In addition to the D-Day
Landing beaches, we are fortunate to have within easy reach two of
France's greatest treasures.
THE BAYEUX TAPESTRY describes
in graphic detail the most famous date in English history: 1066 and the
invasion of England by William the Conqueror. 70 metres in length, and
50 centimetres in height, it tells in 58 scenes the story of the events
leading up to the battle of Hastings and the death of King Harold on
the field of battle. It is housed in its own museum in the city of
Bayeux, well worth visiting for its own sake.
Equally unique is the island
monastery of LE MONT ST. MICHEL, with the winding streets of its
medieval village culminating in a beautiful monastery, bathed in
extraordinary light and with stunning views over the surrounding
Also drawing visitors from all
over the world are THE D-DAY LANDING BEACHES, site of the Invasion of
Normandy in 1944, and the immaculately tended cemeteries commemorating
those who gave their lives to liberate France in the crucial battles of
World War II.
Gateway to France for many
English visitors using its ferry port each year, THE CITY OF CAEN, city
of William the Conqueror, fell to an earlier English invasion as long
ago as 1346, when only the Chateau held out!
Though it suffered badly in
the Battle for Caen in 1944, the city boasts wonderful churches, most
notably the Abbaye aux Hommes (with William's tomb); the Chateau (built
by William); a beautiful Botanic Garden; a Museum of Fine Arts with a
good permanent collection; the Memorial (the Museum telling the story
of the Battle of Normandy); and as befits a university town, a
profusion of cafes, bars and restaurants.
Other places of interest:
a picturesque fishing port and holiday town full of good fish
restaurants, with Christian Dior's clifftop museum and gardens.
'poÍle' means stove, and this popular tourist destination, with its
granite houses and narrow hilly streets is famous for its copper
products, with seemingly half its shops devoted to selling items in
copper, and a museum devoted to the industry. Colourful local market on
market on Friday mornings. Nearby is the Lac du Dathť, with watersports
and an excellent golf course.
tennis, canoeing and excellent walks through the Gorges of the River
Eating out. There are numerous places to eat in the
vicinity: at Courson (3km), St Sever (6km), Vire (16km) Villedieu
(15km) and Granville (30km)
Arts in the Garden is ideally
situated for reaching many of the historic sites of Lower Normandy.
Typical driving times:
Le Mont St. Michel: 50 minutes
Bayeux and Caen: 50 minutes
D-Day Landing beaches 60
St.Malo and Dinard (Brittany)
The Abbey at Hambye: 40 minutes
Dauville, Trouville, Honfleur
Rennes 90 minutes