William The Conqueror and Medieval Normandy Escorted Tour

3 nights starting from
£839

  • The incomparable Bayeux Tapestry in its home before it travels!

  • Caen with its two abbeys, "Dames" and "Hommes"

  • Chateau de Falaise - site of William's birth

  • Benedictine Jumiéges Abbey

Medieval Normandy is our first tour abroad to be led by historian Julian Humphrys, who has led many of our UK tours over the past half a dozen years. It looks at the early life of William of Normandy and the subsequent invasion of England in 1066 and his rule as the first Norman king of England until his death in 1087. This wonderful new tour visits key locations associated with his life as well as the incomparable Bayeux Tapestry that tells the story of the invasion in a unique pictorial style.

Available Departures

From

15 - November - 2019 £ 839.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

Folkestone

Departing: 15th November 2019 at 11:20

Returning: 18th November 2019 at 17:20

13 - March - 2020 £ 839.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

Folkestone

Departing: 13th March 2020 at 11:20

Returning: 16th March 2020 at 17:20

ITINERARY

Day 1: Travel by coach from London (approx. 08.00) or Maidstone (09.15) to Folkestone for Eurotunnel crossing to Calais and onwards to the lovely town of Bayeux for check-in to the Lion D’Or Hotel. This evening there will be a welcome drink and dinner with wine at the hotel. 

Day 2: Full day Bayeux
This morning we have our first lecture by Julian Humphrys, 'Rise of the Conqueror: The early life of William of Normandy’, followed by a visit to 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 was probably made in England just after the invasion. This afternoon we visit the 11th century Cathedral Notre-Dame and the Museum of Art and History, housed in the Bishop's Palace the museum showcases the journey through history of European art, from archaelogy to Modern Art. This evening Julian will give us another lecture  'Triumph of the Conqueror. William of Normandy and the invasion of England' before you have the evening free to enjoy dinner at your own leisure. 

Day 3: Chateau de Falaise and Caen
This morning we visit the Chateau de Falaise, perched on a high crag on the site of an earlier castle where William was born in 1026. This afternoon we visit the Norman city of Caen, which boats a host of ancient buildings dating back to the time of William of Normandy, including the Chateau 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. Dinner with wine at the hotel. 

Day 4: Jumièges Abbey and home
Return to Maidstone and London via the Eurotunnel at Calais. En route, your final visit will be to Benedictine Jumièges Abbey, which enjoyed the patronage of the Dukes of Normandy. Return to Maidstone is expected at approximately 18.00 and London at 19.30.


NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.

Travel Arrangements
The quickest and most convenient way to get to this area of Normandy is by modern, executive coach and Eurotunnel. Departure from London Victoria will be at about 08.00 with a further pick up made at Maidstone Services in good time for a scheduled Eurotunnel departure of 11.20. The Eurotunnel crossing operates up to four times per hour and takes just 35 minutes to Calais. The driving time from Calais to Bayeux is approximately four hours. 

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.

INCLUDED

  • Return coach and Eurotunnel from London Victoria or Maidstone Services to Bayeux
  • Three nights' bed and breakfast at the three-star Le Lion d'Or Hotel, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • First night welcome drink and dinner with wine at the hotel
  • Second evening dinner with wine at the hotel
  • Two lectures
  • Coach throughout the tour and entrance fees
  • Julian Humphrys and tour manager throughout

NOT INCLUDED

  • Single room supplement
  • Holiday insurance
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
  • Porterage and gratuities 

HOTELS

The Lion d'Or Hotel, Bayeux
The three-star 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. 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. 

Lion d'Or Hotel Website

 

MORE INFO - Please click here to see full details of this tour

YOUR GUIDE 
Julian Humphrys 
Julian, who read history at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, has worked at historial sites both in Britain and overseas and is now Development Officer at the Battlefields Trust. He has a very infectious enthusiasm for history and had published numerous books on castles and battles. 

