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Le Mans town guide

LE MANS

Only a couple of hours by hire car from the Channel Port of Oustriham and the nearby Caen, Le Mans is probably best known as a Motor Racing Circuit which specialises in long distance races. It is more likely that you will visit the town when the circuit is not in use although motor sport enthusiasts will want to drive round the circuit which is made up of public roads. Enthusiasts should also visit the Musee de L'Automobile which is situated near the circuit and will entertain even the least enthusiastic visitor.

The town itself is surrounded by remarkably well preserved walls which, although built in brick, date from roman times. Henry ll was born in the town in 1133 and the buildings in the medieval centre originate from this time. The cathedral is particularly fine and contains some very fine frescos and wall paintings.

The local delicacy is Rillettes de Mans which is a kind of course pate sold in jars, take some home and enjoy a taste of France! It may well have formed part of King Henry's diet as he roamed Europe enlarging his kingdom! Do not be temped to emulate the racing drivers in your hire car, but drive slowly back through Normandy enjoying the gentle countryside.

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