Normandy Beaches and Brittany
I,m planning a weeks trip to Northern France, taking in the beaches, sites and Brittany. Not planning on huge mileage just a relaxing ride, i will be camping, cooking and drinking plonk, as always i'm on a tight budget. Thinking of leaving early September after the School holidays as the camp sites may be quieter.
If anyones interested it would be great to have some company, i will be riding my V-strom 1000 and probably catching the Poole to Cherbourg Ferry.
This is only a rough idea at the moment, any ideas would be great. I've not searched this site yet for info, thats my next job.
Done this trip 6-7 times, mostly on bikes.
Bayeux is a good base.
Nice municipal camp site:Boulevard d'Eindhoven, RD 6, RN 13, Bayeux, 14400
02 31 92 08 43
Must see: Saint Mere-Eglise (Museum, Historic church), Omaha Beach & American Cemetary, 360 Cinema and Arromanches, Pegasus bridge & museum, Ranville Cemetary (Near Pegasus Bridge).
There is much more too!
If you could go on June 6th (D-Day) ther are lots of events , WW2 vehicles, firework shows that are well worth seeing (busy on the campsites though).
It's a good trip and a great place to bike!
Makes you realise how much was given!
If you can, watch "The longest day" movie before you go.
PM me if I can help more.
I LOVE Normandy!!! As a regular visitor of battlefields and a WW2 History/Normandy buff, I tend to book a Gite, especially if I'm taking a group. Try Welcome Cottages but book early.
If you want a battlefield guide there are none better than Paul Woodage. He'll take you to places not in the guide books... tell him I sent you.
If you want a D.I.Y battlefield tour get yourself Major & Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide of the Normandy Beaches with Map, this will take you to just about every place of significance in Normandy. There are hundreds of sites and places to visit not just the beaches, which was just the initial phase of the battle, head inland too.
Check out the Normandie44LaMemoire and NormandieMemoire sites for all the places to visit: museums, cemetries, monuments, vestiges etc. If your going to visit a lot of museums get yourself a Normandie Pass for reduced admission.
Short list of must see places, there are lots of awesome places to visit including all the major museums but these are my faves:
Benouville & Ranville: Pegasus Bridge, Gondree Cafe, 6th Airborne Div Memorial Museum, Cemetery, Major Howard & Gen Gale busts, monuments & memorials
Merville-Franceville: Merville Battery (Otway & the 9th Para Bn Assault), monuments and memorials
Saint Pierre Du Mont: Pointe Du Hoc (Rudder & the 2nd Rangers Bn Assault) monuments and memorials
Longue Sur Mer, Crisbecq, Azeville battery & block houses
St. Mere Eglise & Saint Marie Du Mont: US Airborne Museum, monuments and memorials
Brecourt Manor - PM me and if I think you're worthy I'll tell you exactly where it is! Most people got to the wrong field...
La Fiere: Iron Mike Memorial Monument
Arromanche: concrete cassions, Landing museum, the 360 cinema
Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer: Omaha Beach, museum, US cemetery, 1st Div & 20th Div Monument
Crepon: Green Howard Memorial Monument
Remember, it's not all about the beaches, that was just the initial part of the operation. Head inland too:
Saint-Martin-des-Besaces & Villers Bocage: breakthrough Museum (11th Armoured & Bocage territory)
Montormel: Museum & Memorial (Falaise Gap)
Cagny: Guards Armoured & Goodwood monuments & memorial
Lots of cememteries inland: check out La Cambe (Big German) and Jerusalem (Smallest CWGC including a 16 year lad KIA)
There are literally hundreds of places of interest... just keep your eyes peeled! Remember every inch of Normandy was fought over.
I took some mates over for the anniversary in 2007 as a graduation celebration from our War Studies Degree. This should wet your appetite!
Your post has reminded me how much I miss and love Normandy...I'm defo going back there this summer for a bit. I've been numerous times and seen most of it but there's always places I want to find. Any questions or book recommendations let me know. There's lots of local farms and orchards that will sell you produce too: especially cider and calvados, mmm!
Me & the late Shifty Powers (Band of Brothers) at Brecourt Manor for the BIG 60th Anniversary in 2004!
In fact I'm heading into Europe again myself for a bit very shortly, this time solo on my motorbike, and I'll be touring some of the other battlefields along the way, as well as Auschwitz and possibly some other camps. Like you I'll be camping this time except i'll be mostly stealth camping. If you're interested I have created a bunch of WW1 & WW2 battlefield POIs. I've gone through the following battlefield guide books and taken out a selection of the sites that I intend to visit, they're pretty exhaustive.
The WW1 file includes 147 sites and the Arnhem file includes 135 sites. The Arnhem POIs include almost the entire books worth of sites whereas the WW1 POIs include 'most of the sites, probably about 75% from the two books. They're are only so many cemeteries one man can visit, LOL.
They're in OV2 format (TomTom) but you can download software to convert them or I can re-save them for you as another format. I can re-save as .itn (TomTom), .gpx (Garmin), .kml, .klz (Google Earth), .rte, .rt2 (OziExplorer & Navigon), .csv (Excel), .freshroute (Navigon)) and .tar.gz (BMW). Let me know if you want/need me to do this.
If you're interested, the software I used was something called Tyre, it's excellent and it's FREE!
www.AdventureVagabond.com Mongolia & Siberia 2012: Adventure Moto Madness
Thanks for the info Dave and Stephen, great stuff.
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