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Anglo French Tour | Normandy, Brittany, Channel Islands tour

Our 21 night program has daily itineraries with plenty of authentic experiences provided by passionate local guides in the key destinations in France, Channel Islands and England for this small group of like minded people. For Solo travellers minimal single supplement applies for this European tour.

From A$14,995 AUD

Available
France tour

Highlights

  1. 1. Explore the Isle of Wight, favoured holiday spot for Britain’s royalty in the Victorian and Edwardian eras.
  2. 2. Visit and explore the World heritage site Mont St Michel.
  3. 3. Explore Normandy’s D-Day Beaches, museums, and monuments.
  4. 4. Experience the French atmosphere of the British Channel Islands.
Anglo French Tour | Normandy, Brittany, Channel Islands tour itinerary

Departure Dates

Departure Date Price
06 September 2021

Ends 27 September 2021

Selected
24 April 2022

Ends 15 May 2022

09 May 2022

Ends 30 May 2022

05 September 2022

Ends 26 September 2022

23 April 2023

Ends 14 May 2023

08 May 2023

Ends 29 May 2023

04 September 2023

Ends 25 September 2023

Normandy, Brittany, Channel Islands tour

Odyssey Traveller's fully escorted Anglo French small group tour is designed for senior or mature travellers, couples, solo travellers, or friends travelling together. This Normandy, Brittany, Channel Islands tour shows how - despite the long and famous rivalry between the two nations - English and French history are deeply intertwined. We begin by exploring northern France and then cross the English Channel to the tiny autonomous Channel Islands of Jersey, Guernsey, and Sark. The tour finally spends two nights on the historic Isle of Wight before concluding in London, England.

Itinerary of the Normandy, Brittany, Channel Islands tour

Our fully escorted Small group history tour combines the dramatic scenery of Normandy and Brittany with the quirky history and natural beauty of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Wight.

After an initial night in Paris, we move towards the peaceful verdant landscape of Normandy. On the way, we stop in at Giverny, the rural idyll where Claude Monet created the world-famous Water Lilies painting series. After a walking tour of the Gardens, we continue to Rouen where we have time to explore the surrounding area. Our coach continues to Bayeux, Normandy for an overnight stay and dinner at a local restaurant.

In Normandy, we delve into the region's diverse landscape and turbulent history. Our small group tour explores Normandy's medieval prestige at Bayeux, home to the famous Bayeux Tapestry, and Caen, where William the Conqueror made his capital. We also pay respect to the sacrifices of British, American and Canadian soldiers during World War Two at Normandy’s D-Day Beaches, war museums, and monuments.

We then travel to Brittany. While here, we learn about the strongly separate Celtic culture on a wild seafaring peninsula dotted with mysterious standing stones and dolmens - including Brittany’s Standing Stones at Carnac. We also explore St Malo and the fortified port of Malo and the ancient Concarneau. Before departing for the Channel islands we stop to explore the heritage listed medieval monastery, Mont St Michel.

Leaving the Carentan peninsula by ferry, we make a ferry trip to the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey, which boast charming historic ports such as St Helier and St Peter amid a stunning island landscape. You learn on the Anglo French small group tour that the islands are not part of the United Kingdom but are British Crown Dependencies, with a delightful mix of English and French culture. We also make a visit to the tiny island of Sark, a medieval time warp where motor vehicles are banned and the Seigneur of Sark has continued to rule since the Middle Ages. Garden lovers will particularly appreciate the formal gardens of La Seigneurie, set beside a 17th century castle. The Channel Islands enjoyed a resurgence in interest following recent films

Finally, we also have the chance to see the Isle of Wight, a favoured holiday spot for Britain’s royalty in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The Isle of Wight is known for its stunning coastal scenery, its world-famous sailing, and the old world charm of its Victorian seaside resorts. We will enjoy a private tour of Queen Victoria's summer residence, Osborne House, before ending our journey in London.

For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.

You might also check out our profiles on France and the Channel Islands, where all other Odyssey tour departures are listed to these destinations.

