When to go
As you’d expect of a northwesterly, coastal area, Normandy can be wet and windy. July and August are the sunniest months, June and September quieter. Whenever you go, take rainy-day gear. As you’d expect of a northwesterly, coastal area, Normandy can be wet and windy. July and August are the sunniest months, June and September quieter. Whenever you go, take rainy-day gear.
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PlanesCatch a domestic flight from Lyon to Rouen (www.airfrance.com) if you’re coming from the Midi. Paris Charles de Gaulle is the nearest access point for passengers from the UK and elsewhere.
BoatsChannel-side Normandy is served by a glut of ports providing easy access by ferry from the UK. For Honfleur, Le Havre is nearest, though Dieppe will do nicely (www.ldlines.com). Alençon is a two-hour drive from Le Havre.
TrainsFrom Paris, it’s a swift two hours between the Gare Saint-Lazare and central Caen (www.sncf.com). For Lower Normandy, take the TGV from Paris Montparnasse to Le Mans (one hour). Marseille to Rennes is a six-hour schlep (www.tgv.com).
AutomobilesFrom Paris | the A13 and A11 motorways take you to the north and south of the region respectively. Rouen is a two-hour drive from Calais | 90 minutes from Paris | or one hour from Le Havre.
TaxisThere are few Norman towns big enough to warrant cabbing it. In Rouen, you’ll find taxi stands on both sides of the river. Caen’s pick-up points include the train station. In remoter areas, ask your hotel to book a car for you.
We’ve have to admit it: whenever we need a picture of a bedroom that radiates sensuousness, we reach for this photo of the Orangerie at Château de Saint Paterne in Normandy. But we make no apologies – this light-infused suite is as sexy as they come. Set apart from the main château building, among the 25-acre grounds, this beguiling boudoir is fantasy incarnate, in part thanks to the 19th-century theatrical backdrop that adorns the wall behind the bed.