We had been on holiday to Bergerac in France and on the way back to Calais (a long drive at any time but squashed into the back of the car with my two grandsons it felt much longer!), we decided to have a night in Bayeux to see the famous Bayeux Tapestry. I had heard about this so often in the past but was never in the area to visit it. History lessons at school had made me aware of it and I knew the gist of the story behind it but I was so pleasantly surprised when I did actually get to see it that I thought I should recommend it here!
It is housed in a museum in the centre of Bayeux (right near the Cathedral which is also well worth a visit). The staff were very helpful and equipped us all with an audio guide which you hold like a mobile phone and can listen to the commentary. There was even a child’s version for our 10 year old which (although I couldn’t hear what was being said) obviously, from his laughter and sniggers, made the visit as interesting for him as it was for us. You walk through two long rooms and the Tapestry tells the story of William The Conquerors invasion of England and the death of King Harold. It depicts more than 600 characters, 200 horses, forty ships and hundreds of animals and mythological figures. Unique in the world it is considered as one of the first comic strips in history (the 10 year old particularly liked that concept!).
As well as the Tapestry there are other models and exhibits in the museum and we spent a good few hours there. There was even a short film showing how the Tapestry was created. Very much a place to visit.