Day 2 of our Normandy Adventure

Following on from the first day of our Normandy adventure where we started looking at significant historic WW2 sites, day two started with a more medieval theme with a trip to Bayeux.

Isaac is studying the Anglo-Saxons at school and although he has yet to learn about William the Conqueror, I thought he would enjoy a visit to see the Bayeux Tapestry and the next piece of history he will be studying.

Bayeux was about an hours drive from where we were staying and we left fairly late as we helped do the feed run in the morning with Rosie. What we didn’t realise is that the Bayeux Tapestry closes for two hours over lunch, so although we arrived at 11.30, they stop people going in 45 minutes before they close so we had to wait until they re-opened.

Thankfully Bayeux is a beautiful town with lots to see, including a spectacular cathedral.

Bayeux

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Bayeux is a Norman-Romanesque cathedral which was consecrated on 14th July 1077, by Bishop Odo of Conteville, in the presence of his illustrious brother,William the Conqueror, duke of Normandy and king of England.

Bayeux

I can honestly say that the cathedral is breathtaking inside and out. We were lucky enough to visit on a sunny day and the light shining through the stained glass windows reflected on the stone walls and made beautiful patterns on the walls and floor.

Bayeux

Around the cathedral, the historic centre was completely untouched during the events of 1944 and the old timber-framed houses, manors and townhouses which still stand to this day.

Bayeux

It was finally time to head inside to see the Bayeux Tapestry. You are given audio sets to listen too which guide you slowly past the tapestry which is numbered above so you know where you are in the story. There are children’s guides for the kids too which they loved listening too. If you ever visit, make sure you look at the bottom of the tapestry as there are some rather “risqué” pictures that the audio guide completely ignores!

Bayeux Tapestry

Sadly photography isn’t allowed inside to prevent damage to the fabric, but it was fascinating. Upstairs there is a small museum with artifacts, information and replica villages from the era. The family tree was fascinating and having always been on King Harold’s side I now realise that William was in fact the rightful heir to the British throne.

After Bayeux we headed to Omaha Beach which was the most intensely fought after beach on D-Day on June 6th 1944 and made famous by the film Saving Private Ryan. It is quite sobering visiting the stunning memorial and whilst Hubby and I reflected on events that had gone on in the past, the kids were happy playing on the beach, finding shells and having fun – just how it should be.

Omaha Beach

The plan next was to visit the Overlord Museum but we had spent far too long playing on the beaches so we decided to stop at the American Cemetery instead. I have to admit I wasn’t sure about taking Isaac and Eliza here as they can be boisterous at times but they behaved brilliantly, asking lots of questions and generally taking it all in.

American Cemetery

Once we had finished visiting the cemetery it was time to head back to Eco-Gites of Lenault to light the fire and warm up as it had turned very chilly, despite the sun.

Lou Messugo

19 thoughts on “Day 2 of our Normandy Adventure”

  1. I have always, always wanted to visit Bayeux! The tapestry is just such a huge draw for me but alas I have not got there yet. I’m going to try and convince my husband that I need to go this Summer for a little trip!

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  2. Such a lovely part of France. Bayeux is gorgeous to visit not just for the tapestry and cathedral, but its pretty little back streets and water mill. I haven’t been to Omaha beach since I was a kid and would love to take my boys. Beautiful pictures.

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  3. Oh these are bringing me back lots of memories for me. I love this area of France. We adored Bayeux and there is a great Cafe at Omaha beach. I can not wait to take the boys

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  4. I’m living reading all about your half term break. A French hire holiday is do on my wish list and seeing all these historic places you’re visiting is lovely.

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  5. Omaha beach, we visited last spring, such a touching monument and beautiful beach! I have taken notes and next time we go to visit my brother, we will stop in Bayeux, looks amazing!xx

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  6. Great photos! I remember going to see the Bayeux Tapestry when we visited Normandy many years ago. Would love to take my own children one day – really brings history to life and great for learning to really stick! x

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  7. Wow Bayeux looks beautiful – I only remember the tapestry from my visit (I was only 11 tho!) Even as a child I found the war cemetaries very moving though. I think they have an atmosphere all of their own, meaning kids seem to naturally behave respectfully.

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  8. I was also quite surprised to learn that what we had been taught at school about William and Harold was in fact not correct and William was the rightful heir to the English crown. I wonder what Isaac will be taught? Lovely pictures you have here – especially the cathedral windows – they are so magnificent.

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