Listed in the Lonely Planet ‘Cycling in France’ book, this circular route starts and ends in historic and beautiful Bayeux. From here, pedal down lonely roads to the Omaha landing beach and the incredibly moving American Cemetery. Stop for lunch in the pretty Port-au-Bessin before heading along the coast to Arromanche where you can immerse yourself in the 'cinema circulaire' that gives you 360 degree images of the local area, interspersed with clips of those same spots during the war, giving you a very different picture of this idyllic and seemingly peaceful area.
In Bayeux, as we started our walking holiday we were taken quite by surprise by this memorial to journalists of all nations killed in combat zones since 1946. Along each side of a pathway through a wooded park are engraved memorials, one for each year since it was opened. To date there are an astonishing 2000 names recorded. Opposite the huge British Cemetery it was a quiet reminder to us of the true cost of knowing about conflicts and that there have been and are ongoing wars.
We did the Mulberry March with Belle France and stayed at the Hotel Lion d'Or.
There are just three rooms at this intimate chambre d'hôte (B&B) in the shadow of Bayeux cathedral.
The 15th-century stone terrace has been lovingly restored by its owners to reveal the original wooden-beamed ceilings. Breakfast and dinner can be served in the flower-filled courtyard.
The charming rooms are great value, as is the all-inclusive dinner: aperitif of pommeau (a liquer made from apple juice or cider, and calvados) dinner came with cider and was followed with a digestif of calvados, chicken casserole was cooked in cider, then tarte aux pommes. Yes, this is the land of la pomme.
Doubles €60 per night: all-inclusive dinner €20. 2 bis, rue Quincangrogne (+2 3l 10 09 27, antpas.com).
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