The Anniversary on the Somme in July 2016
July 2016 is the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme opening on 1 July 1916. We have an exclusive tour starting on 29 June 2016. This will be a memorable and important event for us. Join us at the site of a world event - it really will be a major event right across the globe and you can be at the very heart of it.
We will take you to the heart of the July battles to some of the most moving locations and we will build the story of the history for you. Follow in the footsteps of your forefathers...
This is the cemetery at Ovillers-La-Boisselle
You can ride here on your own - it is easily found. But would you know what happened here? Where were the trenches? How many soldiers fought here? Why are there so few graves at this location? You see that rise in the ground? Was it important? Do you like sausage and mash? The soldiers did and so they named the two valleys near this spot Sausage Valley and Mash Valley. But what were the sausages and why was that episode so tragic?
The Battle of the Somme was more than just the 1st day of July...
This is Flatiron Copse. Hard to get to but worth the ride. Here lie soldiers killed in the taking of Mametz Wood and Bazentin-Le-Petit. It was near here that cavalry charged during the battle - cavalry against machine guns. Would you have known that? Would you have realised where they fought and what happened to them?
This is one of the most important battlefields anywhere in the world...
Why is this location one of the places that simply must be visited during any tour of the Great War? Would you know when you found it? Where is this?
Join us to find out...
Motorcycle Touring is Different
We make the most of the freedoms provided by a motorcycle and we make sure your tour is not a procession of locations, but a mix of riding, history and free time to explore on your own.
This is the Lochnagar Crater
This is the location of the largest mine detonated during the Great War. It is located between Ovillers and Becourt. Why is it here and what happened? The story of its creation and detonation is an incredible story of courage, bravery, brutality and sacrifice and not to be missed.
Taking a Tour With Us...
Motorcycling is freedom to explore. We will take you to the Battlefields and provide you with a memorable experience filled with visits to important locations, informal guiding to make sure that you don't miss anything and above all else, fabulous riding on the continent with insider knowledge of fuel stops, coffee stops and hotels that are bike-friendly and in ideal locations.
Location, Location, Location
We are often asked - why come with you? The locations are there to see!
You can ride the battlefields and see a wealth of memorials, cemeteries and monuments. Belgium and France are littered with them. But do you know where the hidden bunkers are? What about the location of the front line? What regiments were here and when? How did a battle unfold? Battlefields have so many secrets that the casual visitor might miss.
You've made the effort to go, so why compromise?
We are often asked when over at the battlefields by riders and car drivers alike...What happened here? Why is this cemetery called Last Point Junction?
This is the difference between a ride around and guided tour. Our guides are trained - that means they are immersed in the history, the geography and the archaeology - the three cornerstones of battlefield guiding. They spend a long time preparing the talks, the rides and the history so that you can concentrate on the riding and the journey.
Memorials are important...
We make sure that you have the opportunity to visit the memorials of the battles, to pay respects collectively and privately as well as taking photographs and collecting memories of your visit. Remembrance is important and the locations are stunningly beautiful and should be enjoyed as well. We work with the authorities to ensure that our groups have maximum access to sites and this includes the special commemorations in 2016
Focus on Photography
Memories are important. We make sure you have opportunities to record your trip. We use still and video photography and on some tours in 2016, a documentary film crew may be present.
Focus on History
Finding the big locations is easy - just look at a map. But what we want to do is to bring the history to life. How did the capture of Pegasus Bridge unfold? Major Howard's assault was daring and brilliantly executed. But how did he come to be here? Why is the Caen canal so important? Why then? We build the story for you - you don't have to listen to everything, but we find that our guests want to know more, to follow in the footsteps and here on Pegasus Bridge, to follow in the wake of the Ox and Bucks...
Focus on Humanity
We can help you trace the locations that a relative may have visited whilst serving in world wars or conflicts past. We have found the exact spots where soldiers went over the top, or the section of beach where your grandfather may have landed.
Focus on Geography
We take you to the locations that you cannot access on any other means of transport. We take you to the narrow lanes of the Bocage and the drop zones of the paratroopers in Normandy. The houses liberated first in 1944 and the sites of smaller battles for fortifications and bunkers, hedgerows and hillsides that build up the history of battle.
We never forget that we are there because of an ultimate sacrifice from so many, from all sides. Soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, paratroopers, civilians, friend and enemy. Our tours respect the history and we always make time for reflection and remembrance.
Do you know where this photograph was taken?
Why is this photograph unusual and important? If you want to know why, come to Normandy with us...
Can you spot your Grandfather?
We run specialist tours, for example we move across France, Belgium and Holland, Luxembourg and Germany following the trail of the armies of liberation. One of tours focuses on Monty, Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery and his British and Canadian army that landed in and around Caen on 6 June 1944
Parlez-Vous Anglais Madame?
A trip overseas on a motorcycle is an amazing and liberating experience. Everyone should do it, but not everyone has the confidence to do it. Our support for riders is second to none and we offer an extensive backup service to help in need. We rarely find any problems abroad, but it is comforting to know that help is at hand.
Focus on Organisation
We plan every detail of the tour so that you have an enjoyable experience, the weather is taken into consideration and there will always be something to do, whatever the weather. You can relax on our tours, it isn't a military manoeuvre like General Patton, but a relaxing ride on your motorcycle on some of the best roads in Europe.
Focus on Events
We build the story for you. Here is the Middlesex circle. The Middlesex Regiment took part in the first British battle of WWI and their dead lie alongside the very last soldiers killed at exactly the same location at the end of the war.
If you wish to visit a specific monument or location on the battlefields, we can take you and build the story for you. This won't happen on any other tour. We have access to locations and historical records that are not easily accessed through general research.
Focus on Motorbikes
We take you on a motorcycle tour - and that is what we like to do best. ~We make sure we build in some great rides, of varying distances and include plenty of free time for self-exploration and riding on your own in fabulous countryside. We also include at least one "Grand Tour" ride - normally a half-day or full days riding focused on the riding experience. We are bikers too!
On a motorcycle we can get close up to the locations and we know where to park our bikes. No queues, no car park frustration and with extensive local knowledge, we know where to go to get the best views.
Working with Veterans
On most tours focused on WWII we come across veterans who are happy to talk and share their experiences. This greatly enriches the tour experience and sense of remembrance and respect. Don't be shy! They want to talk.
Tour Guide Eugenie
Predictably hugging a veteran....
Meeting John Millin
Who is John Millin and why was it a fantastic moment on Pegasus Bridge meeting with him?
Join us on Pegasus Bridge and find out...
Working with The Royal British Legion
Most of our tours are planned alongside the Royal British Legion. We support their work with veterans past and present. We take great care that our tours are conduced with respect, remembrance and with a twinkle in the eye - like these veterans laying a wreath for the men of the Ox and Bucks who took Pegasus Bridge in the early morning of 6 June 1944
Our Tours work alongside event organisers...
So we don't miss a thing and get exclusive access to events not otherwise open to general visitors.
The Archaeology is everywhere
This turret was the site of a German machine gun that failed to fire on the morning of 6 June 1944 just as Jimmy Ruddock appeared.
Who is he and why is the story of the Rangers at Pointe du Hoc such an incredible story of bravery and daring?
Join us in Normandy to find out...