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Most famous for the eponymous tapestry which depicts the Norman Conquest of the UK in the 11th century, Bayeux is a northern France town. Not only does Bayeux host medieval artefacts and relics, but it is also a great starting point for trips to visit famous World War II landmarks.
The town lies in one of the areas of Europe most steeped in both modern and medieval history. Bayeux was actually the first town to be liberated during the Battle of Normandy and many of the buildings in its beautiful Old Town emerged from the Second World War still intact as, despite its location, it did not contain any factories or military bases. This means that Bayeux is one of the most classically-French towns in northern France in terms of appearance.
Bayeux has just 15,000 inhabitants and is never flooded with tourists.
Hop on our ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe and after your short, 4 hour, journey you can drive to Bayeux in just 2 hours and 15 minutes, depending on traffic.
Alternatively, our routes from Dover to Dunkirk and Calais will also bring you within a few hours of Bayeux, and our ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam is another option, for those living in the north of England or Scotland
Bayeux’s main attraction is the famous tapestry which shows William the Conqueror’s conquest of England in 1066, and includes the infamous image of King Harold Godwin taking an arrow to the eye. The full tapestry is around 70 metres long and 50 centimetres high, weighing close to 350kg. The tapestry was listed as a ‘Memory of the World’ by UNESCO in 2007.
The Notre-Dame cathedral in Bayeux was arguably the original home of the tapestry. The cathedral also depicts the assassination of English archbishop Thomas à Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170, following his courageous opposition to King Henry II's attempts to control the church.
Bayeux was the first French town to be liberated from the German occupation in 1944 and you can learn more about Battle of Normandy at the Battle of Normandy Museum.
Visit Bayeux’s botanical gardens which date back to 1864.