Our new cycle event follows the heroic footsteps of those who ended WWII in Europe
Have you ever wished to trace the valiant footsteps of those instrumental in ending World War II in Europe? If so, our 2023 charity cycle ride is just for you.
Introducing Woody’s Lodge Battlefield Tours 2023. This veterans fundraising event will place you at the epicentre of the largest invasion in warfare that brought an end to WWII on the continent. This is your opportunity to follow the journey of fearless and courageous soldiers, sailors, and airmen of the Allied forces who stood on the front line to forever change the course of history in the name of freedom.
Battlefield Tours follows our massively successful inaugural cycle event, the Cardiff to Paris Charity Cycle Ride. It will take you on a palpable historic adventure through Normandy in northern France as we peek into the D-Day Landings, codename Operation Overlord.
It’s our most ambitious veterans fundraising event yet – we are doubling the number of cyclists to 70, raising our fundraising target to £130k, and embarking on a magnificent route that pieces together the strategic decisions and extraordinary defence forces that resulted in victory!
Help us hit our 130k target
Become an event supporter by helping us hit our fundraising target, click on the Just Giving link below
Stepping back in time
It’s 6 June 1944. Against strong howling winds and relentless rough seas, the largest invasion in the history of warfare is underway as Allied armies descend on the beaches of Normandy. Over 150 000 troops, and 7000 ships and landing craft enter German-occupied northern France. The Allied forces, consisting primarily of British, American, and Canadian troops, have a 76-day battle ahead. It will result in the deaths of 210,000 Allied members and 14 000 French civilians. But it wasn’t in vain.
These key moments in history are known as the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy. It was a brave and calculated military campaign that brought together the Allied forces by land, air and sea to eventually defeat Germany.
Join us for an adventure of a lifetime
This momentous event is the reason behind Woody’s Lodge Battlefield Tours. From July 11 to 15, we begin our adventure cycling through the charming Hampshire county in South East England to the iconic French region of Normandy. Our home for the duration of the 5-day veterans fundraising event, is the beautiful Grandcamp-Maisy in the coastal fishing village of Maisy.
Walk in the footsteps of heroes
From the first day, we will explore landmarks, memorials, museums, and the hidden treasures of the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy.
Here’s a snapshot of what to expect:
Day 1: Soak up Southwick House
On day one, we spend the day on the awe-inspiring Southwick Estate in Hampshire, touring these historic grounds and visiting:
Southwick House: The location Operation Overlord was finalised and the headquarters of the main Allied commanders led by General Eisenhower.
Royal Military Police Museum: Here, you can trace the history of the Royal Military Police from its origins on horseback to today’s high-speed motorcyclists.
The Map Room: Located in Southwick House, this is where you can see the original map, detailing the enormous planning of Operation Overlord.
Day 2: Welcome to Normandy
On day 2, we enter Normandy and visit war memorials, landmarks, and key D-Day Landing locations, including:
Pegasus Bridge: This striking war memorial built in 1934 is the centrepiece of the Memorial Pegasus museum.
Juno Beach Memorial: Located in the resort town of Courseulles-sur-Mer, it pays tribute to the
45,000 Canadians who lost their lives during the Second World War.
British Normandy Memorial: Inscribed in stone are the names of 22 442 servicemen and women who fell on D-Day and during the Battle of Normandy. It also pays tribute to the French civilians who died during this time.
Normandy Beach: This was the centre of the five landing beaches on D-Day. Its codename was Gold Beach.
Longues Battery Memorial: Explore the well-preserved German defensive battery, which is one of the only places to see an original cannon, as well as original guns, and a fire control bunker.
Day 3: Mesmerising moments
On day 3, we venture through more hidden gems and pay homage to fallen heroes. Experience:
Bayeux Cathedral: Located in the town of Bayeux is the enchanting Bayeux Cathedral, an ancient site consecrated on July 14 1077. Today, it’s the seat of the Bishop of Bayeux.
D-Day Underwater Wreck Museum: Located near Port-en-Bessin, here you will discover vestiges of the D-Day Landing, like amphibious tanks and self-propelled guns
Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial: Located in Colleville-sur-Mer, it’s the first American cemetery in Europe for WWII casualties.
Omaha Beach Memorial: The sculpture titled Les Braves honours those who fought for the freedom of the French during WWII.
La Pont Du Hoc: This is a key heritage site along D-Day Landing beaches.
Day 4: Full circle
On the final day of adventure, we learn more about the planning behind the D-Day Landings and close off the experience at the place where everything started. End with exploration with:
Maisy Battery: This quaint village is home to a 2km walkthrough of original German trenches, and WWII bunkers and shelters.
St. Mere Eglise Liberation Monument: Located in the first town to be liberated from German control, the monument is in memory of paratroopers of the two Airborne Divisions.
Utah Beach Landing Museum: Learn the story of D-Day in chronological order, from the preparation to its successful outcome. Housed here is an authentic collection of objects, vehicles, equipment and testimonies, including a super-rare B26 bomber.
Beaches of Normandy: Ending this once-in-a-lifetime experience is a complete tour of the five landing beaches that made everything possible.
How to join Battlefield Tours 2023
We would love to have you as part of the Woody’s Lodge Battlefield Tours 2023. To get the application process started sign-up on our pre-reg form and we will contact you with further details and information.
We can’t wait to explore this magnificent chapter of our history with you.