 

A View from our regular traveller Mrs Richardson:

.....''Not even Les Gilets Jaunes (not to be confused with Le Maillot Jaune) could spoil this Tour. With some swift reorganising by Gill Thompson, our brilliant Tour Manager, after the first lecture by historian Julian Humphrys on the early life of William of Normandy, we headed not for Caen but for the Bayeux Tapestry, a short walk from the hotel. We were the first visitors so had none of the usual crowds to contend with. Viewing the Tapestry frame by frame with the English Audio Guide almost turns the experience in to a movie, and an awesome one at that. Following a guided tour of the Cathedral of Norte Dame by Julian we had time for an unscheduled visit to the Bayeux Museum. Beautifully curated, there was even a nineteenth centuary painting showing Queen Matilda and her ladies working on the Tapestry! This was described as ‘in the Troubador style’, referring to the taste for historical reconstruction of the Middle Ages. In fact the Tapestry is believed to have been commissioned by Bishop Odo, William’s half brother and embroidered in England. First stop on Sunday was to Falaise to see the castle where William was born and then on to Caen to visit the castle and the two Abbayes - aux Dames, founded by Queen Matilda, the first to be completed and aux Hommes where William is buried. The latter was illuminated for an organ recital so we were able to stand at William’s tomb, the sound of the wonderful 18th centuary organ ringing in our ears and contemplate all we had learned about William - of Normandy, the Conqueror and King o England. The Lion d’Or Hotel is a great base for this Tour. The cosy bar/lounge where the lectures are held has walls festooned with photographs of the many famous politicians, soldiers, film actors and singers who have stayed there. I especially enjoyed breakfast where the local speciality Teurgoule, a slow cooked rice pudding, with prunes more than compensated for my usual porridge with blueberries. The journey back to Eurotunnel via the picturesque Abbey of Jumièges was delayed by Les Gilets Jaunes but with the aid of Gill’s map, Julian’s smart phone’s Google Maps and Richard, our intrepid coach driver’s Sat Nav (for coaches and buses!) we dodged many of the road blocks and caught a train only two hours later than planned. Thank you Travel Editions, for another successful Tour''....

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Overall Impression

The coach journey was long but better than wasting time at an airport and was mitigated by an excellent driver, ample comfort stops and periodic informative comments places we were passing.

Review by Perkins who travelled 15-March-2019


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Our first time with Travel Editions and it was very enjoyable. Can see why there were so many repeat travelers. Tour manager and driver were superb. Guide was good, enjoyed the talks/lecture. Hotel was way beyond what we expected from a modest venue. Food at breakfast and dinner was of a very high standard. Coach was clean and very comfortable.

Review by Anonymous who travelled 15-March-2019


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Include arrival time on first day in Bayeux.

Review by Sequeira who travelled 15-March-2019


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Review by Anonymous who travelled 15-March-2019


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Overall Impression

This tour was very well-managed by Jill, and Julian Humphreys' knowledge of the period, lectures and guided tours were impressive and good-humoured. They both coped well in difficult circumstances with major demonstrators in France blocking roads and causing changes to the schedule and significant delays on the last day. We had an amusing stop at a café at Jumieres where Jill and Julian assisted the staff with serving soup and clearing up, which was beyond the call of duty. It was also a bonus and particularly appreciated, after the delays, having a stop at Victoria train station (before the coach station), which meant I managed to get a train to Salisbury (by changing at Clapham Junction) which I wasn't expecting to be in time for.

Review by Callow who travelled 16-November-2018


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The Tour Manager was outstanding. Julian Humphrys is always an enthusiastic mine of information. Richard, apart from being a highly competent coach driver, was also very flexible and could adapt to unforeseen circs with good humour and patience.

Review by joy who travelled 16-November-2018


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Our guide Jill dealt with the extraordinary circumstances of the civil unrest causing traffic holdups in a quiet creative manner, completely reorganising all elements of the trip without losing any of the experiences and even finding catering facilities when we were held up on the way home.

Review by Collett who travelled 16-November-2018


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This tour was disrupted by French protesters blocking roads etc. The way Gill and Julian reorganized the itinerary was very impressive. Great flexibility was needed which what they showed - with remarkably little obvious fuss. I enjoyed having the extra time in Bayeux itself.

