With the May half term falling right at the end of the month and into June, it’s the perfect time to take a late spring break in France. One of the best places to enjoy a holiday at this time of the year is Normandy, easily accessible from the UK via Brittany Ferries and DFDS Ferries to Dieppe.
This is a land of half-timbered houses and picturesque villages, sweeping coastlines and pretty harbours, historic beaches and buildings. And, the gastronomy of Normandy is legendary…
8 brilliant places to visit in Normandy
On the border with Brittany, Mont-Saint-Michel is one of France’s most visited monuments and a place to show kids the past in the present. Cross a bridge on foot or by bus or travel in style by horse and carriage to visit what looks like a fairy tale island floating on the horizon. Wander the wiggly streets to discover the gothic abbey at the very top, it’s been sending spirits soaring for 1000 years and never fails to impress, especially after you’ve climbed the 350 steps to reach it. Every heart thumping step is worth it. The views and the ambiance are astonishing.
Bayeux is home to the famous tapestry depicting the 1066 Norman invasion of England. Nothing that you’ll have seen in books, TV or video will prepare you for the incredible sight of this amazing tapestry in person. It’s a pretty town with a beautiful cathedral and plenty of places to enjoy great Norman cuisine.
Sometimes called the ‘Monaco of the north’ Granville is a seaside resort with a historic old town and the leading port for shell fishing. It was also the childhood home of legendary fashion guru Christian Dior, you’ll find his old home is now a fascinating museum with exhibitions dedicated to his stylish designs. Great beaches and beautiful places to walk and cycle make this town and the local area a favourite for families.
D-Day Landing Beaches
The 54 miles of Atlantic coast north of Bayeux — stretching from Utah Beach in the west to Sword Beach in the east — are peppered with WWII museums, monuments, cemeteries, and battle remains left in tribute to D-Day.
Situated on Normandy’s Côte Fleurie, the chic seaside resort of Deauville boasts a strong equestrian tradition. There’s a lovely sandy beach with colourful parasols – the perfect place to enjoy an ice cream en famille!
Just 15 minutes from Deauville, Honfleur is like a picture perfect lid of a chocolate box come to life. It’s cosy harbour is lined with skinny houses, cafés and shops. It’s not hard to see why the painters known as Impressionists were captivated by the town’s radiant light. Give the kids some paper and crayons and let their imagination capture the views, a lovely memento to take home.
The historic capital of Normandy with its old town, cobbled lanes and beautiful buildings is stunning. The cathedral mesmerised Claude Monet who sat in the square in front, painting it day after day. There are museums and a church dedicated to Joan of Arc who was executed here. A great place to explore for the whole family.