We are centrally located for the main attractions of Normandy - Mt St Michel, Bayeux, WWII beaches, Honfleur, Rouen, Giverney - all of which are easily doable as day trips.
Cycling, walking, kayaking and horse riding are all well catered for in the immediate vicinity, mainly just to the south in the beautiful and relatively undiscovered ‘Swiss Normande’ where the Orne river runs through a rocky gorge.
Mt St Michel, (1hr 20 mins) - one of the most visited sites in France, the Abbey is an iconic relic of the pilgrimages of the Middle Ages. Despite the crowds, and some of the worst restaurants in France, well worth a visit. A guided walk across the bay at low tide is a demanding, but unforgettable experience, and at nearby Avranches there is an excellent museum of illuminated manuscripts.
Bayeux, (40 mins) - the prettiest town in the region is good for just wandering around, with many excellent restaurants, and a lively market on Saturdays. The tapestry is a unique survival and is not to be missed. If there is a big queue, just go away and come back in an hour or so, with luck you will have the museum to yourself. The well restored cathedral often has organ recitals, and is a treasure trove of stone carvings.
Caen, (15mins) - destroyed in the war and rebuilt Caen is often overlooked as a destination. Good food and shopping, one of France’s best markets on a Sunday morning, a good art museum, the Caen Memorial Museum, and some spectacular Norman architecture say otherwise
WWII beaches, ( from 30 mins) - starting at the Pegasus Bridge memorial and working west via Juno Beach, the Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches, Omaha Beach and Cemetery, Pointe d’Hoc, and Utah Beach is a humbling experience and brings home the scale of the sacrifice that was made in 1944.
Honfleur, (45 mins) - the exceptionally pretty harbour, crowded with restaurants is on most visitor’s itineraries, and rightly so. Don’t miss the wooden church built by fishermen using boat building technology - its basically a huge upturned boat. A lunch of Moules Frites is practically mandatory.
Le Harvre, (1 hr) - just across the river from Honfleur, via the incredible suspension bridge, Le Harvre is not much visited in its own right. The post war architecture is worth a look though, as it is a pretty complete vision of the optimism of the time, and has been protected so as to be uninterrupted by more modern buildings. Perret’s extraordinary St Joseph’s church is alone worth a detour. The Andre Malreaux art gallery has the largest collection of impressionist paintings in France outside of the Musee D’Orsay in Paris.
Other local sights include the pretty half timbered villages of the Pays d’Auge, cider and cheese routes, the incredible monday market at St Pierre sur Dives, and the Dior museum at Granville
The old town wall at Falaise