The French city of Le Mans isn’t just about a 24-hour car race.

Motor racing addicts will already have their tickets for the famous Le Mans car race held on the 11th and 12th of June this year, but this French city is a great place for a break at any time of year. The race is over in 24 hours but the town’s impressive Roman Walls have been around for centuries and are here to stay!

Just under an hour’s travel time west of Paris, Le Mans makes an easy-to get-to short hop destination from London. Fly to the French capital and hire a car or take the train to Le Mans from St Pancras (www.raileurope.co.uk); you will not be disappointed.

The magical walled town sits on the banks of the River Sarthe and has a host of things to do and see, reports the Daily Mail. Start by walking the 1,300 yard- long Roman Walls that circle the beautifully preserved and restored Plantagenet Old City, which is a labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets. From there you can visit the Museum of Archaeology and the Musée de Tessé, a fine art museum, and the modern but laid back city centre.

The town also boasts one of France’s most important religious monuments, the 1,000-year-old St Julian’s Cathedral. England’s King Henry II was baptised here and it contains the tomb of Richard the Lionheart’s queen, Berengaria. It’s also one of the eight locations where the La Nuit des Chimères light show (www.nuitdeschimeres.com) is held in summer, with a formidable battle between Heaven and Hell projected over the east end of the cathedral.

Finally, you’re not expected to shun the motor racing! There are guided tours of the circuit available, the chance to drive the inner circuits and a museum which displays wonderful old cars, motor memorabilia and photos of the races (www.lemans.org). Bon voyage!

For more details visit www.lemanstourisme.com.

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