There's more to Normandy


Just to clarify, Normandy is not only about the war and not all sad, somber and sober. There are apples ..

Normandy is famous for what it can do with apples, which mostly seem to involve alcohol.

Calvados is French Brandy made from apples whose history can be traced back to the 8th century. For those apples without the pedigree to become Calvados, there are plenty of cider breweries, and if they still don't make the grade, there is always tarte tatin.

Apart from apple orchards and breweries, there are local farms to visit, chocolate factories, biscuit factories and golf courses to play. Seaside villages and ports such as the rather quaint Honfleur and of course the remarkable Bayeux, remarkable in that so much of the city escaped unscathed during the war.

Bayeux Cathedral is rather splendid but the real jewel in the crown of Bayeux is of course the tapestry. Commissioned in 1077 it tells the story of William the Conqueror's invasion of England in 1066. The tapestry is a work of art, a story book and a snapshot of history that captures in detail the way of life of that time. Take your time to study each chapter and listen as the audio guide explains every image.


In Bayeux the Museum of the Battle of Normandy and the Art Museum are also worth a visit.

Located a little over an hour from Bayeux is the UNESCO world heritage site of Mont Saint-Michel, which makes for another great day out.

Normandy is best visited with a car, but that does not mean changing hotels every night. I know the perfect place to lay your head...

Janet Mactavish