WW1 and WW2 battlefield and memorial rides

There are many sites of historical significance within easy cycling distance or a short drive of the UK.

World War One

Within an hour's drive of Calais are many of the key sites of the Western Front, the heart of the World War 1. Flanders, running from Ypres with its Menin Gate in the north over 100 miles south to Compiegne where the Armistice was signed in 1918, running through Passchendaele, Arras, Vimy and Thiepval and hundreds of other tiny memorials that pockmark the landscape was the scene of humanity's greatest carnage. The area is now the most well-kept and wel-documented memorial to the fallen. Cycling trips to the area are often extremely poignant, especially if we have a specific task in mind.

In 2018, to mark the centenary of the Armistice I helped groups locate the war graves of a dozen fallen old boys of a local school, and on Armistice Day itself itself we attended memorial ceremonies at Thiepval. If you know of war dead whose memorials you'd like to visit then this makes an extremely emotive trip.

World War Two

The Second World War was far more geographically far flung, but within a morning's drive of Calais are the Normandy Beaches of the D Day landings. In 2019, I'm helping a group of lads and dads to explore the area for four days.

There are many other sites to visit nearer to Calais, such as the fortifications and launch sites near the coast, and further afield, such as the French and Belgian Ardennes where some of the key battles of second world war were waged. If you're interested in 20th Century history and you like to ride your bike in nice places then these two are easily married in the north of France.



About 80-90% of La Vie en Vélo trips result in another booking.

Have a look at what people say about their trips on the reviews page.

"The bicycle had, and still has, a humane, almost classical moderation in the kind of pleasure it offers. It is the kind of machine that a Hellenistic Greek might have invented and ridden. It does no violence to our normal reactions: It does not pretend to free us from our normal environment"
J.B. Jackson