The cost – includes breakfast, hotel accommodation, coach, museums and guide, although food and drinks are not included – is £1,250 per person.
This dedicated four-day, three-night tour of the Normandy region will focus not on the actions of D-Day as so many others do, but instead will look at the vital and much more costly inland fighting which took place between June and August 1944. Battlefield visits on the itinerary include Hill 112, Mortain, the armoured Operations Epsom and Goodwood, Operation Cobra and the final encirclement and bitter fighting around the Falaise Pocket which brought the campaign to an end.
Our first day sees us travel from the UK to Normandy via the port of Ouistreham on the edge of Sword Beach. Arriving in the afternoon we make a short visit to the beach to consider the situation in Normandy as it was by mid-June 1944 before moving on to the historic town of Bayeux, our base for the tour.
Epson and Goodwood: Our itinerary today includes two major British tank actions in the attempt to the capture the key city of Caen. Fought a week apart to the East and West of Caen respectively, they met with mixed success. Our day will include visits to the Odon Valley and infamous Hill 112 to follow 11th Armoured Division as they tried to force a passage across key rivers and the open countryside beyond Caen. Our afternoon will turn Westwards and follow the tank tracks of the Royal Tank Regiment and Fife and Forfar Yeomanry around the villages of Cagny, Solieres and onto the formidable ‘Bourgebus Ridge’.
Our third day switches focus to follow US forces as they fought their way through the famous Bocage countryside, making many adaptations along the way. Our major focus today will be following the fortunes of units engaged in Operation Cobra in late July which broke through German lines and isolated the Cotentin Peninsular. Our final focus will be on the German Operation Luttich, the last major attempt to drive the allies back in Normandy by an ill-fated assault towards Mortain.
Our final morning on the battlefields takes us southwards to study the brutal end of the fighting around the ‘Falaise Pocket’. We visit the key sites of St Lambert-sur-Dives and the ford at Moissy to explore the ground and carnage which ensued when all German forces remaining in Normandy were forced to cross the Dives via these two tiny locations, relentlessly hammered by artillery and air power whilst doing so. After lunch we return to Ouistreham and our ferry back to the UK.