Laying on the upper edge of France, Normandy has is a striking and wonderfully old fashioned feel characterised by craggy granite coastline, quiet villages and unspoilt countryside. It’s a place with a noticeable artistic streak: Monet’s garden at Giverny is located here and the fine Gothic architecture of Rouen Cathedral was the subject of a number of the impressionist’s paintings. Towns such as Honfleur typify the picturesque, maritime charm of its ports.
A journey through Normandy cannot fail to reveal its significant part in western history. The Bayeux Tapestry depicts the Battle of Hastings and, most famously, its coastline hosts the five beaches onto which the Allied troops landed on D-Day. Caen’s Memorial Museum follows the course of the event and the beaches themselves remain a primary reason for many to visit the region. Even its medieval castle played a part in the Second World War; today it serves as a museum exhibiting Normandy’s art and history.
The landscapes provide gentle to moderate walking and cycling, and Normandy’s reputation for food and drink means holidaymakers are never far from a tasty snack or a glass of warming Calvados.