There are loads to see and do in the Manche in Autumn with fabulous towns like Cherbourg, Saint Lo and of course the ever-popular wonder of the world – Mont-saint-Michel. At this time of the year, the famous island is far less crowded and you’ll be able to stroll those wiggly little streets and enjoy the views over the bay in comfort.
Granville is one of the jewels of the Manche, known as the “Monaco of the north” it’s a coastal town with museums including the former home of the iconic fashion designer Christian Dior. There are mouth-watering seafood restaurants, cosy little bars and it’s a lovely town to wander.
Stay at: Chateau d’Hambye in Hambye. Sleeping 14 in luxury, set in 9 acres of pretty gardens and fields – it’s a place to really relax and recharge your batteries. Walking distance to the village amenities and just 20 minutes from Granville.
The vineyards and countryside of the beautiful Cote d’Or are a tapestry of vibrant colours in autumn. The magnificent city of Dijon is one of the true gems of this lovely area of Burgundy. With its fabulous covered market designed by Gustav Eiffel who was born here, plenty of museums, a fabulous castle, brilliant restaurants and wine bars – it’s the quintessential and utterly lovely French town.
Other highlights include Beaune, the wine-lover's paradise, Mersault and Puligny-Montrachet as well as pretty Flavigny where the movie Chocolat was filmed.
Stay at: Well Cottage in Montigny sur Armancon – a perfect bijou cottage just right for two. Situated in the heart of the village and just 7km from the stunning medieval town of Semur-en-Auxois, it’s a cosy and charming place to stay with lovely views over the valley.
Champagne Ardenne: Aude
The department of Aube is home to some of the finest Champagne vineyards including Drappier who make the biggest bottle of Champagne in the world. Their Melchizedek bottle holds a stonking 400 glasses of Champagne in one single bottle! It’s an area that has retained its rural simplicity, Renoir lived here in Essoyes and loved to capture its beauty. It’s an area that is peppered with pretty little villages where you’ll find independent Champagne makers offering a taste and buy service along the route de Champagne.
The medieval city of Troyes is full of half-timbered houses, delicious restaurants, there are several museums and loads to see and do.
Stay at: Les Marais cottage in Mesnil-St-Pere. There are actually 5 delightful cottages on the shore of the Lac d’Orient and this one sleeps 6. Cosy and comfortable, it’s ideal for nature lovers with wonderful views in the most picturesque countryside. And it’s very close to the wonderful city of Troyes.
Loire Atlantique Brittany
Boasting the longest beach in Europe (9km of golden sand), La Baule on the Cote d’Armor is a beach lover’s dream and listed as one of the most beautiful bays in the world. A sophisticated sort of place with plenty of charm lying among pine trees where you can ride a horse or simply relax. There’s plenty do to all year round here and some excellent restaurants.
Close by, Batz-sur-Mer, a recognised “City of Character” is on a peninsula with the sea on one side and the salt marshes on the other. Visit the fabulous markets, museums and enjoy the town’s architectural heritage and salty history!
Stay at: The Coastal House at Batz-sur-Mer. Sleeping 7, in the centre of a friendly village, this is ideal for families. At just a few minutes’ walk from the beach where you’ll be able to use a private beach hut, it makes for a lovely place to stay for beach lovers and with usually mellow weather in autumn, the last chance for a bit of late sun before winter.
Sorges is famous throughout France for its truffles, in fact, it’s known as the world capital of truffles. In this town, you’ll find a famous restaurant - the Auberge de la Truffe known for its gourmet dishes. There’s even a truffle museum, but there’s more to this place than the delicious little fungi known as the black diamond of gastronomy. The town is small and beautiful, the perfect place to relax, with its magnificent Romanesque church and medieval houses and castle remains.
It is a tranquil place that is surrounded by lush countryside, yet it’s only 20 minutes’ drive to the medieval city of Perigueux. Brantome is also nearby. Known as the “Venice of Dordogne” it’s the sort of place that all who see it, fall in love with.
Stay at: Lovely La Chenaie, a stunning country house in Sorges. With enough room for 12 guests and exquisitely renovated, with a beautiful south facing terrace, perfect for those autumn sunny days.