La Haute Mancelière is situated in a peaceful location, in the heart of the countryside near the border between Brittany and Normandy. Tremblay 5kms away, the nearest village, has an 11th Century Church, as well as a few little shops and bars. St Brice-en-Cogles is also only 4km away and is a very pretty village with 2 supermarkets, shops and restaurants.
There are also lots of historical towns to explore – Fougères, only 15kms away boasts the largest medieval castle in Europe. Tours of the castle are available with audio guides in English, which bring the Castle and town to life. Dinan and St Malo, both fine examples of beautiful medieval towns are close by to explore. Rennes is a larger town with pretty cobbled streets and excellent restaurants. No holiday is complete without a visit to the second most visited tourist attraction in France, Mont St Michel only 25kms away. Being located in Eastern Brittany, the attractions in lower Normandy are also within easy reach. We are only 1h15 minutes drive from the Normandy beaches between Caen and Cherbourg, and an hour’s drive from Bayeux. The surrounding countryside offers many lovely walks and cycle rides, many through established forests which characterize the beautiful countryside of the Fougères region. There are markets on nearly every day of the week, both in Brittany and Normandy. Activities such as horse riding, golf and fishing are all available locally.
We are spoilt for choices for beaches in the area as we are located between Normandy and Brittany. The best beaches are around 50 minutes drive away and in Brittany there are the numerous Emerald Coast beaches between St Malo and Cancale, and 3 beaches in Dinard. In Normandy, north of Mt St Michel there are the huge sandy beaches of Carolles and Julouville. Strand beaches are closer, around the Baie de Mont St Michel, such as Cherrueix where land yachting is done, nice for walking and collecting shells, especially if you have dogs, but the sea is a long way off. Guided walks across the bay of Mont St Michel are also possible, but need to be booked in advance.
Family Days Out
The Forest of Villecartier
The forest is only a 10 minute drive from the gites and a great place to spend time if you just want a walk or want activities.There are several well marked walks, including a lovely walk around the lake (around 2.5kms). As well as the walks, there are three children’s play areas and a bar/restaurant which is open all day for meals and drinks. Short pony rides and electronic boat rides on the lake are also available in high season and at weekends in May/June/September. From Easter to September a Accrobranches Circuit is also open – an adventure tree walking circuit, not for anyone suffering from vertigo! As well as a course for age 12 to adults, there is a junior circuit for children of 5+.s only a 10 minute drive and as well as offering many different walks, there are electronic boats, pony rides and a new attraction, a tree walking ‘ high in the trees where you complete a course of varying difficulty whilst attached by a safety harness to overhead cables.
Zoos and Animal attractions
- La Bourbonsais – 40 minutes drive. A nice little zoo near Combourg, where you can feed some of the animals (the goats rather than the lions!) watch a falconry display and the children can end the trip by playing on bouncy castles. There is also a Chateau which can be visited.
- Champretus Zoo – 45 minutes drive. North of Avranches, a little bigger than La Boubonsais zoo and again with a good play area for children.
- The Aquarium at St Malo – 45 minutes drive. A fabulous little aquarium with an underwater Nautilus ride at the end.
- Alligator Bay Reptilarium – 25 minutes drive, near Mont St Michel. An impressive collection of many different reptiles, from snakes to alligators.
Activity and Water Parks
- Cobac Parc near Combourg – an activity and water park (40 mins drive)
- Ange St Michel n
- Parc Floral de Haute Bretagne – 10 mins drive. A beautiful floral park, set in the grounds of an old Chateau. It comprises 24 different botanical gardens, and is especially lovely to visit in April/May/June.
- ear Avranches – an activity and water park (40 mins drive)
And if it rains….
As well as the indoor centres of the Aquarium at St Malo and the Reptilarium at Pontorson and there is a fantastic swimming pool at Fougères, with indoor and outdoor pools, a diving pool, a childrens pool, wave machine and water slides. At Rennes there is a Gaumont cinema which shows films in the original version, and an ice rink. There is a bowling alley in Fougères. For young children there is a soft play centre, Woupi, north of Rennes (40 minutes drive).