The Middle Ages, a period that conjures up knights in armour, damsels in distress, princesses, minstrels, troubadours and the occasional dragon, is a time that never fails to fascinate the young and young at heart. Let Normandy be your playground where you can set out on your journey back in time! Castles, majestic ruins, cobbled streets and legendary forests will open up their secrets and reveal their mysteries to you.  

1.

The Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel and its family-friendly visits

Maybe you’ve been to the Mont-Saint-Michel already? But how much time did you give to the Abbey itself? And now, if you have children between 7 and 12 years old you can book a family tour. They get riddles to solve, forbidden doors to push open, everything is done to engage parent and child alike! And it’s free – for the kids under 18.

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Kids over 18, like yourself, have to pay...

2.

Solve the riddles of the Abbey of Jumièges

Jumièges Abbey was founded in the year 654. No-one challenges its reputation as the most beautiful ruin in France (not even Brigitte Bardot)! These great imposing white towers thrust out of the Seine valley in the crook of the meandering river. The “Jumièges 3D” App gives you an idea of just how it looked on the eve of the French revolution and its demise. There are medieval pageants in the summer months, or if you are in search of something more original, why not try our “Night of the Bats” or an Escape Game?

3.

Lay Seige to Château-Gaillard!

If your kids haven’t already been there, they’re now going to find out what it is to inhabit the soul of a medieval knight! You have to admit that the majestic fortress of King Richard the Lionheart invites the imagination to tales of Yore. Even in its ruinous state (and what ruins they are, with their superb views over the meanders of the Seine) it lends itself to re-enactments, medieval encampments and tournaments galore, all through the spring and summer months, and some days are organised specifically for families.

Lay Seige to Château-Gaillard!
© Patrick Forget sagaphoto.com

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4.

Crèvecoeur Castle

This medieval castle has a moat and is a unique example of a beautiful little seigneurie. Pageants, fairs, and various entertainments are a regular feature of each season, bringing to life a miraculously preserved piece of history.

5.

The Bayeux Tapestry: a 70 metre long cartoon!

You are probably aware that in 2022 this masterpiece of the Middle Ages is going off to its right and proper home – after all, it was almost certainly made in England! And its purpose was to justify to the English their occupation and conquest by William the Conqueror in 10 clickety-click. Thanks to Bishop Odo his half brother –  and the French State – it usually resides in Bayeux and has only left it twice since it was made! So avoid the crowds and see it here while you can! Just for the record it has over 600 characters but only 3 women and one child (being led away from his burning home by his distraught mother)

The Bayeux Tapestry: a 70 metre long cartoon!
© E. Benard
6.

Falaise Castle in 3D

Here you are in the heart of the Caen-Falaise plain. If you are following the extraordinary life and history of William the Conqueror, where better to start than the site of his birthplace? Just look at those massive triple keeps, the great curtain wall with its 15 projecting towers, all atop a rocky outcrop! Inside, the living quarters of the castle are recreated through a tactile tablette which will reconstruct how the castle may have once looked, and you can climb to the very top of King Philippe Auguste’s tower for wonderful views on the surrounding countryside.

Falaise Castle in 3D
William the Conqueror castle in Falaise © Stéphane Maurice
7.

The medieval town of Domfront and King Arthur’s Oak Tree

Cité médiévale de Domfront

Domfront has managed over time to preserve its medieval character with its cobbled streets, timber-framed houses  and the remains of a huge castle keep overlooking the town on a sandstone outcrop. And only 15 minutes away is the Andaines Forest and a “King Arthur Trail” ripe with XIIth century Arthurian legends of Sir Lancelot and the Knights of the Round Table.

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Medieval Normandy
Family-friendly Normandy