Normandy - seaside/fishing villages recommendations for 2 nights(21 Posts)
we're driving from cherbourg to abbeville and have two nights in between...nippers are 7, 4 and little tiddler.
looking for pleasant places to stop for the night (2 of them) perhaps nearish beach for a couple of hours visit one day.
maybe pleasant fishing village type scenario (padstow kind of thing)
just open to suggestions really...anything nice. perhaps would like to stay near a normandy landings beach.
specific hotels/guest houses/farms?
villages or general locales?
not theme parks or special big attractions really.
don't mind if places are a bit pricey..as long as small child friendly.
all suggestions very much appreciated...
<<off to read 10 year old rough guide to france>>
Deauville/Merville are nice - lovely beach at Mereville which is perfect for toddlers. Honfleur also supposed to be nice - though no idea if they're anywhere near your route.
We stopped in Honfleur though we went from Portsmouth to Caen. Lovely little place, quite busy in the summer.
Hotel de France et des Fuchsias in St Vaast just down the coast from Cherbourg. Pretty port, day-trips by amphibious vehicle to the Ile de Tatihou, and further down the coast is the apparently very moving and child-friendly Memorial de la Liberte Retrouvee museum at Quineville
I was going to recommend the Ferme de la Ranconniere near Arromanches, but I see no sign of a menu enfant on their website
Ferme St Simeon in Honfleur is real Relais et Chateaux luxe and possibly therefore a bit much £££ wise
Travelling the opposite way to you, we are stopping over in Le Havre of all places (interested in modern architecture) and there is a terrific-sounding child-friendly boutique hotel in a Perret building,
Le Vent de l'Ouest. They have a sister establishment in Honfleur, Les Maisons de Lea, which is highly rated by our trusty Cadogan Guide for its warm welcome. We have not stayed at the Vent yet but they were incredibly nice on the phone. Might be worth a punt.
I would highly recommend buying the Cadogan Guide to Short Breaks in N France. It covers from Cherbourg to Calais and has never once let us down with restaurant and hotel recommendations. It always makes it pretty clear which places have a friendly vibe and family/interconnecting rooms etc
Barfleur and St Vaast are definitely the nearest you will find to a Padstow type vibe on that coast
We have stayed at Houlgate a couple of times (there is a big campsite there about a mile from the beach which has Eurocamp/Keycamp); it's a short distance from Deauville & not nearly so well-known but has a lovely beach & is a nice size for wandering around in.
Next to it is Dives-sur-Mer, which is where William the Conqueror sailed from & has some really really old bits. It's not a beachy place though IIRC, although there is a marina thing there now.
Both lovely places. (Have no accommodation recommendations though, sorry.)
Hi, Marina, I thought you would pop up before long
(Actually if you had popped up sooner I wouldn't have bothered with my feeble suggestions )
Oh & LOL at "marina thing", I actually thought of you as I was typing that!!!
(It's called Port Guillaume, Stephen, there are some nice apartments there}
Have stayed there. They have a complex of fishermen's cottages which are built round the main building. There is a small indoor pool. Right on the beach which is great for shell hunting.
I would recommend a visit to Arromanches where one of the Mulberry Harbours was built. Nice little seaside town/village with sandy beach (apart from concrete blocks that were part of the Mulberry Harbour). A stop off at the American Cemetery in Coleville sur Mer will put things into perspective (there is also a poignant British cemetery in Bayeux but it is by a busy road).
hey, thanks for this everyone..been away for a couple of days on the lleyn in north west wales - gorgeous even in today's dodgy weather!
two hols in a week though...not bad, eh?! ...so this stuff should more than sort us out on our way meet friends in a few days' time.
having looked into things, we think it'll be barfleur or st vaast first night (close to cherbourg after afternoon ferry), then arromanches area.
should be really nice with an afternoon/evening near swanage the night before, just the five of us before meeting up with about 15 others!
many thanks for the modern architecture tip, marina... i usually save my modernist excursions for when i'm away with work..not sure the nippers are up for appreciation of a well-executed perpendicular or three just yet...though i did take them on a swift tour of dessau a couple of years ago
The Hotel Le Conquerant in Barfleur is sweet (very unpretentious) and has a lovely garden.
The Hotel de la Marine in Arromanches is lovely too.
As Marina knows , I am a big fan of Carteret. However, have always done self-catering there, so not sure about hotels. It is a wonderful place, though , with the best beach... I haven't stayed there, but the Hostellerie du Chateau in nearby Bricquebec is said to be nice too.
well fancy seeing you here Ellbell !
The Marine in Carteret is apparently Michelin-starred these days and the place to head for, and there is also apparently a fab auberge on the road into Bricquebec - not the Hostellerie although that looks pretty nice
We are all set up for visiting Ludiver, the Maison Jacques Prevert, the pots de yaourt in downtown Le Havre, Quineville, Tatihou, the Maison du Biscuit
Hope you have a great break too - give our love to Devon and enjoy your trip stephen99
This is my virtual visit to Normandy for this year, Marina. Expect we'll be back next year, though dh is talking about going to Charente Maritime (where we had a fab pre-kids camping/motorbiking holiday) instead. It's tempting, but we are not great swimmers in this family (the dds have inherited my Incredible Sinking Gene)and I am convinced that we'll all drown in the big Atlantic breakers).
Oops, bracket mania overtook me there.
Stephen99... have a great time!
wow...we're back from a super trip!
many thanks again for your recommendations...after staying in studland over night, we took the ferry past old harry's rocks onto cherbourg and plonked ourselves first in st vaast and then in honfleur, seeing some d day beaches and bunkers in between. a really great 3 days just the five of us before meeting our friends.
honfleur was absolutely ace...and for once we managed to get a great room, this one overlooking the harbour there. lovely summer time family place...bought smelly cheese and sausages from the saturday morning market and there was a mega merry go round that was a proper work of art...the nippers spent as much pocket money as they could get their hands on going on it about 5 times over the two days! lovely horses, elephants, cows, tigers...really nice.
then we drove over the super duper le havre bridge on the way to here where we stayed with our friends....6 families, 23 peeps altogether!
really, really proper great family holiday...can't believe i was back at work today!
even enjoyed the ferry back. the 1715 saturday afternoon boat from caen to pompey...absolutely packed, loads of posh cars and telegraph readers...quite enjoyable in a family adventure way...espesh as we had a cabin! never done that before, but 35 quid very well spent!
back home at half 2 this morning...knackered but what a super experience. thanks again for tips.
one of my own...went north from our base to st valery and explored the baie de la somme a bit...really good...and of course war overtones which never fail to interest.
children had a great time with their friends...will be a job to live up to it again next year...but we'll try!
MArina - the amphibious vehicle sounds interesting - does it actually drive inot the sea? Have ALWAYS wanted to do that!!!!
Stephen99 - how long is the trip from Caen to Portsmouth?
amphibious things are great...there's one in liverpool.
caen (how do you pronounce that???) to portsmouth was 1715 french time to 2215 english time...4 heures. (that means 4 hours in french, by the way...i'm virtually bilingual now!).
haute cusine. hot food.
lol @ franglais - so what is the frog for anmphibious...?
4 hours sounds good - will go that way next year
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