La Ferme de La Folivraie
La Ferme de La Folivraie, L'Entretenant, 14710 Louvières, France
The 12th-century church in the sleepy French village of Louvières towers over the place like a gigantic darning needle. It’s not only one of the tallest and most beautiful churches in the vicinity but seemingly also the pointiest (if that’s a characteristic to be proud of?). It acts as a handy and noticeable way marker as you walk around the surrounding meadows at La Ferme de La Folivraie – get lost and you can trace your way in it’s direction, leading you back to the site from which you started out.
And what a site it is. Nestled down a side road from the central village green, La Ferme de La Folivraie is everything you want in a French glamping site and more. The accommodation – plush yet rustic safari tents – are kitted from roof to rug with country-chic wares, including bronze candelabras, heavy wooden tables and a toasty log burning stove, while the layout is one of comfort and practicality. The kitchen has the kit and caboodle you’d expect of a self-catered cottage, with a cool-box acting as the fridge, and there are two separate bed rooms accompanying the amazing ‘cupboard bed’ that the kids will be clamouring over for it’s cute and cosy feel.
Owners, Jaques and Marguerite-Marie, are a continuation of the farming family that have now been tilling these sandy soils for over 60 years. So it’s unsurprising that when the place was first bought back in the 1950’s it wasn’t exactly in the best shape. Less than 2km from the sea and just moments from famous Omaha Beach, the site of the allies’ D-Day landings, this is one of the most historic areas in all of France and from the Hundred Years War to the Second World War it’s taken it’s fair share of the battering. Today, though, the scars of years gone by are worn as quirky traits in what is now one of the most homely feeling farms you’ll ever come across. Donkeys, goats and cows graze in the fields and sheep peer through the fence, curious of your presence. Just the odd nick in the sandstone buildings or crumbled bricks of an ancient farm shed gesture to the history that has passed the place by.
For those who do want to explore it all, it’s a pleasant half hour walk down to the beach itself and a bit further to the Omaha Beach D Day Monument, a fascinating, if slightly sombre, museum and display. The high cliffs of nearby Vierville are also well worth a visit, with spectacular views of the coastline across to the Pointe de la Percée. Up until the beginning of the 20th century, the locals were still using ropes to descend to the rocky beaches below. Inland, the vast Marais du Bessin National Park is just another feather in this charming location’s cap, ever bolstering your activities options. So much to do, so little time... you’ll just have to stay for the whole summer.
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