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Manche Property Listings and Info

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From north to south

The department of Manche covers the western strip of Normandy, stretching from Cherbourg in the north to Mont-St-Michel in the south. The northern half is called the Cotentin Peninsula, although in English it is referred to as the Cherbourg Peninsula. Further south and towards the middle of Lower Normandy you will find the Bocage area which is characterised by its tranquillity and prosperity. The Manche's western coast, looking out onto the Channel Islands, is packed with fantastic beaches. The southern part of Manche is tucked away but must not be missed. The city of Mont-St-Michel is visited by a staggering three million people every year.

The Cotentin Peninsula

The Cotentin Peninsula is fairly remote and under populated, with the exception of the town of Cherbourg. This port town (home to the biggest artificial port in the world), played an important role during World War II. The Musée de la Guerre et de la Libération is a great place to learn more about its past. Cherbourg is not the prettiest town in France, but its easy access and authentic Norman feel make it a popular destination nevertheless.

The prettiest in all of Normandy...

Further to the south you will find Coutances, the capital of the Manche, and, without a doubt, the prettiest town in Normandy. Its centrepiece is an incredible 11th to 13th century cathedral. The town has a very relaxed atmosphere with its safe streets and well kept gardens.

...and the most impressive

Mont-St-Michel is a stunning town and the chief visitor magnet for Normandy, with over three million visitors each year. It has long been dubbed 'the marvel of the western world' and it's not hard to see why. The town rises majestically above the flat plains below, with its mediaeval architecture pointing upwards. At the very top sits a gothic building that looks like it was built for a horror movie. It is in fact a former Benedictine Abbey, built in 966 by the Duke of Normandy. Since then it has been used as a jail (after the French Revolution), before being classified as an historic building in 1861, after which it started to become a pilgrim site. The golden archangel was added in 1897, which remains to this day, giving the structure its famous silhouette. Meanwhile the Bay of Mont-St-Michel is known for its fast-moving tides which are the biggest in Europe (17 metres). The bay can be a dangerous place to cross, with the sea often coming in quickly and quicksand to deal with. Plans are afoot to build a new barrier on the River Couesnon to prevent this happening, with the current barrier being demolished and replaced by a bridge.

How to get there

Direct flights from the UK include Flybe into Rennes and Ryanair to Dinard. It may well be more convenient to travel by ferry, however, as there are services from the UK to Cherbourg, Ouistreham (Caen), Le Havre in Upper Normandy and St Malo in Brittany. Travelling by train is also an option. If you don't want to take your car then you can continue on the TGV train to Le Havre and Cherbourg once you have been through the Channel Tunnel.

Manche property prices

Interest in the Normandy region is on the rise as the property market in Brittany is starting to spill over. The abundance of cheap properties and the easy access from the UK make it ideal for buyers here. The Contentin Peninsula primarily offers resorts for French families, while the South is more popular for the British. Needless to say, the most expensive properties are to be found in Mont-St-Michel.

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WHERE IS Manche?

The Manche is located in Lower Normandy. It is the most northern department in the region.

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