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It’s a good idea to visit Bayeux. The city is not very big (14,000 inhabitants) but you surely know it by name.

It is often associated with its famous tapestry, its cathedral or the speeches of General de Gaulle. I come here every year to spend a few days with my family and I must say that I really appreciate this small Norman town with its pretty medieval historic center. It’s a pleasant change of scenery when you come from Strasbourg: far from the heat and close to the sea. I share with you my favorite places in Bayeux or the things you should absolutely see.

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10 things to do if you visit Bayeux

William the Conqueror tapestry

The Bayeux Tapestry is probably the most unmissable thing to see in the city. It tells us the story of the conquest of England by William the Conqueror and the famous Battle of Hastings. Beyond the remarkable historical testimony in the form of a comic strip, I am impressed that this 11th century embroidery is so well preserved. You can discover it in the Tapestry Museum and learn its little secrets of manufacture and conservation.


The Notre-Dame cathedral

Bayeux Cathedral is quite unmissable. This is the first thing I see when I arrive after an 8 hour drive from Alsace. It overlooks the city with its 2 arrows and its copper cupola. This Gothic masterpiece is closely linked to the story of William the Conqueror since it dates from the same period and was completed by his brother, Odon de Conteville, who was the Bishop of Bayeux.

What I like about this cathedral is the light inside. I am used to the rather dark pink sandstone of Notre-Dame de Strasbourg. There, the white stone beautifully reflects the light of the many stained glass windows. I also really like the sculptures on the walls. Looks like lace. Calling all Patek Philippe lovers on a budget! Affordable fake Patek Philippe watches are now accessible!

Bayeux Cathedral also has fun details like its little house hanging on one of its towers or quite unusual sculptures. I tell you more about it in a dedicated article.


The medieval old town

I really like to walk in the historic center of Bayeux. The walk along the Aure, the river that crosses the city, is very pleasant. We walk along the old stone houses. Then we arrive at one of the nicest viewpoints in the city. Imagine the landscape: a stream, the wheel of a watermill, the beautiful fish market (today the Tourist Office) then the cathedral in the background.

The walk in the streets of the center is also pleasant even if the main street is not very wide for pedestrians and deserves to be closed to traffic. However, there are shops and beautiful old houses like this half-timbered house. And if you want to discover the old town with its hidden treasures and anecdotes, the Tourist Office offers very interesting guided tours.

The Baron Gerard Museum

It is the least known and least frequented museum in the city. The Baron Gérard Museum of Art and History would however deserve many more visits because it is a very good starting point to discover Bayeux through its history and European art. In particular, I discovered Bayeux lace and porcelain there. I also find the setting beautiful. The museum is housed in the former episcopal palace. Its architecture pleasantly mixes old stones with more modern materials such as glass and metal. There are also a few nuggets like 18th century armchairs hanging from the ceiling.

The Memorial Museum and the English cemetery of Bayeux

Bayeux is in the heart of the Normandy landings of 1944. It was also the first French city to be liberated. The Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy retraces the events of D-Day until the departure of the Germans. There are a few vehicles (tanks, Jeep, GMC Radio) and artillery pieces. The Museum also discusses life around the landing with a section devoted to war reporters and the conditions of care during the conflict.

A stone’s throw from the Memorial Museum, there is the British military cemetery. It is the largest in France with 4,648 graves of Commonwealth soldiers who fell during the Battle of Normandy. Other vestiges of the Second World War are visible in the city and around. Go for a walk on the landing beaches (Gold beach and Omaha beach), the closest are only 10 kms away from Arromanches.

The botanical and historical garden

One day, we were looking for a small park to walk around and so that our daughter could play a little. We discovered the botanical garden on the road to Port-en-Bessin. The park is beautifully flowered. It is also the favorite photo spot of wedding photographers here. Created in 1859 by the Bühler brothers, famous landscape designers, the botanical garden of Bayeux is very pleasant and has quite remarkable plants. I am particularly impressed by the huge weeping beech tree and its 40 meter wingspan.


The nature trail of the Aure Valley

This pretty walk is well known to locals, much less to tourists. However, it offers a very beautiful view of the cathedral in a rather exceptional natural setting with its natural pond, its reeds and its frogs. The Aure Valley nature trail is a 1.3 km loop perfectly suited to children and people with reduced mobility.

Vallée de l’Aure

Exceptional artisanal ice cream

Those who know me know how big of an ice cream lover I am. There, I found my paradise in which I come to each passage in Bayeux. The Ferme de la Haizerie produces exceptional and natural artisanal ice cream, without coloring or preservatives that can be found in the best restaurants in the region. The milk comes from the 350 cows of the farm located in the heart of the AOC territory of Isigny. The seasonal fruits come mainly from the orchard of the large park in Coulombs about fifteen kilometers away. And to take care of the cows right up to the production of the ice cream, around twenty workers with disabilities work alongside a master ice cream maker.

You can taste this luxury product directly on the farm at an unbeatable price-quality ratio: €2 per scoop served very, very generously (it’s more like the equivalent of 2 scoops). And what happiness in the mouth. The pistachio is not neon green and smells of just roasted pistachio. The strawberry ice cream looks just picked. Calvados ice cream is subtle with the sugar and without the alcohol. The ice creams are creamy. There are also more unusual perfumes. I have already been able to test camembert and pumpkin. You can also try oysters, cucumber, foie gras, salmon or tomatoes and basil depending on the season.

Go to the beach and eat oysters

Bayeux is not directly on the edge of the Channel, the first beaches are however only 10 km away. We like to go for a walk on the pretty seaside promenade in Arromanches. We also enjoy playing on the beach near Asnelles. Nothing to do with Mediterranean beaches. Here there is plenty of room and plenty of sand. Ideal for playing or building sand castles. For swimming, however, you have to be a little more courageous and above all adapt to the tides.

Buy cider and pommel

If in Alsace the grape is king, in Normandy it is the apple the Queen. We come every year to restock our cider at the Ferme de la Félicité in Longues-sur-mer. Ideal to accompany our pancakes all year round. I also discovered another local alcohol: pommeau. This mixture of calvados and unfermented apple juice is a real favourite. It’s pretty close to port. I drink it like that, served chilled. Or we use it as the basis of an aperitif mixed with sparkling water and apple juice.

Some frequently asked questions about Bayeux

People born in Bayeux are called Bajocasses. People who live in Bayeux but were not born there are called Bayeusains.

The town of Bayeux is located in Normandy, in the department of Calvados, 30 km from Caen and 10 km from the sea and the landing beaches.

You can visit the cathedral, see the tapestry, visit the World War II Memorial Museum and the English Cemetery.

Must-visit places

  • The Bayeux Tapestry.
  • The Notre-Dame cathedral.
  • Baron Gerard Museum.
  • Conservatory of Lace.
  • Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy.
  • The Botanical Garden.

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