Top 10 Things To See and Do in Bayeux France
Bayeux is a medieval gem within easy reach of the Normandy coast, including the beaches where the Allied invasions of June 1944 turned the tide of the Second World War. It’s also home to the iconic Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts events leading up to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.
The town of Bayeux offers something for everyone – it’s a fantastic place for history buffs, but the town and its surroundings and beaches are equally attractive if you’re looking for an active holiday. If you like to take things easy and enjoy the gastronomy of the region – no problem – there are ample opportunities to do this too!
Here are ten things we recommend in Bayeux:
- Visit the wonderful Bayeux Tapestry Museum. You can walk the full length of the tapestry with an audio commentary. Look out for the scene showing a bare-legged warrior carrying his dog onto a boat! There’s also an exhibition explaining how the tapestry was made and detailing its history
- Check out Normandy’s beaches which are wide, sandy and (often) windy! Gold and Sword Beaches are where the British troops came ashore during the Normandy Landings; Omaha and Utah, the Americans and Juno, the Canadians.
- Take some time to reflect on the incredible bravery and sacrifice of those who took part
- Of course, you can also relax and have fun on the beaches! They offer a variety of sports including sand-yachting (fantastic!), kite-surfing, water-skiing, paddle-boarding and sea-kayaking.
- Go to the Normandy American Cemetery in its stunning location above Omaha Beach. A beautiful but sombre place, it houses the graves of almost 10,000 US soldiers who lost their lives here. A moving flag-raising and lowering ceremony is held each day. Visit early to avoid crowds and traffic congestion in the locality
- Don’t miss the military museums! If you’re keen to learn about the Normandy Landings, there are several options. We spent an interesting morning at the Battle of Normandy Museum in Bayeux. You could also visit the Operation Overlord Museum, close to the American Military Cemetery. Discounted tickets are available if you want to visit two or more museums
- The countryside around Bayeux is great for cycling. Bikes are easy to hire and we cycled from the town to the beaches, enjoying the rural landscapes along the way, including the plentiful apple and pear orchards. Hiking and horse-riding are also popular in this region
- Check out the Cathedral of Our Lady of Bayeux in the heart of the old town. Constructed in Norman, Romanesque and Gothic architecture styles, it boasts (among other things) eight contemporary stained-glass windows. They use natural light and the passage of the sun to cast ever-changing, colourful shadows inside the cathedral throughout the day
- Don’t miss the Norman arts and crafts and local foods market, which takes place on Thursday evenings during the Summer in front of the town hall. Food markets take place in town on Wednesdays and Saturdays
- Admire the Tree of Liberty, planted in 1797 by the French revolutionary government and still standing today in the Place de la Liberté. A sycamore, it is one of very few to survive from thousands planted around the country at the time. During the Summer, a light and sound show uses the tree as its screen while the cathedral also becomes part of the display
- Enjoy Normandy’s world-renowned cuisine! Particular specialities include fresh seafood; a dazzling array of cheese and, of course, Normandy cider and Calvados! There are lots of lovely cafes and restaurants and the scrumptious display in the window of Patisserie La Reine Mathilde will soon have your mouth watering!
Visiting Bayeux in Normandy Northern France
Getting there: The town is surprisingly easy to get to – a 2.5-hour train journey from Paris – and, for UK travellers, only 30 mins from Caen or a 3.5-hour drive from Calais.
For more information visit the Normandy Tourism Website here.
For more informations on Bayeux visit the Bayeux website here.
This article was kindly written by Rebecca George
Rebecca George manages a specialist PR and Communications Consultancy working with animal health and veterinary businesses and organisations in the UK and internationally. You can visit her website here.
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