Discover the secret gems from Bessin for authentic nature holidays

Bel Air in Littry ©La Renaissance

Bel Air in Littry

Follows the road from Neufbourg to Molay-Littry (Calvados), you arrive directly at Ferme de la Rivière, built in the 1870s and named Château de la Rivière in 1909. Sosthène Lefrançois, a mining engineer, decided to beautify his farm. He had magnificent moats built along the road. Taking advantage of having a pond and a waterfall, he decides to put running water on the farm by installing a turbine and using these funds. Visitors will undoubtedly see ducks and swans on the lake. After crossing the small bridge with wrought iron barriers, old slate quarries spring up.

Opposite a small stony path with a fantastic weeping beech (right). This tree has the peculiarity of having large roots on top of the soil, which form a small “chicken leg”. By entering through the breach, you will discover the waterfall. The latter is not natural at all, it is the waterfall in an old mill that has disappeared. “We already had traces of a mill in 1630, here it was a wheat mill”, explains Elisabeth Ridel-Granger, engineer at CNRS.

Small shady paths in the surrounding woods allow beautiful walks in safety. At the end of the road, you can’t miss the cedar sculptures in Aimé Bréard’s park with the chapel.

Hogues district of Isigny-sur-Mer

Hogues district of Isigny-sur-Mer.
Hogues district of Isigny-sur-Mer. ©The Renaissance

Passes through Isigny-sur-Mer (Calvados), is an essential stop to discover the Hogues district, the fishing district with its houses with colorful facades. The neighborhood has just been rebuilt. A walk for a stroll and the pleasure of the eyes can be done starting from the city center via rue du Brésil to reach the site of the old wash house very flourishing and recover the place Jean Bart, where some explanations of the activity of the district are indicated.

The district of Hogues is the district of fishermen who, aboard their picoteux, fished for clams and cockles. They went to the North Cotentin to fish for these shells. After exhausting days spent away from their base, they returned to port in their boat, propelled only by oars with the help of the first tidal wave of the rising tide.

It is possible to continue the trip at the Venelle, which runs along the quay and has just been completely rebuilt. Thus, a beautiful view of the district and its Jean Bart bedding is offered from the bridge towards the rue du Docteur Boutrois. It is so advisable to walk along the harbor and access the new leisure center with its activities and its water in peace.

The Biches Pond in the Cerisy Forest

The Biches pond in Cerisy
Biches pond in Cerisy ©La Renaissance

In the national forest of Cerisy-la-Forêt (Manche), in the town of Montfiquet there is an artificial pond with a beautiful walk around it. At first the pond was named Mare aux Biches. “It could be a small artificial pond created at the beginning of the 20th century”, according to Vaubadonnais. After that, it was equipped with a few fish, and the cleaned space became very popular among hikers. It becomes the Etang du Titre, expanded by the ONF (National Forestry Office). Today, no one knows what this pond was used for. The name “Titre”, a 15th century Norman name, was linked to hunting with hounds.

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The Hable Bridge in Criqueville-en-Bessin

The Hable Bridge in Criqueville-en-Bessin.
The Hable Bridge in Criqueville-en-Bessin. ©The Renaissance

The Hable bridge (which means the harbor) is approx. 2 km from Grandcamp-Maisy (Calvados), it can be reached by the D514 towards Pointe-du-Hoc or now by velomaritime. The Hable bridge gives the impression of a small end of the world with a view of the rocks. You can picnic and swim there, although it is not a real beach like Grandcamp-Maisy. Further to the east there are flat pebbles and riprap, which at low tide provide a comfortable surface to land on.

his towel.

“The end of Hable” remains a wild place when, after a few fathoms, you can see the silhouette of Pointe-du Hoc and find yourself alone with the seagulls, no one in sight except a few cyclists. Directly opposite to the right of the small hold are black spots sticking out of the sand. It is not hydrocarbons, but peat. Long ago there was a forest there. It was there that one day we found unusually preserved deer antlers in the peat. The landscape here was forests, seas and large swamps far inland,” says one resident.

Aure-sur-Mer cove

Aure-sur-Mer cove
The stream Aure-sur-Mer ©La Renaissance

In Aure-sur-Mer, a new town that brings together the villages of Russy and Sainte-Honorine-des-Pertes, hides a small beach which is often not crowded, even in season. A fine sandy beach filled with pebbles and a natural waterfall promise holidaymakers a moment out of time.

The balconies of Seoul

The balconies at La Seulle
The balconies of La Seulle ©La Renaissance

Since Vienne-en-Bessin (Calvados), gain altitude and take the paths that overlook the Seulles valley. What to discover beautiful panoramas on this green valley and beautiful buildings in the villages or on the banks of Seulles, to discover by chance the Bigard pond.

In the town of Le Manoir, which spans Seulles, a small bridge was probably built by the same builders as the one built in 1818 in the town by Abbot Philippe. It has three vaulted arches with basket handles resting on track posts. A brick gate closes access to the bridge on the village side.

As for the Balcons de la Seulles circuit, it is 11 km through the countryside after Seulles on part of the route. The circuit goes through Vienne-en-Bessin, Le Manoir, Saint-Gabriel-Brécy, Villiers-le-Sec and Bazenville. It allows hikers to discover Seulles, which has its source on the heights of Jurques, Pierre Solain, a 15th century windmill in Bazenville or to meditate in the Ryes-Bazenville British Cemetery. From Chemin aux Anes or Chemin de Saint-Marie, a nature holiday to do in the heart of Bessin to meditate, discover corners of green areas or simply to stroll.

Picnic at Tortonne

Picnic at Tortonne.
Picnic at Tortonne. ©The Renaissance

The city of Trevieres (Calvados) is bordered by La Tortonne, a beautiful, calm river teeming with ducks and small animals. You can walk along it and discover the Beau Moulin site, classified as a historical monument, as well as part of the marsh by continuing towards the other river L’Esque or L’Aure. A few storks have laid their nest from right to left. The possibility of having a picnic in the countryside or a stopover after visiting Trévières. The view is breathtaking at sunset. La Tortonne is located near Beau Moulin in Trévières, near the road to Bernesq and Bricqueville.

Moulin de Vaubadon bridge

The Vaubadon mill bridge.
The Vaubadon mill bridge. ©The Renaissance

The mill bridge Vaubadon (Calvados) is listed in the list of historical monuments after the restoration in 1991. The bridge, the flour mill (17th century) and the Vallemont farm formed an inseparable trio. Today the yard is in a very bad condition and dangerous, it is impossible to approach it, but the bridge is magnificent. It has three arches. All roads led to the mill, the passage by the bridge, but also all the country roads around. This bridge, crossing the Drôme, makes it possible to reach the communes of Vaubadon and Castillon.

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