We will be in London from 6/24-6/27 and arriving in Paris, where we will be staying in an apartment from 7/1-7/8. While my 17 year old daughter and I would be happy to stay in London until leaving for Paris on the 1st, my husband will have been there for a meeting since June 16th and says he'll be ready to go somewhere else. I've thought about a bunch of things-Bath, Brighton, or Northern France-ideas? OUr favorite things are great wine and food. Husband loves cider, so Normandie is appealing. Daughter is a fashion and beauty fanatic. I speak a little French. We are low maintenance travelers, hoping to stick to public transportation and not rent a car.
If you can handle an intense travel day June 28, take an early Eurostar from St Pancras to Gare du Nord, taxi to Gare St-Lazare, and train to Bayeux You can spend one day in Bayeux (cathedral, tapestry, WWII museum) and the next day take one of the van tours to the D-Day sights. I haven't done this but there are multiple threads on this board recommending companies, and the RS guidebook has recommendations. July 1 back on the train to Paris.
This assumes that you're interested in medieval history and/or WWII. If not, Normandy has great scenery and wonderful food and cider (not known so much for its wine, but they import it from elsewhere in France so you'll be ok). But without a car you'll have a hard time getting into the countryside. Mont-St-Michel would be a bridge too far, I think, in the time you have and carless.
We're flying from Exeter to Paris CDG with Flybe. Exeter is charming but enough off the beaten path that you shouldn't be surrounded by tourists the entire time you're there. We're taking a train from London to Cardiff, Wales, for a few nights and then taking another train down to Exeter. The Cathedral and Quay are supposed to be lovely. Plus, if your daughter is interested in studying abroad, Exeter Uni is a fantastic school. My husband is an alum which is why we added it to our trip this fall.
Hello sstankey. Reading your travel plan, I see three days between London and Paris, not counting the day you travel to Paris. I see that you will be at London three whole days. And you will be at Paris seven whole days. I guess you could travel away from Paris in some of those seven days. My suggestion is to stay in England the extra three days. I liked being at York. I think the train ride from London to York can be a two hour trip. I enjoyed being at York, much more than being at Bath.
The biggest surprise of my travel life was how much I enjoyed Normandy! After all the "bad press" the French have in the U.S., we found this area of France to be welcoming and beautiful in every single way -- people, food, topography, museums, etc. We're probably a bit older than you, both my husband and I having had Dads in WWII, but we found the D-Day beaches, museums, and all of that absolutely fascinating, and if you've seen pics in magazines, trust me, they don't do it justice.
We loved the "pork cheeks," buckwheat crepes, seafood, all incredible. The beaches, with or without museums have charming outdoor seaside cafes. The Tapestries at Bayeaux were lovely.
Just a thought. We were both surprised, and just did this as an "add on" and were so happy we did.