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The folks at Rouen Tourism have mapped two scenic routes incorporating historic manors and castles near Rouen, including some preferred roads and paths through agricultural spots.
Le Chemin de Gargantua. This 12km loop starts in Saint-Pierre-de-Varengeville, ~15 km northwest of Rouen. You’ll quickly come to the magnificent 19th century castle which houses the Center d’Art Contemporain de la Matmut. The route then takes you to the agricultural plateau, before joining the Austreberthe river and finally the Bois de la Fontaine by taking the “Gargantua path“. This name is linked to the presence on the banks of the Seine of two rocks representing the arm of a gigantic armchair in which, according to legend, the giant used to come to rest.
Seine River Manors. This 13.7 km route was inspired by the many large and beautiful residences to discover in the heart of the villages of Sahurs and Saint Pierre de Manneville. Start in Sahurs and run north for 3.5 km along the greenway on the banks of the Seine. Then climb to the Château des Étangs, which belonged to General de Gaulle’s brother, as well as the Manoir de Villers. Family owned since the 16th century, this manor is the most remarkable example of the establishment in the countryside of rich Rouen. Then come the Saint Pierre church and the Closerie garden. In Sahurs, you should not miss the magnificent manor of Marbeuf, a 16th century hunting lodge. The route is 60% on paved path/road and 40% on unpaved paths.
- Gargantua route: 8 km (5 miles); Manor Route: 13.7 km (8.5 miles)
- Gargantua route: 147m (482 feet); Manor Route: 118m (387 feet)
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