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French Connections

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  • Calvados, Normandy - a beautiful year-round destination

    Calvados in Normandy is our region of the month – and a very evocative one for me in several different ways. Firstly it brings back deliciously the flavour of the fruity apple brandy drink of the same name, especially when sipped in a country garden or at a chic pavement bar.

    Secondly it conjures up images of rolling fields, contented cows, impossibly pretty timbered farmhouses and country paths magical with abundant flowers and verdant leaves. The countryside of Calvados is beautiful for driving, walking, cycling and simply sitting beneath a tree listening to birdsong whilst enjoying fromage, baguette and a verre du vin.

    My next evocative memory is the stunning coastline, from beautiful harbours to tremendous sweeps of wild, sandy beaches where a salty breeze blows away the cobwebs. I’ve travelled by ferry from Portsmouth to Le Havre and from Dover to Calais and there is always that thrill of the sense of voyaging from port to port.

    For both journeys, I managed to arrange a meal stop at a restaurant in gorgeous Honfleur. As you would expect with a coastal department, there is a huge variety of fresh fish and shellfish on the menu and market stalls groan with fruit and vegetables, mushrooms, herbs and flowers.

    Honfleur is one of France’s most beautiful and historic harbours and a happening town filled with art and history – which are definite themes of the whole of the Calvados region, from the poignant D -Day landing beaches to Caen and Bayeux with its famous tapestry.

    The climate is oceanic with mild winters, so this region is perfect for a short winter break, a spring week to enjoy the apple blossom and a fortnight’s summer holiday. We have an excellent range of accommodation in peaceful countryside, villages and towns – including Honfleur. You can also use our Travel pages to book ferries and Eurotunnel and find your travel needs.

  • Why are French theme parks and museums so appealing?

    As half-term approaches, perhaps it’s time to take the children and find out.