The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

7 months ago


  • Text
  • Good life france
  • Loire valley
  • French food
  • Brittany
  • Normandy
  • Paris
  • Provence
  • France
  • Wines
  • Alsace
  • Vineyards
Brimming with fabulous features combined with stunning photographs – inspiring, entertaining and informative destination features - Provence, Loire Valley, Normandy, Lyon, Brittany, Alsace and more. Delicious recipes, culture and history, what's new, the best tours and much, much more...

Nestled in Normandy’s

Nestled in Normandy’s deep south, the Perche Regional Nature Park offers tranquil forests, bijou communities, and some seriously impressive horsepower. Gillian Thornton steps down a gear. Pottering round the PERCHE Ask me to describe my perfect destination for a spot of rest and relaxation and I’ll usually plump for rolling countryside, historic villages, and cosy restaurants. Add in a few independent shops or markets for some gentle retail therapy and you’ve almost ticked all my boxes. Only thing missing would be some kind of animal content, preferably with an activity attached. So as I jolt happily down a woodland track in a horse-drawn open carriage, I have to say that the Perche Regional Natural Park (PNR) offers everything I need for the perfect chillout break. Located in the south-east corner of Normandy, the Perche is just 140km from Paris, making it a popular weekend destination for city dwellers as well as for cross-Channel visitors. Most of the park lies within the department of Orne, spilling over into the Centre region east of Nogent-le-Rotrou, and its protected status covers both natural scenery and built landscape, heritage sites and rural traditions. Amongst those traditions is the Percheron heavy horse, believed to date back to the 11th century when Rotrou, Count of the Perche, brought Arabian stallions back from the First Crusade and crossed them with local heavy horses. Usually grey, but occasionally black, Percherons are good-natured, gentle, and ideally suited to working the forests and small hedge-lined fields or bocage of southern Normandy. Once a common sight on farms throughout the area, their numbers declined sharply as agriculture became increasingly mechanised between the wars. But now, thanks to a group of dedicated enthusiasts, breeding is steadily on the up. Since the early 1990s, Percheron stallions imported from America have been bred with French mares to produce two main types – a 30 | The Good Life France The Good Life France | 31 Photo by Dawne Polis,