Another town that we sell houses in and around is the wonderful town of Avranches.
It is in a very enviable location and has so much going for it. Not only does it have great links into Brittany, serviced by the Autoroute (motorway), you also have great public transport links – which is not always the case in more rural areas.
You can catch a train to Caen, Granville and Rennes or change at one of the stations and hop on a train to somewhere else eg. Paris. Or maybe fly – Rennes has direct flights to London Gatwick, Amsterdam and more.
You also have many different bus route options to get around this part of Normandie and arrive in many of the towns, that we have already written about. For example, you could hop on a bus that will take you to Villedieu-les-Poêles or Granville which will also stop off at the beach town resorts of Carolles and Jullouville. You can also head to the major town of St Lô, also home to the Préfecture of La Manche!
Heading south from Avranches, you can take a bus to Mont St Michel. If that doesn’t take your fancy, you could always head towards us here at Sourdeval! The bus that leaves from Avranches stops at Romagny, Mortain, Le Neufbourg and Sourdeval for its onward final destination – Vire.
Whilst, ideally, it is recommended that you do have your own mode of transport whilst living in some of the more rural parts of Lower Normandy – Avranches is a place whereby if you did not have a car, you could still get out and about and visit great towns, beaches and top tourist destinations.
So with great train links and public transport you may feel that this town might not be as steeped in history and quintessentially French looking. Well, we are pleased to say that like all our other towns, it too feels just like a rural village with charming architecture. This town is steeped in history and has cobbled streets and a castle no less . You cannot fail to miss Château d’Avranches in the heart of the town, right next to the Tourist Information and, as is common place, free parking to explore on foot.
“The Château d’Avranches was a castle in Avranches, Manche, France. A castle has existed at Avranches since the 10th century. It was besieged by Francis I, Duke of Brittany, and Arthur de Richemont, with the English garrison surrendering on 12 May 1450”.
Notably, the castle (which also has a Dungeon) has an excellent panoramic viewing point including a view of Mont St Michel. You will find the the castle smack bang in the main shopping area amongst the typical stone buildings and cobbled streets which you can gently stroll around. You can explore all the nooks and crannies of Avranches with its charming individual boutiques, tea room, restaurants and more familiar outlets. There is a old style alley way with unique shops that can lead you out to other parts of the town to explore.
You will stumble across a stunning courtyard with a church, fountain and restaurants (including an excellent Thai restaurant) and sitting unassumingly, tucked away and it all its magnificence, you will find the church called Basilique Saint-Gervais d’Avranches. One of three, no less, in Avranches.
Another more imposing church is that of Eglise Saint-Saturnin opposite the Jardin des Plantes and as its name suggest is a wonderful garden with stunning views. A little further down, heading back towards the castle, you have the impressive building of the private lycée Notre Dame de la Providence which has its own chapel on site. This building is the one that you can see passing via the Autoroute and dominates the skyline. It also has an amazing view of Mont St Michel – yes that’s right you can actually see Mont St Michel at various locations in Avranches!
The wonderful thing about Avranches is that you can easily avail of everything on foot. Further out of town you have the bigger supermarkets and other retail outlets and if you go a little bit further – you will come across a huge retail park together with Travel Lodges, main car dealers and easy access back onto the Autoroute. It has a Chinese restaurant with an all you can eat buffet and a great bar/venue next door that stays open late, hosts live music, sports events and is suitable for families and all ages. Within the same venue you can browse local food and produce.
Avranches also has its own night club, another bar where you can drink beer and throw axes! A little further out of town you have a café which has board games, theatre productions and folk music etc.
On one of the main roundabouts that leads you off into all directions of Avranches, there is the General Patton Memorial complete with a Sherman Tank for those of you that have a keen interest in WWII history and a full link with other places of interest is below. They say this..
“General Patton was the liberator of the town of Avranches, and a square named after him commemorates what is known as the “Avranches Breakthrough”. Avranches was a strategic hub of the Battle of Normandy, opening the way to Brittany and Paris. “
Very near by, you absolutely have to pop into the boulangerie which featured on a well known television programme to find the best Boulangerie in France. Here you will find exceptional patisseries, bread and much more. Aux Gourmandises de Laurette
You have an all service Hospital in Avranches with an additional Private Clinic for other treatments.
Avranches has two lycées both private and public (although private schools are not charged at the same rate as, say, the UK) you can expect to pay approximately 1,000 euros for the year excluding lunch and more if you child was to be an interne (boarder) which is very normal here in France.
It also has collèges and primary schools so this is another bonus, insofar as if you have children, they can easily navigate the schooling system in one place.
Heading out of Avranches is the stunning coastal drive passing through Genêts where you can walk across to Mont St Michel with a guided tour. There is a beach side restaurant at Saint-Jean-le-Thomas and a caravan camping site with static vans right on the beach front. As you wind along this route, you will find other restaurants with stunning views of Mont St Michel – keep going as you will hit the first sandy beach of Carolles, Jullouville and so on.
If you choose in and around Avranches to live, you really do have it all on your doorstep. We hope you enjoyed this insight into the wonderful town of Avranches.