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Allouville-Bellefosse is a village in Normandy – to be precise, in the Caux area - half-way between Rouen and Le Havre. We are 30 km from the Channel coast and its chalk cliffs at Fécamp, 50km from Étretat and 15km from Caudebec-en-Caux which is on the banks of the river Seine.  What is more Allouville-Bellefosse is only 53km from the ferry port of Le Havre and 60km from the ferry port of Dieppe.

The countryside of the Caux area is well known for its clos masures – farm buildings surrounded by a windbreak consisting of earth banks with beech trees planted on top; these windbreaks protect the farmhouse, agricultural buildings and the apple tree orchards, which produce cider and calvados or other spirits, from the wind which sometimes blows on the Caux plateau. These clos masures are the main architectural feature of the Caux area. This chalky plateau extends from the River Seine to the large depression, towards the north-east, called the boutonnière,in the Bray area and is unique in France.  Numerous short rivers, such as the Durdent, the Veules and the Saâne, wend their way to the sea whilst others, such as the Austreberthe, the Ambion, the Gertrude and the Fontenelle wend their way to the River Seine; all of these small rivers can be found in very pretty valleys. Also numerous dovecotes, built with bricks, flints and sandstone, can be found scattered prettily in the Caux area. Within the Caux area are the ruins of some lovely abbeys:  Jumièges, Saint-Wandrille ...

Furthermore the countryside of the Caux area is very colourful in May when the fields are yellow with rape seed and again in June when the fields are blue with flax – these latter flowers unfortunately do not last long.  The flax of the Caux area is well known (the Caux area is the biggest producer in France) and the small town of Doudeville is the flax capital.  One can discover how flax is grown and handled and how linen is made at the flax traditions Ecomuseum at Amfreville-les-Champs.  The town of Yvetot, which is at the heart of the Caux area, is notable for its really interesting church; the church of Saint-Pierre is a wonderful example of modern architecture of the 1950s - the design is most unusual, the shape is circular which shows off to advantage the remarkable stained glass windows.  Also, the museum at Yvetot has a collection of very pretty small hand-worked ivory sculptures.

Not far from Yvetot, in the village of Allouville-Bellefosse the famous thousand-year old oak tree is well worth a second look. This oak tree is the oldest in France and it has two chapels inside it! This village is very dynamic with about thirty clubs and societies including those for sport, bowls, rambling, music and preservation of the ecology and heritage of the village; notably the folk-singing group "Z'Efants du chêne", which was created in 1978, is a real ambassador for the village - this group has presented its show in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Ontario, Martinique, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Belgium, Spain and England. Amongst the numerous fêtes, festivals and events organised by the different clubs and societies is "Caux Retro", a rally of old vehicles which takes place each year the first weekend of July; also, in December, an exhibition of more than 1200 Christmas crèches from all over the world.

The best way, of course, to discover the Caux area is with a veteran, vintage or classic car!

For further information click here (English) or here (French) to email us.
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