Visiting Normandy

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by Jill Tate, Jul 26, 2022.

  1. Jill Tate

    Jill Tate Member

    I am hoping to visit Normandy this September. I want to visit Gold beach as my father landed there on D+1. Has anyone got recommendations for companies that do a Gold beach tour (I thought I would limit my tour to British sites of interest) and also recommendations of other places to visit in Normandy. I thought of staying in Bayeux.
     
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  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  3. Jill Tate

    Jill Tate Member

    Thanks i'll look into those.
     
  4. Trackfrower

    Trackfrower Member

    Must have a cheese and ham baguette at Cafe Gondree (Pegasus Bridge)
     
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  5. 8RB

    8RB Well-Known Member

    Which units (Division and Regiment) did your father belong to? Might be useful to know, to give you some more specific tips.
     
  6. Jill Tate

    Jill Tate Member

    He was in the RAC , 7th Armoured division attached to 143 Fd Pk Sqn RE, and when on operations usually under the command of either 4 Fd Sqn or 621 Fd Sqn. I have their war diaries and can plot out their leaguers. I believe their first concentration area was around La Rosiere near Bayeux. They leaguered around that area before heading into Caen and on to Livarot and then Lisieux. It would be good to get a general overview of D Day before following his route up through France. I have identified 33 of the 45 sites at which his unit laid Scissors bridges so hope to visit the French sites starting with Livarot. Excited but a bit daunted about getting the most out of the trip.
     
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  7. slick

    slick Junior Member

    I`ve stayed at the Ibis in Bayeux several times, its cheap, simple, but clean and has a restaurant beside it. There are several other hotels scattered around the vicinity. The town itself is pleasant to wander around, definately worth viewing the Bayeux Tapestry, although I wouldn`t bother with the tapestry audio tour, it moves too fast and is not very informative.
    Port en Bessin at the western edge of Gold beach area is a pleasant fishing village with plenty of nice cafe`s, shops and restaurants. It also stood in for the town of Ouistreham during the filming of the 1960s D Day movie "The Longest Day" where the French commandoes attack.
    There is also the Longues sur Mer gun battery, the town of Arromanches where you can see the remains of the Mulberry harbour sections. There`s also Merville battery, Pegasus Bridge, Hillman Battery, and the blockhouse museum in Ouistreham to name a few others.
     
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  8. Jill Tate

    Jill Tate Member


    Thank you for the recommendations I have noted them all down and will look into them.
     
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  9. slick

    slick Junior Member

    And of course Bayeux military cemetery, and the new British memorial at Ver sur Mer.
     
  10. 8RB

    8RB Well-Known Member

    Given your father was in 7th Armoured Division, Villers-Bocage might be a place to visit. It is where part of the division suffered terribly on 13 June 1944. Not much of the original town remains (it was destroyed by allied bombing), but I still found visiting the place very impressive. To prepare, you'll probably find much information about it on the internet, or might get yourself a book about it, like the one below.

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    Last edited: Aug 3, 2022
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  11. Hello,
    I don't suppose you know where the 61st Anti Tank regiment landed? They were attached to the 51st HD. My grandfather was a Sgt in battery 241.

    Kind regards
     
  12. Jill Tate

    Jill Tate Member

    Thank you all good suggestions. It would be good to see the Bocage countryside that was said to be so difficult of tanks to operate in due to its narrow sunken lanes and high hedges.
     
  13. idler

    idler GeneralList

    I was more suprised at how 'English' it was. The scale's a bit bigger but for someone who pootles about North Norfolk (which isn't that flat), there were more similarities than not. Of course, familiarity doesn't make it any easier to fight through. The 'bocage' the Americans get het up about (where no villages are suffixed 'bocage') is a bit further west.

    A detail regarding Villers-Bocage: there used to be a scale model of the town at the time of the battle in the Marie, at one end in a stairwell.
     
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  14. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Did you get there in September ?
    If so how about doing us a trip report with photos .
     
  15. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Turn the page

    Purely from memory (It would take while to get them out from my crowded Bookcase) it was well covered in "After the Battle Magazine" along with Falais etc. The area may have changed from the 1970's but the then and now would be a step towards today's scenery if anyone should go there again. Worth trying to get a copy.
    Updated photos from visits would indeed be of interest, especially to us older generation who can get there anymore.
    Found two photos taken in 1978 when I was passing by, can't find the ones from a later visit to Arromanches and the coast. Might be in the box on top of the wardrobe.
     

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  16. Sapper D.

    Sapper D. Member

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