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getting from london to normandy

I am taking my brother in law, my brother and his wife on a trip to london and then to the D- Day sites in normandy. I think the easiest and most economical way to get there is to take the tunnel from london to paris and rent a car in paris and drive to bayeux, where we will probably be staying.

does anyone have a better idea??

Posted by
4363 posts

That idea works; just in case you don't know others take the train to Paris and then a train to Bayeux or Caen where they buy a tour of the sites led by a guide. Others fly to Caen from London (Southend). Some look at taking a boat across the Channel from England to Normandy. Different strokes for different folks.

Posted by
11504 posts

Personally, I think the best way to see the D-Day sites is via one of the small-group (van) tours offered in the area. The driver/guides are knowledgeable and informative. They will get you to far more locations than you can manage by yourself. Most tours originate from Bayeux, which has train service from Paris. If you're planning just one full day in Normandy (2 nights, with the intervening day devoted to a tour), I'm not sure there's a great deal of value in renting a car rather than taking the train from Paris. If you have more time, a car will be very helpful for traveling around Normandy. Where you are headed after Normandy is also significant.

Posted by
2135 posts

You could take the ferry from Portsmouth. Whilst in Portsmouth (one of the major departure points for the D-Day invasion and where the majority of the planning took place) you can visit the D-Day museum and also Southwick House (just outside of Portsmouth) where the invasion was planned and enjoy the charming village of Southwick including a visit to the pub where Churchill and Eisenhower would often chat over a pint or two.

You can either take the fast catamaran ferry which gets you to France in about 3 hours or the slower ferry including overnight crossings. If you were to opt for Caen which is the closest option to Bayeux then you can opt for the overnight crossing with Brittany Ferries or an early morning one (sail times are around 6 to 7 hours).

Posted by
137 posts

As already mentioned, I took Brittany Ferries' Normandie from Portsmouth to Cherbourg and then the train from Cherbourg to Bayeux. The ferry cost £39 and the train was €20.

Posted by
13 posts

There isn't an easy way to reach it... period! We took the chunnel and it worked well. WE stayed in Bayeux and was a great base for the area. I MUST recommend that you hire the private guide, Chris Emery, at www.visitdday.com!!! Hands down the only way to fully appreciate the area and get the best experience of your lives!! He is a retired Royal Marine with incredible knowledge and energy! We have traveled far and wide and hired many tour guides, private as well as group, and I cannot express how Chris made every minute riveting. Our only criticism is that we weren't urged to hire him for multiple days. My teenage son was even in awe!!!
WE will return and hire him for multiple days next time! No, this is not a paid endorsement...he is THAT awesome!!

Posted by
892 posts

The fastest and easiest way is to fly from London Southend to Caen non-stop on FlyBe. Take the train from London's Liverpool Street station directly to the Southend Airport--it takes about an hour. Then rent you car in Caen (and visit the remarkable WWII museum while you are there).

Posted by
11 posts

We're planning a similar trip. We'll take the train from London to Paris but from Paris to Caen, is it best to rent a car or take the train and get the rental in Caen?

Thanks!
Heather

Posted by
76 posts

hraschko Im definitely taking the train to Caen. I dont mind driving in Paris, I've done it many times, its just easier for us

Posted by
892 posts

@hraschko I would take the train to Caen. There are five rental car agencies within walking distance of the train station--most of them are directly across the street.

Posted by
76 posts

@T and @Jazz, thank you for this. I had no idea..... I see that there is only 1 flight a day, my worry is that if that flight is cancelled for any reason, we wouldnt make it to normandy....but I think I am going to do this.