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London to Normandy -- best route option?

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Hi all,

I've plowed through a number of these great Normandy trip reports in the Europe forum with many helpful tips for our planned spring break trip to Normandy and Paris (we live in London). We are aiming for 3-4 days in Normandy and want to see several of the WWII sites (beaches, US museum, etc), plus Mont St. Michel, tapestry, and whatever else we can in that time. Hope to base ourselves at a single hotel, of which several on the board come recommended. Then finish with 4 days in Paris at a friend's apartment near St. Sulpice.

I would like to start booking the trains/cars/whatever well in advance, so what would be the best option for getting to Normandy from London, among the following not-so-attractive options?:

1. Eurostar to Paris, switch stations, train to Bayeux or Caen, rent car -- seems like a long travel day shlepping our stuff and two kids around France.

2. Eurostar to Paris, rent car Gare du Nord, drive to Bayeux -- not thrilled about the challenge of having to drive out of Paris & suburbs given the traffic.

3. Eurostar to Calais or Lille, rent car -- too far to drive to Bayeux?

4. Ferry to a Normandy port (from Portsmouth?), rent car -- Not ideal as daughter is prone to motion sickness, and I long ago swore off the Dover-Calais ferries I took in college.

5. Other possibilities?

Option 1 seems best to me as I prefer to avoid driving in or around Paris, and that way we could rent and drop the car in Bayeux or Caen and rely on the train in and out of Paris. But the station switch in Paris is not ideal either, so wondering if there is another way to avoid Paris altogether until the back end of the trip. Also, the Eurostar to Calais only operates early in the morning or late in the day, so it is not a good option, and in any case Calais appears to be a long way from Bayeux.


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