About Normandy, Brittany and the Channel Islands:

Normandy:

Apple orchards, contented cows, and pungent cheese: these are the charming images that spring into most people's minds when they think of Normandy. But the province's bucolic image belies a turbulent history. The name Normandy (French: Normandie) derives from Vikings - or Northmen/Normans - who established a capital at Rouen in the 10th century. These Vikings adopted the French language and culture, and established the Duchy of Normandy, one of Medieval Europe's great powers. In 1066, William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, invaded England - changing world history as we know it. For almost two hundred years afterwards, the Duchy of Normandy was contested between England and France; while in the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) England reclaimed Normandy. Finally, in 1450, Normandy came under French control, and has since been ruled as a province of France.

During World War Two, Normandy yet again became a flashpoint of international conflict. The liberation of Western Europe from Nazi occupation began on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944. The cities of Normandy, such as Caen and Le Havre, saw extensive damage and population loss during the fighting. Today, Normandy is home to many of Western Europe's most moving memorials to the sacrifice of war.

For more information on Normandy, take a look at our article, Ten things to do in France, which discusses the history and culture of the region.

Brittany:

The wild coastal peninsula of Brittany is perhaps France's most independent region, with a history and culture that connects it as closely to the Celtic world as the rest of France. Brittany (Breton: Breizh) was settled by Celts from Britain in the 5th and 6th centuries, seeking refuge from Anglo-Saxons then settling in England. Through the Middle Ages, Brittany fought to maintain its independence from Carolingians and Vikings, but was incorporated into France in 1532. Today, Brittany remains fiercely independent. Locals speak Breton, a language closely related to the Celtic languages of Ireland, Scotland, and Cornwall, and continue to perform Celtic song and dance at the annual Festival de Cornouaille held in Quimper. In addition to its distinctive Celtic culture, Brittany offers rugged coastal scenery, prehistoric standing stones, and delicious cuisine (after all, this province is the birthplace of the humble crêpe).

For more information on prehistoric standing stones, take a look at our articles on standing stones in England: Exploring Britain's Neolithic Past and Standing Stones in Prehistoric Britain.

Jersey:

The island of Jersey - like the rest of the Channel Islands, so called because of their English Channel location - is an independent bailiwick of the British Crown, self-governing and not part of the United Kingdom. This strange legal status dates back to the year 1204, when the King of England renounced all claims to territory on mainland France, but maintained rule of the Channel Islands.

The largest and most populous of the Channel Islands, Jersey is the most French in culture. With a landscape resembling Normandy - apple orchards, overgrown country lanes, and stone farmhouses - Jersey is an agricultural paradise, which brought the world the famous Jersey cow. The capital, St. Helier, is a pretty beach town, while Jersey offers some of the best beaches under the dominion of the Queen of England.

Guernsey:

Guernsey, the second-biggest and second-most populous of the Channel Islands is more English than Jersey, a place where 'politeness is a way of life'. Literature buffs will enjoy visiting Hauteville House, where Victor Hugo found exile from Napoleon III's France and completed his masterpiece, Les Miserables. Guernsey is also home to fascinating war museums commemorating the occupation of the Channel Islands by Nazis during World War II. Flatter than Jersey, bucolic Guernsey is ideal for exploration on foot - head to the secluded beaches of Pemboke Bay, Vazon Bay, and Côbo Bay, and watch out for 'hedge veg' stalls, selling fresh produce straight from the farm.

For more information on Jersey and Guernsey, check out our article on the Channel Islands: Wildflowers, Potato Peel Pies and Rebels.

Isle of Wight:

Inhabited since the Bronze Age, the Isle of Wight is home to fascinating historical sites, from the Brading Roman Villa, one of Britain's best preserved, to Carisbrooke Castle, where King Charles I was imprisoned before his 1648 execution. But the island came into its own as a fashionable holiday destination in the Victorian Era, led by Queen Victoria herself. 'It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot', said Queen Victoria of her Isle of Wight estate, Osborne House. Decorated in the exuberant Victorian taste of the Queen and her beloved husband, Prince Albert, Osborne House is a view into the private world of the royal couple, where they raised their children - and where Victoria mourned for years after her husband's death. In 1878, Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated an early version of the telephone to the Queen at Osborne House, placing calls to Cowes, Southampton, and London. Following the Queen, the Isle of Wight became a magnet for Victorian-era celebrities, ranging from Charles Dickens and Alfred, Lord Tennyson, to the leading impressionist Berthe Morisot. Today, visitors are drawn to the island for its beautiful scenery and Victorian charm.

