local produce including the town’s own cheese - Le Petit Cormeillais.
Visitors in autumn will be guided by the smell of apples to the Busnel Distillery - Maison du Pays d’Auge des Calvados, France’s largest distillery - established here since 1820. Open each day April - Oct, 1000 - 1230 and 1430 - 1900. See www.distillerie-busnel.fr for winter opening times.
Discover the fascinating steps which convert the apples into the amber nectar which is calvados on a guided tour in English which includes tasting (adults only) and how to savour the flavour.
Incidentally, if you wonder about Cormeilles’s Avenue de Chepstow, it was named in honour of a battalion of the Gloucesters who marched along it when Cormeilles was liberated from the Germans in 1944.
3,200 acres along the River Seine. Enjoy catamarans, pedalos, rowing, windsurfing, swimming, tennis, archery, golf, climbing and hiking. Tel: (00 33) 2 32 59 13 13
Eure boasts a superb variety of courses. Golf d’Evreux at Evreux was opened in 1994 and is considered to be one of the finest courses in the region. An 18 hole par 72 (6,923 yds) course, it has hills, woods, some tricky greens and water hazards. The modern clubhouse offers a gastronomic restaurant.
Set in the grounds of a magnificent Louis XIV chateau the 18 hole par 72 (6,575 yds) championship course at Golf Club du Champ de Bataille at Le Neubourg has many spectacular and challenging holes which really make you think about your golf. Course maintained to a high standard with clubhouse offering good food and warm welcome.
Designed by Hawtree, Golf du Vaudreuil at Le Vaudreuil is an 18 hole, par 72 (6,784 yds) course in magnificent parkland. Its club house is one of the best in France with a good restaurant. All courses offer putting green, club trolley and buggy hire, and pro shop. Evreux also offers a driving range.
Eure’s mild climate, flat woodland scenery and Neubourg Plain make it a favourite venue for cyclists, and the department has a huge number of cycle clubs and organisations. Make a base in one of Eure’s pretty medieval villages to explore the lush countryside and along rivers and canals. Follow the River Risle south along the valley from Pont-Audemer on flat cycling roads past timber framed farmhouses. Cycle through the Brotonne Forest or follow the route des chaumiers (thatched roof houses route) along the banks of the Seine.
Cycle maps from the local tourist office give a choice of 7 routes around Evreux following the 80km Voie Verte greenway closed to motor vehicles. In all there are 135km of Veloroutes cycle paths and roads in Eure and plenty of places hire bikes and helmets - ask at local tourist offices for details.
Contact the Federation Francaise de Cyclotourisme (00 33) 1 56 20 88 88 for links to local cycle clubs and information on local trips.
The castle is approximately 35 miles from Rouen. It dates back to the seventeenth century and is built of red brick and stone.
Visitors enter the grounds of the castle through impressive wrought iron gates and walk down an aisle of century old trees. A tour of the castle will take you through the kitchen, living rooms and bedrooms and outside there are the cellars, the chapel and old laundry room evoking scenes from life in the past.
There is a museum of antique dolls and dolls furniture. For more information contact: (00 33) 2 32 49 63 91 or visit www.chateau-fleury-la-foret.com
Catch the autorail train and travel to either Pacy-Breuilpoint or Pacy-Cocherel, wander around the small villages before returning back to Pacy-sur-Eure station. This restored railway line runs along the Eure valley and meanders alongside the Eure River. For more information contact: (00 33) 2 32 36 04 63
Over 200 tropical fish species including piranhas and sharks. Each Sunday at 1630 is feeding time! For more information contact: (00 33) 2 32 40 26 62
Canoe or kayak on the River Eure in the heart of picturesque Normandy.
More information from Federation Française de Canoe Kayak. Tel: (00 33) 2 48 89 39 89
Bedrooms 5, Sleeps 10
Bedrooms 2, Sleeps 4, Ratings 2 9.9/10
Bedrooms 2, Sleeps 4, Ratings 2 9.4/10
Bedrooms 2, Sleeps 4
Bedrooms 2, Sleeps 4, Ratings 7 9.2/10
Bedrooms 2, Sleeps 4
Bedrooms 1, Sleeps 2, Ratings 4 10/10