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20th Century History Tour Normandy

Prices start from:

£309

per person

3 -
5 Days
World War 2
France
12 - 300 travellers

Overview

On the 6th June 1944 Allied Troops stormed the beaches of Normandy to establish a foothold in France, this was the turning point of the Second World War in the West. D-Day was a remarkable achievement, involving nearly 7,000 naval vessels and over 150,000 Allied troops, it was the start of the destruction of the German war machine and the liberation of Europe.

We will bring this story to life – what were the plans for the invasion that made up Operation Overlord, the largest ever amphibious assault in military history which saw Allied troops landing on five beaches along the coastline. Learn about the new technologies that were developed to make the attack possible. Understand why the deception and propaganda war that took place in advance of the attack were so important to the landing’s eventual success. Hear about the heroism of the Airborne troops, who landed behind enemy lines at night, many hours before the coastal landings. The D-Day Landings and The Battle for Normandy saw some of the fiercest fighting of the Second World War as the Allies fought their way inland.

Hitler’s defences on the Atlantic Wall are among the best preserved and even though the beaches are now peaceful wherever you go you will find museums, cemeteries and memorials offering poignant reminders of this epic period in history, each with its own tale to tell.

Also available supporting elements of wider Humanities (geography, English, social sciences and citizenship)

Key Subject Knowledge

  • Historical interpretations
  • The Second World War and D-Day landings
  • The development of warfare and technology during the 20th century
  • Propaganda and warfare

 

Adaptations for GCSE & A Level Course

  • Medieval History
  • Britain and The Second World War
  • Film and History
  • French cultural life

What’s included

Return Channel Crossings
Full services of an executive coach for the duration of your Battlefield Tour
Pick up and drop off from your chosen location
Full Board accommodation
Full Services of an expert Battlefield Guide
Entrance to the following museums – Merville Battery, Pegasus Memorial Museum, D-Day Museum (4 & 5 day tour only), Arromanches 360 cinema and D-Day Experience
Visit the Bayeux Tapestry
Travel Insurance
Tailormade itinerary
1 free teacher for every 10 paying students
Full administration and booking service
24 hours on call Duty Manager whilst tour is operating

Not included

Inspection visit – available at additional cost
Items not clearly shown as included

Itinerary

Below is a sample itinerary for a 4 day tour, all tours are personalised and once your tour is booked your expert guide will get in touch to start working with you to produce an itinerary for your bespoke tour.
Day 1:
An early start, as you make your way from school to France, collecting your guide before crossing (Dover, Folkestone or Portsmouth crossings available), en-route your guide will give you a full introduction into the D-Day Landings and the Second World War. The airborne troops landed behind enemy lines at night, many hours before the coastal landings and you will start with a visit to Pegasus Bridge. Vital to the overall plan, hear about their heroism and stand on the ground where the gliders landed with extreme accuracy, surprising the Germans and capturing the bridge. Just across the road you will then visit the Memorial Pegasus Museum, which focuses on the Airborne Forces contribution in June 1944, before heading to our hostel.
Day 2:
British
Today you will continue to follow in the steps of the British Troops, visiting some of the many sites, cemeteries and memorials. The first stop is at Ranville CWGC Cemetery, where the first Allied soldier to be killed as a result of enemy fire on D-Day is buried, together with Private R J Jones, at aged just 16 was the youngest paratrooper to die in the Second World War. Just a short drive to Merville Battery which was a gun battery and it was believed that the guns could threaten the landings at Sword Beach. The British 9th Parachute Battalion was tasked with destroying it and you will hear the story of how they captured the battery at great loss. The battery is still preserved and home to a fascinating museum, complete with a restored Douglas C-47 and sound and light show. Learning about the preparations for D-Day and the crossing experience, you will then visit the first of our landing sites, Sword Beach, located nine miles to the north east of one of the main objectives of D-Day – the city of Caen, by the end of the day over 29,000 men had landed here. From here we go to Gold Beach, learning about what happened in this area, this is where CSM Stanley Hollis was awarded the Victoria Cross, the only one awarded on D-Day. Arromanches is a pretty French Town and was the site chosen for one of the two artificial harbours which were constructed following D-Day. A magnificent engineering achievement, the remains can still be seen lying on the beach and out to sea. Whilst here you will visit the D-Day Museum, then head up to the cliffs above the town to see the new film show at the Arromanches 360 Cinema. Then it’s back to the hostel for dinner.
Day 3:
American
Another packed day as you leave for the American sector and your first stop is the D-Day Experience Museum, which follows the story of the 101st American Airborne Division and the paratroopers’ preparations for the jump before taking your seat abroad a real C-47 dynamic flight simulator, where you will relive the Channel crossing on the night of D-Day. Visit Ponte du Hoc the German cliff top battery attacked by the US Rangers from the sea, parts of which remain untouched and the Memorial stands on top of one of the bunkers - only a visit to this site can give you a true feel for the bravery and achievement of these men. Next, we make our way to La Cambe German Cemetery, the style of which is in stark contrast to the other cemeteries you will visit. Whilst here, we will look at some of the key graves, including Michael Wittman the tank ace. Omaha Beach was the code name for one of the two American landing sectors, the location was used in the opening scenes of the film Saving Private Ryan. Stand here and try to imagine the heavy losses suffered by the American troops on D-Day which earned the beach, the name of 'Bloody Omaha'. The German defences were formidable and the landings resulted in around 4,000 casualties. Our final stop today is at the American Cemetery, located on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach, giving a panoramic view of the beach and the English Channel. Covering an area of over 172 acres, the remains of 9,387 Americans have been laid to rest here and inscribed on the walls in the Garden of the Missing, are the names of a further 1,557 Americans who lost their lives. Following our visit here, we will head back to your hostel for dinner and our overnight stay.
Day 4:
This morning we head to Bayeux, where we will visit the Bayeux Tapestry which tells the epic story on cloth, of William, Duke or Normandy who became King of England in 1066 after the Battle of Hastings. "We, once conquered by William, have now set free the Conqueror's native land." Bayeux CWGC Cemetery is the largest Commonwealth Cemetery of the Second World War in France and it seems a fitting point to end your tour. You will visit some of the graves of the soldiers that you have heard about during the tour and take time to reflect, before paying your final respects. Following free time in the pretty town of Bayeux, you will depart for the coast and begin the journey home.

All our tours and itineraries are tailormade and put together to match your requirements, please get in touch to discuss your tour.

Pricing options

People

Days

Price per person

48
3
from £309 pp
48
4
from £409 pp
48
5
from £499 pp

Our sample prices are per student, based on 44 students (+4 staff travelling free of charge) departing November 2022. Please note all prices and tours are subject to availability and prices may vary, depending on your bespoke package, what is included and the number of students and staff travelling.

Prices start from:

£309

per person

All our tours and itineraries are bespoke and put together to match your requirements, please get in touch to discuss your tour.

Why travel with us
Got a question?

We would be happy to talk to you about your tour requirements, please get in touch to talk to an expert.

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