Articles about the Channel Islands published by Odyssey Traveller

For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.

External articles to assist you on your visit to the Channel Islands

Articles about France published by Odyssey Traveller

The following list of articles, represents some of the articles published by Odyssey Traveller for mature aged and senior travellers to maximise their knowledge and enjoyment of France when visiting;

For all the articles published by Odyssey Traveller, please click through to this link

External articles to assist you plan your visit to France

Itinerary

22 days

Day 1: Paris

Upon arrival in Paris, we will come to the hotel individually. There is time to relax and freshen up before our welcome meeting and dinner, where the tour host will introduce you to the rest of the group.

Day 2: Paris - Bayeux

In the morning we depart from Paris, stopping first to visit the Fondation Monet House. We have lunch individually before continuing to Rouen, where we will have time to explore the area with the Tour Leader. Our coach then continues to Bayeux, where we will have dinner at our hotel.

Normandy, with its diversity of landscape and rich heritage, derived its name from the Viking Norsemen, who made Rouen their capital. After the conquest of Britain it became part of the Plantagenet Empire, and is now regarded as a typically French region of apple orchards, contented cows, cider, and pungent cheeses. Normandy’s peaceful pastoral landscape belies its historic conquests and devastating experiences during World War II. We will learn about how Normandy’s history has been inextricably linked to that of Britain and how its history, heritage and culture have been influential since the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066 through to the 20th century. We will experience Normandy’s historic cities, its typical villages, its artistic heritage, local produce, and cuisine.

Day 3: Bayeux

Today we will have a city tour of Caen, where William the Conqueror’s favoured residence was located. We will visit the Abbaye aux Hommes and the Abbaye aux Dames, both of which were constructed in the 11th century under the instruction of William the Conqueror and his wife.

Day 4: Bayeux

Today we will have a full day touring the D Day Beaches with a battlefield expert, making visits to Omaha beach, the D Day Landing Museum and a German artillery battery.

Day 5: Bayeux

Today we will visit the medieval city of Bayeux. First stop is a visit to the see the famous Bayeux Tapestry, the 70 meter long strip of embroidered linen that tells the story of the Norman’s conquest of England in 1066. We then transfer to Ducy Vergers de Ducy, where we will taste the regions ciders, juices and calvados.

Day 6: Bayeux to Rennes

En route to Brittany we explore the impressive island of Mont-St-Michel. Linked to mainland France via a narrow causeway, the fortified island has had strategic value for over a millennium. Walking up the island’s winding streets, the town’s architecture survives as the final manifestation of the ideas of feudalism. Tourists first walk past the houses for the fishermen and farmers at the bottom of the island, then up through the twisting commercial district, before climbing past the great halls of the nobility and finally reaching the monastery, perched at the top of the island. We then continue to Rennes, arriving in time for dinner at the hotel.

Day 7: Rennes to Fouesnant

We have a guided tour this morning of Rennes viewing the main historic sights.We travel onto Vannes with free time in the afternoon to explore. Late afternoon we travel onto Fouesnant on the west coast of France in Brittany, with a dinner at the hotel in the evening. Its rugged shores washed by the Atlantic, Brittany has a strong Celtic heritage. . It is a wild seafaring peninsula dotted with mysterious standing stones, dolmens, and cromlechs. Bretons have their own language and cuisine, with the Duchy of Brittany not becoming part of France until the 15th century. The gentle scenery of the southern Breton coastline contrasts with the rugged grandeur of the north.

Day 8: Fouesnant

Today we will enjoy local treats in Benodet, before travelling on to the ancient cathedral city of Quimper for a city tour.

Day 9: Fouesnant

Today we will have a guided tour of the megalithic standing stones in Carnac, which are as old as Stonehenge, and explore the Quiberon Peninsula. We then drive on to Lorient, where we will have a guided tour, followed by a visit to the Flore submarine museum. To finish the days activities, we will take an hour-long boat tour of Pleasure Boat Harbour, renowned for its scenic views.

Day 10: Fouesnant

Today we will have a guided tour of the main sights of Concarneau. The town has two distinct areas: the modern town on the mainland, and the medieval walled town Ville Close, which sits on an island and is separated from the mainland by a drawbridge. Having walked through the city, we will take a boat cruise across the town’s beautiful bay. You will then have some free time to explore the artistic village Pont-Aven, before we return for a group dinner at the hotel.