Review by Anonymous who travelled 16-November-2018


Administation
Brochure Description
Flight/Train/Ferry
Accommodation
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Sightseeing Tours
Overall Impression

Not even Les Gilets Jaunes (not to be confused with Le Maillot Jaune) could spoil this Tour. With some swift reorganising by Gill Thompson, our brilliant Tour Manager, after the first lecture by historian Julian Humphrys on the early life of William of Normandy, we headed not for Caen but for the Bayeux Tapestry, a short walk from the hotel. We were the first visitors so had none of the usual crowds to contend with. Viewing the Tapestry frame by frame with the English Audio Guide almost turns the experience in to a movie, and an awesome one at that. Following a guided tour of the Cathedral of Norte Dame by Julian we had time for an unscheduled visit to the Bayeux Museum. Beautifully curated, there was even a nineteenth centuary painting showing Queen Matilda and her ladies working on the Tapestry! This was described as ‘in the Troubador style’, referring to the taste for historical reconstruction of the Middle Ages. In fact the Tapestry is believed to have been commissioned by Bishop Odo, William’s half brother and embroidered in England. First stop on Sunday was to Falaise to see the castle where William was born and then on to Caen to visit the castle and the two Abbayes - aux Dames, founded by Queen Matilda, the first to be completed and aux Hommes where William is buried. The latter was illuminated for an organ recital so we were able to stand at William’s tomb, the sound of the wonderful 18th centuary organ ringing in our ears and contemplate all we had learned about William - of Normandy, the Conqueror and King o England. The Lion d’Or Hotel is a great base for this Tour. The cosy bar/lounge where the lectures are held has walls festooned with photographs of the many famous politicians, soldiers, film actors and singers who have stayed there. I especially enjoyed breakfast where the local speciality Teurgoule, a slow cooked rice pudding, with prunes more than compensated for my usual porridge with blueberries. The journey back to Eurotunnel via the picturesque Abbey of Jumièges was delayed by Les Gilets Jaunes but with the aid of Gill’s map, Julian’s smart phone’s Google Maps and Richard, our intrepid coach driver’s Sat Nav (for coaches and buses!) we dodged many of the road blocks and caught a train only two hours later than planned. Thank you Travel Editions, for another successful Tour.

Review by Richardson who travelled 16-November-2018


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Overall Impression

Overall our impression of the holiday is very positive. Despite some very trying circumstances (French industrial action) the organization of the tour was outstanding. This was largely down to the excellent leadership of Gill Thompson, the highly entertaining and informative lectures/guiding of Julian Humphrys and the superbly calm and clever driving of Richard (apologies, didn't get his surname). The accommodation was really good, and the excursions very interesting. The only slight downside (apart from the demonstrators) was the travel timings at the start of the holiday. The 7.30am start from Victoria was not pleasant, and the only alternative pick-up was at a motorway service station in Kent. Other than that, a very good holiday. Thank you Gill, Julian and Richard! Roger & Caroline Fox

Review by Fox who travelled 16-November-2018


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Cannot speak too highly of our Tour Manager, Gill. She coped so well with all the strikes, road blocks and other problems. She and Julian Humphrys and Richard the driver worked very well as a team to give us an excellent trip. Good hotel. Coach getting a bit worn and noisy. Looking forward to the next trip!

Review by Anonymous who travelled 16-November-2018


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We greatly enjoyed our visit to Bayeux and were very well looked after by our guide and manager and at the hotel. Our only comment is that we did not have earlier notification that the start was 6,15 rather than 8.00!

Review by Banister who travelled 16-March-2018


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Departure from Victoria Coach Station was originally at 08.00, changed to 06.30 in the final itinerary. I do think the change should have been pointed out in the covering email. Tour Manager Gill / Jill was excellent: she couldn't do enough for us throughout the trip, and especially on the way back when out passage through the tunnel was delayed by 3 hours. She's a real star. Overall a most enjoyable trip, thank you.

Review by Batt who travelled 16-March-2018


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A fantastic tour from start to finish - very well organised by Gill who went out of her way to make sure the trip was a success. Julian was as ever very knowledgable and amusing. The hotel in Bayeux was excellent - the food was very good and the rooms very comfortable. Last but not least Gordon our coach driver was superb - we felt very safe for the whole journey.

