Summer in Normandy

Normandy is very family friendly destination with lots of entertainment as well the museums and monuments. You can also enjoy the historical and beautiful beaches and countryside, so families will find lots to see and do all year round. Normandy is easily accessible from the UK just a short hop across the channel.

There are three big zoos not far from the D-Day sites:

Jurques which is via heading out of Caen beyond Villers Bocage on way to Vire approx. 30 minute drive. They have white lions and have “zoo by night” evenings in summer. Look out for feeding time at the zoo for wolves and lemurs. Plus usual restaurant and bouncy castles: Website

white lion

Champrepus is 15 minutes east of Granville and has loads of lemurs and penguins…. Nice and flat, so easy to push small ones around: Website 

Cerza is more of a small safari park near Lisieux and you can actually stay in the zoo- Website

There’s a zoo page on the Normandy website and a film to go with: Website

William the Conqueror’s Castle. Take a virtual reality tour of this future King of England who was born in the 11th century castle fortress in the town of Falaise. Every visitor is given an iPad which brings the castle magically to life. You hover your lent iPad over a time gate in each room which uploads the necessary information, then as you position the iPad around the room you see what it would have looked like in the 12th century. Its brilliant and enchanting for the whole family Website

Overlord Jazz Concert and Cocktail Party Touques, 22nd August, 7pm – FREE As part of the ‘Jazz and Cocktail Fridays Festival,’ the ‘Overlord Octet,’ an ensemble of six musicians, will give a D-Day70 special concert. The group offer an original spin on Glenn Miller’s music – this is sure to be a fun evening. Website 

‘In Memory of our Fathers’ Concert Argentan, 22nd & 23rd August, 9pm – FREE (booking required) This special 70th anniversary concert will bring together on stage 65 singers and instrumentalists for a World War II themed evening of film, music from the big screen and song. From the Atlantic Wall system of coastal fortifications, to the Red Line, the show is packed with touching, moving and symbolic tunes, making for a poignant trip down memory lane. Website

The Lights of Freedom Bayeux, Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays until 23rd August (except 1st, 2rd and 5th July) – FREE From nightfall until 12.30am, a spectacular sound and light show extravaganza will see the city’s magnificent 12th century cathedral light up in a rainbow of colours. The cathedral will be open exceptionally between 8.30 – 10.30pm on these dates. Website

The Pegasus Bridge Memorial Ranville This is one most of us know about thanks to the film the Longest Day, located near to the landing beaches. This is excellent for all children as it’s a fairly small museum plus they can run about outside even on the bridge! Well worth the guided tour. Self-guided or guided tour without supplement (1-1 ½ hr) ; Adults €7 with Normandie Pass: €5.50; Students, children: €4.50; FREE: children (under 8 yrs). Website  

Centre Juno Beach Courseulles-sur-Mer Situated on the beach where the Canadians actually landed in June 1944, portraying the role of Canada troops in the Second World War, particularly in Normandy. Self guided tour (1hr); Adults: €7 with Normandie Pass €5.50; Self-guided tour of the Juno Beach Centre and guided tour of Juno Park (45min); Adults: €11 with Normandie Pass: €9; Children (8+yrs) €9 Website

juno bike

Musee Du Debarquement Utah Beach Sainte-Marie-du-Mont Utah Beach Normandy, June 6th, 1944, American troops land, 18 years later the Utah Beach museum was founded in 1962. Self guided tour (1 ½ hr). Adults: €8 with Normandie pass €7; Children (7-15 yrs) €3.50; Guided tour (1hr); Comprehensive guided tour of the site Landing beach & museum €12 Website

Cinema Circulaire Arromanches 360 New film Normandy’s 100 days. Simultaneously projected 360º onto nine screens, this 19 minute film tells the story of the 100 day Normandy Campaign. The cinema overlooking the village of Arromanches, it is just 5 min walk down the hill, with great restaurants and a small museum. A beautiful sandy beach, a merry-go-round and looking out to sea you can still see the remains of the artificial port, or ‘Mulberry Harbour! Website

See here for Normandy Accommodation

Four ports in Normandy are serviced with several car-ferry routes from the south of England (Brittany Ferries, DFDS Seaways and Condor Ferries) and the Eurotunnel arrives nearby, at Calais. From 3rd July, Flybe will launch a new route –  London Southend to Caen, CityJet operates a London City to Deauville route, and if you travel by Eurostar into Paris, the direct high-speed Paris-Caen train line takes less than 2 hours. From Ireland, there are ferry routes from Rosslare to Cherbourg with Irish Ferries and Stena Line, from Dublin to Cherbourg, with Irish Ferries

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