Join Up and Join In : Travel to France : Host a Family
Take Part in Events and Visits
Horsted Keynes is twinned with Cahagnes, a rural village in Normandy situated between Caen and Bayeux. Our joint history can be traced back to the Norman conquest of 1066. William the Conqueror gifted the parish of Horstede to his henchman Guillaume de Cahaignes, who'd fought with him at Hastings. Horsted, a Saxon word meaning a resting place for horses, and Keynes, an Anglicised form of our Norman feudal baron, are the roots of our double-barrelled name. The two communities were formally twinned in 1971.
Every other year, usually for three nights over the May Bank Holiday weekend, a group of 50 or more people of all ages from Horsted Keynes visits Cahagnes to stay with French hosts. On alternate years, our friends from Cahagnes visit us. The specific dates for the visit are usually agreed the previous Autumn.
When visiting France, you only pay the cost of transport; the hosting committee organises and funds a programme of activities and outings, making it a great value trip. The visits are an excellent way for children to learn about another culture first-hand and experience the lifestyle of French families before going on school exchanges.
We travel by coach and ferry. A few people prefer to travel independently by car. We usually stay for three nights, arriving early Friday evening and leaving Monday morning. Typically we go straight to Cahagnes but the return trip may include a lunch stop at a place of interest, and of course a visit to a supermarket to stock up with wine, cidre and other French treats!
A typical weekend in France includes a welcome reception in the Salles des Fetes, a day’s group outing. Bayeux, Mont St Michel, St Malo and the D-Day Landing beaches are all close by.
The weekend culminates with an evening dinner and dance in the Salles des Fetes.
When the French visit Horsted Keynes we organise a similar programme.