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  • Mon to Fri09:00 - 17:00
  • Saturday 09:00 - 13:00
  • Sunday & Bank HolidaysClosed

Historic Normandy

A week in and around ancient and historic Rouen

  • France

  • 7 nights
  • Half Board with Dinners in Local Restaurants
  • Culture

  • May

    Jun

    Aug

    Sep

Moderate

What does this mean?

Tour codes: 10450

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Walking grade

Grade 4

This Grade 4 moderate holiday includes full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain and is likely to include an element of sightseeing as well. Half day walking will probably include about 3 hours of walking, with full days having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to about 600m. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Walking tour of Rouen with a Local Guide.
  • Learn the intimacies of an artist at Monet's House in Giverny.
  • Walk the Normandy coastline from beautiful Fecamp.
  • Discover the imposing Chateau Gaillard perched above Les Andelys

Famous for its rolling green fields, stunning coastline, Camembert, cider and butter, Normandy has a lot to offer. Rouen, the regional capital, is ideally located for us to sample the history, cuisine, countryside and coast. 

Over our week we will take in the city, with a local guide one morning to make sure we get a true insight!  The magnificent cathedral contains the tomb of Richard the Lionheart, whilst the Place du Vieux Marché is the site of Joan of Arc’s execution. We will walk in the forests of the Regional Parks west of Rouen, and in the countryside on the banks of the River Seine. On one day we take time to discover the Abbaye de Jumièges in Duclair as well as visiting the picturesque port of Fecamp and walk along the spectacular cliffs. 

Inland a highlight for many will be a visit to Monet’s gardens at Giverny, the subject of many of his Impressionist paintings. For others, their highlight might be the small provincial commune of Les Andelys and its truly impressive Chateau Gaillard towering over the town.

Our Historic Normandy focuses on periods of time prior to WW2 for which the Normandy coastline is most remembered for, especially the Normandy beach landings.

This is a week combining culture and nature, history and geology, all visited on the environmentally friendly train so you can enjoy your overseas holiday with a clear conscience.


  • Return rail travel to Rouen from London.
  • Across Paris transfers.
  • En-suite accommodation with breakfast.
  • Dinners taken in local restaurants.
  • Half day with an English speaking professional local guide.
  • All local transport costs.
  • Entrances into sights described in our itinerary.
  • Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Insurance

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Normandy!

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

After we arrive into Rouen Station we will get our first taste of the city as we walk from the station to our hotel. The walk takes around 20 minutes so you may wish to consider a suitcase with wheels. Your leader can arrange some taxis to transport your luggage if needed.

Once settled in, and if time allows there will be a short orientation walk to show you where all the amenities you may need during your stay can be found.

Day 2

Getting to know Rouen

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Your holiday begins in the hands of a Local Walking Guide bringing centuries of history to life through the city's star attractions. Visiting Notre-Dame Cathedral, Gros Horloge and its clocktower, and the Parlement de Normandie is a discovery through 800 years of history, from the half timbered buildings of the Middle Ages to the Renaissance and Classical eras of the Seine Valley. As you walk into Place du Vieux Marché you will see the St Joan of Arc church, named so as Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in this very square before being buried in Notre-Dame Cathedral.

After lunch we will take some time to walk the urban banks of the river Seine. Since Rouen had its first foundations laid, this river has played a key part in the city's development as it offered merchant ships direct access to the city from the sea. A route that ships still use today.

Day 3

Abbey de Jumieges

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    8 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    70m

Eleven miles by public bus outside of Rouen on the banks of the Seine sits the farming town of Duclair. The first half of our walk from here follows forest footpaths and tracks to the Abbey de Jumieges. Once a Benedictine monastery it has since been left to ruin. Following a lunchtime visit to the Abbey our walk continues past Yainville before crossing the valley back to Duclair. 


Day 4

La Maison de Monet

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Monet's House

Claude Monet moved to the property in 1833 where he lived with his bustling family until his death in 1926.

