Not so well trodden
The next stop on our Normandy road trip after Caen was the town of Alençon, before planning this trip I had never actually heard of Alençon, but we often like to throw in a less obvious town, to make the adventure a little bit more unique.
Maison D'Oze and Cathedral
This was originally going to be our final stop in Normandy, but as it has been ten years since Gary & I was last in this region, I couldn’t resist adding a cheeky night in Honfleur on our return journey.
Not that Gary took much persuading.
Suisse Normande Trail
Auberge de la Suisse Normande
La Suisse Normande
Flowers on the route Suisse-Normande
A view over the route Suisse-Normande
Discover more of Normandy on a road trip, you'll be amazed how easy it is to tour around by car with. Like us you can create your own adventure and visit Caen, the D-Day Landing Beaches, Alençon, Honfleur, Giverny, the ruins of Jumièges Abbey, Beuvron-en-Auge and Mont Saint-Michel.
Take a peek at the offers at Rental Cars, they cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.
Our first impressions of the town were very positive, it had a real local feel about it and as a tourist felt very welcoming (which is always a good thing).
So, after our petit dejeuner in a local café, we took to the streets.
La Halle au Blé
A useful guide
We love visiting France and each region so different from one another. I find the DK Eyewitness Guides really helpful in planning a trip and so often find interesting little snippets of info.
Take a peek at this revised Top 10 Pocket Travel Guide and see what you can discover.
Even the Gestapo
Le Château des Ducs
Looking back to Le Château des Ducs
Palais de Justice
L'Hôtel de Ville and the flag of Normandy
The Town Hall
On a road trip?
Try and pick a town you wouldn’t normally be drawn too. You’ll never know what you’ll find.
Is it a church?
L'Eglise des Jésuites
All quiet in the library
Inside the Library
What a find!
We continue to stroll around the town, and there are so many pieces of interesting architecture, half-timbered homes and fascinating buildings.
One of which is the 15th-Century Maison à l'Étal, below its curved slated roof remains the original stone slab, which was used to sell and display the merchandiser’s wares.
Léon de La Sicotière
Maison à l'Étal
The Historic Foundations
Rue du Jeudi
A half-timbered home
Préfecture de l'Orne
The story continues…
Maison Natale de Sainte Thérèse
In the Basilica of Notre-Dame in the centre of town, a chapel is dedicated to Saint Thérèse. The basilica itself is of mixed styles due to the forces of nature, and damage and looting during the French Revolution.
Entrance to the Cathedral
Go take a look inside it has an unusual mixture of old & new stained glass windows.
Traditional stained glass windows
Modern stained glass windows
Maison D'Ozé, Alençon
Although Alençon was affected by war damage, it wasn’t as sustained as some Norman towns.
Alençon was the first town to be liberated by the French Army under General Leclerc.
During the 16th-century lace making became a prominent local industry & Alençon lace was worn by the French Royalty.
Although lace making continued on a small scale by Carmelite nuns, to ensure the technique survived a workshop has been set up in the town.
All things traditional
Where the roads meet
Food glorious food
A meat feast at Chez Fano
Meat at Le Bistro
Apples of course, at Le Bistro
Discovered any French towns that you are keeping to yourselves, we’d love to know?
Inspired to visit Alençon?
Okay, so the weather didn't look great, but that's not an overriding memory of Alençon. It was great food, a warm welcome, and historic streets.
A nice place to discover the real Normandy.
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