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Vernon - not just a neighbour to Giverny

Many internet searches for the town of Vernon, in northern France, immediately bring up a mention of Giverny. Now, while being situated close to Monet's glorious gardens can never be a bad thing, the danger is that this can prevent travellers from taking time to explore Vernon for its own beauty. And, Vernon is, without doubt, beautiful. It's also full of historic interest, monuments and authentic buildings and atmosphere. The town's location, on the banks of the majestic River Seine, is delightful, and within the town itself is a plethora of pleasant distractions in the form of cafés, shops and museums.

Vernon's heritage

The River Seine, flowing through the town of Vernon, may be one of the town's defining features. This most famous of rivers offers Vernon a lovely natural heritage, and provides for tranquil walks, picnics and picturesque views. But there is also plenty of stunning built heritage to find here too. A favourite may well be the Old Mill, built in an inimitable fashion, straddling the River Seine, its timber framed exterior and precarious position never failing to grab the visitor's attention. You can't, sadly, explore the interior (presumably for safety reasons!) but it's well worth a visit all the same. The Gothic collegiate church is also remarkable, as is the Town Hall, the Archives Tower with its 100 steps and commanding views, the Tourelles Castle and the Château de Bizy. Amidst all these magnificent monuments, Vernon also offers the prettiest of authentic mediaeval houses and streets, rich with atmospheric charm.

Daily life in Vernon

Should you be lucky enough to have a prolonged stay in Vernon, you'll find the town has an equally rewarding daily life. There's an abundance of shops, cafés, restaurants and bars to tempt you. There can be few more pleasant places to while away an hour or two over a lazy lunch, or to take a break from exploring to sip a fragrant coffee or a glass of wine in one of Vernon's quaint cafés tucked indulgently into these mediaeval streets.

Enjoy market days and visit the museum

Fans of traditional French street markets should note that Vernon's markets are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The markets remain active all day both days, but it's still true to say that the early bird catches the worm, with the best of the local produce and bargains being snapped up pretty soon after opening. Culture buffs can visit the Impressionist Museum in the town to admire not only works by local hero Monet, but also works by other acclaimed artists.

Explore Monet's gardens of Giverny and mediaeval La Roche Guyon

Given Vernon's location, it's pretty much obligatory to visit Monet's gardens of Giverny. It's a very special experience, to see for yourself the inspiration for some of the world's most famous and best loved paintings. Even those who don't really consider themselves art fans should find Giverny unforgettable. Paris, too, is near enough for a visit. The most romantic city on earth, Paris is all things to all men, having different surprises and delights along every street. Unmissable, whether or not you've been before, Paris should be on your must see list from a base in Vernon. Take a look too at the town of La Roche Guyon, a mediaeval town designated one of the most beautiful in France.

Sports and leisure activities on offer

There is, perhaps, only so much sightseeing you can do. So if there are days when you feel like being a little more sporty, you'll be pleased to find plenty of options close to Vernon. Golfers have a great choice of courses to try, while hikers too are spoilt for choice with riverside walks, forest trails and plenty of lovely countryside to explore. Numerous equestrian centres cater for horse riders, and fishermen have been drawn to the area for many years to take advantage of opportunities to indulge their hobby in the Eure's lakes and rivers. Closer to home you can take a boat across the Seine from La Bouille, then explore the glorious forests and woodland trails that surround this riverside town.

How to get there

To get to the area, you can travel in a variety of ways. There are direct flights from the UK to Paris, or you can take the Eurostar to Paris, Lille or Calais. The ferry ports of Le Havre and Dieppe are very accessible. Finally, drivers will find Vernon on the D181/D6015. The nearest major road is the E5.

Property prices and availability in and around Vernon

For such an attractive town, located so close to major attractions like Giverny and Paris, Vernon offers a surprising amount of affordable property. And not just affordable. The town and its surroundings are home to some truly desirable properties, ranging from old character homes to convenient modern apartments.

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Vernon AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Vernon?

Vernon lies in the north of France. It's located in the east of the Eure department, close to the regional border with Ile de France.

Vernon Property Map

IN THE REGION OF UPPER-NORMANDY

Upper-Normandy Guide

Upper-Normandy Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF EURE

Eure Guide

  Eure Map


Population: 24,998


Access: By air: Fly to Paris direct from the UK. By boat: The nearest ferry ports are Dieppe and Le Havre. By rail: Rail travellers can travel to Calais, Lille or Paris by Eurostar. By road: The town lies on the D181/D6015. The nearest major road is the E5.


Economy: The economy includes the manufacture of engines in addition to commerce, tourism and agriculture.


Interesting fact: Vernon is known for its courageous part in the French Resistance movement during the Second World War.

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