The walking path to Longues-sur-Mer and yes… the gulls really do fly alongside you.

Arromanches is a great place to get out in the fresh air and take in the stunning views and history of the area. You can follow the cliff top paths or stroll along the flat sandy beaches for kilometres.

When the tide is out you can walk east along the beach to the other end of the Mulberry Harbour at Asnelles in under an hour. If the tide is high then its likely you’ll get wet feet as the tide covers the beach to the cliff face twice a day.  Instead, follow the signs up the hill from Arromanches to the 360 degree cinema and take the new footpath/cyclepath that follows the road from Arromanches to Asnelles.  Of course when you get to Asnelles you’ll have earned one of the legendary fruit tarts at the Asnelles bakery (be prepared to queue on a weekend at this unassuming little bakery).

Further along the coastline from Asnelles the beach walks continue along Sword Beach past the oyster farms and 12km later… to the pretty harbour at Courseulles-sur-Mer where a great range of seafood restaurants await.  It’s a fair day’s walking for most but we’ve had a few guests on bikes head there for lunch and have a great day.

The cliff top path to Longes-sur-Mer. Note the old path which has now dropped away (I walked on that path less than two years ago so the danger is real everyone!)

In the other direction from Arromanches (heading west) the path goes along the cliff tops where you’ll often suddenly find yourself eye-to-eye with seagulls coming up from the tides below.  Its around 5km (an hour plus) along to the gun batteries at Longues sur Mer with the dramatic coastline on one side and open fields on the other.  You’ll pass an old foundry (which is home to a colony of white owls in winter) and at this point leave the wide gravel path and take the smaller footpath than runs alongside the clifftops. Be warned, there are no fences along this very steep cliff and I wouldn’t recommend the walk for curious youngsters keen to see over the edge.

If you’re feeling fit, you can continue on from Longues sur Mer to the pretty working fishing village of Port en Bessin.  Filled with great seafood restaurants selling the morning’s catch, Port en Bessin was a key set in the epic film about D-Day “The Longest Day” where it is used to portray Ouistreham.  Its a good two hour plus (12km) walk each way so a lunch stop will be well earned.

On a warm summers day some of the loveliest places to walk are in France’s beautiful forests, and around 25 minutes in the car will get you to the Foret de Cerisy.  Long, wide paths through dappled light, the chance to glimpse deer, rabbits and other forest critters, and if you plan it right, to emerge near Balleroy in time for tea in the knot garden in front of the stunning Chateau de Balleroy owned by the Forbes family.

For more walking itineraries just pop into the Arromanches Tourist Office (200m walk from La Pommetier) or have a look at Calvados Tourisme where you’ll find a kit of seven walking maps (Balades en Calvados) all within 20 minutes drive of La Pommetier.

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