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Bayeux

Home to the famous Bayeux Tapestry that tells the story of the Battle of Hastings.

TravelCurious Tip

Foremost among Bayeux’s gorgeous architecture is the cathedral, which dates mostly from the 15th century.

It is rare that the word “Bayeux” is said without being immediately followed by “Tapestry”, but in fact there is a lot more to this intriguing Norman town than just its magnificent embroidered cloth. It was founded as a Gallo-Roman settlement in the 1st century BC, but it would be over 1,000 years before it was thrust into the limelight as a symbol of the Norman Invasion of 1066.


The World’s Most Famous Cloth

After William the Conqueror’s successful campaign, the beautiful Bayeux tapestry was commissioned to commemorate the course of events. Legend has it that it was woven by William’s wife Queen Matilde, although modern scholarship has all but disproved this as a folk tale. Regardless of its origins, it is hard not to be impressed by the sheer scale and detail of the piece, whose extraordinary detail and lively use of colour and motion belie its age. It is nearly 70m long, and depicts some 50 scenes from the Conquest, including the bloody climax of the Battle of Hastings.


Once More Unto The Beach

Almost 900 years later, Bayeux was once again on the front line of a war that would change the world. On the 6th of June 1944, 160,000 Allied troops made landfall on the beaches just north of Bayeux at the beginning of the Normandy Campaign. Commemorating them is the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in Normandy, an immaculate 4848-grave site which serves as a sobering reminder of the horrors of war. If you want to learn more, head to the Musée Mémorial de la Bataille de Normandie, which houses photos and first-hand accounts from the campaign, as well as an excellent 25-minute film.


Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Paris
German Cemetery
This cemetary contains over 20,000 soldiers from the German armed forces, and is located in the near the village of Cambe.
Omaha Beach
The other American landing site, there were heavy casualties with 2500 killed in action in the first wave.
Pointe du Hoc
The heavily fortified high point between Omaha and Utah beaches, which was stormed by a Ranger assault team.
American Cemetery
The resting place for thousands of American soldiers that died during the Normandy landings.
Arromanches 360 Cinema
Shows archive footage gathered from around the world of the Battle of Normandy. Film in High Definition on 9 screens helps you relive the events.
Caen-Normandy Centre for History and Peace
A new exhibition space at this museum deal exclusively with the Invasion of Normandy, a key episode in the liberation of Europe.

Related Tours

Private Excursion to Historic Normandy
This day-long tour provides you with an all-encompassing experience of D-Day, the defining moment of WWII, with visits to key landing points, churches, museums and cemeteries. With over 12 nations involved in what was the largest-scale air and land mission in history, for the sake of depth, this tour explores the Americans’ role in D-Day. As there is so much to see, however, your tour guide will be happy to adapt your itinerary according to your interests. You will be transported from Paris to Caen to all of your destinations by luxury car, so the nature of your experience will not be weather-dependent and you will have the opportunity to frequently relax over the course of a long day. There will also be opportunities to stop off across Normandy’s wonderful countryside along the way.

  • Relive the key moments of D-Day with visits to Omaha and Utah Beach.
  • Visit the American cemetery, where all the American troops who lost their lives are remembered.
  • Explore the Caen-Normandy Centre for History and Peace and see a panoramic film of the landings at the Arromanches 360 Cinema.
  • Stop off for lunch in the beautiful city of Bayeux.
  • Comfortable car-travel provided for the whole day. Your experience of Normandy will not be affected by rain or bad weather!
  • Adaptable, tailored tour experience: Work with your guide to get the most out of your time. Do what interests you - you are welcome to change your itinerary on the day.                                                                                                                                                                                                         
You will begin at the Caen-Normandy Centre for History and Peace, which will provide you with a good background to the events of ’44 for when you go on-site later in the day. Stop off for lunch at a quality restaurant of your choice, recommended by your expert guide, in the charming city of Bayeux before visiting the places that became legendary subjects of history and film. 

Go beyond mythology to learn about and relive the trials and tribulations the Allies faced in overcoming the Nazi forces. You will visit the church, Sainte Mère-Église, where paratrooper John Steele was caught on the spire and feigned death, hung from his parachute, defying all the odds to eventually escape capture. You will also see Pointe du Hoc, where 225 rangers climbed cliffs over 100 feet high to capture and wipe out a German artillery battery; the tour also includes a visit to Utah and Omaha Beach, the latter being where the Americans constructed an artificial harbour to supply its troops with equipment. There will also be an opportunity to pay your respects to the brave 9,387 American soldiers who were laid to rest in the American cemetery which overlooks Omaha Beach.

You will learn about the ins and outs of the war and D-Day from your expert guide who will be happy to answer any questions you may have. At the end of your tour you will be able to put yourself in the shoes of the brave soldiers who took part D-Day at the Arromanches 360 Cinema, where you can experience a panoramic view of the landings, complete with sound and archival footage.

Estimated return time to Paris is 9pm - 10pm 
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