A visit to Normandy is always a delight, with plenty of historical
sights to visit and amazing beaches, but one of the best ways to see the area
is on horseback.
There?s much more to the area than you might think ? more than
just the Bayeux tapestry, the bocage and delicious seafood.
The area is teeming with royal national studs and small
equestrian centres where you can book a horseback tour (and even buy horse milk)
? which means this beautiful region of France has much to offer horse lovers.
The patchwork of rolling fields, fertile plains, picture-perfect
villages and hilltop woodlands make it a wonderful place to explore ? and that?s
particularly true if you love everything equestrian.
One of the best equine attractions is the Haras National du Pin, which is the
oldest and perhaps most prestigious of France?s network of national studs. Its
history dates back to the 1600s when it was established by Louis XIV, and it?s not
for no reason that it?s known as the Equestrian Versailles.
The courtyards here are stunning, and that?s just the
exterior of the buildings. The horses kept here are magnificent, while the
surrounding landscape is (fittingly) fit for a king. Tours of the centre and
one off events take place all year round.
Nearby is the Hippodrome
de la Bergerie racetrack, which is not only charming for visitors but also
testing for horses. It?s a small enough venue for visitors to be able to meet
the trainers, pick up tips and even share ?un verre de champagne avec les gagnants?.
The racing season at the course starts in May.
Returning to the stables at the Haras du Pin, the tour will
take you around stables which have been inhabited by equine celebrities and you
also have the chance to take courses in saddle making, blacksmithing, carriage
driving, breeding, and ? naturally ? riding.
Other good places to ride include the Marins Berdris
equestrian centre, set on a hillside at La Chapelle-Montligeon.
A tour through the Orne region of Normandy?s
landscape on horseback is also recommended as the countryside here is gorgeously
unspoiled. Many of the farms that thrive in this verdant landscape have farm
shops, so you can pull up your ride to stop and browse delicious products ? home
grown apple, goats cheese from hand reared livestock, honey, paté, preserves
and of course cider.
So if you fancy an equine taste of France why not book a
stay at our villas in
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