France and the WW2 Sites

Well day one travelling from Cheshire to Portsmouth all started really well. My grandson and I set off at 08:45hs for a 14:45hs sailing. Plenty of time I hear you say. Yes five hours seemed like plenty of time to get down before check in closed at 14:00hs. So we stopped at the services on the M6 toll for a 10mins to stretch our legs before, heading to Warwick services for a coffee stop. Still got plenty of time. So we set off again from Warwick onto the M40 and this is where things started to go wrong. The satnav was showing an arrival time of 13:15hs, which gave us 45mins of check in time, all good, until we hit three lanes of very slow moving traffic. We filtered as best we could for mile after mile, with our arrival time keeping moving in the wrong direction. I had planned to refuel just before getting on the M3, so pressed onto the A34. The traffic here was also really busy and at times running at a very slow pace. The dual carriageway is quite tight so making it difficult to filter with panniers on the tiger. We pressed on and eventually got down towards the M3 and my refuel stop. I now had a real dilemma. The satnav was showing an arrival time of 13:55hs should I chance the stop for fuel or press on and ensure I made the check in time. I calculated that I would arrive with only about 20 miles left on the fuel gauge.
I decided to press on as I did not want to miss check in. We made the check in with only minutes to spare, relief. Once we cleared customs and arrived in the lane to board the fuel gauge was showing just 12 miles.
Anyway as we were waiting I noticed a guy standing by his vintage Austin just in front of us. I got talking to him and asked if he was carrying any spare fuel (these guys often do). I was in luck he had a can on the side of the car with 2 litres of fuel. I chanced my luck and asked him if he would sell it. He agreed and asked for a fiver. I was that relieved I gave him a tenner, he was made up and I was a bit more confident I would make it on and off the ferry to the hotel once we docked.
We did make it to the hotel, with just 8 miles showing on the fuel gauge. Well that was well over 200 miles on a single tank of fuel, I love my tiger.
So day two started with a worrying trip to a petrol station for a massive fill up before starting our day on the WW2 sites

Day 2 update to follow.


Nervous moments dude… :joy:

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Jeez talk about down to the wire with the fuel, youre braver than me. Looks like you got great weather over there too. Love seeing the WW1 sites where my grandfather was killed and is interred, must do the WW2 ones , my uncle died at Caen. Keep safe.


Bit of a bum clencher that mate!

Could have told you that the A34 is an absolute twat of a road (I’ve always hated it) :rage:

Enjoy the trip - great places to visit, done it twice and would still go back.


Enjoying this as 10 of us are doing ww2 landing zones in September! This is making me even more excited!


Now I would have put money on you stopping for fuel. Chancer. :rofl:

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Enjoy your trip @Wessa , fortunately Triumph fuel gauges seem to be dependable, don’t ask me how I know. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Day 2
After the trauma over fuel we made it from the hotel to the petrol station, with the fuel gauge showing 7 miles. The bike took on just over 15 litres of fuel, which would suggest there was still circa 4 litres left in the tank. I’m not sure I would have wanted to test how much further it would actually have gone. Anyway with a full tank we set of for Pegasus Bridge, which was our first stop on the day.

After a few pictures and a chat with couple of guys from Wales we mounted up and headed for Saint Mere Eglise.
I had planned to go out to the Cherbourg peninsula and Utah beach on our first day as it was our longest leg, and then work our way back towards the hotel. Saint Mere Eglise is a fabulous little village with the American airborne museum located in the centre. The queue to get in was massive, so we had a coffee sat in the glorious sunshine before heading off to our next stop. The church with the paratrooper hanging on the roof is the main attraction. Apparently he landed on the roof and was stuck, real bad luck.
So refreshed we headed for Bayeux and the British and Commonwealth cemetery.

A very sobering experience in the sweltering heat and the museum was very good as well.

We headed for our next stop which was Caen. Once we hit the city centre we parked up and had some lunch (KFC my grandsons choice). Not my favourite food, but he really enjoyed. We visited the cathedral and castle which are both close together in the centre of the city, before heading back to the hotel.

We decided as it was so warm we would get changed into shorts and tee shirts and head to the beach for a drink. Dinner was at one of the many restaurants on the front near the port and followed by a pint before bed.

Day 3 to follow.


I was on the A34 yesterday. Well, actually I wasn’t. Vehicle fire closed it. I took four hours to get from Faringdon to Nottingham… :slightly_frowning_face:

Day two looks and sounds brilliant, day one made me nervous reading it :grimacing:.


Smashing trip, and great weather too :+1:


At the Pegasus Bridge cafe I was served the worst coffee I’ve ever tasted by the grumpiest French woman. Should have left it to the Germans :rofl:

Shame you couldn’t get into the museum, its one of the better ones.

