Normandy is great for family holidays you will find miles of sandy beaches to enjoy and plenty of outdoor activities to try, zoos, theme parks, gardens and chateaux to visit. If you are interested in history this region has plenty of museums dedicated to Roman history and many attractions commemorating the events that took place in WWII, especially D - Day.
If you are an independent traveller you may want to visit some of the WWII memorials and sights while on holiday in this area.
On D - Day, June 6th 1944 approximately 62,000 Britons landed around the Gold and Sword Beaches and along the Orme River.
Sword Beach, Ouistreham makes a good place to start on the D – Day trail; it is now a lovely sea-side resort with a golden sandy beach and gardens along the sea-front. The town has roads and streets named after the men who liberated it. You should visit the museum here which tells the story of Sword Beach. French commandos also landed with the British on Sword Beach. You can visit the Grand Bunker and see the ammunition stores and generator room etc.
Arromanches, the town where British Forces landed on D – Day as you walk along Gold Beach you can see small remnants of what was Mulberry Dock.
There are plenty of souvenirs for sale here relating to the events of that time. You can have refreshments or a meal at one of the many cafes and restaurants and try to imagine what it must have been like in June 1944. You should make time to visit the Museum at Arromanches it tells the story of Mulberry Harbour and the events that took place. There are also some very interesting objects on display.
The village of Benouville which is inland from Ouistreham, on the banks of the Caen Canal is the location of ‘Pegasus’ Bridge which extends over the canal. It was here that the British 6th Airborne captured the bridge and where the first house was liberated, it was a café owned by the Gondree family, and many visitors to the bridge also call in at the café which is still owned by a family member. The original bridge can be seen in the grounds of the Mémorial Pegasus museum nearby.
The American landing Beaches were known as Utah and Omaha, well worth visiting is the Utah Beach Museum there are some fantastic displays and a film on the landings. There are also many memorials to see. The Omaha Beach which was an operational code name is where in June 1944 many thousands of American soldiers lost their lives, in the service of their country. You may want to visit the American Military Cemetery near Colleville. The World War II American Cemetery is situated on a cliff overlooking Omaha beach.
There are many memorials dedicated to the Canadian Regiments, the Canadian Sector Beach was named Juno.
You will find signposts along the roadsides in Normandy which direct you to the routes of different battles. We have mentioned some of the sights which are popular D - Day visitor attractions but there are many others you may wish to visit.
If you prefer you can opt for an organized tour of Normandy’s battlefield beaches, memorials and other places of interest there are many on offer.