Why Visit Honfleur Normandy
If you travel to Normandy this is one town you should not miss – why visit Honfleur. We visited in August and could only spare four hours. So we hardly scratched the service of this beautiful little port town. We arrived around lunchtime and it was very busy although we did manage to park down near the old port. It cost 6€ for four hours. Not really thinking Saturday is market day so this could account for some of the busyness plus it was the height of the Summer.
Along one side of the port there were lots of market stalls selling all sorts of produce, some of which aimed specifically at tourists. Others fruit, veg and other food related items. As we wandered we discovered that the market also carried on up the streets behind the main port area. It almost seemed as if many of the little shops had stalls of their own outside. There was every kind of shop you could think of. One of the things I really like about France is the fact that they have so many independent or small retailers. Honfleur is full of them. Unsurprisingly the boys were attracted by the chocolate shop and patisserie.
The streets are made of large cobbles and so our little travel buggy did not cope well with moving around. Many of the buildings and streets are all originals dating back to the 1700s which makes you wonder how it withstood WW2. The houses are half brick and half beamed, with many of the beams painted in pastel shades of green and blue. The streets are narrow and so mainly shaded which was a relief from the heat. But walking down them you could think you were transported back three hundred years if it wasn’t for all the tourists.
We came across the most unusual wooden church just round the back of the port called Eglise Sainte-Catherine de Honfleur. The clock tower is opposite and is typically used for storing some of the metal market stands in one side. The other there is pubic toilets. Something I find rather strange since the building itself has been painted by some of the formable impressionist artists including Monet.
Inside the church which is free to enter everything is wood. I have never been in a wooden church before and was quite humbled by its size and the carved detail. There is a large organ and wooden balcony at the back, where several old paintings hang. It has two alters at the front. Along one side the originall bottle green glass windows are still in place. I could have spent a lot of time taking in every detail. But of course the boys allowed us around ten minutes. Which was good for them, goes to show even they were in awe of it.
From the church we walked back down to the port. On the opposite side to the one we arrived there are plenty of restaurants and snack bars. All of which have outside seating next to the port. Be warned they are not cheap but it is a lovely place to sit and have lunch. Here are a few photos from our visit to hopefully give you some reason as to why visit Honfleur.
Picture Postcard Photos of Honfleur
The boys trying out the vintage carousel, Kipper loved the plane. This was a double storey one but Monkey was too big for the planes on the upper decks as well so had to settle for a horse.
Our first glimpse at the old buildings off the port area. The whole street was like this but very popular with the photographers
We actually treated the boys to come chocolate from this shop. Kipper opted for red strawberry favoured balls (which he didn’t like) and Monkey salted caramel
I don’t think I have ever seen so many different flavours of macaroons!
It was so hot even the nougat was melting, the boys were fascinated by the big lumps. On the other side of the shop they had sugared fruits. But all the wasps put me off.
Kipper was having a moment… a rather loud one in the church!
One of the alters..
The back of the church with the wooden balcony and art hanging. Even the husband who is not a fan of churches was impressed with it. I think its probably the oldest church either of us have ever been in .
The window panes remind me of the bottom of green glass bottles
Outside the church itself is the clock tower. We pondered if the struts were added at a later date because it wasn’t looking very straight!
Rows of beautifully painted buildings
Spotted this cheeky little fellow on one of them
A new perspective on the buildings around the port. Snapped this after we had eaten.
Have you been to any villages and towns in Normandy you can recommend? We had such a great time that I am sure we will be back. If you do please can you leave them in the comments below.
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