Sillé le Guillaume (just over a mile)
The town of Sille le Guillaume is set on a hill in the in the Pays de la Loire region of France. It is North West of Le Mans and has a rich and interesting history and culture. The town boasts a castle which was built to defend the town from the Bretons and the Normans. During the hundred years war it changed hands many times and was partly ruined. It was declared an historic monument in 1914 and during the months of July and
August there are guided tours available. There is also a fireworks display at the Castle on Bastille Day, July 14th.
There are also tours available of `The old school of Le Grez`, the history of which is told by ex-students. There is a teaching farm which provides lots of interaction for children. As well a number of themed walking tours of the town and surrounding woods there are also self-guided walk leaflets available to buy.
There is a beautiful freshwater lake with sage access for swimming at Sillé Plage which is situated within the forest of Sille. All the usual water sport activities can be found here including windsurfing, sailing and pedalo hire. There is a small train running through the forest and horses available for hire to help discover the natural beauty of this site.
Throughout the woods there are plenty of bars and restaurants to be enjoyed. During July and August there are regular concerts and there is a Festival celebrating the Lake in May.
Every Wednesday there is a renowned market in the town and there are also a fantastic range of permanent shops to explore during the rest of the week. Additionally there is a famous flea market held every October. The town has a good selection of bars and restaurants to cater for all tastes and budgets.
Sille le Guillaume has been awarded France`s national label of a Green resort. This is awarded to towns that are situated in unspoilt countryside or mountainous places which offer tourism and leisure facilities.
Le Mans Cathedral (30 minutes)
Le Mans is located on the Sarthe river, in the North West of France, approximately 80 Kms from Tours.
The cathedral has some magnificent stained glass windows and a finely carved doorway at its southern entrance. The cathedral is also home to the tomb of the wife of Richard the Lionheart.
Begun in the 11th century and completed in the 15th, it is one of the greats of Gothic architecture with its double flying buttresses, 13 radiating chapels, lily-shaped stone filigree and its choir, which rises to 34 metres (112 ft).
Together with its beautiful tapestries and frescoes, the cathedral is one of the region's major tourist attractions.