Places to Visit and things to do

Our local town: Gorron - restaurants - Markets - walking - cycling - Cheese, cider and calvados - Battle for Normandy

Here are some interesting places to visit in the area. Scroll down the page to view all the information.

Click on a location photo to link you to the Tourist Office website

The local tourist Bocage-Mayennais is open throughout the year with offices in Gorron,

Colombiers-Du-Plessis, Ambrière-les-Vallées and Pontmain.



A medieval town and castle on a hill with its unusual church and steeple. With numerous restaurants and walks along the river.



Hill town with many restaurants and a spectacular walk to the waterfall. 
Famous for the Battle of Mortain/Hill 314 if interested in WW2 history.

Mont St. Michel

Mont St. Michel Normandy

The regions most famous landmark standing alone in the bay. Along the 
coast are many seafood restaurants serving fresh oysters and mussels.

Lassay les Chateaux

Lassay Les Chateaux

Small photogenic medieval town with a 14th century castle. Classified as a Petite Cité de Caractère. 



Famous for its well preserved castle and botanical gardens. The town has excellent shopping and a Saturday food market.

bagnoles de l'orne

Bagnoles Sur Orne

The town is famous for its thermal waters attracting visitors to enjoy the spa,  restaurants, casino and golf course.



Largest town in the area with shopping and interesting old town centre and the River Mayenne flowing through.



Capital of the region with the River Mayenne flowing below the castle through the town centre.



A delightful small medieval town with a castle perched on the hill. Wonderful walk with views of the castle.

St. Hilaire-du-Harcouët

St Hilaire-du-Harcouët market

If you are wishing to stock up with local produce the excellent food market is held on a Wednesday morning.

AmbriÈres les-Vallées

Enjoy lunch by the River Varenne after a walk around the lake and the attractive town centre.

Pontmain cathedral

Pontmain Cathedral

Famous for its historic cathedral and pilgrimages to this small village.

St. malo

On the north Brittany coast, a major port for centuries and one of the world's greatest walled cities.  


This university city is the capital of Brittany with a historic centre and one of France's largest gastronomic food markets held each Saturday.

Le Mans

Pontmain Cathedral

Famous for its 24 hour Motor race held in June. A fabulous museum charts the history of the historical race. The city also has a ancient centre with a Gothic cathedral.

Cheese/Cider/Calvados experiences

This region of France is famous for its Cheese, Cider and Calvados and you can visit the orchards, learn about the production and enjoy tasting the local produce. For more details visit the Mayenne Tourism site here.


Essential guide to Normandy Cheeses

The Route of the Pear Orchards

Calvados producers in the area 


Based at La Martinière the number of possible cycle routes and walks are endless. Helen is a keen walker and can suggest a wide variety of walks with you. We have very quiet backroads through rolling countryside, So as you cycle you will pass cows grazing,  cider orchards and small villages where you can stop to eat and explore.


Not far from us at Domfront is the Route Véloscénie, a dedicated traffic free cycle route from Paris to Mont-Saint-Michel. Starting from Domfront the route to Mont-Saint-Michel is 80km. 

Click on the photo to view the Véloscénie website. 

 We can arrange bicycle rental.

 We have secure storage to keep your bikes over night, whilst you    have a good nights sleep ready for your next day adventure.


Gorron is our local market town, 7 km from La Martinière.


You will find a variety of shops which should cover your needs.


Supermarket and Fuel Station - Super U

Mini Supermarket in the main street

Small food market Wednesday mornings

Banks with ATM - Credit Mutuel and Credit Agricole

2x Boulangerie



Bar Tabac

Newsagent and Tabac

Estate Agents

DIY Store - La Maison.Fr 

Self service Laundrette - between Super U and the fuel station

Bars and Restaurants

Small gift, Art and Clothing Shops


Indoor Swimming Pool

Doctors Surgery





markets in the area

Generally markets are open from 8.00am to 2.00pm.

We have been to many of the markets listed, but not all.

Some markets are small the ones we recommend are larger, with a good variety of stalls.

Markets marked with a * we recommend.

Rennes ** market (1 hr 15mins. drive) is France’s 2nd largest gastronomic market and highly recommended


MONDAY -       Mayenne

TUESDAY -       Ernée   Landivy   Laval *   Villedieu-les-Poêles *                                     Sourdeval    Bagnole-de-L’Orne

WEDNESDAY - Gorron   St. Hilaire–Du-Harcouet * 

                           Lassay le Chateau   Laval *  Flers

THURSDAY -    Le Teilleul   Chateau Gontier

FRIDAY -           Domfront *   Fougerolles-du-Plessis   Vire

SATURDAY -     Fougères *   Rennes **   Ambrières-les-Vallées

                           Bagnole-de-L’Orne   Mortain   Mayenne


If like us you enjoy great food, we can recommend a number of restaurants, bistros and cafés in the area to suit all tastes and budgets. In our gîtes manuals, we list a selection of restaurants with a brief outline of what type of food they serve, plus price range and a telephone number. 


For food lovers we have discovered Michelin* and Fine Dining restaurants if you are looking for classic French cuisine. Travel towards the Normandy and Brittany coast to find the freshest sea food. Oysters, mussels etc. which were only collected that morning. For an excellent lunch at bargain prices, go to where the locals enjoy their 'Plat de Jour'. Usually costing 14€ per person, offering 3 or 4 course lunch including wine or cider. Or you perhaps you just fancy a pizza or galettes and crêpes. 


Please ask us and we will happily discuss the variety of choices that we have discovered.

D-day and the Battle for Normandy

The Normandy region was made infamous on the 6th June 1944 with the D-Day landings, the following Battle for Normandy which ended when the Allies crossed the River Seine at the end of August 1944.

The whole area around, but mainly north of La Martinière was the battle ground of the Allied Offensive and German defence. 

The D-Day beaches of Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword are about 2 hours north from here. Throughout the region there are numerous museums to visit covering different facets of the sea and airborne landings, the cemeteries for both Allies and Germans and numerous routes to follow to discover the history of this important period in history.  

I am very interested in military history and will discuss and assist you to discover places to visit.