Normandy Base and General Itinerary

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Mar 10th, 2012, 06:48 AM
  #1
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Normandy Base and General Itinerary

I'd like to visit Normandy for the last full week in July. We will be driving our own car down from the UK. Family of 4 (DD13 & DS10). Logistically, it makes sense to come across the Channel Tunnel on a Saturday and take the Caen-Portsmouth overnight ferry on the following Friday night (i.e. 6 full days for sightseeing). The return is flexible and we could drive back or take a different ferry (though the overnight is convenient).

Some must-do's:
a) Bayeux Tapestry
b) Memorial de Caen
c) D-Day beaches (1 full day?)
d) Mont St Michel (early or late, evidently)

Considering:
e) Rouen Cathedral (on drive down)
f) Cherbourg -- La Cite de la Mer
g) Pays D'Auge
h) Bayeux Cathedral
i) relaxing day on the beach -- suggestions?
j) Dinan -- stretching into Brittany

Bayeux seems to be fairly centrally located for that list. Should I use that as a base for the week? Hotel or gites recommendations? Could do 200€/night though less is better.

Or, should we stay 2-3 places including something closer to MSM and Dinan/St. Malo if that is a better mix of our week?

Any suggestions on things to do that I've not mentioned?

Any particular recommendations on the D-Day sites?

Lots of questions, I know. I've got a few books that I'm thumbing through but I thought settling on a base camp and getting that locked down would be a good thing to do.

Many thanks.
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Mar 10th, 2012, 07:01 AM
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Bayeux IMO and IME is the perfect base for that - the only town not blitzed in WW2 in the area practically - and a smallish but still regional town with all the amenities.

Ste-Maire-Eglise (sp?) is a nice small town with a famous stained glass window showing an Allied paratrooper snagged on the church steeple - his parachute

Classic seaside resorts like Le Treport and Deauville are a short enough drive away for diversity.

cherbourg itself IMO is one of the ugliest cities in France but I loved traipsing thru the old behemoth trans-Atlantic boat terminal where so many visitors and emigrants went thru - hulking state is still majestic.

Granville is a sweet old seaside town with lots of character.

From the bishopric in Avranches you get a sweet view of Mont Saint-Michel rising majestically far across the sandy bay.
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Mar 10th, 2012, 07:46 AM
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Did a similar trip a couple of years ago. If you're going to see Rouen, you could also stop at Honfleur and Deauville (a beautiful seaside resort area with a casino). You could easily spend three nights based in Bayeux and either take the guided tour(s) of the landing beaches, or do them on your own, along with Caen and also St. Lo (site of another important but lesser-known battle in Normandy). While in Bayeux, also see the tapestry there, the cathedral, and the WWII museum. Also, the restaurants in Bayeux are great! Then go to the MSM area for another two or three nights.
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Mar 10th, 2012, 02:34 PM
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Caen is bigger than Bayeux and so has more hotels and restaurants to choose from. It is worth a day of strolling on its own --http://www.tourisme.caen.fr/anglais/index.asp -- plus a trip to its war memorial museum on the outskirts http://www.memorial-caen.fr/portailgb/
But it is also a quick train commute from Bayeux.
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Mar 11th, 2012, 01:28 PM
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Thanks for the replies. Any other comments?
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Mar 11th, 2012, 02:22 PM
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Take a look at www.beauconniere.com. We stayed there a couple of years ago and it's a wonderful place in the countryside for both adults and children. From there, we drove to the DDay beaches, Bayeux, Dinan and more. I can't think of a better setup for families.
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Mar 11th, 2012, 10:24 PM
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Thanks crckwc1. I'll give it a look. I've not considered the more rural option as we usually like to stay in the middle of things. However, it does look like a good base.
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Mar 12th, 2012, 12:46 PM
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one last ttt
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Mar 12th, 2012, 01:56 PM
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You might find this trip report I wrote about exploring the area near Dinan helpful. It's got lots of photos, descriptions and weblinks to tourist info for the area:

http://tinyurl.com/82azcyh

And for info on Normandy from Giverny out through the D-Day sites you might find this thread helpful:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic..._Normandy.html
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Mar 12th, 2012, 02:09 PM
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Thanks, FMT. I was hoping you would chime in. I'll have a look through your links.

I guess the big decision is whether to have a single base in/near Bayeux or branch out a little farther. Thoughts?
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Feb 28th, 2014, 09:56 AM
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Don't know if this will fit the budget but friends stayed here in Bayeux Lion d"or Hotel

http://www.hotel-le-lion-dor-bayeux.com/index.htm
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Feb 28th, 2014, 10:14 AM
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The OP was two years ago.
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