Head north to the "Mother-of-Pearl Coast". Although traditionally renowned for its locally produced oysters, it is probably more widely known for its involvement in "Operation Overlord". Here remains one of the man-made docks, constructed to provide a landing for the thousands of vehicles and hardware during the D-Day Landings of World War II. The strategic "Mulberry Harbour" has since become a historic landmark. There are several museums in the area, all providing poignant reminders of events of June 1944. In addition, you can visit the heroic sites of the Beaches, including Omaha & Utah, or ponder at the American Cemetery at Colleville-St-Laurent.
Standing majestically between the bocage and the bay of Le Mont St Michel. Visitors will find a variety of attractions in this modern town, including mini-golf with terrace-bar, museum and public gardens. You will be reminded of its strategic position during the 2nd World War, not least by the sight of General Patton's tank, "Thunderbird"; the first to reach the town following the 1944 D-Day Landings, sitting proudly on a roundabout in the town!
Situated in the Andaines Forest, this spa town is said to have once housed the Knights of the Round Table. A beautiful setting, with a small lake nestling among the pine forests of the Normandy/Maine Regional Natural Park.
Not far from Bayeux, you will find this wonderful chateau; which is the best example of Louis XIV architecture in Normandy. Occasionally you will find the surrounding skies graced with a colourful array of hot-air balloons from one of the rallies held nearby. Several other well-preserved chateaux can be found in the region, including Combourg near Le Mont St Michel. Built between the 12th & 15th centuries, it is still owned and occupied by a descendant of the famous Romantic writer, Chateaubriand.
A charming town which hosts the famous 11th century Tapestry. Study for yourself Queen Mathilde's embroidered depiction of the famous "Battle of Hastings", whilst she awaited her husband, William-the-Conqueror's return. Take in the sights of the impressive Gothic Cathedral, or the museum dedicated to "The Battle of Normandy". Several bars and restaurants available.
East of St Malo, a pretty, seaside village and a must for oyster-lovers.
This coastal resort has been described as "the most beautiful kilometre in France." As the horizon changes with the tides, there is a spectacular view across Normandy and Brittany to the bay of Le Mont St Michel. It has long been a source of inspiration for painters. In addition, it is a popular attraction for bird-watchers, with a large variety of birds nesting on the cliffs.
A short drive will bring you to one of the best zoos in Normandy. See a wide variety of animals, birds and reptiles, amongst the beautifully kept gardens and woodland; and enjoy a picnic as the children tire themselves out in the extensive play area.
For the more adventurous, take a day-trip from Granville; or visit neighbouring Jullouville, and hire yourself a catamaran. Weekly training courses are available.
Apart from its annual Jazz Festival, there are many attractions; public gardens, shops and restaurants. Enjoy a leisurely aperitif or sample the traditional local cuisine, whilst admiring the majestic twin towers of the13th Century Notre-Dame Cathedral.
D-Day Landing Beaches
The D-Day Landings took place on 6th June 1944. "Operation Overlord" on the Normandy coast was the largest operation of combined military forces in the history of mankind. General Omar Bradley & the 1st American Army was to land between Ste-Honorine & St-Martin-de-Varreville, on the beaches code-named "Omaha" and "Utah". Commanded by General Dempsey, the 2nd British Army & the 3rd Canadian infantry division were to land on the west coast of Calvados, between Colleville & Le Hamel, on the beaches code-named "Gold", "Juno" & "Sword". Colonel Rudder was in command of the 2nd Ranger batallion, attacking at Point du Hoc & suffering tremendous losses in the process. The historic 5-Beach Assault & surrounding battles have been depicted in several films, including "Saving Private Ryan" and "The Longest Day". By 4pm on June 6th, Bristish tanks began arriving at Arromanches from "Gold" Beach; & on 7th June, along with the 47th Royal Marine Commando, began development of the famous artificial harbour known as "Mulberry B" or "Winston Harbour". This enabled 2,500 000 men, 54 000 vehicles plus 104 000 metric tons of supplies to be transported in 100 days via Arromanches. Bayeux was liberated on June 7th by the British 56th Independent Brigade. Caen, however, was not liberated until July 20th, following bitter fighting. Cherbourg found liberation on June 26th, following assaults by three American divisions. Val-Saint-Pere was liberated at the beginning of August by the G.I's of the U.S. Vlllth Corps coming from Avranches. Several Military Cemeteries are sited in Normandy, covering British, American, Canadian, Polish and German losses. The famous Cemetery at Colleville-St-Laurent between Arromanches and Grandcamp has 9 386 American graves, and the British Cemeteries total over 17 000 graves. The German Cemeteries in the region total nearly 78 000 graves.
