Join a five-day tour of Normandy, with visits to Caen, Château de Pirou, and Château de Falaise from your base at a historic hotel in Bayeux, with lectures from top historians

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Discover the Norman history of France on this fascinating tour with expert historians Matt Lewis and Julian Humphrys.

You'll learn about The most famous Norman of them all, William of Normandy, also known as William the Conqueror. There'll be a guided visit to The Château de Falaise, standing on the site of an earlier castle where the Norman king was born.

A highlight of this trip is sure to be a trip to see the spectacular Bayeux Tapestry, a true masterpiece of embroidery that tells the story of the events leading up to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

Throughout this tour you'll be based at Le Lion d'Or Hotel in Bayeux, a beautiful 18th-century coaching inn which has been lovingly converted into a sleek hotel.

You'll have breakfast here each day, plus two group dinners in the hotel's excellent restaurant, where the chefs enhance Norman cuisine with international touches.

Image credits: Thomas Le Floc, Valentin Pacaut, Maggie McNulty, Coraline et Leo, Severine Freres

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Your expert guide

Matt Lewis
Author and Historian

Matt is an author and historian of the medieval period, with a particular interest in the Wars of the Roses and Richard III. He has written biographies of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry III, Richard Duke of York, and Richard III.

Price includes

  • Overnight ferry from Portsmouth to Caen in a double cabin with en suite bathroom
  • Return daytime ferry from Caen to Portsmouth
  • Three nights' bed and breakfast at the Le Lion d'Or Hotel, in a twin or double room
  • Welcome drink and dinner with wine at the hotel
  • Evening dinner with wine at the hotel on the third day
  • Two lectures from Julian Humphrys and Matt Lewis
  • Coach transfers, tours and entrance fees
  • Julian Humphrys and Matt Lewis will join you for the duration of the trip

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Twin Room

Price (per person) £1299.00 * Single Occupancy Supplement £199.00

Twin Room 1:

Twin Room

Twin Room 2:

Twin Room

Twin Room 3:

Twin Room

Twin Room 4:

Twin Room

Twin Room 5:

Twin Room
Please contact us on 03301 629 475 if you wish to book for only one person.

Double Room

Price (per person) £1299.00 * Single Occupancy Supplement £199.00

Double Room 1:

Double occupancy

Double Room 2:

Double occupancy

Double Room 3:

Double occupancy

Double Room 4:

Double occupancy

Double Room 5:

Double occupancy
Please contact us on 03301 629 475 if you wish to book for only one person.


Price (per person) £1299.00 * Single Occupancy Supplement £199.00

Single 1:

Solo occupancy

Single 2:

Solo occupancy

Single 3:

Solo occupancy

Single 4:

Solo occupancy

Single 5:

Solo occupancy
Please contact us on 03301 629 475 if you wish to book for only one person.
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  1. Day
    Depart from Portsmouth
    Portsmouth, United Kingdom

    Today you'll join the tour group in Portsmouth and travel by overnight ferry in an en suite cabin to the Port of Ouistreham in Normandy.

  2. Day
    Arrive in Normandy
    Falaise, France

    On arrival in France, you'll meet Julian Humphrys, your expert guide. You'll drive from Ouistreham Port to Falaise, stopping en route for breakfast (not included).

    Falaise is the birthplace of William of Normandy, where you can see traces of the original castle where he was born. You'll visit the extensive Château de Falaise, built on the site of the earlier castle, and explore its history.

    After the chateaux visit there'll be free time for lunch (not included). You'll depart for Bayeux in the early afternoon and check into your hotel, Le Lion d'Or Hotel. In the evening, enjoy an illuminating evening lecture from Matt Lewis and Julian Humphry over dinner and wine.

    Meals - Dinner
  3. Day
    Bayeux, France

    This morning you'll visit the wonderful Bayeux Tapestry, an extraordinary masterpiece of embroidery that tells the story of the Norman conquest as well as revealing details about the 11th century way of life. Its origin is uncertain, but it was probably made in England just after the invasion.

    This afternoon you'll visit the 11th-century Cathedral Notre Dame and the Museum of Art and History, which showcases the history of European art, from archaeology to Modern Art.

    This evening, Julian will give another lecture, 'Triumph of the Conqueror. William of Normandy and the invasion of England' before dinner with wine at the hotel.

    Meals - Breakfast, Dinner
  4. Day
    Bayeux, France

    Today You'll travel to the Manche area of Normandy for a tour of Château de Pirou, one of the oldest Norman castles in existence. The site has been occupied since the 9th century, although at that time it was a wooden construction, later updated to stone in the 12th century.

    Inside you'll see the The Pirou tapestry, a 58-metre long tapestry in the style of the Bayeux tapestry which tells the story of the Norman invasion of Sicily and the conquest of southern Italy.

    You'll return to Bayeux stopping to see the ruins of Château de Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte, a fortified castle dominated by its huge stone keep and 14th-century towers

    You have the evening free to enjoy dinner at leisure.

    Meals - Breakfast
  5. Day
    Caen, France

    This morning, after checking out of the hotel, you'll drive to the Norman city of Caen, which boasts a host of ancient buildings dating back to the time of William of Normandy. You'll see the Château de Caen which houses the Musée de Normandie, the Abbaye aux Dames, the Eglise de la Trinité, built by William's wife Mathilde in 1062, and the Abbaye aux Hommes, the Eglise St Etienne.

    You'll then travel to Ouistreham, Caen to check in for the return daytime ferry crossing to Portsmouth.

    Meals - Breakfast


Le Lion d’Or Hotel, Bayeux

Bayeux, France

Le Lion d’Or Hotel is located in the heart of the lovely and historic town of Bayeux

With just 31 rooms, it is small and friendly with a bar, restaurant and cosy, well-appointed rooms with all modern facilities. Bedrooms have a private bathroom with bath/shower, TV, free wi-fi and hairdryer. The hotel's restaurant serves excellent local cuisine along with carefully-crafted international dishes.

Please note the hotel is laid out over three floors and does not have a lift. There are rooms located on the first floor which can be reached by approximately 20 steps.

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