Travel By Numbers: Normandy

As D-Day is commemorated, Ben Ross counts the ways this French region can provide inspiration for the visitor

Sunday 23 October 2011 06:50


Years since the Normandy landings, which began on 6 June 1944. These days, sobering memorials of the fighting remain: the largest British cemetery is on the outskirts of the city of Bayeux, where 4,686 lie buried. Nearby, the Musée Memorial de la Bataille de Normandie focuses on the liberation. Admission is €6.50.


The number of US soldiers buried at the American military cemetery above "Omaha Beach" (each landing area had a codename) at Colleville-sur-Mer. Prince Charles will attend a memorial here this morning, alongside President Obama. Several local companies offer guided tours of the battle sites and memorials; Battlebus runs day trips for €85 per person.


Length in metres of the spectacular Pont de Normandie, the cable-stayed bridge connecting the ports of Honfleur and Le Havre. It is the last bridge before the Seine meets the Channel at the end of its 776km journey. Le Havre is served from Portsmouth on LD Lines.


The price, in sterling, of a trip to the Normandy races. Festival Weekend in Deauville runs from 14-17 August, and the price per person offered by tour operator Horse Racing Abroad includes transport on a private charter flight from Stansted to Deuville airport, two afternoons of racing and three nights' accommodation in the two-star Hotel Ibis.


Length in metres of the Bayeux Tapestry, the embroidered cloth which tells the tale of the Norman invasion of Britain in 1066 and which is assumed to have been made by monks in the south of England in the 11th century. At the Bayeux Tapestry Museum an English-language audio guide is available for each of the 58 scenes. Admission is €7.80


The number of routes operated by Brittany Ferries to Normandy (Portsmouth-Caen, Portsmouth-Cherbourg, Poole-Cherbourg). Poole to Cherbourg is the shortest crossing, with the choice of a high-speed service taking just over two hours, or a more gentle four-and-a-half hour cruise on board the MV Barfleur conventional ferry.


The year of the first-known distillation of apple brandy in Normandy, by Lord de Gouberville; this gave rise to Calvados, found throughout the region. Boulard is among the oldest producers and is based near Coquainvilliers in the Pays d'Auge.


The maximum range in metres between high and low tides around the rocky island of Mont St-Michel, which is connected to the Normandy coast by a causeway. The island's main site is its iconic abbey, built in the 11th century, which rises from behind ornate battlements. Admission is €8.50

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