Review by Allen who travelled 16-March-2018


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Review by who travelled 16-March-2018


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It was a bad idea to travel to Normandy via Calais - much better to go by ferry from Portsmouth. It was not good to advance the departure time to such an early hour and to do so only a few days before departure. Other than that it was well organised and the lecturer and tour manager were excellent.

Review by Oliver who travelled 16-March-2018


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Review by who travelled 16-March-2018


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This tour went very well, particularly considering it was the first time it had been run and given that one member of the party had to be hospitalised. Everything we saw exceeded my expectations. About the only - minor - hitch was at Caen where the time allowed to do things at the Castle on our own was quite limited and then we gathered together at a time which was rather late to find lunch as most places seemed to stop serving it at 2.30 p.m.

Review by who travelled 03-November-2017


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This was an excellent tour. Both lecturer & Tour Manager were excellent & worked very well together. Day 2 needs better balance between morning & afternoon visits as overall Time was fine. The hotel was lovely and the food very good. Lack of lifts was no problem , and my room was well worth the climb. Didn’t much like Le Shuttle but Adrian is a brilliant driver and made the long drive very comfortable. I hope our fellow traveller who went into hospital has recovered and is safely home. Gill was amazing keeping the tour on track and looking after our very sick colleague. I’m now looking forward to Medieval Burgundy!

Review by who travelled 03-November-2017


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Jill was a brilliant tour guide. I work in travel and have been on many tours and she certainly is the best I have ever been with. No job was too small and she was always willing to help. Julian was also excellent and knew his subject 100%. His lectures and talks were wonderful and he had a great sense of humour. Adrian the coach driver was brilliant and such a steady driver. A wonderful well organized tour from start to finish. It was just a pity I never received the tour information notes.

Review by Parkin who travelled 03-November-2017


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Both Gill Thompson the tour manager and Julian Humphrys the lecturer were brilliant and worked together very effectively to make the trip an unforgettable experience. The Bayeux Tapestry was extraordinary and the displays in the rest of the museum galleries were really good quality and enhanced the whole experience. This is the second time I've travelled with Gill as tour manager on a Travel Editions trip and once again she dealt with a guest's medical emergency in a calm, professional and compassionate way. Gill is a truly outstanding member of staff! All in all, an excellent trip, thank you!

Review by Wise who travelled 03-November-2017


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Very impressed with both tour manager and historian/guide

Review by Bowles who travelled 03-November-2017


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Thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Well managed (Jill) with an interesting and knowledgeable guide (Julian).

Review by Nevill who travelled 03-November-2017


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We've now done 7 tours with you and all have been excellent. Unfortunately one of our friends had to pull out at the last minute due to health problems and Ruth Woodward was taken ill on the coach from Victoria and is still in the hospital in Bayeaux. I would like to say such a big thankyou to Gill our tour manager who was such a great support over this, and managed to arrange hospital visits for us etc so that the rest of us didn't miss any of the tours. Julian is a great person and can lift your spirits whatever the circumstances, this being the third trip we've done with him too. Overall a great trip and everyone was super supportive and helpful with all that was going on, our friend still being in the hospital in Bayeaux. Many thanks to all.

Review by Armstrong who travelled 03-November-2017


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Overall Impression

A very enjoyable trip . Tour manager, Gill Thompson, ensured that everything ran smoothly in spite of some worrying situations. Julian Humphrys was very knowledgeable and entertaining. Looking forward to my next tour with Travel editions.

Review by Groom who travelled 03-November-2017


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All aspects of the tour reached my expectations. Tour guide(s) were very good and gave plenty of historical information so the purpose of the tour was fulfilled most satisfactorily.

Review by Hope who travelled 03-November-2017


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Overall Impression

Le Lion d'Or has an excellent location, but no lift which was acceptable. A minor irritation was the fact that the door into the bedroom (No 20) from the small hallway was on such a tight spring that it was impossible to keep it open. Very difficult to carry a suitcase through. On the whole another good tour.

Review by who travelled 03-November-2017


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