Day 11: Fouesnant to Trebeurden

Today we make the trip from Fouesnant to Trebeurden. We stop off at several points to visit a few of the region’s quintessential parish churches in the morning. Continuing our journey in the afternoon, we will also stop to take a tour of the 7 Isles in Perros-Guirec.

Day 12: Dinan

In the morning we transfer to cote d’Amor, before heading on to Tregastel, where we will visit the local aquarium and delve into the town’s wartime history. Next we travel to Dinan, one of the most attractive and well-preserved towns in Brittany, where we will have a guided tour, followed by dinner in the hotel.

Day 13: St Helier, Jersey

In the morning we depart Dinan and enjoy a walking tour of St.Malo before heading to the port of St. Malo where we take our ferry to the Channel Island of Jersey. We will have dinner at the hotel. Measuring less than 120 square kilometres, the Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, and together with the Bailiwick of Guernsey (less than 80 square kilometres) it forms the grouping known as the Channel Islands. These are separate possessions of the British Crown and are not part of the UK. Their history and culture are influenced by their strategic location between the northern coast of France and the southern coast of England. Formerly under the control of Brittany, invaded by Vikings, and annexed to the Duchy of Normandy, they emerged as miniature self–governing territories. The islands have a seafaring tradition and their trade with the Newfoundland fisheries gave rise to the name New Jersey in the US. Trade further laid the foundations of these attractive islands’ prosperity as well as agriculture (Jersey and Guernsey cows are recognisable the world over), milling, fishing, shipbuilding, and financial services. Each island has its own heritage and patois, but during World War II they were the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by Nazi Germany. Both islands boast charming historic ports and towns such as St. Helier and St. Peter Port as well as famous former residents like the actress Lillie Langtry (the Jersey Lily) and Victor Hugo, who wrote some of his best-known works while in exile in Guernsey.

Day 14: St. Helier

Today we will tour the town and port of St. Helier. We will visit the Jersey Museum and see the Occupation Tapestry, made to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Island’s liberation, this richly coloured tapestry tells the story of life in Jersey during the Second World War. We will make the short journeys to to Grouville and Gorey, where we will visit La Hogue Bie site and the dramatic Castle of Mont Orgueil respectively.

Day 15: St. Helier

On Jersey we learn about the island’s history and culture as we explore the capital St. Helier on a guided walking tour. We learn about the occupation of the island with a visit to the Jersey War Tunnels. Built by the Germans during World War II, over 1km of tunnels maze their way beneath Jersey’s surface. We then finish the day with visits to the iconic lighthouse in Corbierre and stop off at the beautiful St Aubins Bay.

Day 16: Jersey to Guernsey

After breakfast we visit Elizabeth Castle, which has stood guard over Jersey for more than 300 years. We will have some free time for more exploring before boarding the ferry to Guernsey, where we will explore the bustling cobble-stoned streets of St. Peter Port. We tour the island and view its soaring cliffs and rural backdrops, before making our way to the hotel for a group dinner.

Day 17: Guernsey

Today we will make our way to the Occupation Museum, which houses a rare collection of original documents and items from the war. We will then continue on to les Vauxbelets, where we will visit the Little Chapel, before having lunch as a group at a local farmhouse restaurant.

Day 18: Guernsey

We will take a ferry to the neighbouring islet of Sark to visit its Seigneurie Gardens, where we take a scenic carriage ride. The island has no cars and has been traditionally run almost feudally by its Seigneur under powers granted by Elizabeth I. There has been some recent reform and Sark now comes under the government of Guernsey, but it is still a fascinating and tranquil place to visit, known for its dramatic seascapes, abundant wildflowers, and seabirds.

Day 19: Portsmouth

Before we head off to Portsmouth, we have a guided tour of Hauteville House, Victor Hugo’s former home. We also take time to explore the Dorey Centre with entrance to see the Guernsey Tapestry. From Guernsey we take the Ferry to Poole, which takes approximately 3.5 hours. On arrival we’ll transfer to Portsmouth for an overnight stay.

Day 20: Cowes

After breakfast we take the ferry to Isle of Wight and on arrival enjoy a full day exploring the island. Late afternoon we transfer to Cowes where we stay overnight, where a meal is provided. The Isle of Wight is England’s largest island, separated from the mainland by the Solent. The island is known for its outstanding natural beauty, its world-famous sailing, and the old world charm of its Victorian seaside resorts. It has a rich history, including a brief status as an independent kingdom in the 15th century. Until 1995, in common with Jersey and Guernsey, the island had its own Governor, most notably Lord Mountbatten. It was home to the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, and to Queen Victoria, who built her much loved summer residence and final home Osborne House at East Cowes. The island’s maritime and industrial history encompasses boat building, sail making and the manufacture of flying boats. The island has some exceptional wildlife and is one of the richest locations of dinosaur fossils in Europe. On the Isle of Wight, we learn about the geology and history of this island with a guided tour to include the historic Victorian seaside resorts of Ventnor and Shanklin. We will see the dramatic coastal scenery of the Needles, the old port of Yarmouth, ancient Carisbrooke Castle which once held Charles I prisoner, Newport, the island’s capital, and Cowes, famed for its sailing regatta.

Day 21: London

In the morning we will visit Queen Victoria’s Osborne House and local sights in Cowes with some free time. We take a coach to Fishbourne Port and then take the ferry to Southhampton with a coach transfer to London. Our farewell dinner this evening will be in a local restaurant.

Day 22: London

Our tour concludes after breakfast.

Includes / Excludes

What’s included in our Tour

  • 21 nights hotel accommodation.
  • 21 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 10 dinners.
  • Touring by comfortable modern coach with ferry links between islands.
  • Transport and field trips as indicated.
  • Applicable entry fees and services of local guides.
  • Services of a Tour Leader.
  • Gratuities and necessary tips.
  • Detailed tour information booklet.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Return international airfares and departure taxes.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Items of a personal nature such as telephone calls and laundry.
Level 2 - Moderate

Participants must be able to carry their own luggage, climb and descend stairs, be in good health, mobile and able to participate in 3-5 hours of physical activity per day, the equivalent of walking / hiking up to 8 kilometers per day on uneven ground.

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Departure

06 September 2021

Available

Ends 27 September 2021 • 22 nights

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Room Type

Single room
A$17,395
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A$14,995 pp

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You can reserve your spot by paying a A$500 deposit, pay the rest 90 days before departure (excludes AU/NZ tours).

Pay Deposit
A$1,000
Pay Full
A$29,990

Prices are per person and valid until 30th December 2021.

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If less than 30 days before your tour starts you are unable to travel as a result of Government travel restrictions, Odyssey Traveller will assist you with a date change, provide you with a credit or process a refund for your booking less any non-recoverable costs.

See Terms and conditions for details.

Peace of Mind Travel

The safety of our travellers, tour leader, local guide and support staff has always been our top priority and with the new guidelines for public health and safety for keeping safe for destinations around the world, we’ve developed our plan to give you peace of mind when travelling with us.

See Peace of Mind Travel for details.

Reviews

Every day was a wonderful experience but looking back, so many places stand out like beautiful dreams, including Monet's Garden, Mont Saint Michelle, the oyster farmers, the Bayeux Tapestry, the Jersey lanes, cruising Les Sept Isles among the rookeries, Sark, Saint Malo, plus so much history, including the D-Day landings & WWll experiences. I unreservedly recommend this tour. Barbara 'May 18

Jan was a wonderful leader who helped us enjoy the French experience much more than I expected. Despite the pretty ordinary weather, my opinion of France is markedly better than before the tour. A great tour overall. Geoff 'May 18

I was impressed by the number of places we visited. It was a very full itinerary which I like. We saw things of interest every day. I see no fault with the tour.

Participant 2017

Reading List Download PDF

The History of Modern France: From the Revolution to the War on Terror

With the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815, the next two centuries for France would be tumultuous. Bestselling historian and political commentator Jonathan Fenby provides an expert and riveting journey through this period as he recounts and analyses the extraordinary sequence of events of this period from the end of the First Revolution through two others, a return of Empire, three catastrophic wars with Germany, periods of stability and hope interspersed with years of uncertainty and high tensions. As her cross-Channel neighbour Great Britain would equally suffer, France was to undergo the wrenching loss of colonies in the post-Second World War as the new modern world we know today took shape. Her attempts to become the leader of the European union is a constant struggle, as was her lack of support for America in the two Gulf Wars of the past twenty years. Alongside this came huge social changes and cultural landmarks but also fundamental questioning of what this nation, which considers itself exceptional, really stood - and stands - for. That saga and those questions permeate the France of today, now with an implacable enemy to face in the form of Islamic extremism which so bloodily announced itself this year in Paris. Fenby will detail every event, every struggle and every outcome across this expanse of 200 years. It will prove to be the definitive guide to understanding France.

