a VirtualTourist member from Chicago
We will be in Bayeux in November, primarily to see the tapestry. Other than the cathedral, does anyone have advice for other artworks or buildings to see? We are not interested in WWII history, and we won't be using a car. Also enjoys classical/vocal music.
Also, please advise me on places to eat on a budget: meals under 15 euro, markets or grocieries, bakeries, etc.
I don't know much about art, but there is PLENTY to see in and around Bayeux, even wthout a car. The town is very compact, inside the Ring Road ("Le By-Pass" to the locals), approx 1 X 2 km in size.
The guidebook (get one free at any large shop) lists the Musee Baron Gerard (porcelain and lace paintings), two lace-making workshops, a china-porcelain workshop,and a tapestry-stitching workshop. Also interesting exterior architecture on numerous old buildings. You can get by public transport (inquire at Tourist Office or Hotel Churchill) to Avranches and Mont St-Michel, where the Avranches museum has 100 medieval illuminated manuscripts from Mt. St-M.
There are many shops selling grocs, cheese, breads, wine, cider, etc in Bayeux on Rue Larcher-Rue Foch just behind the Cathedral. Many inexpensive sidewalk cafes on Rue St-Jean going east from the River. Be sure to drink plenty of apple cider, a Normandy specialty, better than beer. Also, Camember cheese in made in the nearby town of that name.
Good place to stay - the "Manoir a Pont Rouge", 2 km south of the Cathedral, in St. Loup Hors. It's a British-run B&B, in a 1700's manor house, charming and relatively inexpensive. See posts on VirtualTourist.com about it. You could also try the Monastery "La Joie Sant-Benoit" in Bayeux.
Not interested in WW II ? You WILL be, after taking one of the fascinating tours offered by www.Battlebus.fr These are designed for everyday tourists, not militaria buffs, and are ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING AND INSPIRING. Henrietta, if you are disappointed in your one-day Battlebus tour with British guide, contact me afterward and I'll reimburse you for it !
Keep in mind that November is definitely off-season - there may be lots of closures. At that time, take an umbrella.
Thanks for your reply GringoGeol. I didn't know about the Avranches museum--thanks for the tip. I love illuminated manuscrips.
Don't worry, I plan on eating a lot of cheese.....
The art gallery is opposite the cathedral in the deanery. You can follow a Bayeux audio guide tour to visit the town to appreciate the different styles and epoques of buildings from 3rd century to the 18th century.
If your are in Bayeux several days you'll be a bit limited in what you can visit if you don't have a vehicle. Going to Mont St Michel and Avranches is pretty difficult without. You say you're not interested in the WWII visits. I'm sure you'd be surprised at how interesting a guided visit is. It was the greatest military operation ever carried out. it was the beginning of the end of the war. Bayeux was a rare town to have escaped destruction during the battles. You can do a d-day audio guide as well if you have a car.