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Battlefield Tours by Bike
One of our specialities is battlefield tours. As the late Professor Richard Holmes said: 'You cannot really understand a battle without viewing the ground on which it was fought. Part of the process is intellectual to see how ridges provided fields of fire and woods offered cover. But, part of it, too, is emotional. This landscape was once peopled by soldiers, embedded deep in the seams of the soil. ' (He was referring to the Chemin des Dames, one of his favourite places on the Western Front, but the comment stands for any battlefield).
We agree wholeheartedly with his assessment. But we go further than that and add that to travel by bike is the best way to visit. By foot is too slow, and by coach or car you are sealed against the landscape and have no idea that you are travelling up a slight incline which, in many cases, provided a strategic advantage to one side and often took thousands of lives to capture. On a bike you can cover ground at at a moderate pace and appreciate just how a minor geographical feature such as Pilckem Ridge on the Ypres salient was so important.
The Centenary of World War I has seen an increase in tourism to the area but many of the offerings concentrate on the headline sights such as Tyne Cot and Thiepval; these are of course important and are included in our tours. But we also visit less well-trodden places that more commercial tours simply don't have time to visit, or the capacity to do so in their large coaches. And, dare we say it, many operators know the main sights extremely well but take them away from the honeypot areas and their knowledge can be somewhat lacking.
We also regularly organise private family tours; this is the perfect way for a family to follow in the footsteps of a relative and we will arrange the itinerary around you, often helping with the research into where and when they served. These tours can be very poignant and moving so be warned!
All of our battlefield tours are fully supported and a van will accompany you, carrying your luggage from hotel to hotel, providing assistance along the way and most important;y feeding you coffee and cake! They are also all guided, meaning you don't have to wade through guide books looking for the right page and not really knowing what you are looking at; our guides have extensive knowledge allowing you to really make the most of your holiday with us. You can see some of the comments we have received about our battlefield tours on our testimonials page.
A fascinating tour exploring the battlefields of World War One. Varying daily mileage with some longer days, plenty of history and poignancy. A century on it is still humbling to see the places where such sacrifice took place in such terrible conditions.
A 3 day tour based in wonderful Ypres. Easy daily rides out. 2017 is the centenary of the Third Battle of Ypres which included the infamous Passchendaele.
The French miracle. See the best preserved battlefield on the Western Front. It's just the most incredible place.
A 3 day tour showing you all the events of 1 July 1916 and the subsequent battle through to late November 1916.
Our Second World War tour not only shows you the Landing Beaches of Normandy but then follows the battle through to its conclusion with the closure of the Falaise Pocket in August 1944.
Family Group tours can be arranged to follow a relative's service on the Western Front or in Normandy. These tailored private tours are the perfect way to follow in their footsteps.