The Omaha Beach Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Colleville-Sur-Mer and the Visitor Center
The Overlord Museum at Colleville-Sur-Mer
The Omaha Beach Memorial Museum at St Laurent-Sur-Mer
The La Cambe German war cemetery
The Pointe du Hoc promontory
Sainte-Mère-Église and the Airborne Museum
The Utah Beach D-Day Museum
The Caen Memorial Museum
The Arromanches mulberry harbour – sea ruins
Arromanches 360 – HD film screened across nine screens covering the Normandy landings
The five D-Day beaches
CULTURE AND HERITAGE
Calvados is one of France’s most historically rich départements, and comes third in the ranking of French départements with the most listed or classified historical monuments (source: culturecommunication.gouv)
Fascinating castles, manors, fortified farmsteads, and churches abound here, all within striking distance. Set off out along D514, a small road that hugs the shoreline between Grandcamp and Vierville sur Mer, and you’ll see what we mean: a gorgeous tumble of spectacular manors and fortified farms that are still standing tall, despite the devastation of 1944.
An unforgettable hike awaits a mere hour away from the estate: chaperoned by a guide, cross the Mont Saint Michel Bay on foot for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that does require a little careful planning. Upon request, I can arrange the day for you, including booking you a guide and putting together a picnic.
Hikes and walks: a maze of signposted trails meander their way through Normandy’s wooded countryside, or bocage as it’s known locally. You’ll find all the maps and guides you need in the manor.
Explore the bocage by bike: booking required. Top-notch electric bikes and push bikes delivered straight to your door. Grab all the cycling route maps and guides you need at the manor.
Horseback rides: Normandy loves its horses. Neighbouring horse-riding centres offer trips out that range from an hour to a full day.
Bungee-jumping, zip-line courses, sledding, and giant swings: head to the world-renowned Viaduc de la Souleuvre for a host of adrenaline-pumping activities
Try your hand at sand yachting at Omaha Beach, departing from Colleville (see website)
Embark on the Via Ferrata climbing route at La Cambronnerie
Get your pulse racing with paragliding at the Elementair school in Port en Bessin
Take it easy with a spot of stand-up paddle-boarding
Get your muscles working with longe côte, aka sea-hiking: an ultra-demanding form of exercise that involves walking through the water in a wetsuit and hand paddles!
FUN WITH THE KIDS
The Zoo de Jurques is just 20 minutes away from the estate: stroll through the grounds, passing red pandas and white lions along the way. The zoo is home to 700 animals, and always has something new to offer.
Supervised swimming beaches
Tree-top trails (three different levels)
Head down the Cerisy forest’s yellow trail to “discover the secrets of the forest with Bob” (an exploratory trail game to enjoy as you walk). See the Maison de la Forêt website for details.
Visit the Parc de Bayeux for a fun maze and go-kart course, as well as tree-top trails for all levels.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Les Deudeuches à Eugène: head out on a whirlwind car ride around the D-Day Beaches and Le Bessin area behind the wheel of an iconic Citroen 2CV.
Normandy Solex: seafront rides aboard a Solex moped.
Hot-air balloon rides at Juaye Mondaye, just 15 kilometres away.
The Pointe du Hoc by kayak at Grandcamp-Maisy: explore the promontory from a completely different perspective! Hop into a kayak and get paddling, for a fresh take on the cliffs that were attacked by rangers on that fateful morning of 6 June 1944, now home to one of France’s largest colonies of black-legged kittiwake gulls.
We offer picnics (to be ordered the day before) priced at €39 for a two-person basket, including local produce, pâté or charcuterie, cheese, crisps, butter, crunchy raw vegetables, a baguette, a home-made dessert, a bottle of cider or wine, and a bottle of water. Each basket also includes a blanket and cutlery.
You can tuck into your picnic on the estate’s grounds, while out on a hike, or in the comfort of your lodge.
Outdoor game sets are at your disposal (table tennis, pétanque boules, Molkky), as are indoor games, such as card games and Pope Joan.