By Jonathan Fenby

How the French Think: An Affectionate Portrait of an Intellectual People

Sudhir Hazareesingh's How the French Think is a warm yet incisive exploration of the French intellectual tradition, and its exceptional place in a nation's identity and lifestyle

Why are the French an exceptional nation? Why do they think they are so exceptional? An important reason is that in France intellectual activity is regarded not just as the preserve of the thinking elite but for almost everyone. French thought can sometimes be austere and often opaque, yet it is undeniably bold and innovative, and driven by a relentless quest for the regeneration of humanity. Sudhir Hazareesingh traces its tumultuous history in an enormously enjoyable and highly original manner, showing how the French ways of thought and life connect. This will be one of the most revealing books written about them - or any other European country - for years.

Sudhir Hazareesingh was born in Mauritius. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and has been a Fellow and Tutor in Politics at Balliol College, Oxford, since 1990. Among his books are The Legend of Napoleon (Granta, 2004) and Le MytheGaullien (Gallimard, 2010). He won the Prix du Memorial d'Ajaccio and the Prix de la Fondation Napoleon for the first of these, and a Prix d'Histoire du Senat for the second.

By Sudhir Hazareesingh

Lower Normandy: French Impressions

The sixth in the popular French Impressions series, taking the form of a personal travel narrative exploring the three departéments of Lower Normandy. As well as reviewing more than a hundred towns and villages and tourist attractions, the book looks at the historical events and peoples which helped form the unique character of this part of France. The book also features the recipes and background to many traditional and unusual Norman dishes. In all, a complete celebration of one of Frances most beautiful and fascinating areas.

From the D-Day Beaches to the birthplace of William the Conqueror, George East’s unique style paints a gloriously coloured picture of some of the most visited and intriguing parts of Normandy. Learn about where your favourite cheeses come from, along with recipes for exciting and traditional dishes.

By George East

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

By Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer

Book Depository

The Model Occupation: The Channel Islands Under German Rule, 1940-1945

What would have happened if the Nazis had invaded Britain? How would the British people have responded – with resistance or collaboration? In Madeleine Bunting’s pioneering study, we begin to find the answers to this age-old question.

Though rarely remembered today, the Nazis occupied the British Channel Islands for much of the Second World War. In piecing together the fragments left behind – from the love affairs between island women and German soldiers, the betrayals and black marketeering, to the individual acts of resistance – Madeleine Bunting has brought this uncomfortable episode of British history into full view with spellbinding clarity.

By Madeleine Bunting

Menagerie Manor

This is the hugely entertaining account of how the much-loved conservationist and author Gerald Durrell fulfilled his lifelong ambition by founding his own private sanctuary for endangered species in Jersey with the help of an enduring wife, a selfless staff and a reluctant bank manager. With a foreword by Lee Durrell, Honorary Director of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, this book about the trials and wonders of living in the middle of a zoo is a classic that will continue to bring pleasure to those who grew up reading Durrell, and deserves a whole new readership.

By Gerald Durell

Secret Guernsey

Guernsey is small - only 25 square miles - but it holds a depth of history and intrigue far greater than its size. Early prehistoric beginnings allied to a Norman French heritage and a long period of loyalty to the English Crown have produced a unique culture - a melting pot of religious, political and economic activity. The islanders' stories can be found everywhere - from the sea-swept coast and rural country lanes, to the bustle of St Peter Port, in buildings, churches and charming quaint, granite houses. Take a journey through this familiar landscape to find what lies beneath - stories of the unusual, the intriguing or the plain odd. From serial duellists to romantic poets; confusing road names to land reclamation; mysterious stones to pagan offerings, Secret Guernsey is filled with unexpected tales of island life and history, and invites you to explore the island for yourself and uncover more unfound treasures through stunning colour photographs.

