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Wheels on the Western Front: Ride to Normandy

Wheels on the Western Front: Ride to NormandyNo Fly Tour

August 2019

A charity ride in aid of ABF The Soldiers' Charity exploring the landing beaches and terrrain of the Battle for Normandy 1944. Everyone and anyone is welcome to join this tour but please note that our usual terms and conditions regarding payment and booking do not apply as this is a fundraising event. You will enjoy the same level of care as our previous rides with ABF The Soldiers' Charity including an historian to both educate and amuse you along the way, full vehicle support, mechanic, doctor, three meals a day (other than on the ferry) and a route which we genuinely believe is unique and far better than other 'D Day' charity rides as you will get to see the whole of the Normandy battlefield and not just the coastal strip on your way through.

The registration particulars are detailed on our application page (follow the link below) and please be sure to read and understand the fundraising requirements and deadlines.

Registration fee: £250

Fundraising requirement: £1,250

 

CLICK HERE to go to the Online Registration Form

CLICK HERE for a downloadable version

CLICK HERE for event Terms and Conditions

 

Your Next Adventure Awaits

What you need to know...


Start Location
Caen / Ouistreham


Finish Location
Caen / Ouistreham


Region of France
Battlefields by Bike


Grading
Difficult


Shortest Day
40


Longest Day
75


Total Days
6


Total Miles
310

Departure Dates & Prices

MonthDatesTour PriceSingle Supplement*Bike Hire FromEnquireBook
August 20195th to 10th August 20195/8/19 to 10/8/19£Check AvailabilityBook Now

*A single supplement is only payable if you would like a guaranteed room to yourself. If you are happy to share with another traveller of the same gender, no supplement is payable.

Itinerary

Day 1

Monday 5 August: Meet at Portsmouth ferry port for overnight Brittany Ferries service to Ouistreham. There is parking at the port or nearby, and trains run to Portsmouth & Southsea station from London Waterloo.

Day 2

Tuesday 6 August: Arrive Ouistreham and disembark. After our briefing, we visit the British and Canadian beaches as well as seeing some inland places of interest such as the Hillman bunker and Monty's HQ. A visit to Arromanches to see the remains of the Mulberry Harbours brings home the vast scale of the operations on and after D Day and it is incredible to see how much remains today. The next stop will highlight just what the Allies were up against as we visit the Longues Battery, high on the cliff with the gun casements still containing the huge artillery pieces ranged on our fleet. Riding on we come to the famous US cemetery at Coleville sur Mer above Omaha Beach, and our last stop of the day is to the Pointe du Hoc where US Rangers scaled the cliffs on ladders; it's hard to believe how they managed it when you see the landscape. We then ride to Bayeux for the night. About 75 miles.

Day 3

Wednesday 7 August: Leaving Bayeux we ride south to examine the terrain where the British fought bitterly to force the Germans to surrender Caen. For the whole of June and much of July successive British offensives were mounted against the enemy in villages such as Tilly-sur-Seulles, which changed hands 23 times during the conflict. Rommel declared that whoever controlled Hill 112 controlled Normandy and it is easy to understand why, with its grandstand view of Caen and the airport at Carpiquet. From here a lovely route along a valley leads to Villers Bocage, where Panzer ace Michael Wittman ambushed a British convoy of the Desert Rats and we see the exact spot, 75 years on. From here we ascend Mont Pincon, the highest point in Normandy, and then traverse the Suisse Normande to our hotel in Falaise. About 75 miles.

Day 4

Thursday 8 August: The beautiful countryside south of Falaise belies the intensity of the fighting here in August 1944. The town had been taken as part of the pincer movement by British and US forces to envelope the Germans and force them to to surrender. In the middle of August 1944 this cauldron, the 'corridor of death', saw ever-more desparate attempts by the Germans to escape the encirclement and we will visit a number of sites from this period of the battle on our way to Alencon for the night. About 50 miles.

Day 5

Friday 9 August: Riding north from Alencon we skirt Argentan and then ascend to Montormel, where the Poles found themselves under constant threat from German panzers determined to create a gap through which their forces could escape. You can look down for the Poles' position over the very road they sought to control and hear the story of how they fought almost to the last round before being relieved by the Canadians on 22 August, thus effectively ending the Battle for Normandy. Defeated, the Germans headed east and Paris was liberated by the Allies within a week. The views from the hilltop are commanding to say the least, with the whole of the Chambois pocket before you. Continuing on via Vimoutiers, where we see one of the only remaining Tiger tanks, we stay in Lisieux where a last night dinner is sure to be fun in our comfortable hotel. About 72 miles.

Day 6

Saturday 10 August: Lisieux to Ouistreham is predominantly flat and fast, and we ride through the intended drop zone for the airborne attack on the Merville Battery; unfortunately many of the transport planes lost their way so when the attack on this coastal battery came, the 9 Bn Parachute Regiment found they only had about 150 of the 750 men they should have. Undeterred, they pressed home their attack and took their objective in order to eliminate the guns that could have destroyed the British landings on Sword beach. After Merville, it is but a short ride to Pegasus Bridge which needs no introduction. Be prepared, however, to be astounded at just how close the gliders got to the bridge in a show of consummate pilotage. Perhaps enjoy a drink at Cafe Gondrin, the first house liberated, before a short ride back to Ouistreham for the afternoon ferry to Portsmouth, arriving at 21h15. About 40 miles.

Some Tour Photos...

Travel Information

Roundtrip ferry travel from Portsmouth to Caen / Ouistreham is incuded in this tour.

Click here for our Travel Information page.