12 WW2 Locations to visit in Normandy

Visit Normandy & see where the events of D-Day took place leading to victory in Europe in WWII.  For further details on our Normandy Tours visit  http://www.schooltours.co.uk/school-trips/history-school-trips-to-normandy.html


  • The British Sector

1. The Merville Battery

Part of the Atlantic Wall, this gun emplacement with a command bunker, a building to accommodate the men, and ammunition magazines, was thought to threaten the British landing on Sword Beach. The British captured the Battery at heavy cost. They found that there was only one old French 75mm gun in place.

2. Pegasus Bridge

Gliders carrying men of the Ox & Bucks Light Infantry under the command of Major John Howard landed near Benouville shortly after midnight on 6th June to capture the two strategically-important bridges crossing the Orne and Caen Canal. The British Airborne assault secured the eastern flank of the Landing Beaches. The Gondrée Cafe nearby was the first building in Europe to be liberated. The bridge across the canal was called "Pegasus Bridge" after the shoulder flash of the 6th Airborne Division. The original bridge was replaced in 1995.

3. Hermanville-la-Breche (Sword Beach)

Sword Beach was the most easterly of the five assault Beaches. Commandos landing here later captured Ouistreham and joined up with the airborne troops at Pegasus. Nearby there will also be the opportunity to see the Memorial to the early casualties and Montgomery's Statue at Colleville-Montgomery as well as visiting one of the main beach exits at Hermanville-la-Breche.

4. Courseulles (Juno Beach)

The landing here was delayed to allow the tide to carry the Tank Landing Craft over reefs offshore. This area had an impressive array of defences including blockhouses with field guns, machine-gun pill-boxes and “Hedgehogs” on the beach. The beach and all the coastal roads were mined. Poor visibility meant that the bombardment fell beyond the seafront defences. At Courseulles-sur-Mer the Canadians stormed the defences, supported by “funnies” from 26 Assault Squadron, Royal Engineers. Courseulles, cleared by 10.00 hours, was the first port captured by the Allies and played a key role in landing supplies after D-Day. General Charles de Gaulle landed here on 14th June, 1944. A DD tank found three miles out at sea in 1970 now stands as a Memorial to the 1st Canadian Hussars.

5. Arromanches & Gold Beach

The British 50th Division landed on Gold Beach at the western end of the British Sector. The town of Arromanches became the site for the Mulberry Harbour, the remains of which can still be seen offshore. The Invasion Museum at Arromanches explains the harbour's construction and use. On the cliffs above the town the 360 Degree Cinema offers an evocative audio-visual presentation of the landings.

6. Bayeux War Cemetery

Bayeux was the first town in Normandy to be liberated. The major British War Cemetery in Normandy is now located here along with the Memorial to the Missing. The cemetery is the venue for the annual Commemoration of the Landings. 

  • The American Sector

7. La Cambe German Cemetery

Originally an American Cemetery, La Cambe eventually became the site for the largest German cemetery in Normandy with over 40,000 casualties. Of particular note is the central communal burial mound. The graves of Michael Wittmann and his tank crew, whose attack at Tilly-sur-Seulles had earlier proved so destructive to the British, are also in La Cambe.

8. Ste Mère Église

Whilst the British were securing the eastern flank of the invasion area, the American 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions were given the task of securing the western flank. The American paratroopers found themselves scattered over a wide area and many drowned in marshes. Nevertheless Ste Mère Église was captured. The American Airborne Museum now stands on the site of a house destroyed by fire during the fighting. There are numerous artefacts, weapons, armoured vehicles and a Dakota DC3 on the site. An effigy of Private Steele, who famously hung by his parachute from the tower of the church for many hours, serves as a reminder of this incident (see photo). It is also possible to see the water pump used by the villagers to put out the fires started in the air raid.

9. Utah Beach

Utah Beach near the village of Ste Marie du Monte was on the most westerly of the invasion beaches. The most senior American officer who came ashore on D-Day, Brigadier General Roosevelt, son of the former President and aged 57 when he landed on Utah, decided that although his troops had actually landed some distance from their scheduled landing place, they were now committed. As a result casualties were minimal and by nightfall 23,000 men supported by hundreds of vehicles had come ashore. Utah shares the claim along with Ste Mere Eglise to be the starting point of "Liberty Highway". The marker stone at Utah reads Kilometre 00 as opposed to Ste Mere Eglise's Kilometre 0.

10. Pointe du Hoc

The Pointe du Hoc is now the best-preserved battlefield site in Normandy. On 6th June, 2nd US Rangers under the command of Lt Col James E Rudder were given the task of capturing the gun positions which dominated this high ground and which could fire on both Utah and Omaha. Overcoming all obstacles the Rangers scaled the cliffs and captured their objective. The machine-gun positions, bunkers, dug-outs and casemates which comprised the German defences can still be seen as can the craters caused by the naval bombardment.

