Normandy is a brilliant place to holiday with your kids for lots of reasons. From historic towns and beaches to local produce and wonderful family days out. Here our 10 reasons to visit Normandy in spring. For child-friendly holiday accommodation in Normandy look at our collection.
Normandy is very accessible. There are daily ferries from Portsmouth & Poole into the ports of Cherbourg, Caen & Le Havre. The Ferry is ideal if you’re travelling with small children & don’t want to spend too much time in the car.
Another option is the Euro Tunnel to Calais, you can expect to drive 4 -5 hours to reach Normandy – dependant on where you’re staying.
Travelling with your car is also a great way to bring home lots of lovely French goods!
The Atlantic Ocean lines the upper west coast of Normandy, resulting in a microclimate for part of the region. This means the weather is mild all year with no temperature extremes.
Spring is also an ideal time to visit if you would like to avoid the crowds – the summer months can get very busy.
3. Amazing Beaches
Normandy is home to countless beautiful long sandy beaches.
Some of the best for families are Barnville – Carteret, Trouville, Deauville & Omaha.
There are beaches for every mood – busy ones with lots of activities to keep the kids entertained and quiet ones when you want nothing more than to sit & relax in peace & quiet.
My favourite is Carteret beach with it’s miles of golden sand, shallow calm blue sea ( brilliant for toddlers to paddle in), lighthouse to climb up, lots of lovely cliff walks with the most amazing views, picture perfect beach huts and a lovely beach front café for the all important drinks & ice cream.
There are many regions of France know for their fromage, however the large areas of farmland (& cows!), make Normandy one of the best. The most well-known cheese produced in Normandy is Camembert. Camembert comes from a small village, with the same name, in Orne where there is a museum dedicated to the famous Camembert! Normandy truly is a cheese lovers delight!
Normandy grows an abundance of apples and so has a large range of apple products including the Tarte aux Pommes (my favourite!), cider & Calvados (apple brandy).
There is a 40km cider route which weaves it’s way through Pays D’Auge.
Normandy has seen it’s fair share of battles & bloodshed with D Day (WW2) & the Battle of Hastings. The Bayeaux Tapestry depicts the events leading up to the Norman Conquest in a 68 metre long work of art. There are many sites commemorating the fallen soldiers of WW2 & D Day. There are 26 Commonwealth War Cemeteries in Normandy, whichever one you visit will be a very emotional experience. All the D Day landing beaches have memorials.
In my opinion, the best site to visit with children is the Airbourne Museum in Saint-Mere-Eglise. The museum is very interactive, and children are given are tablet as a guide including a treasure hunt. Saint-Mere-Eglise is where John Steel was famously caught by his parachute on the bell tower & had to hang for hours waiting for rescue.
7. Beautiful Villages
Normandy is home to some of the prettiest villages in France including Honfleur, Beuvron-en-Auge, Barfleur, Le-Bec-Hellouin, Saint-Ceneri-le-Gerei and Lyons-la-Foret.
The seaside town of Honfleur is my favourite with it’s picture perfect old port, beautiful timber buildings surrounding the small town square and the river Aure flowing peacefully through the town centre. Just a few places worth a visit are the Maritime Museum, Notre-Dame-de-Grace Chapel and the Eugene Boudin Museum. However, there are many other tourist attractions in Honfleur.
8. Le Mont St Michel
Mont St Michel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited places in France.
The 9th century Abbey perched on top of Le Mont has amazing architecture and if you’re lucky there could be a service taking place during your visit. The views from the Mont and the surrounding seascape are stunning.
Impressionist artists flocked to Normandy, inspired by the beautiful landscapes and tranquil countryside. Claude Monet, one of the most famous impressionist artists, painted many well-known pieces in Normandy including the cliffs at Etretat, Rouen cathedral and Nympheas (the famous water lilies) in Giverny. Monet’s house & garden in Giverny is also a major tourist attraction.
10. Fabulous selection of child-friendly holiday rentals
Lovely gite complex just 30 mins from Cherbourg with a great pool & only 20 mins to some wonderful beaches;
La Ma Chappey
Traditional farmhouse with beautiful countryside views. Within 10 mins you have the market town of Vire and a lovely lake beach;
Hill Crest Farmhouse
Three seaside gites (the beach is a 10 min stroll) just 40 mins from Caen, in the village of Longues-sur-mer with lots of lovely walks on your doorstep;
La Ferme de Longues
4 bedroom cottage in the Normandy countryside with farm animals to pet and you can walk to the local village (also a 1 bedroom cottage on site);
Rue de la Dive