normandy bike ride?

firstly i’d like to apologise if i have posted this in the wrong section, honest!

i am planning a trip in march to normandy to visit the beaches and the graves etc from
world war two, and i was wondering…

A) if anyone has done this before and could share some tips,places to visit,sleep etc
B)if anyone was interested in tagging along?

Did it last year with the French maxi-riders club.

Jim and I stayed in the Ibis hotel in Cherbourg - not the very cheapest but excellent value.

ok cool,

i’ll look into that once i’ve planned the initial route.


We did a mini version of it on the way home from SW FranceWe had a day to spare in Caen and visited the Casino at Hermanville/ Ouistreham which was the site of some of the heaviest fighting of the D Day landings. The Caen Museum is good too.

Well worth a butchers:)

may it be worth accomodating within this years trip as well?

I may be interested in doing this…it is a really good trip if you have any interest in the period…my walking buddy went last year…said it was really interesting…

Best way over to Normandy is the Fast Cat run by Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth to Cherbourg.

There are some very, very nice roads over there. Worth making at least a three day trip if not more, take in a bit of Brittany as well.

I’ve done this twice now, once on a bike. Regarding going on a bike, there isn’t a better way of doing it. Ferry from Portsmouth to Ouistreham is great. Depending on how long you are staying, the best thing to do is to get a hotel in Caen and use that as a base. If only staying 1 night, probably best if you stay in Caen. The roads are fantastic if you head out from Caen to the beaches. The D514 is the best bet for a good ride and the direct route through the beaches (it’s better farther West - closer to Caen and it’s busier). D7 and D22 and good routes to the UK and Canadian beaches too. Another idea is to take the E46/N13 to the far end and work your way back. That way you can see all 3 UK and Canadian beaches, and Omaha too. Utah is a bit more of a schlep to the West but is worth it for St Mere Eglise (where the paratroops dropped) and the D14. Depending on how adventurous you are, if the beaches aren’t enough, you can always head inland to places like St Lo and Falaise.

As for places to visit, stick to the D514 and they’re all well signposted (D-Day and “le choc”). Several points you must not miss, mostly from the centre beaches Westward:

Arromanches - the mulberry harbours that you can still see, they’re gargantuan and litter the beach here.Longues sur mer - an almost intact battery of 4 artillery bunkers.Colleville sur mer - the huge American cemetery and the bluffs of bloody Omaha beach. Terribly sad.Pointe du hoc - a series of bunkers on the cliff top that US rangers scaled. You’ve never seen anything like it, I guarantee.Isigny sur mer - the less visited main German cemetery, it’s just heart breaking.Ranville - if in Caen, cross the river a wee way back towards Ousitreham and visit the Commenwealth cemetery and the original Pegasus Bridge, not far from the new one.Bayeux - not only can you see the tapestry here but there’s another large commonwealth cemetery if you look hard enough, mostly for the lads of the 50th (Northumbrian) Division.Probably best not to go into the museums along the route if in a large group. They’re a bit cheesy, besides the best stuff is out on the beaches. If you don’t get off the bike and just ride, you can whisk around the beaches in a day. But that’s not the point. You can take 2 days to do the above and more but it’s a hard schedule. Not to put anyone off - you can get a lot out of this even if you’ve no interest in the War! Doing the above it becomes a great “stopping” holiday. I went with someone who needed a ciggy break every 30 minutes, so he got to feed his cancer genes whilst I mooched around the gravestones. :ermm:

I’d consider going again, not sure if I can afford it this year though.

cheers you guy’s that’s a big help on the road to starting,planning my trip?
my buddy used to be in the military some years back now and he was the one that suggested it.
i have an active interest in war stuff anyway especially the films.
saving private ryan,
thin red line, letters of iwo jima, apocolypse now, when we were soldiers just to name a few.

i am kinda excited about this trip actually and we plan to take at least 4 days if not 5 to get to see
everything! i hope that’s enough if not i’m sure we’ll go back to do the remaining bit.

i am planning to start organizing the route and accomodation etc next week as i’m off work and have
some spare time on my hands, if anyone is interested i’ll post my suggested route and itenary for you
guys and girls to look at, see if any of you fancy it? or have any extra bits to add like places to visit that
i may have missed etc etc

you guys have helped me out loads and i thank you all that have posted back.
happy travelling and safe riding…

regards to all


oh and happy new year peeps

yep my fascination is in the vehicles of war, the tactics and the results of technology to reduce the involvement of people in the actual dirtyness of war…

I collect a few old military trucks and things and have always been into the Second world war where technology really started to make a difference, radar, jet engines, APDS shells, rockets, both long and short range, tanks came into their own, personal machine guns, etc etc etc…fascinating period of war…

But as much as I love all of that I basically believe that war is a folly and should be avoided at all costs…however I also believe the world is heading fast into a very nasty period of its history more bad than it has ever seen before…the fundaMENTALists of some of the middle east and asian religions will, if they carry on as is, have to account for their actions and decent people will have to make them see that what they are doing is wrong. This may mean another world war…and is what I think that psychopath Bin liner is trying to cause…lets hop we can resist the temptation…

I forgot to say that when Jimc and I went, we used the catamaran from Portsmouth to Cherbourg.

We spent a happy hour or two visiting the Submarine Museum in the former Ocean Terminal.:smiley:

twostrokes, do you really believe its just the fundaMENTALists who are causing all this strife…the west, couldn’t possibly be at all to blame for some of the conflicts around the globe. no gentle persuasion from that guy amBUSH,cough cough…lol

but your right about one thing, we’re heading to a bad place.

Moved in to correct location

cheers polar!

sorry again, i will look before i post.

safe riding peeps…

Sounds like could be a good trip, other places to consider if you into history are Arnhem and Nijmegen in Holland or the Ardennes in Belgium in and aroud Spa Francorchamps, great roads.:slight_smile: