The Anglophone walking group meets once a month from February to June and from September to November. We walk for about 5km – taking around an hour and a half. All members are welcome – we have some regulars but also people who dip in and out as it suits them.
We try to arrange walks all over the patch covered by the association, and put together a mixture of seaside and country walks. There’s nothing too strenuous – although there might be the odd hill – and stout footwear is recommended.
Afterwards we will go to a local auberge or restaurant for lunch, and always choose somewhere with a good value menu. We’ve found a few gems! You can even just join us for lunch if you like. All we ask is that people book for lunch a few days before so that we can make arrangements with the restaurant.
For further information please email us through our contact page.
About 16 people and one dog enjoyed a walk in the vicinity of the Abbey at Hambye in the morning of Friday 22nd April 2016, another excellent Anglophone Association event.
Whilst it was raining, sometimes very heavy, prior to the walk, it did not rain during the walk but the ground was very wet.
The guide was excellent as no one got lost, unfortunately the shoes of one walker “gave up the ghost”.
It shows how keen the walkers were to turn up at Hambye on a wet and inclement day.
The next walk will take place under blue skies [I hope]. The walk was uneventful but as a result of the weather some of the timber surfaces [bridges] were very slippery.
Following the walk a very nice 3 course meal at
Hotel de La Gare at Gavray was taken by the walkers who
gained all the calories they had lost as a consequence of the
walk, the walkers were also joined by two people who did not
go on the walk
“Wear warm clothes” came the surprising advice from the organisers. Well, it is still February so why would we need the reminder? 27 of us met at the appointed hour and were split into 2 groups, because some parts of the tower structures cannot support more than 14 people. Our group started at the bottom, and sat in the body of the cathedral for an interesting historical summary of over 1000 years of Christianity in the Coutances area.
A cathedral is a symbol of the power and authority of the church throughout history and the talk reflected as much of political history as religious. Our guide was clearly well versed in architecture and history and her spoken English was excellent. The warm clothes were proving to be welcome as we walked around the “Ambulatory”. A new word for our vocabulary: it is the space where clergy (and tourists) walk around behind the altar. Our guide showed us the painted walls, (11th century as I recall) and explained the light airiness as being the result of light coloured windows interspersing the darker coloured windows and the lack of dividing walls between the small chapels.
Then it was through a big wooden door and up the first of the spiral stone staircases. Whilst not for the faint hearted, these climbs were not as bad as some of us expected; coming out into small rooms and long stone corridors. We felt very privileged to walk on the uneven pavement overlooking the nave area from small apertures in the wall. Upwards again to the third tier. Across a wooden walkway and up more stone steps. Arriving, eventually on a narrow ledge high in the tower. Our guide explained how a square base becomes an octagon and then becomes a circle; giving the space, light and strength that typifies Coutances cathedral.
We exclaimed over the ancient graffiti (yes really!) and clutched our spectacles as we gazed down at the splendour below. One window described the link between Thomas Becket (late archbishop of Canterbury) and Normandy. We all revelled in our Norman ancestry as the historic links between our two countries was revealed. Downwards by a different route which meant that the most spectacular view was the climax of the visit. On the walkway above the Ambulatory we could look straight down the nave. It reminded of those high camera views of Royal events at Westminster Abbey.
Afterwards (and by this time well and truly cold, despite the warm clothes) we adjourned to “La Moriniere” for a very Norman lunch of Gallettes and Crepes. It was a very convivial end to an informative morning.
Write up courtesy of a member
The walk on Tuesday l6th Feb. from Coutainville along the dunes as far as the monument of the standing stones, shaped like a boat and back on the beach was invigorating.
The weather was in our favour, the sun shone all morning. After a good walk we had a very nice lunch at the L’Equinoxe, which we thought was good value for the money.
Good company and a good walk looking forward to the next one.
Write up courtesy of Sue & Ray