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Abbey of Bec-Hellouin
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The majestic and peaceful Abbey of Notre-Dame-du-Bec stands in the heart of the Bec valley, on the banks of the narrow river that gives the site its name. This charming abbey, which has once again housed a community of Benedictine monks since 1948, features some of the finest ecclesiastical architecture of the 17th and 18th century. The tour includes the cloister, the 15th century bell tower of Saint-Nicolas, the monastic quarters, the abbey church and concludes with a display of crafts and artefacts made by the monks. Open:> 1st October to 31st May: from Monday to Saturday: tours at 10.30 a.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. ; Sundays and public holidays: tours at noon, 3 p.m., 4 p.m.> 1st June to 30th September: from Monday to Friday: tours at 10.30 a.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m. ; Sundays and public holidays: tours at noon, 3 p.m., 4 p.m. Closed:> Tuesdays.> 25th December. Admission fees: Adults : 5,50 €; Concessions (18 to 25) = 4 €; Free admission: minors under 18*; Free admission: 18-25 years old* (citizens of one of the 27 countries of the EU or are non-European permanent residents of France) * excluding school groups
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
227 reviews
110 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 July 2014

in the beautiful village of Bec-Bellouin this small but pristine Abbey is worth a visit. The ruins of the old Abbey are clear and the shop sells pottery made by the monks. The tower is no longer accessible but is a dominat feature in this part of the Risle valley

Visited August 2013
Thank JDA55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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213 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Shipley, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“A pleasant couple of hours”
Reviewed 13 June 2014

We are staying in a gîte about 25 km from this village and it was the local boulanger's wife who suggested it was worth a visit as it has been voted one of the most beautiful villages in France. It was a warm and sunny Friday afternoon when we visited mid June. We arrived just after 2pm. It is easy to find and a nice journey through lovely Normandy scenery which in itself is a treat.
There is good shady (under trees) parking which was useful today when it was hot. The village is peaceful and in the sunshine, with so many roses blooming everywhere, was very colourful and charming. Several of the houses are worth inspection because of their age. What have they seen, one wonders? The tourist office is just by the central parking and a young woman in there was most helpful and dished out appropriate leaflets for the locality. I am a person ever in search of postcards_ it is what I do on holiday. I have to confess that on this trip to Normandy I have found it a real challenge to find any postcards at all let alone any worthwhile. It seems I am not alone. As I was perusing the notice boards in the tourist office a senior French lady came in asking for postcards only to be told that the office didn't have any but try the Archange - cafe just opposite. The lady was quite right in saying that in such a renowned and pretty village, it is a shame ( or ridiculous ) that there are no decent postcards of a couple of views especially when the church and the monastery, in addition to the pretty houses are of such notable architecture.
The postcards that the Archange sells are fairly uninspiring. Be warned, if you buy stamps as well it involves a separate transaction, a calculator and some detailed writing in a ledger! Don't be tempted as we were later to try out a menthe à l'eau there- it comes with ordinary tap water, no ice nor even a swizzle stick and it cost 5 euros for two! The place to be was clearly the Hotel de la Tour- there sounded to be good fun there.
The abbey itself is impressive and the grounds are peaceful. On the day we visited there was space to sit in the shade and contemplate. It was nice. As another contributor has written, we didn't bother with a guided tour. Couldn't see the point as there isn't that much to actually see unless you're a real history buff. There are information panels and the tourist office leaflets help. We couldn't find the public loos they spoke of though.
All in all, it was an afternoon nicely spent and we are glad we went . We wouldn't have known about it had it not been for the boulanger's wife and I am glad she told us about it.

Visited June 2014
Thank headee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reading, UK
Level 6 Contributor
147 reviews
100 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“A peaceful place”
Reviewed 28 May 2014

Cet abbaye est dans un village paisible. On peut voir sauf l'eglise et un tour en ruine. Nous sommes arrives trop tard pour une visite guidee, mais nous n'aimons pas tellement des visites commentees en tout cas .... We liked being able to wander around and did not at all feel the lack of a guide. Not much to see, but no expectations had been raised anyway. The church has the sarcophagus of the founder of the monastery, Hellouin, and Lanfranc came from here - William the Conqueror's archbishop. It is a working monastery so not much was available to be seen anyway.
In the village there is a helpful tourist office, where they suggested that we went to the Chateau d'Harcourt which is nearby and definitely worth a visit. There is also a public toilet - useful to know as the Abbey does not appear to have one. The village church has some statues which used to be in the Abbey church and some modern stained glass.

Visited May 2014
Thank JanettaDavies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Worth the classification as "most beautifull village of France"”
Reviewed 17 September 2013

The entire village of Le Bec Hellouin with great restaurants surrounding the abbey are much worth spending half a day! The magnificent abbey where monks still handpaint porcelan and sell this in the annexed shop, the recently renovated tower of the abbey and with a bit of planning/luck the local markets regularly organized in the village (local products, flowers, antiques, ...) : an absolute must for all visiting the are.

Visited August 2013
Thank Fabienne1504
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St Peter Port
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Interesting abbey”
Reviewed 15 September 2013

The abbey has many links with medieval English history. Three archbishops of Canterbury came from here, most notably Anselm. The abbey ruins and the more recent monastery are set in pleasant grounds in a charming village.

Visited September 2013
Thank gregory115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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