Thinking of coming on tour with us in 2015?
You can plan your own tour of the battlefields, but you might miss the history of the sites and lose out on an insight into what happened during the Great War. Our tours are led by accredited battlefield guides on motorcycles, who have an in-depth understanding of the events and actions on the battlefields we visit.
To help you decide if a Battlefields On A Bike Tour is right for you, here are some insights into how our tours work…
Our tours are designed so that you can, above all else, have an enjoyable trip overseas on your motorcycle (or a hired machine). Touring is one of the main reasons for owning a motorcycle anyway.
Sometimes it can be daunting travelling on a bike alone, or with a friend. Our tours are intended to reduce the stress of a trip and increase the enjoyment and fun that two wheels can offer. We will help with loading and unloading on the ferry and train, travelling around the countryside on the continent and showing you to our tour destinations.
Our Battlefield Tours are naturally intended as a journey of remembrance, commemoration and respect. Our range of British Legion Tours include a membership to the Legion or Riders’ Branch if desired. A donation from every booking made is agreed with the Legion and we will try to accommodate individual visits to cemeteries, memorials or locations for the laying of poppy crosses. It is much easier on a motorcycle, of course. We always plan some free time for you to explore and can provide routes, itineraries and locations for evening rides for personal reflection. These are very popular.
Our tours include visits to cemeteries, memorials and fields of battle. We use radio communication with reliable and high quality units. You can tune in and listen to the live battlefield guided commentary, or simply absorb the location and region, it is really up to you. We will stop at some important sites and many that you can only really reach on two wheels. We will build up a picture for you, with our trained battlefield guides, allowing you time and space to pay respects and to take photographs – like our FLICKR SITE images.
Most of our trips begin in Dover (for ferry crossings to Calais), or Folkestone for the Tunnel to Calais. Our D-Day trips travel from Portsmouth to Caen or Cherbourg. We strongly recommend travelling to the ports the night before if you are more than three hours ride away. Our meeting places include Folkestone Services, Eureka Park and the REME Camp at Ashford. From here we will host a welcome brew and information briefing, including a safety briefing for the whole Tour. We can accommodate post-test riders of all abilities. All we ask is that you are able to ride for an hour at a time comfortably on a machine that can travel at motorway speed. Some longer tours that move on towards Verdun or the frontiers with Germany require some legs of four hours at motorway speed, with occasional stops for fuel and a brew.
When on the continent, we try and keep all riders together and ride near to the speed limits for the type of road. We do not ride on unlimited speed roads and in France, where the speed limit can reach 80mph, we try to keep to a sensible speed for the conditions.
All of our rides are accompanied by our Battlefield Guides. Each one will offer a commentary when riding through the sites and villages within the battlefields. You can choose to listen or to turn off your radio – it is up to you. We will stop at some locations for a longer talk, or a visit to a cemetery. Talks at these locations are optional and time is always given for personal reflection. We encourage guests to lay poppy crosses and messages on graves of family members, or sometimes an unknown soldier, or a soldier with the same family name. Our radio-guided tours offer the chance to see so much more and they can really bring history to life.
In the evening, we normally build in free time. In Ypres, we encourage participation in the Last Post ceremony at 20:00 daily. This is a deeply moving moment and we hope that everyone attends at least once.
Riding is a social experience, and whilst battlefield tours are inherently respectful and reflective, we always try to enjoy the countryside, scenery and the ride around some very beautiful and memorable parts of Europe.