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  • Visiting North West France - any recommendations for what to see?

    We will be in Normandy / Brittany and the Atlantic coast for two weeks and I would like to see anything of interest (drag the children around). We are flexible where - we're camping / driving - but can't go much further south than Nantes (shame as I'd like to see the new Holl museum in Biaritz) and no further East than Paris. My wife is not too up for Paris but I might still talk her round.

    We are going via Chipperfield's new Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield and I hope to see his Turner Contemporary in Margate on the way back.
    I'm also planning to see the Serpentine Pavillion in Hyde Park by Zumthor. Has anyone seen that already?

  • #2
    Hi Gorgon

    Spent many a happy summer travelling around Normandy and Brittany, here are just a few quick suggestions:

    Mont Saint-Michel (Normandy) - got to spend a day walking around the old abbey, it can get very busy as it's a popular tourist destination but still worthwhile.

    Bayeux (Normandy) - have a look at the tapestry and the cathedral.

    Dinard (Brittany) - nice beaches and places to eat.

    Dinan (Brittany) - fantastic medieval town.

    St Malo (Brittany) - ancient walled city, lots of nice places to eat.

    Ploumanac'h (Brittany) - really nice beaches, nice place to spend the day and explore.

    As long as you have a copy of the Rough Guide and a map/sat-nav you cant go wrong, just pick a place that sounds good and head in that direction working your way across the coast.

    As for Paris you could always do what I did and get the directions wrong after a heavy night (we were supposed to be heading for somewhere near Calais) but at least we got to go up the Eiffel tower and spend a night in Paris.

    Hope you have a good time.

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    • #3
      as we are leaving tomorrow...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Paul P View Post
        Hi Gorgon

        Spent many a happy summer travelling around Normandy and Brittany, here are just a few quick suggestions:

        Mont Saint-Michel (Normandy) - got to spend a day walking around the old abbey, it can get very busy as it's a popular tourist destination but still worthwhile.

        Bayeux (Normandy) - have a look at the tapestry and the cathedral.

        Dinard (Brittany) - nice beaches and places to eat.

        Dinan (Brittany) - fantastic medieval town.

        St Malo (Brittany) - ancient walled city, lots of nice places to eat.

        Ploumanac'h (Brittany) - really nice beaches, nice place to spend the day and explore.

        As long as you have a copy of the Rough Guide and a map/sat-nav you cant go wrong, just pick a place that sounds good and head in that direction working your way across the coast.

        As for Paris you could always do what I did and get the directions wrong after a heavy night (we were supposed to be heading for somewhere near Calais) but at least we got to go up the Eiffel tower and spend a night in Paris.

        Hope you have a good time.
        Aha! Buy the rough guide you say!
        Thanks

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        • #5
          I definitely recommend the Rough Guide; it contains so much information, places to eat, stay and attractions etc. We used to look at it the night before and pick places that we liked the sound of along the coast and head there the next day.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gorgon View Post
            We are going via Chipperfield's new Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield
            Well worth a visit. It is just round the corner from me, really. I'm hoping to find a day to get a comprehensive set of photos done and post them on PPB.

            Give me a shout if you'd be interested in meeting up for a bite to eat and a drink.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by john.warburton View Post
              Well worth a visit. It is just round the corner from me, really. I'm hoping to find a day to get a comprehensive set of photos done and post them on PPB.

              Give me a shout if you'd be interested in meeting up for a bite to eat and a drink.
              John, thanks for offer, would efinately take you up if only we had more time. I'll be dragging the kids round in the am then driving like crazy to Brighton for dinner engagement... And yeah - get there and sort out that ppb thread! Might post some pics to your thread when I get back in 2 weeks...

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              • #8
                When you're going to Normandy you cant ignore the D-day beaches. I've been in Normandy twice, in 2008 en 2009 with my wife and two kids (1 and 3 years at the time) and we visited several museums, cemeteries and other d-day oriented places. It's not really a happy subject for a summerholiday but D-day played a major role in our recent history and its quite impressive to visit these places. The museum we (adults and kids) 'enjoyed' the most was the airborne museum in Sainte-Mère-Église, famous for the dummy paratrooper hanging on the church spire. It's is a nice little museum where the kids can climb on real trucks, tanks and planes and it will give you a better view on what's happened in june 1944.

                I saw you're leaving tomorrow (today) but when you are going to visit Omaha Beach be sure you watch BBC's timewatch about D-day: Bloody Omaha. you can find in parts on youtube or at your local torrent website...

                Unfortunately i didn't find any interesting architecture but be sure you end the day with a bottle of calvados and some local cheese on the cheeseboard!
                Last edited by _dutchy; 06-07-2011, 00:27.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gorgon View Post
                  John, thanks for offer, would efinately take you up if only we had more time. I'll be dragging the kids round in the am then driving like crazy to Brighton for dinner engagement... And yeah - get there and sort out that ppb thread! Might post some pics to your thread when I get back in 2 weeks...
                  Have a good trip - that's an awful lot of driving for one day if you are coming all the way from Scotland!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gorgon View Post
                    We will be in Normandy / Brittany and the Atlantic coast for two weeks and I would like to see anything of interest (drag the children around). We are flexible where - we're camping / driving - but can't go much further south than Nantes (shame as I'd like to see the new Holl museum in Biaritz) and no further East than Paris. My wife is not too up for Paris but I might still talk her round.

                    We are going via Chipperfield's new Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield and I hope to see his Turner Contemporary in Margate on the way back.
                    I'm also planning to see the Serpentine Pavillion in Hyde Park by Zumthor. Has anyone seen that already?
                    May be it's too late..., but if you go to Normandie, you can go to Le Havre and see the Auguste Perret reconstruction (centre-ville, eglise saint joseph), the cultural center of Niemeyer, and if you are with kids, go to the J. Nouvel swimming-pool "les bain des docks"
                    Have a good trip
                    Last edited by plut; 10-07-2011, 14:34.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by plut View Post
                      May be it's too late..., but if you go to Normandie, you can go to Le Havre and see the Auguste Perret reconstruction (centre-ville, eglise saint joseph), the cultural center of Niemeyer, and if you are with kids, go to the J. Nouvel swimming-pool "les bain des docks"
                      Have a good trip
                      Thanks plut. It wa stoo late for Neimeyer and Perret but I was recommendded by a friend to go see les Bain des Docks by Jean Nouvel. It was great! (In a slightly cliched white mediteranean modernist fashion). It wa sin need of a little love and attention with tiles falling off and paint peeling but I guess pools are one of the harshest environments around.

                      If you go, weirdly you are not allowed swimming shorts - you have to wear speedos (not a good look)!

                      location on google maps
                      Attached Files
                      Last edited by gorgon; 26-07-2011, 11:10.

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