An introduction to Normandy.
from where William the Conqueror set out in 1066, has much in common
with the south of England between Devon and Sussex: sandy beaches,
rocky cliffs in the Cotentin
peninsula, the famous white cliffs of Etretat
inland area full of wonderful small towns and villages, many boasting
fine half-timbered houses and cottages. One such town is Bayeux
home of the
famous mediaeval Bayeux Tapestry. On the coast in the west of the
region lies the Mont St.
, the most visited historic site in France outside
The two main cities of Normandy are Caen
the capital of Lower Normandy, and Rouen,
High Normandy. While Caen has risen from the ashes after virtual
destruction by allied bombing in the Second World War, Rouen boasts a
fine historic centre, around one of France's great medieval cathedrals.
It was on the Normandy coast between Cotentin and the Seine that, in
1944, the historic Normandy
took place, paving the way to the liberation of
France and the defeat of fascism in Europe. The Normandy beaches, the
war cemeteries, and villages such as Ste. Mere l'Eglise
bear witness to this critical moment in recent history.
Normandy is also famous for its stables and racehorses, and the classic
seaside resort of Deauville - with its well-known casino - has one of
France's more famous racecourses.
Local specialities include sea food ("fruits de mer") , famous cheeses
and of course, like the S-W of England, cider... but also its more
potent cousin "Calvados
The Gitelink Normandy directory offers a selection of self-catering
holiday homes, from small traditional cottages to authentic
half-timbered manor houses in the Norman countryside.
Getting to Normandy
Normandy is a region that is easily accessible from the UK, Belgium and
Holland, and ideal for short breaks without too much travelling.
the Norman ferry ports of Cherbourg, Caen, Le Havre or Dieppe.
1 to 3 hours
Calais or Lille under normal driving
motorway via Rouen or Le Havre See Driving in France
Fly to Normandy
Peripheral airports: Rennes, Paris CDG.