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A modern life in an historic town

St-Lô lies in the north-west of France, and is the capital of the Manche department. It is a large modern town, having been rebuilt and given a new lease of life after the 2nd World War, when it suffered extensive damage. Infact St-Lô was so badly destroyed that for a while it was considered that it should be kept in ruins as a memorial. Instead, some of its scars have been left as reminders of the terrible events that occurred.

The Church of the Notre Dame

After the bombings in 1946 there were few buildings left standing, so sadly much of the town's heritage was completely destroyed. The Church of Notre Dame, however, escaped if not unscathed, then at least largely recognisable from its original form. Now partially restored, and built in Flamboyant Gothic style, the church is a strong feature of the town, despite the visible damage.

All the usual facilities… in abundance!

St-Lô has all the usual facilities you would expect to find in a large town. These include schools, banks, supermarkets and smaller shops, as well as a greater than usual supply of good restaurants and leisure facilities.

Sport and education in St-Lô

The town is big on sport, and residents can choose from such activities as swimming, bowling, ball sports, golf, horse-riding and many others. Infact the town's passion for sport renders it a good place for family life. Horse lovers will also be interested in St-Lô's stud farm, which is the largest of the twenty three National Stud Farms in France. Here there are many rare breeds to be seen, and a visit can be a fascinating experience. The town of St-Lô is also proud of its focus on education and the excellent choice of schools, colleges and lycées here could be a factor for anyone considering a full time move to France with a family.

Further afield

If you venture just a little further afield from the town itself, you will find plenty to see and do. Just twenty minutes drive away are the famous beaches where the Normandy landings took place, and you can also visit the town of Bayeaux, home of the legendary Bayeaux tapestry. On a simpler level, there is always the glorious Norman countryside to enjoy too, with its hectares of orchards and lush green pasture dotted with pretty old villages.

How to get there

It is possible to fly into Dinard with Ryanair or Rennes with Flybe from the UK, but probably the best access to St-Lô is by ferry to the port of Cherbourg or Ouistreham (Caen). There is a new and excellent dual carriageway road network around the town, making driving easy. It is also possible to travel by rail from Paris in around two and a half hours.

Property prices and availability in and around St-Lô

In general, prices in Normandy are lower than those in Brittany, as it remains less overrun by the foreign markets. This is gradually changing, however, as property in popular Brittany becomes harder to obtain, and people are turning to lesser known Normandy and discovering its many attributes… along with cheaper property! St-Lo is well placed to access both the coast and the rest of north-west France.

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St-Lô is found in the Manche department of Normandy, which is in the north-west of France. The town is situated in the east of the department.

St Lô Property Map


Lower-Normandy Guide

Lower-Normandy Property Map


Manche Guide

  Manche Map

Population: 20,000

Access: By air: Fly to Dinard or Rennes. By boat: The nearest ferry port is Cherbourg. By train: Eurostar to Paris, then train to Lison station.

Economy: There is little in the way of manufacturing industry here, but the economy of St-Lô is based mainly on financial institutions, government bureaus, tourism and particularly horse breeding.

Interesting fact: During World War II, so much of the town was destroyed (95 %!) that St-Lô earned the nickname Capital of the Ruins!


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