London/Normandy/Amsterdam

Planning a trip for 2 for early sept; flying into London and home from Amsterdam. From London would like to spend a few days in Normandy (Mont St-Michel, Dday Beaches/Bayeux & Honfleur)and then train up to Amsterdam. Thought it would be easier to arrange. Looks like "best" plan I've come up with is to take Eurostar from London to Paris, rent a car from Gare Du Nord, drive the loop as above, drop car at Gare Du Nord and take Thayls train to Amsterdam. Seems manageable with travel times & costs but I would welcome any comments, suggestions or related experiences. Thanks. HMG

Posted by Charles
Austin, Texas, USA
306 posts

This would work. Only suggestion would be to take train from Paris to Caen and get your car there. Might save you a little hassle of driving in Paris. There is a car rental place right by the train station in Caen.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7934 posts

The problem with the solution above is that it's slower, offers fewer options, and is more expensive. The rental cars at Nord are under the station. You can drive from Nord to Caen in right at two hours, the same amount of time it takes the train to get to Caen from Lazare. But, platform to platform, it takes thirty minutes to get from Nord to Lazare by metro. From the time you pull out of parking at Nord, it's three turns within a mile and a half and you're on peripherique. There's nothing to the traffic in that area. You're returning the car at Nord. Getting out of Paris is always simple, getting into the city can be a bit sporty the first time, but you will have already seen the route. Driving up. you pass within ten miles of Honfleur. If you get the car in Caen, Honfluer is forty miles east and MSM twice that far west - - that's a good chunk of back tracking. Also, driving up you pass right by Rouen which makes a good lunch stop for the cathedral and Joan of Arc site without impinging on your time, especially if you're spending the night in Honfleur. Toss in a five mile deviation and you can also swing up to Chateua Guillard at Les Andelys, the only castle built by Lionheart in France. As far as expenses go, paying for both a car and a train (plus a couple of metro tickets) on the same day . . . . Heading back to Paris, adding thirty minutes to the drive will put you through Fougeres (walled city) and Chartres (cathedral).