Let's start with a quick quiz:
Do you enjoy going to the countryside for a weekend? Do you say yes, and at the top of your lungs, to the bracing air of the Norman countryside? And if you hear about great walks in one of the most beautiful beech groves in France, where you might, on top of that, meet a roe deer, are you already packing? Are you always eager to go for a bike ride with your family along the Avenue Verte (Greenway)? Is showing a real farm to your children part of your values? Is cheese too? No doubt, the Pays de Bray is a perfect match for you!
Try to picture the setting… the landscapes are breathtaking: large hilly green, yellow or ochre pieces of land, colours changing according to the season. To convince you further and not to miss anything, follow the landscape trail. It will allow you to admire the most beautiful views, with a viewpoint indicator at each stop to help you learn more about the landscape and the "Buttonhole", the name given to the distinct elliptical shape of the Pays de Bray.
Water: what a story... An intricate network of small rivers flows through this charming part of Normandy, which thus gives a pastoral feeling to the views and adds a special charm to the villages (Saint-Saëns, Saint-Hellier...). The presence of water also enables the Pays de Bray to provide areas for birds migrating between the Seine and the Somme valleys. The history of Forges-les-Eaux, a former spa town, is of particular interest since its iron-rich water used to be renowned for its therapeutic properties (it is even said that it could have helped Louis XIII to have his son Louis XIV) and attracted a high number of illustrious visitors.
A green lung … The Pays de Bray: it is also the magnificent forest of Eawy, one of the biggest beech groves in France where hiking and outdoor activities are particularly pleasant and recommended. There are more than twenty way-marked trails. Ranging from 4 km (2.8 miles) to 10 km (6 miles) at the most, they allow everyone to explore this forest at their own pace. It hides many unexpected places such as the Puits Merveilleux, a 25-metre-deep (82 ft.) hole about which amusing stories are told, legends that are still spread in the countryside.
Just like Normandy, the Pays de Bray is a place with a selection of tasty local products, where the food is excellent! Neufchâtel cheese, the famous AOC (controlled designation of origin) cheese shaped like a heart with a subtle hint of salt, goat cheese, milk, farmhouse crème fraiche, poultry, in particular the Gournay chicken, beef, Saint-Saëns cabbage (an old, well-known variety of cabbage), a wide range of jams, ciders, Pommeau, Calvados, beer, honey... These products are sold on local markets, but you can also buy them directly from the farm or the producer.
The Pays de Bray opens its heart, seize the opportunity!