11. Omaha Beach

Overlooked by a high bluff and heavily defended with machine guns and 88 mm guns, Omaha Beach was the most critical and difficult part of "Operation Overlord". The US 1st & 29th Divisions landed on what later became known, due to the severity of the losses, as "Bloody Omaha". With his troops deprived of artillery or armoured support and out of radio contact having lost their equipment on the way in to land, Bradley considered evacuation before the Americans finally managed to break through the barriers blocking the beach exits. The men who advanced left behind more than 3,000 casualties.

12. Colleville US Cemetery

The photograph shows the graves of Theodore Roosevelt Jr (Medal of Honor) and Quentin Roosevelt his brother who was killed in the First World War. Colleville is the principal American Cemetery in Normandy and fittingly overlooks Omaha Beach. It contains over 9,000 casualties. Many other American casualties originally buried in the cemetery were subsequently repatriated to the United States. The American D-Day Remembrance Service is held here. On major Anniversaries, the Services is attended by the US President.


Merville Battery

Pegasus Bridge


invasion museum arromanches

bayeux war cemetery

la cambe german cemetery

ste mere eglise

utah beach memorial

omaha beach memorial

colleville us cemetery



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  • Statement from ABTA & STF


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    We are dedicated to bringing you the latest news and updates regarding travel. 

    Please find below a joint statement from the STF and ABTA as of March 13th 2020. Our current understanding of the situation regarding school trips is as follows:

    • The government has advised schools that they should not undertake international school trips at this stage. This is due to concerns that the schools would face significant challenges in making arrangements to ensure children’s welfare should adult supervisors or children be required to self-isolate. Schools will decide how to act upon this advice. If schools do cancel their trips, normal cancellation terms will apply.
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    • The Government is not advising schools to stop trips within the UK so schools can proceed as planned if they wish. The Government is advising schools to refresh their risk assessments.Customers wanting to cancel must do so at their own cost, normal cancellation charges apply.


    Written on Friday, 13 March 2020 15:35
  • Brexit FAQ's

    Last edited 30.01.2020


    We now know that the UK will leave the EU at 23h00 (GMT) on 31 January 2020. Following Brexit we will enter a transition period which will run, at least, until the end of December 2020. During the transition period everything will remain the same and you can continue to travel as you do now.

    We will continue to monitor the information provided by travel industry experts, organisations like ABTA and the UK Government and pick out what we believe is relevant for you.


    Common questions about travel after 31 January 2020


    Will flights still operate?

    Yes. During the transition period, everything will stay the same until the end of December 2020 and flights will continue as normal. 


    Will my coach journey still operate?

    Coaches will still be able to travel to, from and around EU countries as usual. 


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    You can always check on https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out more about visa restrictions for your destination.


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    If you are looking to travel to Europe from 1 January 2021, you will need your passport to both:

    • have at least 6 months left
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    If you do not renew it, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

    If you would like to know more take a look at the latest Government advice.


    Will I still be able to use a collective passport?

    Whilst the position as to the validity of collective passports for travel to the EU has not changed, if you are able to arrange for each traveller to have an individual passport which has the requisite validity, this may help to forestall any issues which might arise.


    Will I need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit?

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    The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows any EU citizen to access state medical care when they are travelling in another EU country. UK registered EHICs will still be valid throughout 2020.

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    Further advice on travel insurance can be found at https://www.abta.com/travelinsurance


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    If you have an existing booking with Next Generation Travel group brand:

    We have placed forward contracts for foreign currency so fluctuations in the exchange rate are highly unlikely to affect the price of your tour.

    Please note however that, if there is a change in legislation that will affect your overall tour price and which is out of our control, eg visa costs, surcharges, this cost would be passed on to you.

    As is always our policy at Next Generation Travel we will do our best to do the right thing to work with you to ensure your trip would continue.


    If you have not yet booked your tour:

    Due to our forward buying policy for foreign currency, we will work with you to ensure there is no or a low impact on pricing. The travel industry is reporting that the sensible advice is to book now to secure your booking on current currency rates.


    What is the law on price changes?

    If there are increases in transportation costs, taxes or fees chargeable for services post Brexit, the law says that package holiday providers, like Next Generation Travel, are permitted to increase their prices. However, we are pleased to confirm that there would be no change within 20 days of your departure and we would cover the first 2% of any price increase. In the unlikely circumstances that prices were to increase by more than 2% you may be asked to pay an additional fee however where the price increase is 10% or higher, you have the right to cancel and receive a full refund of all monies paid, except for any amendment charges.


    Will overall prices go up in the future?

    Tour prices in the future will always be open to normal market and economic fluctuations such as currency and service prices. Our foreign currency forward buying policy means we always look to protect customers from the impact of currency fluctuationsHowever, overall tour prices may in the future be affected by changes in legislation such as visa costs, surcharges etc. or increased cost in services such as flights or ferry crossings.

    At Next Generation Travel our experienced staff will always provide you with a tour price which is based either on the actual current rates for your service or estimated rates which are based on our extensive knowledge of the travel and industry. We will always communicate any price changes as they are given to us and have an open and honest pricing policy, which will ensure you should have no surprises later on.

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    Brexit Advice for Travellers
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    What Does Brexit Mean for Travellers
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