Advice for travelling to the Commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Normandy.
The Commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Normandy will take place over 5 and 6 June 2014. Her Majesty The Queen and many other Heads of State are expected to attend the commemorations. This will inevitably lead to tight security constraints and many ceremonies and sites in the region will have stringent access control in place by the French authorities.
The main international ceremony will be held on Sword Beach in Ouistreham, Calvados. Ceremonies will be held within the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, Bayeux, Calvados. There will also be ceremonies at locations such as Bayeux Cathedral, Arromanches, and Ranville. Other ceremonies will also be held on Juno Beach and Omaha Beach. Exact times, locations and participants have not yet been announced. News and information on the commemorations can be found on the specific site.
If you are planning individual travel, please be aware that if you do not have the required passes you will not be able to access sites or ceremonies between 5 and 8 June 2014 when a secure zone will be in place. To obtain accreditation, if you are, or are travelling with, a Normandy veteran, you should apply to the Ministry of Defence. If you are not a veteran, you should apply directly to the French authorities by e-mail.
Road closures will be in force in Normandy coastal areas near the D-Day beaches and around other commemorative sites. In particular, major closures should be expected approximately within the area to the north of Route Nationale N13 between Caen and Cherbourg. If you are travelling in the area by car (including through travel to and from the ferry ports of Caen-Ouistreham and Cherbourg), please take this into consideration when working out how much time you need to leave.
Hotel and other accommodation in the area will be difficult to obtain and you are unlikely to be able to book on the day anywhere in the region during these dates.