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.
Abbaye Nôtre-Dame-de-Grâce, Le Couvent – (Briquebec Trappist Monastery)
Founded in the XIXth century by Dom Augustin Onfroy, this abbey is inhabited by a community of Cistercian monks. There are guided tours, and a butcher’s shop where you can buy genuine Norman charcuterie.
More information is available on the Bricquebec town website:
In the surrounding area there are many interesting villages , churches , beaches and a wealth of places of interest to tourists. For more information on the area please see official tourist web sites for the area - la Manche and Normandy.
A few places of interest, close to Bricquebec, are highlighted below.
Beaches and Water Sports
The Cotentin Peninsula is a coast of some 300 kilometres of cliffs and beaches swept by fresh sea breezes. Pictured above is Carteret Beach, a few kilometres to the South west of Bricquebec.
The American War Cemetary
The east coast of the peninsular is the site of the Normandy D-day landings of June 1944 and Utah Beach is just a few kilometres from Bricquebec.