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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
DK Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide: Normandy
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£7.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 29 April 2005
I admit to being a fan of the Eyewitness Guides, this one no exception. Compact, concise and packed with useful information, it's a great introduction to this beautiful, green area of France and encourages you to want to find out more.
(Page 33 mentions the 'Cidre' Route..Brilliant..THAT is highly recommended and although I'm not a Cider drinker..this stuff is wonderful!) There are lots of pics and..oh, this little book has a nice 'feel' to it!! Pop it in your pocket and away you go!!
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on 14 December 2012
This is a good general guide for Normandy. The piece covering Honfleur was useful and informative, but I would have liked a street map for Honfleur included.
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on 14 May 2017
good book had every thing i wanted in it.
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on 1 September 2017
Superb series of guide books by DK, I have a few of them.
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on 16 August 2009
We were on a 3 day whistle stop tour of the D-Day beaches on our way back from holiday in the Vendee. This was a really useful little guide. Nice size for me to carry around, enough information for us to know where to go to make the most of a short time - because there is so much to see around there you could easily run out of time and miss the 'best bits'.

Easy to use, punchy, to the point, and helped me to find some very good things that suited our time and tastes.

It helped me find a few bits that weren't about the war too - but close to where we were.

The fold out map came in handy more than once as well.

I would recommend this book as a good general guide but don't use it exclusively - there are some lovely things to enjoy and see in Normandy that aren't 'Top Ten'.
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on 23 July 2015
I have a large number of these travel guides. What I like about them is their format - each book gives an overview (rather than lots of detail). It provides a summary of what is on offer. Inside is not just the obvious i.e. the Top 10 sights to see. Also you get things like the Top 10 museums & galleries, Top 10 markets, Top 10 Arts & Crafts, Top 10 events etc. - even the Top 10 things to avoid. That makes them very useful, and a unique approach to travel guides. I use them to decide what to do, and then use another book (or a website) to give me more detail if I need that.

This book covers, for example:
 Normandy Highlights
 Mont-Saint-Michel
 Bayeux Tapestry
 Honfleur
 Abbaye de Jumieges
 Cathedrale Notre-Dame, Rouen
 Caen
 Deauville and La Cote Fleurie
 D-Day Beaches
 Pays d'Auge
 Fondation Claude Monet, Giverny
 Top 10 Moments in History
 Top 10 Areas of Natural Beauty
 Top 10 Parks & Gardens
 Top 10 Norman Abbeys
 Top 10 Museums & Galleries
 Top 10 Culinary Highlights
 Top 10 Gourmet Restaurants
 Top 10 Unspoilt Villages
 Top 10 Forests
 Top 10 Activities for Children
 Top 10 Outdoor Activities
 Top 10 Festivals & Events
(This is some, not all)

The book in its physical format is small - just small enough to fit inside a DL envelope (i.e. the standard white envelope, designed to accept a sheet of A4 paper folded twice). It is actually a few centimetres shorter than a DL envelope. This compact size makes it easy to fit into your pocket.

This book can't provide detail - it can provide `the big picture'. I now normally take two travel guides with me - a DK Top 10 one like this and a detailed travel guide, to get the best of both worlds. If you just have a detailed travel guide, you can miss out on things that you wish you had visited.

On a separate issue, I originally bought my Top 10 books in the Kindle format (because I am a Kindle lover) and to my surprise found the Kindle format terribly irritating. It taught me that when using a travel guide, you want to be able to flick quickly through it and jump around easily - that's SO much easier with a physical book. In addition, you want it to be in colour - you can cure that by taking your iPad with you but an iPad is bigger and heavier than this book in its paperback version. You can get round that if you have an iPad mini or a large screen smartphone (neither of which I had when I bought this) but you are still left with the problem of being unable to flick around the book quickly. Travel guides just don't work well in the Kindle format, in my opinion.

You may feel otherwise but that is how I feel. I found the relative awkwardness in flicking around the Kindle book a major handicap. And this is despite the fact that I buy most of my books in Kindle format.

The beauty of these books is that they give you an overview, which means that you end up doing things that you would not have done otherwise.


As the book just provides an overview, I used it in conjunction with a detailed book i.e. The Definitive Battlefield Guide to the D-Day Normandy Landing Beaches: Sixth Edition with Latitude and Longitude References by Holt, Major, Holt, Mrs 6th (sixth) Edition (2011).

I also found Brittany Ferries' iPhone/iPad app useful (and very cheap).

