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01622 434 981 info@pennywoodtours.com

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* Creating an account means you're okay with our Terms of Service and Privacy Statement.
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Normandy: key moments in Britain’s history

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From£899
Price
From£899
21st October 2021
Available: 39 seats
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5 nights, 6 days
Availability : Thursday 21st October 2021 
Max People : 50

No single person supplement

Don’t forget to enter your promotional code on the ordering screen. The coupon can be found in the leaflet from your local garden centre. 

This Tours departs from: Notcutts, Pembury (Google Map) – 7.30 am, Coolings, Rushmore Hill (Google Map) – 8.00 am and Millbrook Gravesend, Station Road (Google Map) – 8.30 am

Normandy has played a major role in shaping Britain’s identity ever since William the Conqueror arrived in 1066. 

We tend to forget that, until they lost their lands in Normandy, the Norman kings regarded Normandy as home and England as a vassal state, one of the reasons they built the fabulous castles we see today. They introduced the best administration in Europe, something still true of modern Britain, but they were top-down absolutist rulers, and only later, under King John in 1215, did the Magna Carta signal the start of the need for consent to rule.

Much later, in 1944, Normandy was the site of the greatest invasion in history as allied forces returned to the continent to liberate western Europe.

Photos of Normandy: key moments in Britain’s history
Tour Details for Normandy: key moments in Britain’s history

In this tour, we see only a little of the Normans but quite a bit more of the D-Day invasion with the assistance of a superb guide, Colonel Piers Storie-Pugh OBE (Retd).

Piers led our amazing tour of the Arnhem Battlefields in 2019 and proved to be a great raconteur, comedian, historian and all round good company, keeping the mood light whilst he revealed the story of the operation and the losses and courage of the men. Coincidentally, Piers’s uncle was Colonel John Frost, who held the north end of the Arnhem Bridge for four days.

Below is an outline itinerary for the trip, but it is possible that the order of the visits may change depending on timings, traffic and weather. However, all the named locations and museums will be visited.

Departure & Return Location & Times

Notcutts, Pembury (Google Map) – 7.30 am

Coolings, Rushmore Hill (Google Map) – 8.00 am

Millbrook Gravesend, Station Road (Google Map) – 8.30 am

Transport from Merriments and Millbrook, Staplehurst can be arranged subject to demand. 

Departure Date

Thursday 21st October 2021 

Price Includes

  • All cross-channel crossings by Eurotunnel
  • Transport to and between all venues and the hotel by luxury coach
  • 5 nights bed and breakfast 4* accommodation at the Royal Hotel Caen Centre
  • Entry to museums at Utah beach, Bayeux, Merville, Sainte-Mère-Eglise and Arromanches
  • Specialist guide, Colonel Piers Storie-Pugh OBE (Retd)
  • Group Leader to smooth your way and explain each stage of the trip
What to Expect

Our aim at Pennywood Tours is to give you a relaxing and carefree time where we do all the work so you can sit back and enjoy the trip.

To this end, all tours are escorted by a group leader who will check you on board and make sure you can find your allocated seat. We’ll seat you with the person/people you are booked with but if you know of anyone else on the trip who has booked separately please let us know in advance and we’ll try to seat you all together. The coach will be a super deluxe vehicle with a toilet and is incredibly comfortable.

Our Group Leader will advise you of all the details of travel times, stops, when to return to the coach etc. so you will be in no doubt about what and when. He or she will be available for any additional questions you may have.

We will do our best to stick to our itinerary but you will understand that when there are traffic jams or adverse weather conditions, we may struggle to do everything as planned but we will let you know what information we have in these situations when we have it.

We look forward to seeing you and welcome any questions you may have by contacting us at info@pennywoodtours.com or on 01622 434 981.

Itinerary for Normandy: key moments in Britain’s history

Day 1Travel to Normandy

We will cross the channel early via Eurotunnel in order to give time to stop and visit a number of key locations on our way to the hotel in Caen.

