Tourist information on Haute Normandie region in France
Close to the South of England and within easy reach from the UK, Normandy is very similar in its landscape with rolling countryside, fields and meadows and with its rich history and numerous places to visit, makes this a great area to travel to if you are thinking of a family camping holiday in France at one of the many French campsites in Haute Normandie.
About the Haute Normandie Region in France
Originally Normandie was classed as one region, but was then divided into Haute Normandie and Basse Normandie, which in English is either Upper Normandy or Lower Normandy, but there are many that would like to see this region of France merged backed into one.
Probably the most famous river in France, the River Seine divides this region and Rouen in two, which is the capital city of the Haute Normandie region. But there are also the chalk cliffs of the Alabaster coastline that are just as famous and a spectacular sight close to the seaside resort of Fecamp, that still holds a fascination as it did with impressionist painters back in the 19th century.
When travelling to this region in France from the UK it means a short trip across the English Channel on one of the ferry crossings either from Portsmouth to Le Havre or from Newhaven to Dieppe which lies to the North of Haute Normandie, then when in this region you will find the Ile de France region to the East, the Centre region is to the South and to the West is Basse Normandie.
Also, Dieppe is a very popular port for people living in the South of England with the ferry crossing to France from Newhaven to Dieppe and has always been a great choice for painters with its pebbled beach and 15th century castle, plus you can enjoy the famous scallops which is the speciality cuisine of the area.
The weather is very similar to England and February tends to be the coolest month of the year, although the average temperature does not normally get down to zero degrees C, yet being such a fertile region, you can expect to get a reasonable amount of rain. However, there are some reasonable places to stay and even campsites open all year including one of the French Municipal campsites called Camping d'Etennemare that has mobile homes you can rent as well.
Looking around Haute Normandie you will find picturesque villages and rolling countryside, making this is a lovely region for cycling, yet there are also river trips, golf courses, horse riding and water sports to enjoy plus there are the gastronomical delights with regional specialities of cuisine. For something a little different you could take the fruit trail and experience fresh cherries, or the cheese trail, or just experience the different varieties of apples that make juices, ciders and tarts.
Tourist attractions and places to visit in Haute Normandie
Of course, you have the capital city of this region called Rouen, which is dominated by its fabulous cathedral that is one of the highest in France, in addition to many other historical buildings such as churches, along with the ancient clock and half-timbered houses of the centre. The River Seine also offers river cruises and canoeing and separates the modern city from the old with different river crossings including access to the large river port, plus there is a pleasure boat marina.
The village of Giverny is most well known for being able to visit the painter Claude Monet’s house and gardens including the famous Water Lily Pond, but there are other interesting sights in this little village including a Neolithic monument, artifacts from Gallo-Roman times, and a church that dates from the Middle Ages.
Then you have Etretat which is a town located along the coastal road of Haute Normandie and has a very striking resemblance to that of Dover with its impressive white cliffs, but it also has rock formed arches, tunnels, a needle point and pebble beaches. Originally this was a fishing village, but today it has become a very popular place to visit, and one of the most visited places in Normandy.
Now when it comes to history enthusiasts, deciding to take a holiday in France in Haute Normandie region is going to fulfil every day you are here, even though the area suffered substantial damage from World War II. There is a Cathedral in Evreux with the earliest parts dating back to the 11th century, the remains of a Roman theatre, an incredible museum with many, many artefacts, the church of a former abbey, a 15th century palace and much more.
Also in the village of Jumieges you will find the ruins of an abbey from the 11th century with its park and gardens, along with an old church and chapel and at the Chateau de Sissi there is a labyrinth with the theme of 1100 years of Normandy history then you have other architectural points of interest like the 13th century water tower that can be found at Fecamp. But there are also numerous guided tours available in different towns in this region such as Rouen, which are run by the tourist offices in several different languages.
You could also visit Le Havre, that basically translates to The Harbour, which has grown into one of the busiest ports in France, but unfortunately this was heavily bombed during World War II and much of its historic buildings were destroyed, along with loss of family homes, the port and the general city structure. However, there are still several churches, a 15th century chapel, a lovely Japanese garden, museums and even a ship-owners home that you can explore.
But enough of history, there is much more to the Haute Normandie region, especially if you are thinking of a family camping holiday in France with children, as there are so many different places to visit and things to do.
You have a velo-rail where you can return on a tourist train, then you have labyrinths designed for all ages, a tourist train that departs from the beach at Le Havre, donkey rides and guided tours with donkeys for all ages and a leisure park called Tolysland designed for children between the ages of three and fourteen with games, trampolines, swimming pool, etc.
Or why not visit The Parc du Bocasse, which is a family theme park where you can even experience the fascinating world of bees and you have the L’Arche Feline dedicated to thoroughbred cats, plus a forest that is also home to a Canadian buffalo breeding farm. Another incredible place that will enthral everyone whilst on your family camping holiday is called Les Animeaux des R where you can see birds of prey, stunt horses, numerous other animals such as giant rabbits and shows like jousting, as many of the animals from here are used for films.
When it comes to leisure pursuits, there is also a wide variety of activities to keep you amused from rock climbing and tree top adventure centres through to aqua parks, sailing, canoeing and other water sports. There are crazy golf courses and a golf course, horse and donkey riding centres, karting circuits for adults and children, quad biking and much more for a family holiday in France full of fun.