Before I wrap my posts on travel and dining in England and Paris, I have two more places I want to include. One I have visited, Bicester Outlet Village in Oxfordshire, England. The other, Le-Mont-St.-Michel, an abbey on an island in Normandy, France, is still on my list to visit.
If you like shopping, Bicester Village is worth the trip, apparently from wherever one is, as it attracts shoppers worldwide. Among Chinese tourists its popularity is second only to Buckingham Palace. I’ve been only once but I’d go again in a heartbeat. I knew about Bicester on previous trips, however it was on my last trip to the UK (when my daughter was studying at Oxford) that we made the trip.
Bicester is about an hour and a half from London by train, an hour by car. From Oxford it is a thirty to forty minute bus ride. I think Bicester is noteworthy as an outlet because it is reminiscent of the outdoor shopping plazas that predated enclosed malls. The outdoor greenery among the benches and food carts provides a pleasant atmosphere. And if you are like me you can appreciate a little fresh air between stores. There is also a very comfortable visitors center, where shoppers can have queries addressed and regroup. Check the photos below to see why I definitely suggest taking a meal at the Farmshop.
I look forward to one day making the trek to Le-Mont-St.-Michel. From the first time I saw pictures of the massive edifice on the island I wanted to know more about it. It is a stunning sight worthy of a Christian pilgrimage. Le-Mont-St.-Michel is three hours by train and four hour by car from Paris.
Le-Mont-St.-Michel has about 8,000 visitors a day. Travel pros recommend staying overnight on the island to appreciate the abbey in the evening, when the crowd has diminished. This is absolutely something I want to do, especially to have the famous omelette for breakfast at La Mére Poulard.