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Northern France tourist guide....

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,621
Any experts on northern France/ Normandy area here? I’m trying to plan out the family hols and was thinking of a trip over to Dieppe and drive round that area of France for a week or so. Any one got any tips for things to see, stuff for kids to do etc in North Western France in August? Ok- the Mont saint Michel and Carnac are definites but beyond that..?
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
I'm not sure how old your children are, they may be too young, but I f you are interested in teaching them about world war II then go to Cinema 360 at Arromanches
Sorry my holidays revolve around military stuff.....the wife loves it!
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
Went there last year with the wife and kids. Got a guide book of the area if you want to borrow it. Drop me a PM with your address and I'll send it on to you (you've moved from the address I have from buying your bari).

EDIT - actually got two books, I can post them both from work, so no postage costs.

Mont Saint Michel is well worth a view, but prepare yourselves for all the tourist tat there is there. It also gets very crowded. Another thing to watch out for is that it's a devil of a job getting milk. For all the culinary bragging from France, it's amazing but almost everytone drinks UHT milk. Yuck. You'll need to find a decent supermarket (and they're mostly closed on Sundays) if you wan a proper cuppa.

Very nice area, though, easy to get to, quiet and easy to get around. Really helps to be able to speak French (dunno if you do).
 

llamedos

Senior Member
Messages
431
Agree about Mont St. Michel; try to go early before the coaches arrive otherwise it's like a pedestrian version of the M25 with steep steps and slopes. Still well worth the effort.

Heading further west - Bayeux (you can whizz the kids past the porny bits of the tapestry), half an hour up the Cherbourg Peninsula to St. Mere Eglise if you have any interest in the Airborne Museum. St Malo is worth a visit, then cross the River Rance and see if the Circuit de Visite of the Hydro-electric Barrage is open - very educational and fascinating. Down the Rance to Dinan, or straight on for Dinard; both worth the effort even though Dinard is a bit of a French attempt at being a quiet Englishseaside resort (which is sort of how it started).

They tell me that the Alignements of Standing Stones/menhirs around Carnac are now fenced for protection - and probably Elf & Safety, cos they're well big. There are also Salt Pans (Les Salines) on the outskirts of Carnac which for some reason used to fascinate our kids. Near Carnac is the town of Auray which has a riverside harbour quarter called St. Goustan. I remember Auray as a pleasant little town and I dimly recall getting well ratted in a bar at St. Goustan back in the 80's.

Bonne chance pour vos voyages,

Dave
 
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dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,418
We spent a couple of weeks in Normandy last year and found some beautiful places that aren't on the obvious tourist trail. Bayeaux, obviously, is very firmly on the list of places everyone has to see, and it is well worth it - we went on a Sunday when it was relatively quiet for some reason. Port-en Bessin, on the coast nearby, has a pretty harbour and an amazing Sunday market. Thury-Harcourt and Clecy are in an area called Suisse Normande, but to be honest it's more like Suisse Derbyshire, rivers and limestone gorges, and there are some very pretty towns and a lovely kayak ride down the river Orne at Clecy. And if you are into relatively unspoilt fishing villages, there are dozens of them, a couple of the nice ones we found were St. Vaast and Barfleur, up on the Cherbourg Peninsula. We wrote a blog about it as it was a test-run for our trip to SE Asia later that year - http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/elliam/
 
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