Visit the port city of Cherbourg
Cherbourg sits on the tip of a peninsula in Lower NormandY and is one of the great Channel ports which is both rich in history and offers so much for the visitor to see and do. It’s a city where Napoleon is still highly regarded – maybe it’s because this is where his ashes were returned after he died - and there’s a huge statue of him on horseback in the middle of the city.
Cherbourg’s location is stunning with steep, wooded hillsides leading down to the deep harbour.
Cherbourg was also once France’s key port for the huge ocean liners that crossed the Atlantic and it was even the Titanic’s very last port of call before it started the next leg of its fateful voyage.
It also has a wide choice of museums and gardens and the cities of Caen and Rouen are also within easy reach.
What to see in Cherbourg?
Cité de la Mer is a fantastic exhibition centre with four main areas to visit. The centrepiece is the decommissioned nuclear submarine Redoubtable which is now a museum and the largest underwater craft in the world. Nearby is the cylindrical aquarium containing sea creatures. There is also an underwater expedition experience using VR and digitised displays. The fourth area incorporates exhibitions about the city’s maritime history.
The Musée Thomas Henry features works by local artists while the Museum Emmanuel Liais covers archaeology and ethnography including many fine pieces from ancient Egypt.
Musée del la Liberation tells the military history of Cherbourg and is set in an old fort with spectacular views.
You can also take an hour-long cruise around the harbour visiting a number of the abandoned fortifications or visit to the Château de Ravalet Gardens.