One Day Itinerary for the Normandy Beaches with Kids to explore the history of World War 2
Do you want to see as much as you can in one day on the Normancy beaches? This One Day Itinerary for the D day Normandy Beaches with Kids is perfect to get a good look at what there is along the coast. It is also a perfect D Day beach Itinerary for children. With plenty to entertain them as well as teaching them about the life and death of the soldiers in the Second World War.
This one D day itinerary will take you from Colleville-sur-Mer along Omaha beach visiting five places of interest in one day. None of these Normandy memorials and attractions need to be booked. You will visit the Memorial WD 62 at the german bunker on the seafront at Colleville-sur-Mer. The Normandy American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer and The Overlord museum. You will also visit Grand Camp Maisy and The Maisy Battery. Take a pack lunch with you so you do not have to stop.
First stop on One Day Itinerary for the D day Normandy Beaches with Kids, Memorial Widerstandsnest 62
The first stop on the One Day Itinerary for the D day Normandy Beaches with Kids is the Memorial at Widerstandsnest 62. This german battery was a fortified and a partially bunkered German base during the Second World War.
The remains of Resistance Point 62 lie just east of the Normandy American Cemetery. On the top of one of the casemates is a monument to honor the 5th Engineer Brigade. There is also a needle honoring the 1st Infantry Division.
This is a perfect place to stop before going to the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. It is just around the corner and you get a good view and a bit of history of Omaha beach.
The Normandy American Cemetary at Colleville-sur-Mer
The Normandy American Cemetary at Colleville-sur-Mer is a particularly poignant visit and a must when visiting the D Day beaches. This Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is a World War II cemetery and memorial which honors American troops who died in Europe. The cemetery covers 172.5 acres of perfectly groomed lawns and the graves of 9,388 American military whom were killed during the invasion of Normandy.
The American cemetery is open to the public daily, except on December 25 and January 1. Opening hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from April 1 to September 30, and 9 a.m to 5 p.m the rest of the year.
Entry is free and there is a Visitor centre exhibit which highlights the D-Day timeline. Here you will see many personal stories of the men and women who fought and contributed to the Allied operations.
The Overlord Museum
The Overlord museum is directly opposite the site of the Normandy American Cemetery. It contains a large collection of tanks, aircraft and smaller items. The collection of Michel Leloup was largely found on Normandy soil and took around 40 years to collect.
Michel Leloup (1929 – 2011) was from a small family farm near L’Aigle.He was a 15 year old boy when he observed the battle of Normandy and the skies above were littered with fighter aircraft. They dropped leaflets and bombed L’Aigle. He listened to the BBC broadcasting from London on a crystal radio set hidden in an old cider barrel. Doing this if caught was punishable by death.
In the start of the 1970’s as Michel Leloup was visiting a sawmill in Normandy he spotted a wrecked tank in the undergrowth. It was a SdKfz 251, he made an offer and bought the vehicle to restore it to its former working order. This was the start of a lifelong passion and a collection thus becoming the Overlord Museum.
Michel intended for his collection to be seen but he sadly passed away in 2011 without knowing the extent of the project you see there today.
Grand Camp Maisy and Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument
Next stop is a look along the D day beaches from Pointe du Hoc. Pointe du Hoc still bears the devastation of the bomb craters. This once beautiful landmark serves as a memorial to to the rangers who climbed the cliff face to secure the battery before D day.
The World War II Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument is located on a cliff west of the Normandy American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach.
The monument was erected by the French to honor the American Second Ranger Battalion. U.S. Army Rangers scaled the 100-foot cliffs and seized the German battery. These guns could have fired on the American landing troops at Omaha and Utah beaches.
There is also a visiter centre which has free entry.
Pointe du Hoc is open to the public daily. Hours of operation for the visitor center are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from April 1 to September 30, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the rest of the year.
Daisy Battery, Batterie de Maisy
Our last stop of the day was the Maisy Battery at Grandcamp Maisy. The Maisy Battery lay Undiscovered for 60 years with 2.5km of original tunnels and trenches. It was built in 1942 and was one of the strongest positions near Omaha beach. It resisted heavy bombardment until it was captured by the US Army 5th and 2nd Rangers in battle on the 9th of June.
This battery only opened in 2006 and the site is one of the largest in Normandy. You will find ammunition tunnels, Hospitals and many out buildings to explore along the trenches great fun for kids too.
You will be given a detailed site map to go around at your own pace to exploring all the bunkers and tunnels of the trenches. A visit takes 40 minutes to one hour. You can also take a private tour on request as well as a great shop selling all sorts of war artefacts.
I hope you found this One Day Itinerary for the D day Normandy Beaches with Kids helpful.
There are plenty of other place to visit in Normandy you could also visit Le Mont st Michel
If you have longer than a week read this itinerary for exploring Normandy beaches
If you would like to visit an authentic French Chateau in normandy try Chateau de Vendeuvre