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Join the acclaimed World War Two historian and author of Normandy ’44 for the most comprehensive battlefield tour yet including France’s famous landing beaches and beyond

James Holland's superb account of the Normandy campaign, including D-Day and the 76 days of bitter fighting that followed, has given us an entirely new perspective on this defining chapter in the Second World War. His book Normandy '44 not only re-examines this important period of our history but also formed the basis of a fascinating BBC Two anniversary film on the campaign.

Now on this exclusive, eight-day tour, you can join James on a journey which will give you the most in-depth view and understanding of what happened during that momentous time yet. You will enjoy a blow-by-blow account of the Allied campaign as you journey from UK southern coast to the battlefields of Normandy, in the company of the author as well as battlefields' expert Paul Woodage.

Curated entirely by James, who will travel with you throughout, you'll follow in the footsteps of the brave Allied troops who liberated German-occupied France, and later Europe, from Nazi control.

In a deeply absorbing, wide-ranging and moving itinerary, you will explore both the triumphs and the setbacks of the entire campaign. Beginning in Portsmouth, James will tell you in his inimitable style how the preparations to attack were made in Dorset. You'll then cross the Channel overnight.

In Normandy, you'll be based in Arromanches les Bains at the beautiful Hotel de la Marine, overlooking the harbour and located just kilometers from Bayeux, the first major town secured by the Allies during Operation Overlord, for five nights. You'll then follow the Allies progress visiting the many locations where fighting occurred along the coast. But this is not just a D-Day beaches tour - James will go far beyond them to present a broader overview of the entire Normandy campaign.

This promises to be an epic tour with two of the world's leading WWII experts and one that will profoundly re-calibrate our understanding of this pivotal moment in history.

"I'm a big believer in the importance of walking the battle grounds because 2D maps and photos never do a place justice. Only when you see the ground for yourself does it all start to add up and make sense. On this tour I'll tell you about the forgotten heroes and also explain how, whilst D-Day itself was considered a success, what came after was a massive slog!"

- James Holland

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Your expert guides

James Holland
Historian, writer, broadcaster

The author of Battle of Britain, Normandy '44, Dam Busters, and Fortress Malta, James Holland is a bestselling historian, writer, and broadcaster. He has written and presented the BAFTA-shortlisted BBC TV documentaries Battle of Britain and Dambusters, and Normandy 44 - a special BBC anniversary film telling the full story of the wider D-Day campaign. Co-founder and programme director of the Chalke Valley History Festival, James has his own collection at the Imperial War Museum, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Paul Woodadge
Battlefield historian
Paul is a British born battlefield tour guide and filmmaker who now lives in Normandy. A published author himself, Paul is highly regarded as an expert on 1944 and well known for historical consultancy work on WWII documentaries, films, museums and art companies, as well as being one of the speakers at James Chalke Valley History Festival in 2019.

Price includes

  • Talks, visits and Q&As with James Holland
  • Copy of James' book Normandy '44**
  • Full services of battlefield historian Paul Woodage throughout the tour
  • Full services of a tour manager throughout the tour
  • One-night bed & breakfast accommodation at the four-star Holiday Inn in Portsmouth
  • One night on board Brittany Ferries in an outside cabin (twin beds)
  • Five nights' accommodation at the three-star Hotel de la Marine in Arromanches les Bains
  • Three-course welcome meal at your Portsmouth hotel (One glass of wine included)
  • Seven breakfasts
  • Two restaurant lunches and two packed lunches while in Normandy
  • Return channel crossings from Portsmouth to Caen
  • Private lounge seat on-board the ferry
  • A 49-seat executive coach with professional driver
  • All entrance fees as specified in the itinerary

Availability

From
Thu, Thu, Mar 31, 2022
To
Thu, Thu, Apr 7, 2022
Duration
8 Days
Price per person
£1,699*

* PLEASE NOTE, price is based on two sharing a room and is subject to availability. Single supplement £325. Deposit: 20% of total cost due at time of booking. A night in Portsmouth at the end of the tour (7 April 2022) can be arranged for a supplement of £130 per room. **One per booking. Offer is operated by and subject to the booking conditions of TS Tours Ltd, ATOL protected and financially bonded.

Call now to book 02039938321
Quote ref: HOLLAND NORMANDY 44
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Itinerary

  1. Day
    1
    Introductory dinner and talk
    Portsmouth, United Kingdom

    Arrive and check-in to your hotel - the four star Holiday Inn, Portsmouth. You'll enjoy an introductory dinner and talk from James Holland and get an overview of what is to come.

