Reciprocal Twinning visits

The Twinning visits

Every year we alternate visits to Normandy or Devon.  So, one year the Scoriton-Buckfastleigh twinners travel to Fontaine-Henry for a long weekend, and the following year the French twinners make a return visit to Devon.

The visit to France…French walk

The visit to France takes place over a long weekend, leaving on a Friday morning and returning the Tuesday tea-time.  We try and fit in with school holidays.  As many as 40 people travel in a group.  We go by coach from Buckfastleigh to Portsmouth and then take the ferry to Ouistreham, the Port of Caen in Normandy, a short drive from our destination Fontaine-Henry.  We are hosted by individual French families at their homes, a unique opportunity to experience French family life.  During the weekend, there are group get-togethers with all the French and English twinning members, as well as family specific outings.  In 2016 for example the whole group visited the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire Baron Gérard in Bayeux followed by lunch at a local restaurant.  On the Sunday evening there was a meal for all at the local community centre with music and dancing.      

The visit to England…

The return visit runs along similar lines.  The French arrive in Buckfastleigh Saturday lunchtime having travelled with the overnight ferry from Ouistreham.  They are met by their hosts and taken home to rest up before the evening activity, a shared meal at Scoriton Village Hall with entertainment.  As a rule families host the same families who entertained them in France, while in subsequent years, there are new pairings so there's a chance to get to know different twinning families.  On the Sunday there is usually a joint outing for the whole group.  On the Monday, hosts entertain their guests individually or take part in optional group activities.  On Monday evenings, we hold a series of dinner parties at different homes.  The French depart early on the Tuesday morning.  

Other visits:

At other times of the year, twinning members arrange their own private visits.  As the Twinning has been in operation for over 35 years, close ties have built up between families and visits are the norm.  In particular families have benefited by having their children visit Devon or Normandy to brush up their English or French language skills.