Normandy: key moments in Britain’s history - 2022 ~ Pennywood Tours
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01622 434 981 info@pennywoodtours.com

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Normandy: key moments in Britain’s history – 2022

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Price
From£899
Price
From£899
19th October 2022
Available: 37 seats
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01622 434 981

info@pennywoodtours.com

5 nights, 6 days
Availability : Wednesday 19th October 2022
Max People : 50

This has been rolled over from 2021, so if you were booked on that then this is now your tour.

Single person supplement – £169

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. 

Please enquire about a departure time for your centre.

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

Estimated departure times: TBA

Please enquire about a departure time for your centre.

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

Departure Date

Wednesday 19th October 2022

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
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