    Meals - Dinner
  2. Day
    2
    Dorset: Castletown, Fort Nelson
    Broadmayne, United Kingdom

    Today, after breakfast, you'll visit the locations in Dorset where Allied troops prepared for D-Day. Stops include Broadmayne, a village which was the pre-invasion base to the US 1st Infantry Division where you can see their carvings on trees, Castletown, Portland, one of the departure points for the US 1st Division and home of the D-Day Museum, which you'll get a brief tour of. You'll also get a view of Phoenixes from Mulberry Harbour.

    After lunch in Castletown (not included) you'll visit Tarrant Rushton, formerly an airfield, now farmland between Wimborne and Blandford, which is where D Company, the Ox & Bucks, set off in their Horsa gliders to capture Pegasus and Horsa Bridges. You'll also visit the Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson in Hampshire and Portsdown, where you'll hear a fascinating talk about the air plan before D-Day. 197,000 tons of bombs were dropped on France alone in the nine weeks preceding it. There will be free time in Portsmouth or dinner before you board the overnight ferry to cross the Channel.

    Meals - Breakfast
  3. Day
    3
    Pegasus Bridge, Juno Beach, Crépon
    Ouistreham, France

    You'll arrive in Ouistreham at 6.45am and enjoy breakfast at the Ibis Styles Hotel before a busy morning exploring the D-Day beaches. Your first stop will be the key site of Pegasus Bridge, followed by Ranville Church, where you can still see bullet holes on the church door, and Ranville DZs, where the paratroopers came down. At each location you'll hear incredible stories of courage and sacrifice and be shown photographs taken at the time to help bring the battles alive.

    You'll then drive to Troarn and learn about the destruction of its bridge and the success of the British airborne ops. You'll follow the same route taken by Captain 'Tim' Roseveare and his men on the morning of 6 June 1944 in a Jeep requisitioned from Medics. After lunch in Hermanville, your tour continues to Sword Beach and Hillman, the strongpoint that held up the British advance on Caen.

    You'll also visit Juno Beach in St. Aubin-Sur-Mer where the 8th Infantry Brigade of Canadian 3rd Division came ashore, Gold Beach in Ver Sur Mer, where the Green Howards landed and the site of the only VC awarded on D-Day. You can also see the German bunker complex and new Normandy Memorial there. Your final two stops will be Crepon, where the second part of VC action took place, and Gold Beach in Le Hamel, where the Malta Brigade landed and Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry came ashore.

    This evening you'll check in to your hotel, the three-star Hotel de la Marine, your base for the next five nights.

    Meals - Breakfast
  4. Day
    4
    The American Sector
    Vierville-sur-Mer / Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, France

    Today, after breakfast at your hotel, you will be exploring what happened in the American Sector on D-Day starting in Picquaville at the US 9th Air Force Memorial. There you'll hear about the C-47 Skytrains and the sacrifice of many of the pilots who were shot down. You'll visit the road behind Château Bernaville, where General Falley of the 91st Luftlande Division was killed by Lt Malcolm Brannen, La Fière, where the 82nd Airborne landings took place, Brecourt Manor via Ste Mere Eglise, scene of Dick Winters' and Easy Coy, 506th PIR's capture of four German 105mm guns and finally Utah Beach, where you will have lunch at Café Roosevelt.

    This afternoon on your drive back to Bayeaux you will pass through Ste Marie du Mont, Vierville, Sainte Côme-du-Mont and Carentan. You'll see the La Cambe German War Cemetery, the National Guard Memorial in Vierville-Sur-Mer, Omaha WN60, site of one of the German strongpoints, and Omaha Dog White between St. Laurent-sur-Mer and Vierville, where Captain John Raaen and the 5th Ranger Battalion came ashore. You'll also visit the US Colleville Cemetery and Overlord Museum.

    Meals - Breakfast, Lunch
  5. Day
    5
    The British and Canadian Sector
    Caen, France

    Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before travelling to Abbaye D'Ardennes where you'll get a blow by blow account of attrition in the British and Canadian Sector. You'll visit Authie, where Canadian prisoners were executed and deliberately run over by SS panzers, as well as Buron, Point 103, Tilly Hill and Tilly-Our Seuilles. You'll enjoy a packed lunch at Le Margouillat or nearby before you visit St. Pierre, Rauray, St Manvieu and Cheux where you will hear the incredible story of Operation Epsom and Operation Goodwood in Cagny-Bourgèbus.

    Meals - Breakfast, Lunch
  6. Day
    6
    Cricqueville, St. Georges-Les-Cocq, Le Mesnil Amey
    Cricqueville-en-Bessin, France

    After breakfast you'll visit some of the other locations where attrition set in after D-Day. These include the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc and the positions where guns were hidden inland, Cricqueville, centre of various tactical commands, and Carentan's town square where you can still see war damage.

