Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cycling Holidays in Normandy

Cycling in and around Normandy is simply wonderful. On the routes I have cycled here this week, there are no mountains to tax the casual cyclist and only rolling hills to contend with. As you cycle along, the undulations lift you up through and along the valleys. I have been staying in La Ciderie this week and it has struck me that it's the perfect location for a cycling holiday.

La Ciderie is...

"Set adjacent to the beautiful Abbaye de la Lucerne, and close to beaches, bays, estuaries and forests, La Cidrerie is a group of converted barns built in the traditional stone of the region.

It is a most tranquil and lovely place with secluded private gardens, yet only a few kilometres drive away from either the golden sandy beaches of Jullouville and Carolles, the bustling fishing port of Granville, or the lovely town of Avranches with its commanding views of Le Mont St Michel.

There are three cottages which are easily adaptable and fully equipped for five adults (plus baby). The cottages can be rented separately or as a one large unit.

Along with regular breaks, the owners also run art and painting holidays...

"The area boasts a wide range of painting opportunities including Le Mont St Michel, sandy beaches, slat marshes, fishing ports, rural scenery and a wide variety of lively markets - all typical of this beautiful part of Normandy.

Course Title: Freedom with Watercolours
Tutor: Hilary Frame
Level of Ability:  All levels catered for.
Course Details: Five days of tuition plus introductory evening.

Aims of The Course
This course is designed to cater to personal and individual preferences using watercolours as the primary painting medium, although there will be occasions when we will use other media to enhance and liven the work. Some students may prefer to use other media eg. Acrylic,gouache etc which is also perfectly acceptable.

Students will be encouraged to develop an open- minded approach when exploring the beautiful locality and respond to it in a free and adventurous style. Students will be inspired to respond creatively and freely to a variety of subjects, and they will receive sound re-iteration of drawing and painting techniques. Each student should gain confidence in his or her ability to produce exciting and visually pleasing paintings.

There will be opportunities to re-visit drawing, colour mixing, composition and the  rules of perspective throughout the week.

General  Content of the Course
During the week there will be visits to a variety of locations, including the historic town and harbour of Granville and the famous Mont St Michel where we will complete sketches which can be worked up into finished paintings on our return to the studio at La Cidrerie. There are also numerous painting sites within walking distance of our beautiful homes and gardens, these include the inspiring Abbaye de la Lucerne and numerous woodland and rural beauty spots.

We will paint outdoors whenever possible or desirable, or in the studio of Cider Cottage.

Please bring any appropriate photographs you have which may be suitable for inspiration and a reproduction of a painting that you like (by someone else) for a discussion in composition. A camera is also a good aid when sketching and drawing.

We run formal painting courses at La Cidrerie during specific weeks of the year. However, Hilary is willing to provide painting tuition to adults and/or children on a less formal basis, who book into any of our letting cottages, when she is in France. Please enquire when booking as to her availability and the cost of this tuition."

If you fancy making a booking or taking a look at what else the place to offer, check out La Ciderie website. You can also view residence and local images in Gallery 1 and Gallery 2. If the art and painting course appeals to you, you can find more information here.


  1. Nice post. There are so many wonderful corners of Normandy including this ruined abbey

    1. Thank you. There certainly are and I can't wait to get back there in May. That Abbey looks wonderful!