Our first coffee stop will be at Saint-Valery-sur-Somme. This was the launching point of William the Conqueror’s forces. Interestingly, William originally launched the ships from Dives-sur-Mer, but an unfavourable wind blew them along the coast to Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, suffering some losses along the way. An early lesson in how the weather can wreck an invasion and how lucky William was to be able to start again.

We then travel to Dieppe for a quick stop and a discussion of how the failure of the Dieppe Raid, along with memories of Gallipoli, informed D-Day.

Finally, we reach our hotel, the Royal Hotel Caen Centre, where we will enjoy bed and breakfast accommodation. This hotel is superbly located in the centre of Caen and is housed within a building we’d all recognise as classic, elegant French architecture.

Although the hotel runs a buffet breakfast, there is no actual restaurant; but there are numerous restaurants within a few hundred yards of the door so you will have lots of choice according to your tastes.

Day 2British beaches at Arromanches followed by Bayeux

We leave our hotel and head for the beaches at Arromanches where Piers will pick up the D-Day story once more both on the beaches and in the museum there.

In the afternoon, we return to the Norman legacy and visit Bayeux, including the famous tapestry.

Days 3American beaches

Our story continues with the American involvement as we visit Utah beach at Sainte-Mère-Eglise, where American airborne forces landed; and Omaha Beach at Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, where the American landing force endured such difficulties. Finally, we visit the imposing Pointe du Hoc, where American Rangers had to climb steep, high cliffs to assault German positions and large guns, which could shell the allied landing force.

Day 4British beaches and Mont-Saint-Michel

Today, we’ll spend the morning visiting the General Montgomery statue, the German bunkers at Hillman Fortress, Sword Beach and, if time permits, the Commonwealth War Graves at Douvres-la-Délivrande.

In the afternoon, we break away from WWII to return to an earlier period in history with a visit to Mont-Saint-Michel. Largely constructed during Norman times, this community is set in a bay and is cut off by the daily tides that ebb and flow into the bay and are strikingly spectacular in appearance.

Day 5Airborne day and remember for a moment

Today should be entitled ‘airborne day’ as almost everything today relates to the locations where these remarkable men arrived on that memorable day. We plan to lunch at Café Gondrée, next to Pegasus Bridge, which is likely to have been the first French building liberated that day.

Our final act of the battlefield tour will be a visit to the nearby CWG Ranville Cemetery for an act of remembrance.

Piers and we at Pennywood Tours are keen that the sacrifices of these men are remembered, but in a positive and uplifting way, celebrating the freedoms returned to the world. To that end, the whole tour will be uplifting and positive whilst allowing some time for personal reflection as individuals need.

Day 6Homeward bound and some beautiful places

Our final day in France, but rather than rushing to Calais we’ll visit the lovely village of Le Bec-Hellouin for a coffee stop, and lunch in Rouen, where we will have time to visit the cathedral, resting place of ‘Richard the Lionheart’, and perhaps seek out the Joan of Arc Memorial. Old Rouen is a beautiful town and well worth a stroll around.

Finally, we’ll arrive at the Eurotunnel terminal in the evening. Arrival at our point of origin is estimated to be between 8pm and 9pm.

Please note that all destinations will require walking, with steps and slopes, which may be slippery, and the need to step between the quayside and boat deck. Sensible shoes are a requirement, and you should dress for the weather.