  • Time

    2 hours

  • Distance

    3 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    110m

Our walk today is accessed by SNCF and bus to Giverny where the centrepiece of our walk is Monet's house and gardens. Many of his paintings are of his own gardens and of Giverny town. 

After lunch we take a circular walk up above Giverny giving us some of the impressive views Monet himself would have used as his muse in paintings of his hometown.

Day 5

Beautiful Port Fecamp

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    2 hours

  • Distance

    4.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    50m

Today’s walk starts from the train station at Fecamp and is a day of sightseeing and walking the beach and cliffs around the port town. The Benedictine Palace in the town is a masterpiece of renaissance art in its own right. Once we have wandered the grounds and interiors of the palace, we will have a chance to discover its famous distillery and taste its liquor.

Day 6

Chateau Gaillard

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3.5 hours

  • Distance

    6.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    145m

We travel south-east by train to the pretty town of Les Andelys on the banks of the river Seine. Our walk starts from town and takes us up to the spectacularly and imposingly positioned Chateau Gaillard. Perched high on limestone cliffs overlooking the river, the chateau was built in a record two years from 1196 to 1198 by Richard Coeur de Lion (Richard the Lionheart) to protect his armies and was deemed to be impregnable. 

From the top of the chateau, you can expect wonderful panoramic views of the Seine Valley and it becomes clear why it was a chosen location for a castle!

Day 7

Foret du Trait-Maulevrier

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    7 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    100m

Our final day's walking starts back at Duclair as we head into the Trait-Maulevrier National Forest. There is a myriad of paths that can be trodden, but our takes us through a great diversity of environments. Limestone lawns, ponds, reed beds, cliffs all a rich source of flora and fauna. 

Day 8

Goodbye beautiful Rouen!

Meals

Breakfast

Return on foot to Rouen Station for our train travel back to London St Pancras via TGV and Eurostar.

Departure dates for your selected tour

13th May 2023 - 20th May 2023 (7 Nights)

19th Jun 2023 - 26th Jun 2023 (7 Nights)

12th Aug 2023 - 19th Aug 2023 (7 Nights)

16th Sep 2023 - 23rd Sep 2023 (7 Nights)

Travel Details

  • Return rail travel by Eurostar and TGV
  • London St Pancras - Rouen via Lille or Paris. (c4hrs 30min + stop) via Paris will involve a change of station.
  • Arrival transfer by foot c. 20 mins

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

Hotel de Quebec

At the Hotel de Quebec our rooms are in twin/double bedded and single rooms with shower and wc.

Our hotel is 5 minutes’ walk from the cathedral in the centre of Rouen so we are ideally placed to see the city and enjoy all the entertainment it has to offer. Shops, a post office, banks and a tourist office are just a short distance from the hotel. Also as you might expect there is a huge choice of bars and cafes where you might like to sit awhile and soak up the city life.

The hotel is a comfortable 2 star with all the facilities you would expect from such an establishment. It is entirely adequate for our needs and ideally located half way between the river and the cathedral. 


Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This Grade 4 moderate holiday includes full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain and is likely to include an element of sightseeing as well. Half day walking will probably include about 3 hours of walking, with full days having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to about 600m. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.

Walks & Excursions

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Optional Excursions

A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.

Currency in France

The currency in France is the euro. 

Credit cards are widely accepted. You may be asked to provide ID if you can’t pay by chip and PIN. ATMs are widely available in most towns and villages throughout France.

Tipping

Tipping to our local suppliers including hotel and restaurant staff, local guides, and drivers is included in your holiday price. If, however, you would like to make an additional contribution for a particular service, this is entirely at your own discretion, and any donation should be given directly to the recipient.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.

Local Guides

To enhance your experience, as well as your tour leader, each holiday will be accompanied in some centres by a well qualified and knowledgeable English-speaking local guide.

Your Travel Details

Travel by Eurostar from London to Paris or Lille, then by TGV from Paris or Lille to Rouen.

Services travelling via Paris will involve a change of station in Paris (from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon).

