Listed below are places nearby, many on the picturesque Normandy coast, that you might also like to consider visiting while you are on the Cotentin peninsula, north western France.
Places nearby on the Cotentin Peninsula
Other houses and gardens
Other houses and gardens nearby are:
The botanical garden of the Chateau de Vauville (site in French), Vauville (about 20 mins. by car from the Chateau of Nacqueville).
Quite close to Vauville is the House of Jacques Prévert (in French) and the Garden of Jacques Prévert, a celebrated french playwright and poet of the last century. The house and garden are at Omonville-la-Petite, Cap de La Hague, (about 20 mins. by car).
Links are to sites in English, where available.
The Manoir of Dur Ecu (in French) lies just outside Urville-Nacqueville (about 5 mins. by car from the Chateau of Nacqueville).
The Chateau des Ravalet and its park is at Tourlaville, on the eastern side of Cherbourg.
There are a number of other botanical and other gardens in Cherbourg.
Other places nearby
Vauville, a small picturesque village, with stone foot bridges over the streams running through it. A small nature reserve (in French) can be found nearby, with views over to the Channel Islands. A cafe-restaurant lies in the centre of the village - see below.
Cap de La Hague, the top left corner of the Cotentin peninsula (30 minutes from the Château and Park of Nacqueville) has many scenic coastal areas and paths (see Alternative activities, below).
Voted the Second Merveille de La Manche and classed as an Historic Monument, the massive Vauban fort on the island of Tatihou defended the port of St. Vaast-la-Hougue from 1694. It is reached by amphibious vehicle.
Just to the north is the pretty fishing port of Barfleur (in French), overseen 2 kms. to the north by one of the highest lighthouses in the world at the Pointe de Barfleur.
The region's capital in the Middle Ages was Bricquebec (in French) which lies in the centre of the Cotentin.
Places further away
An outpost of the UK, though each is largely self-governing, the Channel Islands lie just off the French coast to the west and can be reached by Manches Iles Express (from Diélette, Barneville-Carteret or Granville) or by Condor Ferries' fast ferry service (from St. Malo, about 30 mins. to Jersey). Flights from France operate from Dinard, near St. Malo.
Utah beach, one of the principal D-day landing beaches, and its museum can be found in the south-eastern corner of the peninsula, about 40 minutes drive away. Omaha, Gold and Juno beaches, which stretch eastwards towards le Havre along the north-facing Normandy coast, were the other springboards for the counter-offensive that led to the end of the Second World War in Europe.
The history and background of Mont St. Michel, a Benedictine Abbey, is described on this religious site as "unquestionably the finest example both of French medieval architecture and of a fortified abbey". The spectacular monastery on its rocky mount 1 mile from the shore has an informative page on the Normandy tourist office website (with an aerial video tour).
The invasion of England by William the Conqueror in 1066 is depicted on the 70 metre long Bayeux tapestry, a description of which can be found here. On the site, links take you to views of the tapestry.
For a break from seeing houses, gardens, churches, etc., here are a few alternative activities:
Many stunning sea views and interesting sea-shore walks can be found at Cap de la Hague. The map also traces the coastal path known as "Sentier des Douaniers" (Path of the Customs Officers) around the spectacular rocky headland with its sandy coves.
Cherbourg boasts the largest man-made harbour in the world. The massive breakwater was started in 1776. Florence's ancestors, Hildevert Hersent and his sons contributed to its development between 1908 and 1923 building additional breakwaters, a dry dock and a pier in the inner harbour.
For an indoor activity, why not visit the old transatlantic liner terminal which now houses the Cité de la Mer. The exhibition boasts a submarine, and explores man's activities in the oceans.
Places to eat
In France there are always many excellent places to eat or to buy food, but they can be hidden away.
We enjoyed a meal at
La Renardière, Vauville (see Other places nearby, above). Open year round for lunch during the week, it can be busy. During the summer months, it is also open on weekends.
One sunday, having got to La Renardière too late, we found this local shop just before it, too, closed for lunch:
The boulangerie in Urville-Nacqueville, on the D45 near the pretty central "place". It has a mouth-watering selection of boulangerie and patisserie (as, admittedly, do many other similar shops).