Saint-Lô was famously described by one of Ireland’s greatest writers – Samuel Beckett – as “The Capital of Ruins”. In the aftermath of the Anglo-American invasion of June 1945, Beckett worked in the Red Cross and the town was one of many that was fought over to the extent that it suffered almost complete ruin – so much so that there was debate over whether or not to bother rebuilding it.
But rebuilt it was. Today, what you have is a lively French Norman market town in the heart of rich rolling countryside with a very different atmosphere to many other French towns and Saint-Lô‘s central position in the middle of this important agricultural area means that its markets are not to be missed. For holidaying in France, Lower Normandy is an area that’s often overlooked by Irish visitors in favour of heading farther south, but it is chocabloc with things to do for families, quite apart from the unavoidable but fascinating Normandy-landings tourist monuments.
The Tuesday market runs from 08:00 to 13:00 on Rue Alsace Lorraine. With between 30 and 50 stalls (depending on the time of year), it sells exclusively foodstuffs, with tonnes of local produce that include some great cheeses such as Camembert, Neufchâtel, Pont-L’Evêque and Livarot, as well as local specialities that include Pré Salé lamb (literally “salted field” lamb from lambs raised on salt marshes near Mont St Michel), the best apples in France and some of best seafood in France too.
Each Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning, the food stalls are to be found over on Place Général de Gaulle, from 08:00 to 13:00.
Saturday morning features the weekly round-up market (again on Place Général de Gaulle) that includes lots of non-edible items too, but also look out for the extra little market on Thursday morning with just a handful of stalls (from 08:30 to 13:00) on the Parking des Sycomores. It’s a food market again, but which specialises in primeur vegetables, dairy produce, fish, charcuterie and grilled food.
See Below for the growing Tootlafrance Market Guide
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