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Thursday, 2 August 2018

Our d'isigny holiday!

A holiday at Chateau Monfreville

No, that isn't a typo. In August 2016 we spent a week at Chateau Monfreville, near Isigny-Sur-Mer in Normandy. Having fallen in love with the Chateau through their website I felt I had found what seemed like the perfect place for us to stay online. I couldn't believe it when I then read on the web page that this was the ancestral home of the d'isigny family.

According to the Chateau Monfreville web page"Before the Norman invasion the chateau and land belonged to the Bishop of Bayeux and through him to the D’Isigny family. Landowners took their surnames from the local town name which here is Isigny sur Mer."

Members of the d'isigny family came to England in 1066 with William the Conqueror and were promised land for settling, the family settled in Norton Disney in Lincolnshire. Later the family were offered land in Ireland by Oliver Cromwell and then it was members of this side of the family who emigrated to America to  become that Disney family.

When arriving at the Chateau the first sign of the connection was the information board on the driveway to the house...

Chateau Monfreville information board
Information board at the entrance to the driveway to the Chateau
According to the web page; "Owing to wars and fighting over the centuries the only part of the building dating earlier than the 15C is the east wall containing two arched windows." Therefore most of the original house that the d'isigny family would have known has now been rebuilt

The five bedroom Chateau itself is actually owned by the family who run the campsite but the  grounds of this stunning old chateau now hosts a beautiful campsite with farm animals, a lake, swings, trees for climbing, a natural swimming pond and a hot tub- yes we were 'glamping'. We didn't bring our tent but stayed in one of two traditional wooden gypsy caravans. Space was tight with a double bed and two small bunks but the good weather meant we didn't need to spend much time inside, we warmed ourselves whilst toasting marshmallows in the evening and we were cosy and comfy.

gypsy caravans at chateau monfreville
The gypsy caravans behind the Chateau
We explored the Normandy coast, known for being the stage for the D Day landings, the impressive sandy beaches go on for miles. We visited Bayeau including the tapestry and Cathedral and visited a number of flea markets and I came home with a few unusual bargains for my vintage Disney collection. Of course we also loved the food, being close to the coast the seafood was wonderful and the area is known for regional cider and butter.

flying kites on the beach om Normandy

Duffy on the beach in Normandy

The following week we camped near Disneyland Paris and during the week I took both the guided tours or the Studios and the main Disneyland Park. During the tour of the main park our tour guide Rachel mentioned the connection to the d'isigny family and Walt Disney's French ancestors. On last night of the holiday we ate at Cafe Mickey for my Birthday and it felt like it was an amazingly fitting end to our fortnight in France that the butter served with dinner was d'isigny butter from Isigny-Sur-Mer.

Butter from igsigny-sur-mer


  1. Wow! What a magical vacation! I loved reading about your adventure from start to finish!The pictures captured the it beautifully. As an aside I loved seeing your outfits as well.

    1. Thanks Deb! It was such a fun holiday and the warmest I have ever been at Disney as we usually go in the spring so that made a nice change.