From Calais, the first resort you reach in the Seine Maritime is Le Tréport with its fishing harbour, beach and some of the highest white cliffs in France. In the 19th Century it was much frequented by Parisians who mostly travelled there by train. Inland the charming town of Neufchâtel en Bray, renowned for its heart shaped cheese, is the capital of the Bray region and has an impressive church and the Château de Mesnières whilst the lively spa town of Forges-les-Eaux has a casino and pottery museum.
The advent of the Channel Tunnel and the new autoroute to Rouen has changed the character of Dieppe, once a main cross channel ferry port and originally an ivory centre. Now concentrating on citrus fruits and timber, the town has a lively Saturday market which locals attend from miles around. With its 15th Century castle, museum and ancient churches, there is plenty to see and do, including an 18 hole golf course, tennis courts, racecourse, seawater therapy and all the usual seaside pursuits. The sailing port of Saint-Valery-en-Caux has magnificent cliff top views and a house dating back to the days of Henri IV.
Etretat boasts the finest cliffs of the ‘Alabaster coast’ and the unusual rock formations of l’Aiguille and Les Trois Portes. There is an 11th century church, a covered market, a museum and a golf course and the town hosts the Normandy festival. At Fécamp, a place of pilgrimage, the remains of the ducal palace are opposite the abbey church. There is an art gallery, a museum about local art, earthenware and ivory, and one about fishing, cod being the main catch of the port. At the Abbey the Liqueur, Benedictine, is made from the ancient recipe of a monk from the Renaissance period.
Le Havre at the mouth of the Seine, the second port of France, was founded by François 1st in 1517. There is an arts centre, a fine arts gallery, a museum covering the town’s history and a maritime museum as well as a yachting harbour, a 11/13th century priory, a golf course and a university. Paris is some 200 kms by autoroute. Capital of the Caux region, Yvetot is the main destination for those arriving by train to visit the Brotonne regional nature park. The City of Rouen with its Gallo Roman origins is on the Seine and the Beaux Arts museum features, amongst others, paintings of the fine Cathedral by Claude Monet. The old city centre is now a pedestrian area and in this part is the old Clock, the Palace of Justice and the Market Square where Joan of Arc was burnt to death in 1431. A museum is dedicated to her and there is also a wrought iron and a ceramic museum.