Bayeux is home to several historical wonders such as its cathedral, its museums and its famous Tapestry. But do you know its Botanical Garden? This magnificent landscaped park is a true Norman jewel dating from the 19th century. Indeed, it is a place not to be missed if you are passionate about plant engineering or simply if you like long walks in pleasant green spaces.
In this article, you will find all our tips in pictures to organize your visit in this public garden which is probably one of the most beautiful in the region!
This opinion is completely independent, based on our experiences. We visited the area anonymously, making our own choices, and paying all our bills in full.
Why visit the Botanical Garden of Bayeux?
Is the Bayeux Botanical Garden worth it?
For us, it is a must when you visit Bayeux. So, whether it’s sunny or grey, the Botanical Garden is a very pleasant place to walk around in summer and winter.
We also enjoyed discovering the variety of plants and large trees that adorn the botanical trail.
Why is the Botanical Garden of Bayeux famous?
This 19th century landscape park is the work of the famous Bühler brothers, creators of the famous Parcs de la Tête d’Or in Lyon and the Thabor in Rennes. These French landscape architects of Swiss origin have succeeded in transporting us out of time thanks to this bucolic and truly idyllic setting. Cherry trees in bloom, wide alleys, tall trees, nature dominates and shines with a thousand lights!
The centerpiece of the Bühler brothers’ design is the weeping beech in the heart of the park. Moreover, this 140 year old tree has been classified as a natural monument since the beginning of the 1930’s and labeled “remarkable tree of France” since 2000.
A little history
With a surface area of 2.6 hectares, the Botanical Garden of Bayeux is a landscaped park created in 1859 by the Bülher brothers, famous French landscape architects of Swiss origin. This park is home to over 400 trees. Indeed, the weeping beech remains the most spectacular, classified as a natural monument in 1932. This garden enriches the historical and natural heritage of Bayeux. Finally, a botanical circuit has been set up so that visitors can freely discover the wonders housed in this garden and its main plant species.
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Useful tips: Jardin Botanique, Bayeux, France
Where is the Botanical Garden of Bayeux?
You can get to Bayeux by car but also by train – see train prices and schedules.
Also, the Botanical Garden is located at 55 route de Port-en-Bessin in Bayeux (Normandy), northwest of the city.
- Driving time from Caen: 40min.
- Driving time from Mont-Saint-Michel: 1h30min.
- Driving time from Ouistreham: 45min.
OUR ADVICE FOR RENTING A CAR IN Normandy
- Compare prices on our preferred platform: DiscoverCars – one of the best rated sites.
- Choose a car that is comfortable enough (distances can be long) but compact (some parking lots and villages are narrow).
- Think of thecomplete insurance (some roads are tortuous and narrow).
- There is a lot of demand, book it early.
How to get there
Only 5 minutes by car from the historic center, we chose to go there on foot from the Notre-Dame de Bayeux Cathedral. Indeed, the journey is pleasant, flat and lasts only 25min. In addition to seeing many old houses on the way, we passed by Place Saint-Patrice and saw a gathering of exceptional vintage vehicles!
You can also take the Bayeux tourist train from the city center to the British Military Cemetery and then walk about 20 minutes to the Botanical Gardens.
Information about the Little Tourist Train is available on the official website of the city of Bayeux.
There is no dedicated parking but you can easily find a place to park on the road to Port-en-Bessin which runs alongside the Botanical Garden.
Best time to visit the Botanical Garden
There is no better time to walk around the Bayeux Botanical Garden. You can go there in summer and in winter. Note that in high season, the influx of visitors is more important. So, if you don’t like crowds, opt for the period from October to March!
Schedules and rates
The Botanical Garden of Bayeux is open:
- From April 1st to September 30th: from 9am to 8pm.
- From October 1st to 31st: from 9am to 7pm.
- From November 1st to February 28th: from 9am to 5pm.
- From March 1st to 31st: from 9am to 7pm.
Finally, access to the Botanical Garden of Bayeux is free.
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First of all, this landscaped park is perfectly adapted to people with reduced mobility.
Then, if you go there with children, in a stroller, on foot or in a baby carrier, walking around will be easy! Note that the self-cleaning toilets, which are remarkably clean for a public garden, have a changing table. There are also a few picnic tables available in the park.
Finally, bicycle and car traffic is prohibited in the park. However, pets are accepted.
Bayeux offers a nice variety of restaurants: crêperie, starred, gastronomic, on the go… There is something for every taste and style! Here is our selection:
- Restaurant l’Acte 2 – traditional and authentic Norman cuisine.
- Restaurant L’Alchimie – fusion of local and foreign flavors.
- Restaurant L’Alcôve – gastronomic meal in a friendly atmosphere.
- Restaurant Le Moulin de la Galette – fresh and local products in an establishment in the heart of historic Bayeux.
- Restaurant La Rapière – refined seasonal cuisine in a 16th century setting.
- Les volets roses tea room – for a generous and gourmet snack.
WHERE TO STAY IN Bayeux
Option 1: Central and close to downtown
Within 5 to 10 minutes’ walk of the historic center, you’ll find beautiful mansions transformed into welcoming hotels and B&Bs. We recommend..:
Option 2: in the countryside
The Normandy countryside is very green and inspiring. At the bend in the forest or in the fields, pretty villages with beautiful buildings transport you to another world, or even another era.