By Amanda Bennett

France: A History: from Gaul to de Gaulle

I can still feel, as if it were yesterday, the excitement of my first Channel crossing (as a child of nearly 7) in September 1936; the regiment of porters, smelling asphyxiatingly of garlic in their blue-green blousons; the raucous sound all around me of spoken French; the immense fields of Normandy strangely devoid of hedges; then the Gare du Nord at twilight, the policemen with their képis and their little snow-white batons; and my first sight of the Eiffel Tower...This book is written in the belief that the average English-speaking man or woman has remarkably little knowledge of French history. We may know a bit about Napoleon or Joan of Arc or Louis XIV, but for most of us that's about it. In my own three schools we were taught only about the battles we won: Crécy and Poitiers, Agincourt and Waterloo. The rest was silence. So here is my attempt to fill in the blanks...

John Julius Norwich (at 88) has finally written the book he always wanted to write, the extremely colourful story of the country he loves best.

From frowning Roman generals and belligerent Gallic chieftains, to Charlemagne (hated by generations of French children taught that he invented schools) through Marie Antoinette and the storming of the Bastille to Vichy, the Resistance and beyond, FRANCE is packed with heroes and villains, adventures and battles, romance and revolution. Full of memorable stories and racy anecdotes, this is the perfect introduction to the country that has inspired the rest of the world to live, dress, eat -- and love better.

By John Julius Norwich

Becoming Bourgeois: Love, Kinship, and Power in Provincial France, 1670–1880

Becoming Bourgeois traces the fortunes of three French families in the municipality of Vannes, in Brittany—Galles, Jollivet, and Le Ridant—who rose to prominence in publishing, law, the military, public administration, and intellectual pursuits over the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Revisiting complex issues of bourgeois class formation from the perspective of the interior lives of families, Christopher H. Johnson argues that the most durable and socially advantageous links forging bourgeois ascent were those of kinship. Economic success, though certainly derived from the virtues of hard work and intelligent management, was always underpinned by marriage strategies and the diligent intervention of influential family members.

Johnson's examination of hundreds of personal letters opens up a whole world: the vicissitudes of courtship; the centrality of marriage; the depths of conjugal love; the routines of pregnancy and the drama of childbirth; the practices of child rearing and education; the powerful place of siblings; the role of kin in advancing the next generation; tragedy and deaths; the enormous contributions of women in all aspects of becoming bourgeois; and the pleasures of gathering together in intimate soirées, grand balls, country houses, and civic and political organizations. Family love bound it all together, and this is ultimately what this book is about, as four generations of rather ordinary provincial people capture our hearts.

By Christopher H Johnson

Is Paris Burning?

"'Is Paris burning?' was a question that Hitler persistently put to his commander in the French capitol during August 1944. Thus begins the absorbing account of the liberation of Paris. You will be moved by the descriptions and want to see Paris to witness what history allowed to survive. Is Paris Burning? is researched with meticulous and riveting detail, well narrated and certain to keep you intrigued."

By Larry Collins and Dominique La Pierre

All the Light We Cannot See

A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II, from the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr. The book won the Pulitzer Price in 2015 for Fiction.

By Anthony Doerr

D-Day Landing Beaches: The Guide

This spectacular, large format, full color, new book is quite simply the most impressive book of its type we have seen. Packed with over 200 photographs, maps and charts, the book is divided into the sectors associated with the Normandy landings in 1944.

By Georges Bernage

Balleine's History of Jersey

Jersey has a remarkable history, especially during the many centuries since it became an exposed, surviving outpost of Duke William's Duchy, within sight of France yet attached to the English Crown. More than most mainland people, its inhabitants are fiercely conscious of their special identity and history; while more than most islanders they are aware of the uniqueness of their heritage, produced by the interaction of two cultures and two rich sources of tradition. It is not surprising that when the first great History of the Island of Jersey appeared in 1959 it enjoyed such immediate popularity that it soon ran out of print. The result of long years of careful and scholarly research by G.R. Balleine, it was instantly accepted as the definitive history of the island. Books are often described as a "classic," but few justify the accolade as thoroughly as this great work, which enjoys an unrivalled pre-eminence in Jersey literature. This new edition will maintain its position as the book on Jersey well into the next millennium. It will be welcomed by Jersey people everywhere.

