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Camping in Normandy

100 in France, Normandy

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La Côte de Nacre is a large, popular, commercial site with many facilities, all of a high standard. It is an ideal holiday location for...

Le Marqueval is a well established, lively, family site of 284 pitches (including 60 mobile homes), located close to the seaside town of Hautot-sur-Mer, just...

This large, modern site is close to the traditional seaside resorts of Deauville and Trouville. With a total of 450 pitches, there are many mobile...

Camping de la Vée is a pleasant municipal site in the town of Bagnoles de l’Orne, and is open for a long season (March to...

Set in the grounds of a château, Castel Camping le Château de Lez Eaux lies in a rural situation just off the main route south...

This is a well maintained mature site, open for a long season and located 500 m. from the beach, south of the pretty resort of...

This welcoming, environmentally friendly, family-run site, close to Cherbourg and Caen, is situated just across the road from a long sandy beach. It is also...

This is a pleasant family site with a friendly, relaxed atmosphere, owned by the Commare family who have made a number of improvements in recent...

Le Haut Dick is located at the heart of the south Cotentin peninsula. On the banks of the Haut Dick canal, this is a simple...

L’Aiguille Creuse, conveniently close to Le Havre, is named after a rock, alleged to be hollow, near Etretat. The site is set back from the...

La Chênaie, part of the Flower Camping group, is set in a wooded valley, just 1 km. from the traditional fishing village of Yport, renowned...

Camping Port’land, now a mature site, lies on the western edge of the delightful little resort of Port-en-Bessin, one of Normandy’s busiest fishing ports. The...

Castel Camping le Château de Martragny is an attractive site in the parkland of a château. Close to D-Day beaches and Bayeux, it is also...

In the countryside, close to a pleasant little village, Camping la Reine Mathilde is within easy reach of the historic town of Bayeux, the D-Day...

L’Escapade is in an attractive countryside location in the heart of Normandy, west of Caen and within easy reach of both Ouistreham (Caen) and Cherbourg...

This is an attractive and very friendly site with a swimming pool complex that has a four-lane slide, a jacuzzi and a paddling pool. L’Etang...

This is a peaceful, rural site close to the Normandy coast and the pretty harbour town of Honfleur, where you are assured of a friendly...

The Huttopia group acquired camping Le Colombier just before the 2017 season, and significant investment took place in 2018. The site is situated in the...

Les Mouettes is set back from the cliffs, with the pretty seaside resort of Veules-les-Roses below. It is a busy site, attracting many visitors en...

Château de Bouafles is a campsite located on the castle grounds in the Eure region in Normandy. There are 25 touring pitches to choose from...

Normandy

A striking area whose beauty lies not only in the landscape, Normandy is famed for its seafood and Celtic tradition. Certain areas of Normandy remain untouched and wonderfully old fashioned.

Just across the Channel, Normandy’s history is inextricably linked with our own in the UK, from 1066 and all that to the Normandy Landings of D-Day in June 1944. Yet from the stylish seaside resorts to the old half-timbered manor houses surrounded by lush pastures and cider orchards, Normandy still seems largely untouched by the rigours of the modern world.

The Manche department is the finger that points across the Channel at Britain and it stretches from the port of Cherbourg on the tip of the Cotentin peninsula to the Mont St Michel – the most visited site in France – right on the border with Brittany. The granite coastline, sandy coves and the inland bocage, a dense array of hedgerows and trees that so obstructed the Allies in 1944, has changed little in centuries.

A region of contrasts

Normandy has a rich landscape full of variety. Its superb coastline includes the Cotentin Peninsula, the cliffs of the Côte d’Albâtre and the fine beaches and fashionable resorts of the Côte Fleurie. Notable spots include Houlgate with its pretty promenade and vast sandy beach, and Cabourg, a popular resort with large sandy beach and a whiff of Edwardian elegance about it – stroll around the marina admiring the yachts or meander through the formal gardens.