- Hotel Domaine de la Rançonnière, only 20 minutes from Bayeux – see prices, photos and availability.
Option 3: By the sea
The seaside is just 15 minutes drive from Bayeux. Breathe the sea air while enjoying easy access to Bayeux and the D-Day beaches.
- Hotel Villas d’Arromanches – see prices, photos and availability.
The most beautiful 19th century landscape park in Normandy
More than 400 trees adorn this magical park. The Botanical Garden of Bayeux is one of the remarkable parks and gardens created by landscape architects in France. We really enjoyed this invitation to travel and take the time to contemplate the flowers and the big trees illuminated by the sun rays.
The botanical circuit: from natural history to the history of the city
The educational circuit is composed of 17 explanatory panels that tell both historical elements about the different plant species in the garden but also anecdotes about the city of Bayeux. A very playful walk!
The bee hotel
Yes, you read that right! The garden has installed a bee hotel. Indeed, in addition to the domestic bee, many species of solitary bees play an important role in biodiversity and particularly in the pollination of plants. The majority of flowering and cultivated plants reproduce through the action of pollinating insects.
The Bayeux Botanical Garden contributes to the conservation of these species by providing them with a habitat. These initiatives are multiplying in the parks and gardens of France, did you know?
The Japanese carp pond
In the middle of the water lilies, small carps with orange colors walk in the pond of this public garden. Of Japanese origin, these small vertebrates adapt easily to this environment. Thus, the legend tells that the fish are linked to the bishop Gerbold appointed at the end of the seventh century in Bayeux.
At the origin of many miracles at the time, the bishop was nevertheless chased away by the inhabitants of Bayeux and threw his ring, symbol of his episcopal function, into the water. The city then experienced numerous epidemics and great misery. This jewel was then found in the belly of a fish caught not far from the city, and returned to Gerbold, its owner, so that he could return to his duties and put an end to famine and disease.
Continuation of the botanical tour: an idea or a reading break?
The concept of book boxes has been widely developed in France in various parks or neighborhoods. As avid readers, we are really fans of this principle!
At the Botanical Garden of Bayeux, you can sit down and take a reading break by picking up one of the novels left by book-loving strangers in the pretty wooden box. But you can also put an idea, a suggestion, a kind word in the garden idea box. A great concept to contribute to the improvements in the park!
The Big Tree Tour
The Botanical Garden of Bayeux is home to many large trees, some of which will take your breath away because of their imposing stature.
First of all, while strolling in the park we saw the horse chestnut tree, native to the northwestern Himalayas. What a surprise when we learned from the sign that its fruit, the chestnut, is not edible! Unlike the chestnut tree, the fruits of the chestnut tree are not edible. So the glazed or roasted chestnuts that we eat are in fact chestnuts!
Above, you can admire the purple beeches. After the oak, it is the most present tree species in the forests of France. This species with purple leaves is mainly cultivated for the ornamentation of landscape parks since the beginning of the 18th century. In the Bessin region, the main beech forest is located in the forest of Cerisy where William the Conqueror had a manor, the Château de Bur-le-Roy.
Finally, the common plane tree or maple leaf plane is the offspring of two species that are now extinct: the oriental plane tree, which originated in western Asia, and the western plane tree, which was introduced into Europe in the 17th century and is widespread in North America. Don’t forget to look up to the sky to see the fine branches of these impressive trees!
- Best things to do in Bayeux
- Where to sleep in Bayeux: our best hotels
- Rent a car in Bayeux
- Where to eat in Bayeux: our best restaurants
- Visit the Bayeux Tapestry Museum
- Visit the Baron Gérard Museum of Art and History
- Visit the Battle of Normandy Museum
- Discover the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Bayeux
- Discover the British Military Cemetery
The weeping beech, classified as a natural monument
The highlight of the show, the centerpiece of this landscape work: the weeping beech. Take the time to approach its large trunk and then gently raise your head. You will see the myriad of branches rising and spreading around the roots, as if dancing in the wind. To then go down, thinner and thinner, to the ground.
The gentle movement of the branches gave us the impression of being in a real whirlwind. This weeping beech has been classified as a natural monument since the early 1930s and has been awarded the label “Remarkable Tree of France” since the beginning of the 21st century. A pure wonder that we never tire of watching!
End your bucolic stroll
No matter which driveway you walk down, you will discover a new plant or tree that will impress you.
For the younger ones, the garden has created a children’s play area on the other side of the park. On the menu: slide and swing that will delight your children!
PLAN YOUR TRIP TO Normandy
Frequently asked questions
Where to picnic in Bayeux?
You can picnic at the Botanical Garden of Bayeux, picnic tables are available at the four corners of the park. On the outskirts of Bayeux, the Espace Naturel Sensible de la Vallée de l’Aure is also a very pleasant place to go for a walk and organize a picnic.
Where to walk in Bayeux?
Bayeux offers several green spaces if you like walking in the open air. Here is a small selection of places to discover:
- The Botanical Garden of Bayeux, a beautiful 19th century landscape park in Normandy.
- The banks of the Aure, a route along the river reserved for cyclists and pedestrians.
- Salomé’s garden, located in the historic heart of Bayeux, rue des Tanneurs.
- The site of the Aure Valley, classified as a sensitive natural area, 13 hectares of restored fauna and flora on Sadi Carnot Boulevard in Bayeux.
- The Place de Gaulle, which is home to both plant and historical heritage in the middle of the city.