By Marguerite Syvret and Joan Stevens

Balleine's History of Jersey

Living With The Enemy: An Outline Of The German Occupation Of The Channel Islands With First Hand Accounts By People Who Remember The Years 1940 To 1945

During the Second World War the Channel Islands were the only part of Britain to be occupied by German forces. 'Living With the Enemy' tells the story of life on the Islands under Nazi rule, with eye-witness accounts from both islanders and German soldiers, the book gives an accurate insight into this ill-assorted community at war.

By Roy McLoughlin

Living With The Enemy: An Outline Of The German Occupation Of The Channel Islands With First Hand Accounts By People Who Remember The Years 1940 To 1945

Articles

Loire Valley, Bridge in France

10 of the best France travel books

10 Travel Books About France It has been said that ‘no other nation on the planet approaches France in its subtle and seamless blend of the old and the new; the industrial and the pastoral’.…

5 Oct 17 · 2 mins read
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Exploring Paris and France by rail

France Guide for Mature or Senior travellers

France Guide for Mature or Senior Travellers There are good reasons why France has been the world’s most popular tourist destination for over twenty years. This France guide should give […]

6 Jun 17 · 10 mins read
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Channel Islands

Channel Islands; wildflowers, potato peel pies & rebels

Get ready to explore the Channel Islands Jersey, you say? Aren’t they the shirts footballers wear? Think again, traveller. Picture a smattering of tiny islands, a mere stone’s throw from England and France, peppered with…

8 Jun 18 · 8 mins read
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Fort Houmet Herbe, Alderney

Alderney, Channel Islands

A tour of Alderney takes you to he most remote part of the Channel Islands. Participants on a tour of Alderney discover an atmospheric paradise for history buffs and nature lovers, an island of eerie ruins and stunning beautiful beaches.

28 Jan 20 · 3 mins read
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Channel Islands Port travel

Guernsey, Channel Islands

Guernsey, Channel Islands A tour of Guernsey takes you to the second-largest of the Channel Isles, Guernsey island is the most English, a place where ‘politeness is a way of life’. The island of Guernsey…

28 Jan 20 · 3 mins read
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St Aubin Jersey

Jersey, Channel Islands

Jersey is the largest and southernmost of the Channel Islands, an archipelago which sits in the English Channel.

28 Jan 20 · 4 mins read
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Elizabeth Castle, Saint Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands, UK.

St. Helier, Jersey

Saint Helier, Jersey The capital of Jersey, Saint Helier is a charming town with a vibrant foodie and shopping scene, and an ideal location from which to base your tour of Jersey and the Channel…

28 Jan 20 · 4 mins read
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Bayeux

Bayeux, France

The quaint medieval city of Bayeux is home to one big ticket item – the fascinating Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the Norman Conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066. Though the origins of the tapestry are debated by historians, it is of great artistic interest and is an important historical source.

27 Jan 20 · 3 mins read
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Caen, France

Caen, France

The city of Caen, with a dramatic history spanning from the time of William the Conqueror to the D-Day Landing, is a highlight of any Normandy tour.

27 Jan 20 · 4 mins read
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Monet's Giverny Garden

Monet's Giverny Garden

Monet’s Giverny Garden Claude Monet French Impressionist Claude Monet (1840-1926) was a pioneer of a major art movement, but he created a thing of beauty that he believed eclipsed even his own celebrated works of art.…

11 Sep 18 · 12 mins read
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Monet's gift to France

Monet's Water Lillies: The Definitive Guide for Travellers

Claude Monet’s Water Lilies are among the most beloved and amazing artworks of the 20th century. Displayed in Paris’s Orangerie in a set of rooms devoted entirely to the paintings, they are Monet’s gift to…

22 Mar 19 · 8 mins read
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Mont Saint Michel

Mont-St-Michel, France

In 966, a Benedictine abbey was built on the island and Mont St-Michel became a centre of religious learning, attracting the brightest minds and most talented artists from around Europe.

27 Jan 20 · 3 mins read
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South West France.

South West France

South West France Travelling the Canal du Midi: this article will help mature and senior travellers understand the cultural and geographical links between the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea through Southwestern France as they prepare…

25 Nov 18 · 11 mins read
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