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Le Havre is multi-facetted, as important a commercial port as it is a popular yachting destination. Its 2 km of beach open onto the Seine estuary, once the backdrop for Impressionist artists who loved the effect of light and painted many famous paintings, including Monet’s ’Sunrise at Le Havre’.

The town today has a particularly modern feel about it, having suffered major destruction during 1944. The authorities have rebuilt Le Havre with reference to the original plans, and it now boasts a dynamic university as well as a thriving commercial and cultural centre. Jewel in the crown is the Malraux Museum, an ultra-modern building on the seafront which houses an impressive collection of Impressionist works together with art from preceding centuries up to contemporary works. There is much else of interest to visit, including the Notre Dame cathedral, Natural History Museum and the Graville Priory, but especially fascinating is the Espace Maritime and the Vauban-designed dock area.

Access is easy, with regular ferry services from the UK and train service to Paris and onward destinations. Le Havre also has an airport with services to several French cities.

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