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One of the major towns in the Pays de Bray region, Gournay en Bray is located to the northeast of Rouen, France. The other two main towns nearby are Neufchtel-en-Bray and Forges-les-Eaux. Etymologically, the name of Bray' is derived from a Gaulish expression for mud. The Pays de Bray region was probably so named for its clay soil that is suitable for developing grazing land for dairy cattle.
Pays de Bray comprises a small natural region of about 466 square miles and is above all else an agricultural area. It produces the cider spirit Calvados, Neufchtel cheese and Normandy pommeau, three well-loved delicacies. This was the place where, in the 1850s, the fromage frais named petit Suisse' was created, making a fortune for the well-known Gervais Company.
Visitors to Gournay en Bray will enjoy its surrounding natural environment. The erosion has uncovered clay beds in an elliptically-formed region that gave it the colloquial name Buttonhole of the Pays de Bray'. Enclosed by 200 to 330 feet high escarpments, this area is rich in springs, above all those of the spa Forges-les-Eaux, while numerous waterways are present here such as the Andelle and Epte, tributaries of the Seine.
Public transport in Gournay en Bray is an option but is typically slow and restricted to schedules, making it difficult for tourists to get around. Independent travellers are advised to arrange car hire before leaving home - a more convenient and cost-effective way to indulge in the region's eye-catching scenery.