Our close links to Normandy go back centuries to the days of William the Conqueror and Richard the Lionheart, and it will always remain close to our hearts for the heroic D-day landings on 6 June 1944.
On a Normandy golf holiday, it’s an opportunity to explore a wealth of superb golf courses and investigate some of the stunning history that lives around every corner.
Let’s begin with the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and the Bayeux Tapestry which tells the epic tale of William, Duke of Normandy who became King of England. The Tapestry will hopefully arrive in the UK later in this decade, while a new museum is constructed in the town, but for the meantime you will be spellbound by this amazing story told in wool thread on linen cloth, across 58 scenes, including 626 characters and 202 horses.
Bayeux lies just behind the stretch of beaches where the armed forces landed on D-Day. It’s worth starting at Pegasus Bridge at Benouville and the small but perfectly formed museum set up there to commemorate the feats of the men on this historic day. The early capture of this bridge was vital to the success of D-day as it was the only crossing point.
Travel onto the Memorial Museum at Omaha Beach for a comprehensive insight into this day, including an impressive collection of memorabilia.
Bayeux and the beaches are all easy to access from Deauville, the ideal base for a Normandy golf holiday. Deauville is home to the internationally renowned American Film Festival, horse racing, polo, a magnificent beach, thalassotherapy and of course great golf.
Embrace this sophisticated world with a stay at the Hotel Du Golf Barriere in Mont Canisy, just outside the town centre. This impressive hotel overlooks the 27 holes which make up the golf course of Deauville. The Red and White 9’s make up the main course and provide a good challenge as you enjoy the Normandy countryside. There are a couple of steep climbs, so buggies are advisable for the less fit. The blue 9 is a good alternative and takes you round the outside of the resort.
If you like to explore the area on foot, head behind the hotel to pay tribute to the armed forces at a small cemetery, there is also a wartime bunker perched high above the town where you can see miles and miles of coastline.
You’ll enjoy dining out in Deauville, there are some lovely, and not too pricey, restaurants just along from the Hotel Normandy Barriere, the beachside sister hotel to the Hotel du Golf Barriere. In the peak months there is a free shuttle between the two hotels during the day.
But a pleasant, casual alternative is Trouville, connected to Deauville by a short bridge. Park along the quayside and stroll along the streets, sizing up the impressive selection of restaurants. It’s a fish lover’s paradise but there are also plenty of other options, if you’re after something different.
Drive a little bit further to Honfleur. Always popular with art lovers, it’s worth heading to this town a little bit early as it’s worth taking time to enjoy the galleries and shops which line the streets. There are some great restaurants here and you will need to book ahead if you want something special.
Once you’ve conquered the golf at Deauville head to its sister course, Saint-Julien. This inland course presents a different but equally enjoyable challenge and the clubhouse is a restful venue for an after-game drink.
In Deauville itself you can also play L’Amiraute, a very striking course, with lots of water and an intriguing layout. Check out the statues designed by former French Rugby Union captain Jean-Pierre Rives…
The spectacular golf course is perched high above the town of Etretat which is dominated by the white cliffs, which over the centuries have been eroded into the most extraordinary shapes.
The course is not for the faint-hearted and is an outstanding example of good links golf where the difficulty goes off the scale on a windy day. The three-star Dormy House next door completes the picture. There are 61 rooms in total of various categories, including, of course, sea-view, and an outstanding restaurant with wonderful views.
The town itself may be small but it is worth a stroll to the wooden covered market. You will need the car to reach the Jardins D’Amont and we can guarantee you will never have seen anything like it.
These gardens were started by Madame Thebault, a famous early 20th century actress, who planted one tree on this patch of land. Now it is a kaleidoscope of incredible topiary and art. It’s a glorious secret garden, you will relish.
Madame Thebault was a friend of impressionist painter Claude Monet who moved to Giverny in Normandy in 1883 and stayed until his death in 1926. A visit to his home is another ‘must-do’ to add to the list when you are playing golf in Normandy. Here the beautiful gardens bring Monet’s paintings to life and you can tour his home which remains as it was for the artist and his family and shows his life of colour.
If you want to explore inland Normandy, Rouen is just the place to stay. There is a fine choice of hotels in the city as there is plenty to attract tourists. Rouen is where the inspirational Joan of Arc met her end and there is now a museum devoted to her deeds next to the Cathedral, a magnificent edifice at the very heart of the city.
Enjoy golf at the tranquil Rouen Mont Saint-Aignan or travel out to Champ de Bataille, a fabulous golf course, 21 miles south-west of Rouen. Carved through an ancient forest it will call you back time and time again.
Rouen is just over two hours from the Eurotunnel at Calais and a popular option for players on a Normandy golf holiday is to play at Belle Dune, on the way to or from the Eurotunnel. It’s a memorable way to break the journey.
Time to book
At Golf Planet Holidays we do recommend you give yourself at least a week in Normandy to enjoy this holiday to the full. The golf is definitely worth the journey and it is worth setting time aside to explore this attractive region, which has something for everyone. If you want to explore some options give us a call on 01277 284284 or email email@example.com