Our exciting cycle challenge takes us through northern France to Cherbourg, visiting some of the region’s most significant World War 2 battle sites, including Pegasus Bridge and the Normandy Landing Beaches.
We have some long days in the saddle as we pedal through this historic region, but we stop to pay our respects at many sites, and our tired bodies seem a small price to pay for the sacrifices made by the armed forces in WW2 and more recent years.
We meet in the evening on Whale Island, Portsmouth, home to HMS Excellent, the oldest shore training establishment of the Royal Navy. Here we will enjoy a welcome meal and briefing and have the chance to meet fellow riders and our support crew. We’ll then cycle down to the port for our night ferry crossing to Le Havre. Night ferry cabins. (Meals not included)
After disembarking from the ferry we cycle to central Le Havre for our official start. Le Havre was a destination of strategic importance during both WW1 and WW2. We gather at St Marie cemetery for an official start to our ride and play tribute to the fallen soldiers. From here we set off for what will be a gentle introductory day, riding north of the Seine towards Rouen. We’ll enjoy cycling alongside the scenic chalk banks of the river before heading south towards Lisieux, our overnight stop. Cycle approx. 60 miles. (Breakfast on ferry not included)
Our legs should be feeling used to the miles now as we head west towards Caen. There are a few more significant hills today, though they aren’t long and our legs should be feeling used to the effort by now! Stops today include German and Allied cemeteries and Mervillle Battery, which saw an epic airborne assault. We finally come to Pegasus Bridge, where the first house to be liberated from the Germans in June 1944 still stands. We then continue the flat run-in along the river to Caen. Night hotel. Cycle approx 45 miles
A fantastic though poignant day today, as we ride between some of the D-Day Landing Beaches and stop to pay our respects at their memorials. Notable stops include Juno and Gold beaches, as well as Arromanches, where the views out to sea are spectacular and evoke the terrible history only too easily. From Bayeux War Cemetery we ride on to our hotels. It will be a long day because there are many places to visit, but this breaks up the cycling into smaller chunks and should make for a less demanding day ahead of tomorrow’s more challenging distance. Night hotel. Cycle approx 50 miles
Today centres on the role of the Americans, with our first stop Omaha Beach, made more notorious from the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan. We pay our respects at the cemetery here before continuing on along the coast towards Cherbourg. We stop at other battle sites and memorials including the village of Ste Mère Église, which played a large part in the D-Day landings and was liberated by the Americans. The last section of our ride takes us northwest, over some short sharp hills to Cherbourg and the end of our challenge! We mark our achievements with a celebration meal. Night hotel. Cycle approx 78 miles
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.
We usually stay in hotels or lodges of a 2-3* standard or equivalent. Standards may vary between the hotels but they are generally comfortable and convenient for our route. Hotels are often on the outskirts of towns to minimise unnecessary extra mileage and avoid traffic.
We have a Passenger Portal which will give you more details of the challenge itself. It also enables you to see any outstanding information we need, the countdown to your challenge departure, see your outstanding balance, make payments and update your contact details. You can access this via the following link - Passenger Portal Log in.
We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.
If you are still to buy some kit don’t forget that Cotswold Outdoor, Snow and Rock, Cycle Surgery and Runners Need offer all Discover Adventure participants 15% off any purchases you make with them. Please ask us for the code if you do not have this already.