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Fisherman's Green

They say that when old fishermen die, they don't go to heaven. They go to 'Fisherman's Green', where the surroundings are peaceful and beautiful, and the fishing superb. If this is so, then Le MÍle-sur-Sarthe (or Le Mele sur Sarthe), in the department of Orne, Basse Normandie, could be 'Fisherman's Green'. This pretty little town, with only around 650 inhabitants, is a tranquil jewel set in typically green and glorious countryside, and benefits from a superb lake where the fishing is about as good as fishing gets!

A distinctive church

The old church of Le MÍle-sur-Sarthe is quite imposing, having a very distinctive spire which can be seen from quite a distance. The village itself is made up of traditionally constructed houses and cottages, with lovely stone and timber farmsteads dotted around the surrounding countryside.

Fishing and rock climbing

The lake on the edge of the town provides excellent fishing and other water-based activities, but this isn't the only outdoor pleasure available here. The dark rocks typical of the region are evident in much of the department, and these attract climbers from all over Europe, as the challenge they present proves irresistible. Le MÍle-sur-Sarthe lies on the edge of the beautiful Perseigne forest, so walkers will also love the quiet, shaded nature trails which make walking such a pleasure here.

Just made for horses

The department of Orne, where the town is set, is known for its lush green beauty and makes excellent horse country, so horse lovers will enjoy seeing the fields full of these beautiful creatures. The riding is a joy here, with quiet lanes and lots of off-road riding in the fields and forests available, and you won't have to travel far from Le MÍle-sur-Sarthe to find an equestrian centre.

Places to visit

AlenÁon, the major town in the area, is definitely worth a visit, and can provide all the everyday amenities such as banks, shops, supermarkets and schools. This elegant old lace-making town has some interesting architecture and a relaxed ambience, and there are museums and art galleries to visit here as well. You might want to see the lovely Ch‚teau du Carrauges, or take a look at Saint Ceneri-le-Gerei, which is thought by many to be the prettiest village in France. Also worth a trip is the attractive market town of Mortagne-au-Perche, the ancient capital of the Perche region, which still hosts an important market each week.

How to get there

Reaching Le MÍle-sur-Sarthe is simple and inexpensive. The town is located in the north-west of France, and so is well placed for access from the ferry ports of St Malo, Caen, Cherbourg and Le Havre, all of which offer regular crossings from the UK. Air travel is also possible, with flights to Dinard with Ryanair, to Rennes with Flybe or to Paris with a number of airlines. Rail travel provides a further option, as you can travel to Evreux, Le Havre or Caen by TGV.

Property prices and availability in and around Le MÍle-sur-Sarthe

Property in and around the town of Le MÍle-sur-Sarthe can represent excellent value for money, especially when compared with many areas of France where prices have risen sharply during the last few years. The situation is changing, however, as the area gains in popularity with British buyers who have been forced to look further afield than Brittany, and who have discovered this lovely unspoiled region. There is a vast range of types of property on the market, and certainly for those looking for a rural idyll, Le MÍle-sur-Sarthe may prove a great place to begin the search.

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Le MÍle-sur-Sarthe AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Le MÍle-sur-Sarthe?

Le MÍle-sur-Sarthe is located in north-western France, in the south of the Orne department of Lower Normandy.

Le MÍle-sur-Sarthe Property Map


Lower-Normandy Guide

Lower-Normandy Property Map


Orne Guide

  Orne Map

Population: 644

Access: By air: Fly to Dinard, Rennes or Paris. By boat: Take a ferry to the nearby ports of Caen, Cherbourg, St Malo or Le Havre. By rail: Take the Channel tunnel then a TGV to Evreux, Le Havre or Caen.

Economy: The economy is agricultural. Traditionally, the inhabitants of small villages such as Le MÍle-sur-Sarthe were agricultural labourers.

Interesting fact: Le MÍle-sur-Sarthe is twinned with Farringdon in Oxfordshire, and seems to share a considerable number of characteristics with the town.

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