Living France - - Destination -


Known of­fi­cially as Cher­bourg-Octeville, this well-known Chan­nel port and gate­way to France for thou­sands of Brits ev­ery year, sits at the north­ern end of the Co­tentin penin­sula in the depart­ment of Manche. It is the sub-pre­fec­ture of the depart­ment; the cap­i­tal be­ing St-Lô. As well as be­ing a cross-Chan­nel ferry port, Cher­bourg har­bour is also a base for fishing boats, navy ves­sels and leisure craft. Of­ten over­looked by trav­ellers head­ing for des­ti­na­tions fur­ther south, it is a coastal town with a fan­tas­tic choice of restau­rants and bars as well as an in­cred­i­ble ma­rina, and the Cité de la Mer mar­itime mu­seum.

Cher­bourg is also in close prox­im­ity to some of France’s best tourist at­trac­tions and ma­jor cities in the re­gion, be­ing just an hour from the city of Bayeux, home of the epony­mous ta­pes­try, half an hour from the pretty fishing har­bour town of Barfleur, which was an im­por­tant port in the Mid­dle Ages, and is still a big yacht­ing and fishing port today, and two hours from Mont St-Michel. Manche also boasts some 330km of coast­line and has a wealth of beau­ti­ful beaches along its shores, many of which have been awarded Blue Flag sta­tus. Cher­bourg is also within easy reach of Utah Beach, which was one of the places the Al­lies came ashore dur­ing the Nor­mandy Land­ings in 1944.


• Av­er­age an­nual tem­per­a­ture: 7.9°C/13.5°C • Av­er­age an­nual rain­fall: 919.7mm • Av­er­age an­nual sun­shine hours: ap­prox­i­mately 1,690 across Nor­mandy • Av­er­age prop­erty price in Manche: €120,000 • Av­er­age prop­erty price in Cher­bourg: €137,800


They know how to party in Nor­mandy, kick­ing off the year with what is the re­gion’s long­est run­ning street car­ni­val, the Car­naval de Granville, in Fe­bru­ary. The 2016 Tour de France will set off from the foot of Mont St-Michel on 2 July for three days of rac­ing around Manche, pro­vid­ing breath­tak­ing scenery for cy­clists and spec­ta­tors.


Seafood in­clud­ing AOC Bou­chot mus­sels, oys­ters, scal­lops and clams, ag­neau de pré-salé – salt marsh lamb fed on the grass of Baie de Mont St-Michel – and ter­goule, a rice pud­ding dish baked with sugar, cin­na­mon and nut­meg. Drink-wise, cider and pom­meau are not to be missed.


Brittany Fer­ries (Poole & Portsmouth), Stena Line (Ross­lare), Con­dor Fer­ries (Portsmouth) and Irish Fer­ries (Ross­lare & Dublin) all have reg­u­lar sail­ings to Cher­bourg.


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