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Good write up so far Steve @Wessa.


Day 3 - The Beaches.

We started day 3 with a lazy breakfast at the hotel (continental unfortunately, but it satisfied us for the start of the day).
Our first stop was Sword beach which was the easternmost beach of the five landings. The British 3rd Division with French and British commandos attached were responsible for this area.
It is difficult to imagine what it was like back then as there has been so much development along the coast.

We set off again with the coast and sea on our right to Juno beach. The beach spanned from Courselles a village just east of the Gold beach to Saint-Aubin-Sue-Mer just west of Sword beach. Taking Juno was the responsibility of the Canadian Army. There objectives were to cut off the Caen-Bayeux road and to seize the airport west of Caen to form a link between the two British beaches on either flank.

We moved on from Juno to Gold, which was the central of the five Normandy areas, and was located between Port-en-Bessie on the west and La Rivière on the east. High cliffs at the western end of the zone meant that the landings took place on the flat section between Le-Hamel and La Rivière, in the sectors code-named Jig and King.
Taking Gold was to be the responsibility of the British army, supported by the Dutch.


Day 3 continued.

We moved on from Gold to the Merville Gun Battery a decommissioned coastal fortification in Normandy, which was built as part of the Germans’ Atlantic Wall to defend continental Europe from Allied invasion. The sun was now up and it was sweltering in our riding gear. We sucked it up and walked along the concrete gun placements and then out to the coast, where the cliffs were quite steep down to the beach and sea shore.

Before setting off from the battery we rode in to the village for some lunch.

Fed and watered we headed slightly in land for some lovely rural roads to get over to Omaha beach and the American war Cemetery. Omaha is a 5 mile section of the coast east of Saint-Honorine-des-Pertes to the west of Vierville-sur-Met on the right bank of the Douve River estuary. Landings here were necessary to link the British landings to the east at Gold with the American landing to the west at Utah thus providing a continuous coverage along the coast. Taking Omaha was to be the responsibility of the Americans.
The view across the beach provides a real insight on how far from the waters edge to the German positions it was. The cemetery is sobering and like the British and Commonwealth cemetery we visited the previous day just demonstrates the personal sacrifice of so many men and women on that day.
Thoroughly knackered we headed back the circa 50 miles to the hotel, so pleased to be riding with the cooling air. It was so warm in riding gear wandering around the sites. A cool shower and out for a drink and some food.

Some pictures of the cemetery.

Having had a full on day in the hot sunshine we headed back to the hotel, happy to be on the bike and getting some airflow through our jackets. Following a shower we headed out for a drink and some food.

And then off to bed.


Glad it’s going well mate, if a little too hot in bike gear!

Just wondered if you needed a green card with your insurance as I’m off to France in September.

Yes Steve. I’m with BikeSure, I rang them and had to provide the dates I was travelling. I also did my September dates when @AndyPandy and me do France and Spain. They sent me two letters (via their portal) which I printed and took with me.

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Day 4.

Day 4 came around very quickly for us. We had an early start to get to the ferry check in. This time we had plenty of time to spare as we were only half a mile from the port gates. Getting through passport control happened with no drama and before we turned around we were at the front of the queue to board. There was a guy on. Tracer 900 in front of us. Had a chat and whilst passing an eye over his bike I noticed one of his bungee had come off his soft luggage and the hook had gone into the front chain guard. We managed to free it after lots of pushing, pulling and swearing. Eventually it came free, much to his relief. Having sorted his bike we boarded. It was such a lovely day we dropped our gear in our cabin and headed to the sun deck for the trip across.

Passport control at Portsmouth was again drama free and we were on the M275 heading for home. The A34 again caught us out with a van and caravan hitting the central reservation. Filtered for miles to get to the front of the queue. Set us back a good hour. We pressed on up to Warwick for a rest and to take on some fuel. Moving on north to the M42 and yes agian hit traffic. Another long filtering experience and yet again another accident (rear end shunt). Why do car drivers drive so close to the car in front of them. Another 30 to 40 minute delay. Good UK roads and drivers. After another rest stop we finally got home in Cheshire for about 18:45hs. A shower and change into shorts we headed to one of my wife’s and mines favourite restaurants for a well earned couple of pints and excellent Italian food.

A fantastic short trip around Normandy, quality time with my grandson, was over far to quickly. Can’t wait for my September trip to France and Spain.


Awesome trip guys! I really enjoyed it… even the sweating :sweat_smile:


Looks like great trip, and thanks for the fantastic pictures.

It may have been too hot, but better than pouring rain!