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Orne (department number 61) is located in the region of Basse-Normandie. The department is named after the river Orne (a tributary of the English channel), which runs through it and is the only department within Normandy not to border the sea. Agriculture remains the primary economic source. In 2008, the population was estimated to be 292,282.
The town of Alençon is the capital of the Orne department, with Flers being another major city. Orne is famed for Camembert as the village of 'Camembert' where the cheese is produced is located in this department.
Why you should visit Orne for your next holiday in France
If you enjoy sightseeing and places with an interesting historic past, mixed with lush rolling countryside, then you need go no further than Orne. The combination of delicious gastronomy and its close proximity to the UK, make this department a perfect destination for a long holiday or short break. As this department is land locked, it enjoys a more continential climate compared to the rest of the region with hotter temperatures and less rainfull.
What to see in Orne
The large market town of Alençon is the principal town (prefecture) of Orne and is picture postcard with its cobbled streets and 'oldy worldy' feel. The town is particuarly known for its lace making (dentelle) and its array of chocolate shops. The enchanted forests of D’Ecouves and Perseigne surround the town.
Situated in the North West of the department, Flers is a pretty town with an impressive Chateau and is crossed by the river Vère.
The “green way”
This is a 67km cycle track and takes you through picturesque villages, valleys and forests.
Come and visit the medieval quarter of Domfront, with its half-timbered houses and castle ruins. The town also boasts panoramic views over the Varenne gorge and a number of pear orchards.
The village where Camembert cheese is made.
Bagnoles de l’Orne
This delightful Spa town with its thermal waters, offers many places of interest and architecture to visit. The town also provides a great base for walkers and cyclists wanting to explore the nearby Forêt d’Ecouves.
The popular ancient town of Seés is famed for its attractive twin-spired cathedral. The summertime welcomes a spectacular light show.
How to get to Seine-Maritime
Skysouth are the only direct airline and they fly six times a week direct from Shoreham (ESH) to Caen (CFR). Prices start at around £70 for a single trip.
Driving would be the common mode of transport to get to the department as Orne is just a quick hop across the channel to either Le Hâvre or Dieppe (situated in the department of Seine-Maritime) and then a short drive.
Go by Eurostar from the UK to Calais and then take the TGV to Le Havre or Rouen.