The Pays de Caux is a very large area between the river Seine and the sea.
This limestone plateau, which extends all the way to the "Buttonhole" of the Pays de Bray, is unique in France. Dotted with small coastal rivers such as the Durdent, the Veules and the Saâne, and streams that flow into the river Seine like the Austreberthe, this plateau gets its name from a Celtic tribe: the Caletes.
From Goderville to Fauville-en-Caux, Yerville, Bacqueville-en-Caux including Doudeville, Cany-Barville, and Ourville-en-Caux too…, this large territory cannot leave indifferent those who enjoy exceptional landscapes, heritage and culture.
The typical housing of the Pays de Caux is the Clos Masure, a traditional enclosed farmyard and farm layout that allows to shelter animals, people and crops from the wind. These properties, consisting of an imposing country house, buildings for the animals, the machinery and to store the harvest, and a farmyard planted with fruit trees, to make cider or brandy, are unique for their surrounding hedges planted with beech trees. These hedges, also often called ditches, provide the Pays de Caux with this picturesque architecture, which according to legend dates back to the Vikings.
Located at its heart, the town of Yvetot is the capital. Completely destroyed during the Second World War, this little Cauchois town has been completely reconstructed. Its main attraction is the round church, an uncommon shape that emphasises the remarkable stained-glass windows. The Municipal Museum also houses a beautiful collection of ivories. A little bit further away, there is the village of Allouville-Bellefosse and its renowned thousand-year-old oak tree. As for the town of Doudeville it is the flax capital. Indeed, the Pays de Caux is famous for its flax and is today the world's largest producer in terms of flax quality.
Another distinctive feature of the Pays de Caux: the dovecotes. These buildings, symbols of their owners' wealth and often located on farms, were formerly intended to raise pigeons and doves, which were eaten, hence the name "dovecote". Their architecture in the Pays de Caux is diverse and different from the other French regions. It is characterised by some beautiful layouts of bricks, sandstone and flint tiles.
The markets in the Pays de Caux are also very typical and will allow you to taste delicious local products. Guy de Maupassant, born and bred in the Pays de Caux, describes in his books the peculiar atmosphere of this territory.
Finally, you may have the chance to hear people speak Cauchois, the dialect that many old people still speak. You just have to visit a little village on a market day and listen to people, some words might seem difficult to understand but the prevailing atmosphere will be pleasant.