It is not hard to imagine. Riding the lanes and roads of Belgium, or France, the byways of Luxembourg and the wide sweeping hills of the Ardennes. Motorcycling abroad is one of the true pleasures of summer and owning a motorcycle. What better than having a destination that is so steeped in history and such a great part of our own story.
Motorcycling and remembrance have been closely entwined for many years now. We see a great number of motorcycles displaying a poppy, we saw the lines of red-adorned bikes on the rings of red in November on the M25 and M60 motorways. We see bikers pass us, giving us a wave and we meet hundreds of bikers at cafes and bike stops across the UK and abroad.
We are often asked what is different about our tours. After all, you can find the sites of battle easily enough on your own. Why choose to visit with a battlefield tour company? Well, we have found ten reasons why you should come along with us to visit the sites of European battles over the last 200 years.
1. We can tell the story of what happened at each location. Finding a battlefield is easy enough. Knowing the exact geography is fairly easy, but what is more difficult is to piece together the story. Standing on Caterpillar Valley, looking out over the sweep of the ridge is moving, but what if you found out that there was a cavalry charge during the battle of the Somme? Or a General walking up to and down into unoccupied German trenches unopposed? Or a company of soldiers who disappeared and were never seen again? Sometimes it is these details that take you from just a visitor to an observer of the history. It makes the remembrance so much more moving.
2. Archaeology. This may not be the most appealing word, but the structures built for attack and defence can tell you so much. Find the turret attacked by the US Rangers on D-Day. Walk the path taken by twenty men attacking a bunker of 100 enemy, that if they failed, could have spelt disaster for the landing craft. Knowing the archaeology can enrich your ride and visit enormously.
3. Hassle-free travel arrangements. Most of us who ride are pretty independent and can cope with whatever the weather of ferries can throw at us. But we can take the aggravation out of travel and put together an itinerary to match your wishes.
4. Riding in a group of like minded people. Making new friends and having some fun is all part of our tour programmes. Obviously the locations and memorials are there for a reason, but that does not mean that we can’t enjoy the scenery, the beautiful towns and villages of Europe and make new friends. Some of our clients become firm friends for life.
5. Knowledge and support. Apart from our tour guides being qualified and experienced in running this type of tour, the back up for riders is an important element of planning. We are able to manage stops for fuel, fixing occasional faults on bikes, sorting out any little emergencies so that your trip is pleasurable and memorable, whatever the road throws at us.
6. Our tours are ideal for novice tourists. The first trip overseas can be daunting and difficult. It need not be. Our rides are planned for comfort and enjoyment. Only those tours that specifically mention longer runs (such as rides to Bastogne and Luxembourg) call for a more hardy riding experience. If you can ride for an hour at a reasonable pace, you will have a memorable experience.
7. Our British Legion programme is run to benefit our ex-service personnel and their families. You don’t have to be a member to join and every tour booking makes a contribution to the Legion. We are the exclusive provider of motorcycle tours for the Royal British Legion in the UK.
8. Our tours are designed to take you to sites that cannot be accessed by any other form of transport. Some places are not easily found, or information available on the internet is sparse. We can take you deep into the countryside, with live commentary from our guide on the lead bike through our PMR radio set up. All tours have a motorcycle guide and a tour manager on a bike, just to be on the safe side.
9. On any tour, if you have a specific wish to visit a cemetery or monument, we can accommodate that as part of the tour – without disrupting the rest of the group. That’s the beauty of a bike, it can go where you want it to.
10. Our tours are designed with you in mind. We hope that you will see something you have not seen before, know something new and experience a little of the life of a soldier, sailor, airman, cavalryman or engineer from a bygone age. To do it on your own motorbike is a truly magical experience.
To book a tour or to browse our tours click HERE
“We had been to the Flanders battlefields before, but this trip just made it all come to life and put all the bits together. Brilliant”
“Motorbike-France-Somme. In three words. Fabulous trip, I learned so much and planted a poppy for an unknown lad from Australia”
“I can’t imagine going to a battlefield visit in any other way now”.