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Normandy - Landing Beaches and Pont de Normandie

I'm going on a 3 day ride from Cherbourg to Le Havre in May with a group of friends.

Has anyone else done this and have any particular tips to share? Any ideas on what the best Landing Beaches museums/attractions are given we won't have hours to wander around?

Also, we are currently planning to cross the Pont de Normandie which looks, err, interesting. Has anyone done it south to north? Is the cycle lane as narrow as it looks? I'm just wondering whether we cycle up the footpath on the other side if not.
You can fool some of the people all of the time. Concentrate on those people.

Posts

  • orraloonorraloon Posts: 8,538
    Not biked in that region. But have visited Omaha Beach, took daughter #1 when 10-11ish, certainly made lasting impression on her. And me. A lot of the concrete defence emplacements remain in situ. Think the juxtaposition of what is a lovely wide beach with its history and what humans do to each other gives pause.

    Written as one who has visited multiple Franco-Belgian WW1 sites. There is something different there, perhaps with the constant movement of the sea.

    I would say if you want a pause for reflection, that's a place.
  • Arromanches has a lot of the German fortifications still in place. A decent museum and the remains of the Mulberry Harbours.
    Worth a visit.
  • LongshotLongshot Posts: 935
    Thank you both.
    You can fool some of the people all of the time. Concentrate on those people.
  • cycled over the Pont de Normandie 10+ yrs ago. North to south - the cycle lane was pretty rubbish (yes very narrow) and doesn't look any better on streetview. With hindsight we'd have been better cycling on the path.
  • LongshotLongshot Posts: 935

    cycled over the Pont de Normandie 10+ yrs ago. North to south - the cycle lane was pretty rubbish (yes very narrow) and doesn't look any better on streetview. With hindsight we'd have been better cycling on the path.


    Thanks. It looks interesting that's for sure. We'll make the decision when we get there - we can use the footpath if necessary.
    You can fool some of the people all of the time. Concentrate on those people.
  • mtb-idlemtb-idle Posts: 2,178
    Not cycled there but visited many attractions. Pegasus bridge is a nice place to visit being the first place the british paras landed and captured in the early hours. A good museum nearby as well.

    As above Arromanches is great as is the Merville battery but really, if you have an interest in the assault/landing/general or specific to WW2 history then the whole area is amazing e.g.the City of Caen and see many buildings still with bullet holes in them
    FCN = 4
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,391
    I’ve cycled the Pont de Normandie north to south in blustery wind and driving rain on a touring bike loaded with camping gear. The cycle lane is perfectly acceptable but narrow and not pleasant when you are struggling up the steep climb to the top and trying to keep a straight line when battling side winds and gusts from passing lorries.

    The worst thing for me was trying to find a way to access the cycle route to and over the bridge from the ferry at Le Havre. The cycle way was only sporadically signposted and I got lost several times and had to turn round when I ended up on slip roads to the motorway.

    That was 20 years ago. No doubt with modern smart phones navigation will be easier now. And hopefully the signposting has improved.
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,777
    I'm doing a similar tour in July with my wife and another couple. Taking 5 days though so we can detour to some sites away from the coast. Going as far as Honfleur and then doubling back to Caen/Ouistreham for the ferry back to the UK.
    I am going to ride over the Pont de Normandie and back when we are in Honfleur just so I can say I have done it. :)

    I used Komoot to plan the route. It takes a while but allows you to customise the route and add in diversions/detours. We will be riding past the 5 landing beaches, going through Sainte-Mere-Eglise and Carentan, visiting Pegasus Bridge and dropping down to Bayeux.
    The rest of the route will be hugging the coast as closely as possible.
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  • I've been a couple of times, the first time I visited a couple of the sites by bike. It can be very busy in the summer, I would suggest trying to plan a route which stays off the main roads to avoid all the coaches. 2nd time I went, I used an app called Spot on Locations to help plan where I was going to go and what to see.

    I would check out the tides. If you want to get onto the beaches, say at Arromanches to see the Mulberry Harbours, you won't see very much at high tide.

    As has been mentioned, there is loads to see, but I would suggest visiting the following.

    Pegasus Bridge Museum & Café Gondrée.
    Arromanches & Mulberry harbours (but don't bother with the 360 Cinema)
    Longues-sur-Mer battery & Observation bunker
    Pointe du Hoc
    Utah Beach Museum
  • LongshotLongshot Posts: 935
    Thanks all. The route I have planned is below. We'll pick the things to see closer to the date but the lists above are pretty representative of what we are likely to stop at.





    You can fool some of the people all of the time. Concentrate on those people.
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