    You'll drive to the point where 506th PIR attacked and Dick Winters got onto the road - as featured in Band of Brothers - and Kraut Corner where Lt. Ralph Winstead and men of 38th Infantry crept forward n the night of 6th July under cover of US artillery and mortars. Within yards of German positions, they use Bangalore torpedoes to stun the enemy then rush the position, shooting dead 11 men, and capturing key documents. The importance of Hill 192 will also be explained as it was not finally captured by Americans until the second week of July. At St. Georges-Les-Cocq you'll compare dramatic then and now photos. You'll also be given the German perspective at Le Mesnil Amey and Le Haut Bosq, centre of Operation Cobra, where the Nazis lost 1,000 men.

    Meals - Breakfast, Lunch
  7. Day
    7
    Operation Lüttich and Operation Bluecoat
    Marigny, France

    Today, after breakfast you'll drive south through Marigny and visit the crossroads north of St. Denis-Le-Gast where German vehicles and tanks were clogged three miles back and were hammered by Allied air power. At Le Neufbourg you'll visit the old railway station which was the scene of bitter fighting during Operation Lüttich as well as Mortain where the 2nd Battalion, 120th Infantry Regt, 30th Infantry Division held out. You'll have free time in Vire for lunch and in the afternoon visit sites important to Operation Bluecoat launched on 30 July 1944. These include Le Pont du Taureau, Dickie Pole's Bridge over River Souleuvre and the ridge at Le Bèny Bocage where fierce fighting occured.

    Meals - Breakfast
  8. Day
    8
    Dives Valley
    Saint-Lambert-sur-Dive, France

    Today, your last day, will take in the Dives Valley and Saint-Lambert-sur-Dives where there was carnage and destruction around the Falaise Gap. In a fitting end to the tour you'll see more then and now images including those from the Ford at Moissy and Mont Ormel, significant as being the final point of the campaign. You'll also hear about Operation Totalize at Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil on 8 August 1944. You'll discuss the discovery of the bodies in 1983 and the controversy surrounding the circumstances of Michael Wittmann's death.

    Your last lunch with both James Holland and Paul Woodage will be at the 3 Planeurs in Benouville before you bid them goodbye to catch the 16.30 ferry back to the UK. You'll arrive at 21.15 when this fascinating tour ends.

    Meals - Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation

Holiday Inn Portsmouth

4
Portsmouth, United Kingdom

This four-star hotel is well situated on the seafront, within walking distance of the Spinnaker Tower and a mile away from the ferry terminal. Facilities include a bar, restaurant, health club, swimming pool, hot tub and steam room. There is free wifi throughout the hotel and each room is en-suite with television, tea and coffee making facilities, air conditioning and a pillow choice

Brittany Ferry

0
Cruise ship

On board the ferry you will find an a la carte and self-service restaurant, a bar, shop, two cinema’s, video games rooms, children’s area and cash dispenser. Wifi is free throughout the ship. All cabins are en-suite with two single beds. The cabins are all air conditioned, come with fresh linen, towels and toiletries, a hairdryer, tv, a continental plug socket & a USB charging point. The reserved lounge seats on board the ferry allow for some quiet time, comfort, and a place to relax.

Hotel de la Marine

3
Arromanches-les-Bains, France

Built in 1837, the Hotel de la Marine holds a beautiful location overlooking Mulberry Harbor in the charming village of Arromanches les Bains. Boasting enviable sea views, it is just a few kilometres from Bayeux with its famous tapestry depicting William the Conqueror.

Brought to you by

TS Tours
This tour is operated solely by TS Tours
TS Tours Ltd is the UK's leading specialist in creating bespoke tours, cruises and rail journeys in the company of experts. Its exclusive trips combine unique experiences as well as access to inspirational people. All trips are ATOL-protected and financially bonded.

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Availability

From
Thu, Thu, Mar 31, 2022
To
Thu, Thu, Apr 7, 2022
Duration
8 Days
Price per person
£1,699*

* PLEASE NOTE, price is based on two sharing a room and is subject to availability. Single supplement £325. Deposit: 20% of total cost due at time of booking. A night in Portsmouth at the end of the tour (7 April 2022) can be arranged for a supplement of £130 per room. **One per booking. Offer is operated by and subject to the booking conditions of TS Tours Ltd, ATOL protected and financially bonded.

Call now to book 02039938321
Quote ref: HOLLAND NORMANDY 44