How to get there

The cottage can be easily reached from cross channel ferry ports,

Caen and St Malo are just over an hour away by car or motorcycle. Cherbourg around 2 hours, Le Havre around 2.5 hours and Calais 4.5 hours.

Nearest airports are Dinard just over an hour, and Rennes 1.5 hours also by car or motorcycle.

Cycling, there are some excellent routes to choose from, we have detailed a couple of them here on this page.

Upon booking, we will supply full map directions including sat-nav coordinates to help facilitate a smooth journey for you.

Driving or motorcycling through France is an enjoyable experience with little traffic throughout the day, to compliment your experience our friends at Drive France.com and Headlamp Converters.co.uk have kindly supplied these links (opens new tab) providing useful information and guidance that we recommend you review prior to travel.


Cycle routes


The cottage can be reached by bicycle from Cherbourg, via the Tour de manche. Click here to access the website:

tour de manche

The journey is  around 250Km, and travels through an ever-changing landscape of hedged fields, dunes and moorland, and Portbail with its beautiful golden beach. The Cotentin Regional National Park and Bessin Marshes are magical places to cycle and stop to sample the local cheeses, ciders, seafood and Calvados apple brandy.After the lush landscapes of Normandy, you enter the Vire Valley with its rolling hills and spectacular gorges. At Roches de Ham, the rocks form a near 100 metre precipitous wall above the river. In the midst of the area’s countryside with its typical Norman patchwork of fields divided by hedgerows, don’t miss the Roches de Ham, rising some 100m above the river, forming a vertiginous rocky cliff. Once you reach Mortain, it is a short journey to the cottage.

Ouistreham (Caen)

In June 2015, a new cycle route is opening, which begins in Ouistreham and continues through France to La Rochelle.

La Francette de velo

The route passes very close to the cottage and it is only around 110km’s from the ferry at Ouihstreham to our cottage.

The Basse-Normandie region

Mantilly is located in Orne, in the heart of Nomandy making it an ideal location to experience all that Normandy has to offer.

Orne was the battlefield for the decisive, final phase of the 1944 Battle of Normandy. There are numerous World War two memorial sites within the region and also further afield, easy access to significant locations from this time such as the Normandy landing beaches. 

You can explore the woodlands and valleys of northern Orne by bike or on foot.. Sir Lancelot is supposed to have hunted in the Andaines Forest. It, and the Ecouves Forest, with its famous star-shaped crossroads, are just two of Orne’s majestic oak and beech woodlands.

Sally's camera 004Sally's camera 038


For a panoramic view, you can climb to the top of La Roche d’Oëtre (the Oëtre Rock) in the middle of alpine Suisse Normande (Swiss Normandy). Or visit the River & Countryside Centre, at Ségrie-Fontaine.

Orne is also well known for its production of Camembert cheese. Locals list its health-giving qualities – it used to be sold in pharmacies. 

Also produced in abundance in Orne is: black pudding from Mortagne (said to be the original), tripe from La Ferté-Macé, Bagnoles macaroons and brioche from Moulins-la-Marche. 

From Orne’s orchards comes vintage calvados, cool cider, pommeau – and poiré, a refreshing, sparkling pear cider that is Orne’s speciality, signature drink. 


There are numerous places to visit near the village of Mantilly

Recommended towns near to the cottage are Domfront & Chambois. Both were the scene of Medieval power struggles between Normandy’s warring overlords.

There are beautiful gardens to visit such as:

Jardins de la Pellerine (29km); Parc et jardin de Clivoy (33km); Parc floral de Haute-Bretagne (35km)

Various sites of natural beauty are a short drive away:

Source – Couesnon (30km); Forêt de Fougères (30km); Forêt de Saint-Sever (37km); Étang de Châtillon-en-Vendelais (43km); Étang de Haute-Vilaine (47km); Rochers des Parcs (50km); Étang de Paintourteau (51km); Étang de la Cantache (55km); Forêt de Chevré (61km)

Towns of specific interest for Art and history are:

Mayenne (27km); Fougeres (35km); Jublains (37km); Evron (50km There is also a Zoo and wildlife park Parc zoologique de Champrepus (52km)

Local markets near to Mantilly are;

Gorron: market Wednesday (12km)

Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouet: market Wednesday (22km)

Louvigne-du-Desert: market Friday (24km)

Sourdeval: market Tuesday (24km)

Ernee: market Tuesday (27km)

Mayenne: market Saturday & Monday (28km)

Bagnoles-de-l’Orne: market Wednesday & Tuesday & Saturday & Friday (29km)

Flers: market Wednesday & Saturday (31km)

La Ferte-Mace: market Thursday (34km)

Fougeres: market Saturday (35km)

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