If you are touring northwestern France in your caravan, you may be interested in thinking about some of the following less well-known places:
- Bagnoles sur l’Orne. This is a small spa and lakeside town in amongst some very pretty cliffs and hills in the Orne department of Normandy. It has a very genteel feeling to it, some great walking and climbing opportunities, the casino where you can try your luck and you can even hire a pedalo on the local lake;
- Chateau-Gontier. Sitting in other southern part of the La Mayenne department, this is a very pretty town with some impressive buildings overlooking the river. The surrounding countryside is also very attractive in a gentle way and while you are in the area you can visit the very large animal sanctuary and the local abandoned Roman town of Jublains;
- Redon. This is a very appealing town in eastern Brittany with some lovely old ecclesiastical architecture in the centre. Even more attractive is the fact that it is at the junction point of a large canal and river system meaning that it is a popular stopping off point for river cruisers and longboats etc;
- Jallouville and south to Avranches. Some of the beaches on the western Cotentin peninsular (Normandy) are stunningly beautiful and often completely isolated. If you like quiet beaches and small towns, this area may be for you though it is worth noting that the tide can go out a very long way here and the sea, at such times, may be almost invisible! Some care must be taken before walking across the sands when the tide is out due to quicksand and should be avoided by pedestrians and vehicles alike – unless accompanied by a local professional expert (in passing, don’t forget to check your touring caravan insurance will cover you in France);
- Nantes. This is one of the largest cities in France and may not perhaps immediately have occurred you as being a natural holiday touring spot but it is a fascinating city with a wealth of attractions and an incredibly important chateau at the centre. Of course, roads in the centre may not be ideal for the caravan but if you are parked up somewhere in the area, the city centre is well worth seeing;
- Villedieu-Les-Poêles. This is a small town nestling in the Normandy countryside but it is famous as a centre of copper kitchen utensil production. It is a very pretty town in its own right but the multitude of shops selling copper items makes it even more so. While you are there, remember to visit the bell foundry in the centre of town, where they continue to make bells for churches around the world and all the bells for the ships of the French Navy.
A touring holiday can be a great way to see some of the lesser known spots in France and get away from the more ‘touristy’ areas, meaning you can truly experience the wonderful sights and smells of this beautiful country.