What to do on a rainy day in la Manche

Our suggestions for ways to enjoy la Manche in rainy weather
Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Did you forget to pack the sun in your suitcase? Don’t worry, even in bad weather, there are lots of activities for you to enjoy in la Manche. Surfing, walking by the sea, visiting the emblematic companies of the territory, tasting oysters and discovering local heritage: grab your Cherbourg umbrella and your raincoat, here are our ideas for exploring la Manche on a wet day.


Visit the Parapluies de Cherbourg factory


What would Cherbourg be without its famous umbrellas? Established in 1800, the Parapluies de Cherbourg factory is first and foremost a family affair. It was initially a leather workshop, and the trademark “Le Véritable Cherbourg” was registered in 1986 by Jean-Pierre Yvon. The know-how of this special company survives today and continues to develop.

Head off to discover the secrets of the Parapluies de Cherbourg, revealed during visits (individual or guided). The workshops are accessible all year round, from Monday to Saturday, from 10 a.m. to midday and from 2 to 7 p.m.

the Parapluies de Cherbourg factory

Photo, © Parapluie de Cherbourg

Enjoy a tasty break in a tearoom

A rainy day is the perfect time for a little treat. There are lots of lovely tearooms in la Manche where you can enjoy an afternoon tea with a nice slice of cake. With a retro, cosy or chic atmosphere, these eateries are a great place to sample the delicious products of la Manche while you put the world to rights!

Tearooms in la Manche

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Brave the elements and go surfing

Are you ready to hit the waves? Surfing in wild weather is an unmissable experience in la Manche! Our territory has a number of fantastic surfing spots on the west coast. Siouville, which has been awarded the “Ville de Surf” label, is a particular favourite with boardsports enthusiasts.

Prepare for crashing waves, bracing sea air, and a sense of complete freedom. Grab your wetsuit, depending on the season, and head off to brave the elements!

La Manche, a surfing destination

Photo, © Captain Yvon

Discover the secrets of Coutances Cathedral


A gem of historical heritage in la Manche, Coutances Cathedral is a must-see during your visit. Shelter from the weather in this magnificent building with its predominantly Gothic architecture.

You can visit the cathedral by yourself with an audioguide, or take a guided tour if you prefer. You’ll discover all the facets of the monument, including the upper galleries, for a complete immersion in art and history.

Coutances Cathedral

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Try oysters direct from the producers

Get out of the rain in one of the oyster bars in la Manche and try this delicious local speciality. With its 674 km of coastline characterised by strong currents, la Manche is the perfect place for oyster farming. Every year, almost 15 000 tonnes of them are harvested on our coasts. More and more oyster producers are opening their farms to visitors.

Try some oysters direct from the producers and enjoy yourself inside until the rain stops. Here are some of our eatery suggestions: Le Père Gus in Blainville-sur-Mer, La Belle Ostréa in Agon-Coutainville, Au P’tit Mareyeur in Granville and Les huîtres des Flots in Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue.

Photo, © Captain Yvon

Relax at the thalassotherapy spa in Donville-Les-Bains


Rainy days are a good excuse to pamper yourself. Facing the sea, the Prévithal Institute in Donville-les-Bains, just outside Granville, is the perfect place for a relaxing day or a longer stay. Take your pick from the extensive menu of treatments, including seaweed wraps, hydromassage, exfoliation, foot reflexology, facials and lots of different massages, or relax and unwind in the marine space with its sauna and hammam.

Photo, © Previthal

See how Saint-James sweaters are made


Discover the world of Saint-James and the different steps involved in producing their famous sailor sweaters. You can visit the workshop every day (except weekends), from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You’ll find out all about this illustrious company, which has been awarded the “Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant” (living heritage company) label, and strives to perpetuate this textile manufacturing tradition. Go back in time and discover the history and expertise of one of the emblematic companies of la Manche.

Photo, © Captain Yvon

Watch the film IMMERSION

If the skies are grey and you just feel like staying under the duvet, we have the solution to brighten your day: for a different way to visit la Manche, watch the film IMMERSION.
This 52-minute documentary will take you to meet seven people who live their lives to the rhythm of the sea, accompanied by Léa Brassy, a surfer and free diver who first discovered the joys of boardsports in the Manche. The beautiful images filmed by the Captain Yvon studio will captivate you and make you want to get out and visit la Manche as soon as the weather improves!


affiche, © Les Others

Go for a walk by the sea

It's always nice to get outdoors for some fresh air to clear your head, even when the weather isn’t great. To reconnect with nature, there’s nothing quite like going to look at the sea! The ideal maritime destination, la Manche has lots of lovely coastal walks. The spring tides are the perfect opportunity to enjoy the unique spectacle of rough seas and crashing waves. But be careful not to get too close!

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Go to the Dior museum


Heading to a museum is always a good activity on a rainy day. In Granville, escape to the world of Christian Dior. In the bourgeois villa “Les Rhumbs”, which is now a museum, find out all about the life of the famous fashion designer and his deep affection for la Manche. You’ll learn more about his exceptional achievements through exhibitions and themed workshops.

After your visit, if there’s a break in the clouds, take a walk in the garden and enjoy a tasty treat at the tearoom “La Bonne Aventure”. The view from there is always stunning, whatever the weather and the season!

Our favourite inspirational museums

Photo, © Hello Travelers

Our selection of other museums to visit in la Manche

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