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What to do when it rains in Normandy

It will happen, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but spend any amount of time in Normandy and you will eventually get rained on. A lot.

Well you could…

Sticking to the Plan
Sticking to The Plan

You can of course hole up in your apartment/gite/hotel room/tent, catch up on emails and post pics from sunnier days on Facebook to cheese off the office bound folk back home. Although the fact you are on Facebook is a bit of a holiday horror giveaway.

You could also go out for some Caen peripherique excitement – always a fun drive but add torrential rain and lorry drivers who don’t understand their own country’s rule about dropping speed limits in the wet and woohoo! Trying to get out at junction 2 becomes considerably more exciting than anything Festyland can offer.

Or you could join every other rain soaked tourist and see the Bayeux Tapestry, D-Day museums and Impressionist art galleries, through the steam of a thousand drying anoraks.

There are a few less desperate measures.

Alternative ideas for the cool Normandy traveller

  1. Huge barrels of Calvados quietly ageing to perfection.
    Huge barrels of Calvados quietly ageing to perfection

    Child free? Draw straws, designate a driver and head to one of the many fabulous Calvados creators for a serious afternoon of Calvados testing. This can be repeated for any number of days, simply alternate drivers and Calvados producers.

  2. Cheat. If it looks like days of rain ahead, head out early and day trip to Paris (Le Havre and Caen have a good rail service, around 2hrs). Paris is lovely whatever the weather and after a day of Paris manners you will be doubly grateful for the warm friendly Norman welcome when you get back.
  3. Go with it.  Pop on your sou’wester and wellies and take the boat from Honfleur harbour to Pont de Normandie. Rain or shine the bridge looks amazing and you will enjoy it all the more for being a bit tougher than the average tourist.
  4. Go underground. Visit the strange and wonderful glacière souterraine or glacière Saint-Paul in Caen, giant underground fridges that served as a WW2 bomb shelters. Many caves and quarries in the region were used as shelters but tours are rare so keep an eye out for ‘Visite de la grotte/carrières’ at your local tourist info. The glacière souterraine is open every Friday June and July, glacière Saint-Paul Mondays June-August.  Both are popular so best to book via Caen tourist office. In the Manche? Visit Souterroscope for a uniquely colourful underground world (tours in French and English).
  5. That's not atmosphere that's rain. View of the Seine from Joan of Arc's memorial loses a little something due to conditions.
    That’s not atmosphere that’s rain. View of the Seine from Joan of Arc’s memorial loses a little something due to conditions.

    Lounge about. Choose an attractive looking cafe or restaurant, one you usually rush past on your way somewhere great, and pop in for coffee and a croissant. Read the paper, a book, Daily Mail on your ipad (wifi is getting much more common).  Look out of the windows occasionally at American tourists determinedly sticking to their Holiday Plan in spite of the force 10 gale.  Review the lunch menu carefully and appreciatively.  Try the langoustine or moules marinière, top it off with a small digestif – a glass of Calvados perhaps.  Before you know it the sun is going down, the musicians have arrived and you are on to cocktails.  We do suggest this option is best in walking distance from your accommodation.

  6. Go on a brocante shop tour. Tipping it down? Perfect weather for treasure hunting!  This is such a great idea we are going to blog about it in detail another time.
  7. Follow us on Twitter and we’ll keep you updated with things to do in Normandy!

Or…

Ignore us and go and see the Bayeux tapestry, D-Day museums, art galleries….

You can’t go wrong!

**UPDATE –

Our new post ‘It’s still raining in Normandy what shall we do now?‘ Has lots more great wet weather ideas.

Outside MUMA art gallery in Le Havre - yes we went for the gallery option
Outside MUMA art gallery in Le Havre – yes we went for the gallery option and it was fab!

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