For what it's worth, my favourite D-Day place to visit was Pointe Du Hoc. Please be aware that you can download a free iTunes app on Pointe Du Hoc, created by the American government, which will give you an audio tour - search for `Pointe du Hoc by ABMC' (the American Battle Monuments Commission). It is 21.5Mb (best downloaded in the UK - else find free wifi in France) . Because Pointe du Hoc itself is outdoors and is a self-guided tour, you can visit it after other places have closed. So, for example, the US cemetery at Omaha Beach closes at 6 p.m. in the summer - you could go from there to Pointe du Hoc. The only thing at Pointe du Hoc which you would miss is the museum which closes at 6 p.m. but it is very small - it is nothing like missing the museum at the US cemetery at Omaha Beach. In July when we went, it does not get dark till 11 p.m. so visiting Pointe du Hoc in the evening is not a problem.

Flag break at the US Cemetery at Omaha Beach is at approximately 5.30 p.m. daily and is worth watching.

Two tips:

 If travelling via Le Havre, may I suggest that you visit Honfleur. It is about 20 minutes' drive from the Le Havre ferry terminal, yet only about 5 minutes off the motorway from Le Havre to Caen (so it adds pretty well no time to your journey). You take the first exit after the 'Pont de Normandie' - the impressive bridge - if travelling from Le Havre to Caen. Honfleur makes a great first port of call for breakfast on the way out (if on the overnight ferry), or last port of call on the return journey - and a much more relaxing and civilised end of a holiday than a motorway dash from Normandy for the ferry.

 If you have a diesel car, diesel (not unleaded too, sadly) is a lot cheaper in France than in the UK. In the summer of 2014 we paid approximately 1 GBP per litre at which time it was approximately GBP 1.30 in the UK. So don't make the mistake I once did of `doing the right thing' and filling up your tank immediately before leaving home.

There is a updated version of this book: DK Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide: Normandy
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on 26 March 2008
We took this book to Normandy with us and we thought it was excellent. It tells you all you want to know and isn't a pain to carry around! Well worth the money.
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on 1 August 2011
This book is almost useless. It breaks the various attractions down into top ten lists. It then does not include an address or tagged map for many of the attractions so while you might be fascinated that Pegasus Bridge is one of the Top Ten D Day attractions you'll have to buy another map or guidebook to actually find it. Instead you get a basic map reference, say B3, which gives you the general location of the attraction. Luckily a grid square is only 20 by 20 kilometres so you won't be driving round aimlessly looking for a signpost.

Avoid this book.
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on 4 October 2008
We bought both this and the Michelin Normandy guide. The Michelin green book may contain a lot more details, but if pictures are worth a thousand words each, then this Eyewitness guide more than makes up for the slim volume with pictures of just about every of their recommendations.

Was also delighted to realise there is not just one top-10 list, but this book talks about top-10 cathedrals, top-10 gardens, top-10 historic sites, et cetera - very useful when we needed specific thematic recommendations for our itinerary.
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on 19 April 2012
This is my third Eyewitness Travel guide, but only my first Top 10 guide. I found this guide a great help in planning my trip to Normandy. The guide highlights the best sights all over Normandy with top 10 descriptions of Mont-St-Michel, D-Day sights and museums, the Abbey of Jumieges, Notre-Dame Cathedral in Rouen, the Bayeux Tapestry, sights in Bayeux, Honfleur, Rouen, Caen, Deauville and La Cote Fleurie, Pays D'Auge region, and Giverny (Monet's residence). The guide also has top 10 descriptions of specific subjects including Norman abbeys, museums, areas of natural beauty, parks and gardens, forests, culinary highlights, gourmet restaurants, markets, spas and resorts, unspoiled villages, artist and writers in Normandy, arts and crafts, activities for children, outdoor activities, and festivals and events. Then the guide provides top 10 descriptions by regions with several grouping in each region. For instance in Northeastern Normandy, they have top 10 areas in the region followed by top 10 sections on best of the rest, chateaux, places to shop, and places to eat. The subjects for the top 10 sections for each region vary. There is also a Streetsmart section that covers top 10 subjects including getting to Normandy, getting around Normandy, sources of information, things to avoid, eating and drinking tips, shopping tips, Normandy on a budget, banking and communications, security and health, and several sections on different types of hotels and camping accommodations. As with all the other Eyewitness Travel guides, there are helpful maps on the cover folds with gridlines for locating sights. In addition the pictures are excellent and definitely helpful in making planning decisions.

I actually got an older version of the guide used for cheap through Amazon. My purpose for the book was more to determine which cities I would visit during a two week vacation. Since I didn't expect the main sights to change and was not as concerned about hotel and restaurant recommendations this worked for me, but if you want more up to date info on this stuff you should obviously get the latest guide. As this is a top 10 guide, it is not sufficient to complete all your plans. You'll want to check other resources to fill in the gaps. This is probably not for you if you are going to only a specific city as there is limited content for any one area. My only complaint is there is limited coverage of Norman castles. Castles are regulated to a few small references in best of the rest sections. There are other sources for this. One that will also give you some history on the Normans and Norman castles is The Normans: Warrior Knights and Their Castles (General Military). Happy vacationing.
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