D-Day Normandy:
Gold Beach

This section describes the Gold Beach and what there is to see today.

Images of Asnelles & Arromanches

 

Sherman tank memorial overlooks Arromanche

 

Arromanche 360 cinema

break

Getting there

By car, simply follow the D514 coast road. See the 'Getting about in Normandy section' for details of bus routes.

break

Where to Stay

Gold Beach is a popular tourist area with much holiday accomodation available. However, my prefered capsite is located right in the middle of Arromanches, within minutes of the beach.

The site is well placed and has good facilities. The address is:

Camping Municipal Arromanches , Avenue de Verdun, 14117 Arromanches

Tel: 02 31 22 36 78. Email: camping.arromanches@wanadoo.fr

The most westerly of the British invasion beaches, 'Gold Beach' is the home to the British Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches and the Pipe Line Under the Sea (PLUTO) at Port en Bessin.

The sector was assaulted by troops of the 50th Division of XXX Corps which had the objective of liberating Bayeux and Arromanche, and then to link up with the US forces landing to their west.

H-Hour was planned for 07:25, with almost 25,000 troops being landed on D-Day, supported by Sherman DD amphibious tanks.

Royal Marines of 47 RM Commando were scheduled to land at Asnelles after the beachhead had been secured, with the objective of capturing the small fishing port of Port en Bessin on D-Day.

Due to the ferocity of the defensive fire on the landing beach the initial assault was delayed, and the Commandos ended up as part of the beach assault force.

Although delayed, loosing much of their heavy equipment and having taken many casulties, the Commandos pressed on, to arrive at the hills overlooking their objective by nightfall. Here they camped, ready to assault the town the next day.

Bayeux was liberated the same day, D+1.

break

What to see

It could be said that today Arromanches, centrally located in Gold Sector, is the hub of activities within the British Sector.

Arromanche and the Mulberry Harbour

It is here that traditionally the commemorative parades on the beach by Normandy Veterans have taken place. This small resort town is host to many souvenier shops and cafes.

The town hosts the Musée du Débarquement, with it`s centrepiece being the large scale floating model of the Mulberry Harbour, situated just outside the museum.

Also see the Arromanche 360 cinema, which I believe is one of the best tourist experiences in Normandy.

A few miles west of Arromanche is Longres Battery, where the guns and observation post can be seen.

Continuing west lies the pretty fishing town of Port en Bessin. If you get the chance, try the local sea-food.

This town is home to the Under-water Wrecks Museum.

I found that the best stuff here was outside the museum, with the smaller items inside not being worth the entrance fee. I also found the staff abrasive. This however is my opinion based on my last visit in 2007.