Briquebec (pronounced breek-beck; beck is the same Norse word used in English, meaning stream) is a small country town twenty-five kilometres south of Cherbourg located in the heart of the Cotentin peninsula. It has a population of 4,500, similar in size to Alresford. At the centre of the town is the Norman chateau and market square. A large market is held there every Monday, a livestock market on the second Saturday every month, and an antiques fair takes place annually over three days at the end of July. Many other events are traditionally held during the course of the year.
Its location makes it close enough for a weekend visit to be easy and untiring. Many places of interest are within easy reach for a day’s outing. These include numerous other towns, châteaux, abbeys, fairs, markets and the Normandy coast:
Places to visit
This old castle, built on a early feudal motte-and-bailey castle, boasts a particularly striking 23m polygonal keep. Visitors can explore the surrounding towers and walls or go down into the vaulted cellars and restored XIIIth-century crypt. The clockhouse now contains a museum of regional art, with geological specimens, fossils, archaeological finds and a reconstruction of a typical Norman interior. During the Hundred Years War, the castle was briefly occupied by the Duke of Suffolk, but it belonged to one family, the Bertrands, for almost five hundred years. The castle is now a very comfortable hotel, with a wonderful restaurant.