I visited a Normandy beach – It is brilliant for relaxing and thrill-seekers… but it’s missing one key favourite

JOURNEYING across Normandy sees you stumble upon many beautiful natural wonders and plenty of historical landmarks, none more so than the famous D-Day beaches.

Yet, the five coastal hotspots best known for their part in World War 2 are not the only ones that should be high on places to visit in the north of France with Houlgate a remarkable spot to enjoy the sun, sea, sand and possibly an adrenaline rush.

The resort town is located less than 12 miles from Sword Beach – the easternmost of the D-Day beaches – in Calvados, an area best known for its coasts, mushroom caves and brandy named after the department.

Local shops, restaurants and boulangeries line its streets, along with nearby campsites.

But Houlgate’s best feature is its mile-long beach that stretches more than 700m out to sea at its lowest tide with people able to walk for some distance without the water rising above their waist.

The shingled beach offers stunning views ranging from the English Channel to Pointe de Cabourg on the neighbouring shores in the west.

Houlgate Beach is a spectacular place to relax in the French summer sun in Normandy
Houlgate Beach is a spectacular place to relax in the French summer sun in Normandy

Meanwhile, it is spacious enough to welcome countless families with ten people my party visiting on this particular, hot, sunny day in August and barely anyone around us.

Heading towards the sea, a little river-like patch of water greeted us where young children could especially enjoy as it was warm and saved them from the harshness of the English Channel.

For someone of my height – over six feet tall – I could stand for what felt like miles, wading through the water and jumping with the waves to not get pushed back to shore.

Back on the beach, near to where I was relaxing in the western part, kitesurfers were preparing their chutes with the gusty conditions favourable for those seeking an adrenaline rush.

A wander along the promenade that lines the beach will see you met by countless orange and white huts available with some being used to escape the blazing sun.

However, the one criticism is that there were a lack of food places, certainly on the west side of Houlgate Beach and left us having to head into the town to grab a much-needed ice cream.

Make a holiday of it to Houlgate and stay at the La Vallee Holiday Park with Eurocamp from just £38.30 a night – the facilities are incredible and just 20 minutes’ walk to the beach.

Many people head to Houlgate Beach to kitesurf on the English Channel
Many people head to Houlgate Beach to kitesurf on the English Channel

A small group of my party had ventured there, only to return with the ice cream already melted that was meant for others that had remained on the beach.

Yet, it remains an incredible beach to visit with plenty of open space to rest up, top up your sun tan and go for a swim – just get your sweet treat on your way home.

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