Map of Normandy: key moments in Britain’s history
1 travellers are considering this tour right now!
Pennywood Tours Testimonials
Brian and Margaret, KentBrian and Margaret, Kent
These tours are ACE from the time you book until farewell at the end of the trip. They give personal attention to every detail. ‘Care – Consideration and Kindness’ should be their motto.
Elaine, South East LondonElaine, South East London
We have taken both day and mini-break trips( with good 4 star accommodation) with Pennywood.The trips are well-organised with a detailed itinerary allowing plenty of time to enjoy each house or garden, some of which are less well-known attractions.
Eric and Helen, LewesEric and Helen, Lewes
We have enjoyed a number of trips with Pennywood Tours, which save us driving long distances - and the coaches are very comfortable. What we particularly like, apart from the gardens we visit, are the hotels we stay in, which have always been excellent.
Jenny McDonald 2019Jenny McDonald 2019
Hi Pennywood Tours,Yes we have had some great trips this year, and thanks so much for sending me the big brochure recently, with details of Autumn 2019 trips and also 2020 trips. I feel sure that my friends and I will be booking something with you for 2020, because we have enjoyed our 3 tours so much this year.
Pam & JohnPam & John
We have travelled with Pennywood Tours many times, visiting places as diverse as The Isles of Scilly, The Battlefields of Arnhem, The Queens Bedding, The Gardens of Leonardeslee and Nymans and more recently The Post Office Museum. The arrangements regarding parking at the garden centre we depart from, travel to and from the venue and access to it have all been handled with a warm, friendly and professional approach.The visit to Aalsmeer Flower Market was amazing. It is a technological masterpiece.Imagine bystanders surprise when they see it is not the England Football Squad who emerge from the 'England' luxury coach ...
John Knight 2019John Knight 2019
Pennywood variety of visits/holidays caters for a range of interests from Houses & Garden, Country locations through to Historical and Military establishments. Something for everyone. An independent tour company providing excellent customer service be it easy of booking through to on the day arrangements. Comfortable coaches transport you throughout and from experience we can state that your tour will be memorable. It has given us the opportunity to visit numerous locations we would not have thought of visiting.
Julie, KentJulie, Kent
What can I say? I could Rabbit on for hours about the wonderful days out I have looked forward to and enjoyed with Pennywood Tours. How the way you look after us without being intrusive. I know you are keeping an eye on all of us. You create the atmosphere that we are just a group of friends enjoying a day out to interesting places. This, as a lone traveller gave me the confidence to venture on your longer trips.From the moment you climb aboard the out of the world coach, you can sit back and relax knowing that every ...
Keith and Marion, KentKeith and Marion, Kent
We enjoy days out and short breaks away but no longer want to drive too far so the trips arranged by Pennywood Tours are ideal.We just drive to the Garden Centre, park the car (for free) and join the coach.The trips are always well organised, friendly and relaxed. The coaches comfortable with first class drivers and any hotels we stay at are well chosen. We have been on quite a lot of their trips and highly recommend the experience.
Brian and Margaret, KentBrian and Margaret, Kent
These tours are ACE from the time you book until farewell at the end of the trip. They give personal attention to every detail. ‘Care – Consideration and Kindness’ should be their motto.
Marilyn and Jeff, KentMarilyn and Jeff, Kent
We never considered ourselves ‘coach people’ but after testing the water with day trips we now venture on longer tours. From Booking, either online or, our preferred option by telephone, the service can’t be faulted.Travel is by extremely comfortable coaches with ample ‘comfort’ stops and the tour leaders are always there for you.Accomodation is always first rate, we have no complaints there at all!Safe to say we are hooked and always look forward to seeing what’s on offer in the Pennywood Tours brochure.
Mr S, South East LondonMr S, South East London
I have always enjoyed your tours. We are always very well looked after and I have been to several very educational locations.I thoroughly enjoy the day trips and being transported in the deluxe Guildeline coaches. Your professionalism, relaxed nature and sense of fun makes it all the more enjoyable amongst the nice groups of people who go along. I look forward to the exciting new destinations for the coming year.
Sue, South East LondonSue, South East London
‘ My friends and I really enjoy going on trips with Pennywood Tours. The tours are expertly organised and run by a very friendly and knowledgeable team.The coach takes the stress out of the day as we can just sit back and relax!The gardens we have visited have been very beautiful (with lovely cream teas!)Our last trip to Highgrove was fantastic and we are all really looking forward to going on more trips with Pennywood next year’

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