I live in the heart of the Bay of the Mont St Michel where Normandy and Brittany meet. It is a very special part of the world set between a beautiful coastline with pristine beaches and lovely rolling countryside dotted with picturesque lakes. To the north my area includes the town of Granville, known as ‘the Monaco of the North’, the only town in France to count an archipelago in its municipality. With a year-round program of festivals, plenty of shops and restaurants and lovely beaches there is always something to do here. Take a boat ride out to the archipelago of Chausey and you find yourself in almost complete tranquility, a great way to escape the world for a day. The coastline down to Avranches is studded with beautiful little towns and gorgeous beaches where ‘paillots’ or shacks set-up in the summer season offering tasty snacks. Avranches itself is home to the manuscripts from the Mont Saint Michel and offers a bustling market on Saturday mornings with plenty of fresh local produce on offer. The coast here is lined with rich salt marshes where the famed ‘pré salé’ or salt-marsh lamb is raised. The Bay is dominated by the Mont Saint Michel, a UNESCO world heritage site, and its twin island of Tombelain. Here we have the highest tidal flows in Europe with the sea retreating more than 4km at low tide exposing the mudflats, an ideal feeding ground for all kinds of sea birds, a fascinating and ever-changing environment. Follow the coast around in to Brittany and you find fertile lands where fresh vegetables are cultivated. Here lies the origin for Brittany Ferries, initially established as a commercial service for the region’s farmers to export their vegetables to the UK, the company now provide important passenger ferry links in the Western Channel. The rich waters of this coastline produce some of the best oysters and mussels in the world. Islands, beaches, beautiful countryside, lakelands, fresh local produce and an abundance of seafood – this part of France really has it all!
Born in the cold beauty of rural Northumberland and horse-mad from an early age I moved to France in 2004 to work in the export department of a large horsebox manufacturer. It was a complete change from life in the UK where I’d worked in a variety of jobs in the equine industry, competed and trained dressage horses and even took part in team selection trials for the British Young Rider squad. In 2004 I boarded a ferry with two horses and have never looked back. Redundancy brought the opportunity to do something different; I’d always been interested in property – a complete change from travelling the world selling luxury horseboxes. After a stint with a French property agency I joined Leggett in order to be able to serve my clients better through their extensive international marketing network. The way of life here is just so different and refreshing. I love being by the sea in such a beautiful place and if I’m ever missing a bit of the ‘British’ life the Channel Islands are only an hour by boat. Perfect!!
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