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Rouen surrendered to Henry V of England in 1419 after a protracted siege, but was reclaimed by France in 1449.

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The medieval covered market hall has fixed wooden tables that were originally butchers’ blocks.

Three kilometres outside Buchy, Le Jardin de Valérianes, tucked away in a corner of the countryside, was created by a couple of passionate gardeners, Michel and Maryline Tissait, who named the garden after their two daughters.

On the ‘Gardens, Villages & Chateaux of Normandy & Brittany’ tour the weather was generally pleasant and the venues were lovely and very interesting.

I loved the charm of many of the French people, their generosity of hospitality, the stunning countryside, and the food, especially when it was local fresh and not nouvelle cuisine.

Like so many local markets in Normandy, Buchy’s Monday market features exclusively local produce.

Many of local farms specialise in organic products.

Other churches include the 15th-century church of St Ouen and the church of St Maclou (1437), both notable examples of French flamboyant architecture.

The Gros-Horloge is a Renaissance pavilion containing a 15th-century clock, and the Tour Jeanne d’Arc is where the saint was imprisoned before her execution.

Award-winning print and radio garden journalist, founder of Open Gardens WA and Life Member of the Horticultural Media Association.

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