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Normandy Beaches - fly to London or Paris?

Normandy Beaches - fly to London or Paris?

Old Apr 2nd, 2005, 08:21 PM
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Normandy Beaches - fly to London or Paris?

My wife and I plan to visit the World War Two landing beaches and some of the towns along the Normandy coast, then spend some time driving around southern England and probably Wales.

I'm looking for suggestions on the most efficient way to do this. We've considered flying into Paris, renting a car to go to Normandy, then returning the car and taking the Chunnel to England. Have also considered flying into London, taking the Chunnel to Calais, renting a car, then taking the Chunnel back over. Any thoughts on this? Does the Chunnel train make any stops in England besides London (Folkstone?).

Any ideas or advice would be greatly appreciated. By the way, we'll be there about two weeks, and since we've already been to both Paris and London we don't plan to spend any time in either city.

paul2887 is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2005, 09:04 PM
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You should consider using the very low-cost flight between Dinard (France) and London (Stansted) on www.ryanair.com

You can fly into Paris or London - - and complete the land transportation between the Normandy coast (and Paris) by train or rental car. I advise allowing a full 2-3 days to fully see this fairly large portion of Normandy (though it is still only a small fraction of Normandy, in the whole). Worth your while to take a look at www.normandy-tourism.org if you want to know more about the entire province(s)/region.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2005, 12:07 AM
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Trains take under two hours to get from Paris to Caen which is a good starting point for the Normandy beaches. From Normandy to southern England, there are ferries which will be quicker than the long detour via the Channel Tunnel. Brittany Ferries (www.brittany-ferries.com) have routes from Caen, Cherbourg and St-Malo to Portsmouth and Poole, both convenient starting points for touring southern England.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2005, 07:07 AM
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GoeffHamer has given you really useful advice. Since you don't plan on any time in London neither the Eurostar nor flying into Stansted make sense. And driving from Stansted west to Wales would be a real pain.

Train to Caen and ferry to Portsmouth would be my choice. But the other routes work just as well . . . . .
janis is offline  
Old Apr 12th, 2005, 12:00 PM
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Thanks so much for the suggestions. I'm checking into all of them
paul2887 is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2005, 04:45 PM
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I agree with what has already been posted. However, just for the sake of completeness, some Eurostar trains stop at Ashford in Kent, but otherwise have no stops in England apart from London.
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Old Apr 16th, 2005, 04:56 AM
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If you have the time, then there are several options for ferries between Southern England and Normandy. (My suspicion is that getting to the Chunnel terminal, Lille, will make for a very long and expensive travel day.)
For air travel options, we are flying out of Bristol, England (on Easyjet) so you might look at air options using Bristol.

For going to Normandy, I would think flying into Paris is convenient and affordable.

You should research Bayeaux as a base. Bayeaux is one of a few cities that had minimal damage from WWII bombings. In addition to staying in Bayeaux, we spent one night at the wonderful Chateaux de Fontaine-Etoupefour, a fifteenth century chateaux near Caen (total $160 per night, for three) there are more than 120 listings for western France www.bienvenue-au-chateau.com.

The peace museum in Caen has been recommended, as well as the WWII museum in Bayeaux. We came up short on time and missed both. I also recommend a vists to Arromanches (a wonderful small coastal town and key to the landings) with a museum and 360 degree theater both dedicated to the landings.

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