Normandy D-Day Landings Beaches and Rouen
Thursday 11 July 2019 (4 Days)
On June 6th 1944, the greatest invasion force in history gathered on the south coast of England and set sail for France on what General Eisenhower called the ‘Great Crusade’ to liberate Europe from the Nazis.
The go-ahead was given for June 6th to be D-Day, one of the most important days of World War Two. Since then there have been numerous visitors who have discovered that, as well as historical interest, this area is well worth visiting for its natural beauty. Included in this weekend break is a tour along the British Landing Beaches, Sword, Juno and Gold, the Normandy Battlefields and visits to Bayeux, with its many attractions, and many of the other landmarks, cemeteries and museums associated with this great event.
Included Excursions (with a local guide)
The American Landing Beaches & Ste Mère Eglise:
We begin today with a visit to the American landing zones, starting at Ste Mère Eglise, the first town to be liberated after troops from the 82nd Airborne were dropped behind enemy lines, and its American Airborne Museum. Our next visit is to Utah Beach, the landing target for the American forces of the Allied invasion, and then on to the visually spectacular Pointe du Hoc and Omaha Beach American Cemetery. We then continue to Arromanches and the Mulberry Harbour. (Entrances not included)
Pegasus Bridge, Bayeux & British Landing Beaches:
Our excursion today takes us to Pegasus Bridge, site of the famous glider landings on D-Day by the British 6th Airborne Division. From here, we’ll drive along the landing beaches of Sword, Juno and Gold, before travelling inland to Bayeux. Time permitting, you may wish to visit the Bayeux Tapestry (entry not included), which is over 70 metres long and tells the story of the events leading up to and including the Battle of Hastings. Bayeux is also home to the largest British and Commonwealth Cemetery in Normandy.
Hotel Mercure, Rouen
Situated just a 10 minute walk from the historic city centre and its famous cathedral, the Mercure Rouen Champ de Mars offers a range of modern rooms with all the modern conveniences you'd expect for a successful family break or business trip. Looking to unwind? Come and relax in our sauna and hammam, or discover traditional regional cuisine in our restaurant. This 4-star Mercure hotel is an ideal destination for a business event or relaxing getaway.
The capital of Upper-Normandy, Rouen like Paris, sits on the Seine, an hour from the capital. The city of the Impressionists, Rouen has inspired countless artists over the centuries. Prepare for a sensory overload, in the city where Joan of Arc is ever-present.
The Joan of Arc Tower is the only remaining part of the castle built in 1204 by Philippe Auguste, and it was here that the "maid of Orléans" was imprisoned and tried.
The historic centre of the "city of a hundred bell towers" is a maze of half-timbered houses and churches. In the evening, admire the flamboyant Gothic Church of Saint-Maclou lit up in the midst of the second largest antiques village in France. Not far from here, venture into the darkly mysterious Aître Saint-Maclou courtyard, which has often been used in films. Improvise your own scene before some of the macabre carvings. Explore the imposing Abbey-Church of Saint Ouen and perhaps go for a stroll in the park at the Hôtel de Ville in Rouen. Head down the picturesque rue Eau de Robec, near rue Saint-Romain, to get to the city centre. This ancient river has seen all the colours of the rainbow during Rouen's days as a key player within the textile industry.
Imagine, over a hundred years ago, Claude Monet setting up his easel in the square in front of the Rouen Cathedral to paint his famous cathedral series. In summer, during the Impressionist Nights in Rouen, you can watch a sound and light show on the façade of the Museum of Fine Arts in Rouen, which contains the best impressionist collection in France after that of the Musée d'Orsay in Paris..
Rouen's famous Gros Horloge or "big clock" is one of the most famous symbols of Normandy, alongside the Palace of Justice in Rouen, the former parliament of Normandy, with its delicate carved Gothic stonework.
The variety of shops in Rouen for example in the rue du Gros-Horloge make for a unique shopping experience. The macaroons made by Grand-mère Auzou are indisputably the best in the region. You won't be able to resist Joan of Arc's tears: these are in fact almonds wrapped in nougat and chocolate. Joan of Arc weeps for her fate, of course, and it was the English who burned her at the stake in Rouen in 1431, in the place du Vieux-Marché. Discover all about the life of this fearless warrior at the Joan of Arc Waxworks Museum, and you can visit the strikingly modern Church of Joan of Arc, built on the site of her martyrdom. The river banks, a stones throw from here, are a pleasant place for a stroll, and it is here that the Rouen Armada takes place every four years: one of the largest gatherings of Tall Ships in the world.
Executive Coach Travel
Short Sea Ferry Crossing (Dover-Calais, 90 mins)
3 Nights Accommodation
Based at the 4* Mercure Hotel, in Rouen
Breakfast Each Morning
Two Full Day Excursions with local guide (as detailed)
Free Morning and Evenings in Rouen
All Road & City Taxes
Single Supplement: £130 (double room/single occupancy)
Balance Due: 1 May 2019