The beaches may be wide and sandy, but the rolling countryside of the interior conceals a wealth of quiet, unassuming villages, ancient market towns and unspoilt countryside calling out for leisurely exploration. Rouen is the largest city, the scene of Joan of Arc’s martyrdom and renowned as the ‘town of a thousand spires’ that inspired the Impressionist painter Monet.

Camping in Normandy

A hardy perennial camping destination, Normandy is a convenient entry point to much of France. Many people drive straight through Normandy, chasing the sun (not always successfully!) and ignoring the glories of this fabulous region in their haste.

Campsites in Normandy are family-friendly, with generally spacious grassy pitches and well demarcated with attractive shrubs and tidy hedging. It is not uncommon for campsites to have been established in orchards where an apple tree still remains on each pitch.

Most campers either enjoy the beaches and the historical sights of the region, or are keen outdoor activity fans, enjoying walking, canoeing, cycling along quiet country lanes or playing golf on some of France’s best courses with the lushest and greenest of greens.

Getting to Normandy

It’s a short hop across the Channel to Normandy. And there are always special prices on certain sailings so do shop around. Brittany Ferries sails from Portsmouth to Cherbourg or Le Havre and Caen, as well as Poole to Cherbourg. Overnight ferry crossings are more expensive, with cabins a popular extra, but you do arrive refreshed. DFDS sails from Newhaven to Dieppe.

Normandy cuisine

Known as the dairy of France, Normandy’s markets are abundant with rich cream, butter, and fine cheeses such as Camembert and Pont l’Evêque. Voluptuous sauces are typical of the region as are desserts made with orchard fruits like apples, pears and cherries. Fish, and shellfish such as mussels, scallops and oysters, are sensational.

The Saturday market at Bayeux is one of the finest, with countless stalls vying for attention, all offering delectable treats. The many apple orchards are used in producing cider and the well known Calvados, the region’s apple brandy.

Bayeux

Founded by the Romans, sacked by the Vikings, then home to the celebrated 11th century tapestry, 70 metres long and depicting the Norman conquest of England in 1066, Bayeux has endured a troubled history. The town centre is picturesque with narrow cobbled lanes, ancient timbered buildings and a magnificent cathedral. The cemetery on the outskirts, with some 4,648 white headstones, is particularly moving.

Suisse Normande

One of Normandy’s most beautiful regions: a delightful wooded landscape with rocky ravines, trout streams and the greenest of valleys. This is a great area for canoeing and rock climbing, and there are wonderful hiking trails to the south. All very different to the vast beaches of the coast and the sleepy, lush meadows of the interior to the north.

Mont St Michel

A view unchanged for centuries and as you drive around the bay, the mount pops up on the horizon at intervals in a picture-postcard scene that is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Even General Eisenhower mentioned this view in his memoirs. The ancient Benedictine monastery is connected by a causeway, surrounded by salt marshes with grazing sheep at low tide.

Honfleur

A photographer’s dream, and the subject of countless paintings, this is perhaps one of France’s most quaint and photogenic small ports. A fascinating variety of boats moor up in the ancient dock, just yards from wonderful seafood restaurants which fight for the freshest of fish. The high, narrow houses, painted in faded pastel hues, cast their reflection in the water and are the iconic backdrop to a timeless, picturesque scene.

Caen

Steeped in history, Caen is a bustling university town dominated by the 11th century fortress and Abbaye aux Hommes, an architectural gem built by William the Conqueror. On the outskirts of town the Caen Memorial Museum is a superb reminder of the terrible story of the Battle of Normandy and is a place of solemn pilgrimage for those seeking a better understanding of the events of the D-Day Landings of 1944.

Deauville

With its stylish beach promenade and racy nightlife, not to mention Grand Casino, racecourse and film festival, Deauville has been a magnet for those seeking the high life, sprinkled with a little glamour, since the mid 19th century.