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Fresnay sur Sarthe - full of mediaeval character

The small town of Fresnay sur Sarthe, which lies, as its name suggests, on the River Sarthe in the department of the same name, is a mediaeval town of such considerable charm that it has been designated an official "small city of character" in the French guide books. Its lovely location, on the edge of the Alpes Mancelles area of natural beauty and along the side of the river, together with its mediaeval character have made this small town one of the reputed gems of the Sarthe.

Explore the ancient streets and beautiful castle

The town is pretty as a picture postcard, and a day spent pottering along the ancient streets and the banks of the tranquil River Sarthe is always a day well spent. Fresnay sur Sarthe has various sights and features of interest, with the colombage houses displaying their external timbers in typical mediaeval fashion, narrow twisting streets, a 12th century church and the crowning glory of the beautiful castle.

Saturday is market day

The Saturday market (8am-1pm) is a pleasure to visit, colourful and oh so French, while the town also has a good selection of small shops and restaurants to provide the necessities of life and also the pleasures. For those who prefer to be a little more active, Fresnay has tennis, bowling/petanque courts and a heated public swimming pool.

Out and about

The glorious countryside of the Alpes Mancelles is ideal for outdoor pursuits such as walking, cycling, horse-riding, kayaking, fishing and swimming. The area is also littered with pretty villages and heritage towns, many of which host colourful festivals and other cultural events especially in the summer months.

Enjoy the races at Le Mans

If you prefer your pleasures to be a little more high octane, get along to nearby Le Mans, which is not only a "beautiful city of art and history", but also the home of the famous Le Mans motor racing circuit where the 24-hour car and motorbike races are held every year.

How to get there

The best airports to head for are those of Paris, Rennes or Tours. Paris is served by a multitude of airlines, Rennes by Flybe and Tours by Ryanair. Le Mans has a TGV station which you can travel to from Paris, the nearest railway station to Fresnay sur Sarthe being La Hutte. Meanwhile drivers can follow the excellent toll road system finding Fresnay sur Sarthe on the D310 near to the A28.

Property prices and availability in and around Fresnay sur Sarthe

In general, the Sarthe is a reasonably priced area, especially considering its relatively central location and the abundance of attractions in the area. With property prices currently starting as low as 35,000 Euros in the area around Fresnay sur Sarthe, there should be something to suit most budgets!

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Fresnay sur Sarthe AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Fresnay sur Sarthe?

Fresnay sur Sarthe is situated in the north-west of France. It lies in the north-west of the Sarthe department.

Fresnay sur Sarthe Property Map


Pays de la Loire Guide

Pays de la Loire Property Map


Sarthe Guide

  Sarthe Map

Population: 2,241

Access: By air: Fly to Tours, Rennes or Paris. By rail: Le Mans has a TGV station with links to Paris. By road: The town lies on the D310, near to the A28 motorway (toll road).

Economy: The economy is mainly agricultural, but tourism is a factor due to its listed status. Weaving and hemp were the old industries.

Interesting fact: Fresnay sur Sarthe is a listed "petit cité de caractère" thanks to its mediaeval heritage.

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