Breteuil-sur-Iton is a pretty little Norman town close to one of the biggest forests of the Eure Department. Here, history and nature are intertwined. Following its heritage trail, relaxing by the lake in the public park, visiting its museum, pretending to be an explorer, etc. Here are a few ideas of things to do in this Green Holiday Resort.
*A former fortress founded by William the Conqueror.
This town, now a "Green Holiday Resort" and awarded in the "French towns and villages in bloom" competition, bordered by a large forest and with a small river running through, has a significant historical heritage. It was fortified by William the Conqueror in 1054 to defend the Duchy of Normandy against the attacks by the French King. The fortress was surrounded by moats supplied by the water from the river Iton. The archers and the lords of Breteuil took part in the Conquest of England in 1066 during the Battle of Hastings.
*Development of the town during the Belle Époque.
Thanks to the canal diverting water from the river Iton, nature prevails along these green canals and lakes of the town. This gentle way of life was appreciated by the aristocracy in the last century, who embellished the town in the Belle Époque Period. 19th century architecture can be seen everywhere in the upper-middle-class houses and iconic buildings such as the Town Hall, the Château Pillon de Buhorel or the Château de Bonald.
Walking around Breteuil-sur-Iton:
The heritage trail of Breteuil is available at the Tourist Information Centre (Maison d’Information du Public) or at the Town Hall of Breteuil (rue Huckelhoven).
An audio guide takes you on a guided tour of this heritage trail thanks to the free app IziTravel.
In 2020, a 2.5-km (1.5 miles) nature trail was being developed starting from the village hall (Place du Souchet), through the public park, the feudal motte, the pré des 7 canaux (7-canal meadow) and the fishing lake in Breteuil.
The "Musée Vie et Métiers d'Autrefois" (Museum of former crafts and way of life) houses a collection comprising more than 7,000 old tools and objects, sometimes original, dedicated to folk art.
Guided tours of the town and the feudal motte are available upon request for groups and private individuals. Further information at +33 (0)2 32 32 17 17
Pretending to be an explorer in Breteuil-sur-Iton:
With the free games' book "Inquiry in Breteuil” (for children aged 7+), help Léon the Heron look for an important Norman Lord. Games and riddles will take you on a tour of the town.
Solve the puzzles at the Museum of former crafts and way of life thanks to the games' book for children aged 6 to 16.
Enjoy a break in Breteuil-sur-Iton:
Place Laffitte with its Town Hall built in 1840 like the former Hôtel-Dieu and its chateau is renowned for one of the Renaissance doors of its orangery. It was used as the setting for the scene in which Bourvil takes his his school certificate examination in the film Le Trou Normand. This main square in the town is home to cafés and restaurants as well as the weekly market held on Wednesday mornings.
The public park features paths lined with trees which conceal a large 7-hectare (17 acres) lake dotted with small peninsulas inhabited by herons, swans and mallard ducks.
Saint Sulpice's Church is listed a Historic Monument and is open every day from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm. This is where Adelaide, William the Conqueror's daughter, got married in 1081.
- Bar, cafeteria, tea room
- Free parking
- Accommodation on site
- Animals welcome
- Groups welcome