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There's more to Bayeux than a tapestry 70 metres long and nine centuries old. Bayeux is one of the few towns in the region to survive WW2 relatively unscathed, so all the charming 13th through 18th-century buildings are still there in the centre of town. There's a wide variety of architecture from the wooden Norman houses, some of which now count as some of the best places to stay in Bayeux, to the great Gothic cathedral.
The famous cloth depicting the Norman Conquest wasn't made here, it was in fact made in England, but was 'discovered' here when it was being displayed in Bayeux Cathedral. Nowadays it resides here, in the Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux. It's long, but it's not high: only 50cms, and is in 50 or so different panels (or scenes), each with an image in surprisingly fresh colours and a description in Latin.
If you're here to see the beaches and battlefields you'll find the 80km stretch of D-Day landing beach is just open sand, fringed occasionally by a fishing village or seaside resort. Moreover, the area is filled with many memorials, museums and cemeteries commemorating that period.
There are plenty of small museums and memorials but in Bayeux itself you'll find the Commonwealth War Cemetery, the largest British Commonwealth wartime cemetery in France, home to the graves of 4,144 British dead, and the memorial for another 1,800 whose bodies were never recovered. Plus, there's the Bayeux Military Museum which is definitely worth a visit. Between Bayeux and Isigny Sur Mer there's a German Military Cemetery, containing the graves of more than 21,000 German soldiers.
What Not To Miss
Wander through the gorgeous Jardin Botanique de Bayeux and pack yourself a pinic for a relaxing afternoon. There's also a small playground, ideal for kids.
Mondaye Abbey, 9 miles south of Bayeux, is a beautiful architectural spot and also has pristine gardens for you to enjoy.
Be sure to visit the Longues-sur-Mer battery, preserved gun installations from WWII that were constructed by the Germans to defend France from sea invasion. Perfect for history-lovers.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Bayeux range from lovely period properties in the centre of town to a luxurious chateau close to the beach.
The best places to stay in Bayeux
For a Short Break
Clos de Bellefontaines is a smart, mid 19th century sandstone property turned B&B in the centre of Bayeux. This beautiful home has just two bedrooms, but they're large and elegant with parquet floors and high ceilings. Plus, there's a lovely garden and terrace.
Right in the centre of town, Villa Lara has excellent views of the cathedral from large, purpose-built hotel rooms. And purpose-built means very modern compared to the rest of town!
Hotel Tardif is a gorgeous 18th century mansion with beautiful period interiors, and with rooms, suites and a family apartment this is a wining choice for couples or family groups.
For a luxury chateau stay
The Château d'Audrieu is a stunning 18th Century château set amongst beautiful grounds around 15km south east of Bayeux. Rooms are opulent and carefully put together with beautiful wallpapers and antiques. The gardens include a tennis court and a pool, whilst the restaurant serves up gourmet cuisine.
La Cheneviere is set between Bayeux and the coast, a luxurious château hotel with elegant interiors and a classically French restaurant. A great romantic escape.
For Family Trips
La Ferme de la Gronde is a rustic farmhouse located just outside the city. With suites available as well as a small playground and large garden, this is the ideal spot for family rural escapes.
For an Apartment or Villa
If you feel like a self-serving option would be best for you, then check out the wide range of properties on offer at our online partner, booking.com.
It's probably best to visit Bayeux over the summer - in July and August the temperature varies from an average low of 15°C to an average high of 22°C, so it's temperate without being overbearingly hot.
Alternatively, you can hop on the train from London St-Pancras to Bayeux which takes an average of 6 hours 45 minutes door-to-door.
For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Holiday Autos.
Still not sure which to book?
Best Hotels in Bayeux
Chateau La Cheneviere 29 rooms from $223Bayeux
A luxurious 18th century chateau on the coastline. Traditional and elegant interiors include enormous rooms and suites, a classical French restaurant, and an inviting bar. Heated pool, tennis courts, golf and beaches nearby. A fantastic spot for a romantic break filled with sporting activities.Foodies - The restaurant serves classical cuisine based on the flavours of Normandy.Romantic BreakLuxuryViews - Great views from hotelRecommended by - Small Luxury Hotels
Chateau d'Audrieu 29 rooms from $185Normandy
A stunning 18th chateau in beautiful grounds. Opulent rooms feature antique furniture and pretty wallpapers. Expansive gardens, outdoor pool and tennis court. Fantastic regional cuisine and luxurious interiors have fireplaces and beams. Romantic, gourmet, and very relaxing.Hideaway - A real sense of peace set within 25 hectares of gardens and close to the expansive beaches of Normandy coastSights nearby - Few kilometres from the coast with the famous D-Day Landing beaches and seaside resorts of the Pearl CoastLocal markets - Daily markets nearby, as well as special night markets and must see morning fish marketsSailing - Pearl coast hosts many sailing and nautical clubsRecommended by - Fodors, Relais & Chateaux
La ferme de la gronde 5 rooms from $80Bayeux
A charming rustic farmhouse just outside of Bayeux. Gorgeous traditional french rooms with chintz fabrics, beamed ceilings and white washed exposed stone work. A large garden ideal for children or simply relaxing. Indulgent breakfasts. Well located for exploring Normandy. A lovely rural abode.Families - Family suites, a small playground and plenty of space to keep little ones busy.Local exploring - Close to the D Day beaches and just 10 minutes from Bayeaux.Country Escape - A rustic property in rural Normandy.Sights nearby - Head into Bayeux to visit the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Bayeux Tapestry.
Villa Lara, Bayeux 28 rooms from $146Bayeux
A plush hotel in central Bayeux minutes from the Bayeux Tapestry and D-Day landing beaches. Opulent rooms with rich fabrics and huge beds and excellent views of the cathedral. An upmarket hotel to explore the region from.Sights nearby - Steps from the Bayeux Tapestry and D Day landing beaches.Local markets - Good for local colour.Great walks - Good for walkers.
Hotel Tardif 6 rooms from $139Bayeux
A stunning mansion with classical french design throughout. Lovely, individually designed rooms, with large sash windows, pretty fabrics and antique furniture. An indulgent breakfast served. Well located to access Bayeux's attractions. Very reasonably priced. A real gem of a property.Local exploring - An upmarket guesthouse in a lovely part of Normandy with plenty to do in the surrounding area.Sights nearby - Make a day trip to the iconic Mont St-Michel or in very close proximity is the Notre Dame Cathedral.Great walks - Take a stroll through the pretty Jardin Public de Bayeux.Full of character
Clos de Bellefontaines 2 rooms from $137Bayeux, Normandy
A smart sand-stone fronted B&B in the centre of Bayeux. Just two large and elegant bedrooms with parquet floors and high ceilings. Lovely garden and terrace. Ideal for a family or group of four.Sights nearby - Stone's throw from the famous tapestry. Excellent base for visiting the D Day landing beaches.Sailing - Can be booked nearby.Local markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - I Escape