Travel between Rouen TGV station and the hotel is by foot and takes about 20 minutes. Dependant on the number in the group and fitness our leader may book a couple taxis to take luggage to the hotel. Otherwise, enjoy a lovely stroll through the city as we make our way to the hotel. 

You may wish to consider a suitcase on wheels. This will make the walking transfer much easier.

Once in France we will be using public transportation for our daily walks program.

Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?

If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.

Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.

If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.

Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details. 

Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.

Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents

For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.

Personal Details Check

To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Coronavirus Travel Advice

You may be required to provide proof that you have been fully vaccinated when travelling or in your destination. Proof of vaccination can either be digital via the NHS app or a printed copy via NHS Hard Copy. We recommend allowing seven working days for your printed copy to arrive. Please note both the NHS app and printed copy are only valid for 30 days.

We anticipate that all travellers will need to be fully vaccinated including the booster jab and to carry proof of this with them at all times. Some indoor venues require, and may ask for proof of vaccination, as well as masks becoming mandatory for indoor public spaces, and we ask you to be prepared for this.

Local Guidance & Travel Restrictions

Entry Requirements

General Passport Advice

It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.

Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.

General passport advice for UK nationals on the UK Government website.

FCDO Travel Advice

You must ensure you check all entry requirements in good time by reviewing the official FCDO advice for your destination. Please take time to read and regularly check this website for changes to the entry requirements and any local restrictions.

Meals

During our time in Rouen all breakfasts are taken at the hotel with lunches purchasable from local supermarkets or bakeries. In the evening dinners will be taken in local restaurants giving us a chance to sample local cuisine.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks. 

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

French Swimwear

Please note that in French public swimming pools men are not permitted to wear baggy swimming shorts but must have ‘Speedo’ style trunks or tight fitting longer shorts. Men with incorrect swim wear will not be allowed into the pool.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Electricity in France

Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

The Map Shop

If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:

The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
WR8 0HJ
England

Tel: 01684 593 146
Website: www.themapshop.co.uk
E-mail: themapshop@btinternet.com

If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.

Health Advice for France

No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to France.

You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK.

You may wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus and Tick-borne Encephalitis

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Ramblers Walking Holidays that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the trip, including all optional activities.

Your travel insurance policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation. Please ensure your policy covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are walking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover are not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.

Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.

Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.

Covid-19 Cover

If you should have symptoms and test positive for Covid-19 whilst abroad, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative and you may have to seek treatment. We strongly recommend that you take out an insurance policy that covers you for this eventuality.

Looking for travel insurance?

If you have not already arranged cover, please visit SunWorld who offer travel insurance.

SunWorld policies include cover for COVID-19, subject to applicable terms and conditions.

EHIC & GHIC Cards

From January 1st, 2021 UK travellers can continue to use their European Heath Insurance Card (EHIC) – which can last up to five years, until its expiry date, to gain access to medical assistance during your holiday. However, you will no longer be covered in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Travellers without a valid EHIC can apply for a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will replaces the EHIC once it has been phased out. Please note however that the EHIC/GHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.

For more information, please visit www.nhs.uk/ehic

Personal Safety

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.

Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements. 

Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.  

As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.

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Useful Information

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France

  • Capital

    Paris

  • Currency

    Euro; CFP Franc

  • Language

    French

  • Time Difference

    UTC +02:00

  • Flight duration

    1.5hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    4°C

    Avg. Rain: 65mm

  • February

    5°C

    Avg. Rain: 56mm

  • March

    8°C

    Avg. Rain: 55mm

  • April

    10°C

    Avg. Rain: 59mm

  • May

    14°C

    Avg. Rain: 66mm

  • June

    17°C

    Avg. Rain: 58mm

  • July

    19°C

    Avg. Rain: 51mm

  • August

    19°C

    Avg. Rain: 56mm

  • September

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 66mm

  • October

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 79mm

  • November

    8°C

    Avg. Rain: 76mm

  • December

    5°C

    Avg. Rain: 74mm

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