A pretty town with sandy beaches, coves and rock-pools
Once the "romantic capital" of Alienor of Aquitaine and Henri II Plantaganet. At the Romanesque granite chapel of Notre-Dame-sur-L'Eau, Thomas Beckett is said to have taken mass on Christmas Day 1166. Your journey will take you through the rolling hillsides, valleys, and cider-apple orchards of the region, where you can unwind with a taste of the locally produced cider or "calvados" .
"Monaco of the north": a quaint, picturesque fishing port. Spend a lazy day with a picnic on one of several beautiful, unspoilt sandy beaches. Explore the pretty harbour as the local fishermen return with the day's catch; or sample fresh "moules frites" in one of the excellent sea-front restaurants. Offering stunning views from the summit of this historic town, there are a variety of shops & restaurants as well as the casino and the former home of Dior, whose gardens are open to the public during the summer months. (Please check for availability and timetable.)
Karting de Mortain
For slightly older children and adults; a short drive will bring you to the Karting Circuit in Mortain. Please check timetable in advance. Address: La Tête à la Femme, 50140 Le Neufbourg Phone:02 33 59 60 33
Le Mont St Michel
One of the most spectacular sights in France, this wonderful landmark can be viewed from our local Church on a clear day. The original site dates back to around the year 500 A.D. A granite pyramid with its winding cobbled streets leads you to the village, Abbey and Church; described as "one of the most fabulous constructions of the Middle Ages". Sample one of the fine restaurants and bars, with breathtaking views across the bay. Music festivals, concerts and laser-shows celebrating Saint Michel.
Le Moulin de Jean Restaurant
Just 10 minutes' drive away, this "Michelin Guide 2015" restaurant is ideal for that "special celebration". An old watermill set amongst willow trees and a small stream, it offers a memorable taste of exquisite French cuisine.
Children and adults alike will enjoy exploring the pretty "Cascades". Amongst an abundance of greenery, the Grande Cascade reaches a height of 20 mtrs, whilst the Petite Cascade leads to a deep gorge. Visit the ancient 12th century "Abbaye Blanche", which is still inhabited, or the 13th Century Gothic Church.
Pony trekking / Walking / Cycling
St Sever Forest. Here you can enjoy relaxing walks, picnics, pony-trekking or cycling in complete tranquillity, whilst experiencing the sights and sounds of the forest. These include local deer, badgers, woodpeckers, cuckoos and various birds of prey. Wild primroses and orchids decorate the roadsides. The walks are colour-coded, according to the distance and duration your prefer.
The Grand Aquarium, on the Emerald Coast of Brittany, is adjacent to the autoroute. It presents an excellent family day out including the 360 degree glass-walled "shark-ring", and the mechanical submarine "nautibus".
For an exhilarating family day out, try L'Ange Michel theme-park. Attractions include aquasplash, quadbiking, bumper boats, tourist train, dry-slope sledging and pony rides. There is also an amusement park for smaller children.
A Medieval town with several tourist attractions. It has a modern indoor swimming-pool with slides and toddlers' pool, and a number of popular crêperies. Since the first small foundry was established, dating back to the son of William-the-Conqueror, the town has become a worldwide exporter of its famous copperware and brass bells.