British Sky Tours

                  

HOme The Team SEALION CONTACT  D DAY AIR/LAND SWISS ALPS

 

' Quit looking so worried, General, we'll take care of this thing for you.'

President Eisenhower recalling his conversation with a paratrooper about to emplane on the evening before D Day.

 

 

SINGLE DAY NORMANDY SKY TOUR

 The Longest Day - Overlord Tour

Our sky tour brings the D Day landing grounds and invasion beaches within a single day from London. Previously two or three days were needed with the ferry crossings and journey to reach the Liberation Coast. We still arrange visits by ferry and road and these naturally cost less than a sky tour. However, if your time is rationed, then our One Day Normandy Tour provides the answer.

That said, please do take the time to look at our Extended Schedules page - link below - because you might be surprised by the economics of visiting Normandy with an extended sky tour compared to spending the same time staying in Central London during the summer season. As a wealthy American friend remarked last summer, ' Now I know what it's like to be poor.'

Visiting Normandy with our sky tour is one of those trips of a lifetime. We strongly urge that you plan to stay in Britain for at least a week to allow for catching good weather. Remember that D Day was cancelled twice because of storms after a scorching May.

Once across the Channel your tour starts with a spectacular flight-seeing route over the landing grounds and along the British, Canadian and American assault beaches. This brings alive the scale of D Day and the tactics employed by both sides - making your ground tour by comfortable car and easy walking far more worthwhile and meaningful.

We arrange each programme to suit our visitors - Canadians want to see Juno Beach and the Canadian drop zone - but some D Day sites are so famous that we include them for everyone. Here is the most popular programme for American visitors.

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Chauffer pick up with comfortable car at your Central London hotel - time arranged with you but we recommend an early start, certainly no later than 8am during summer.

Arrive at the Airport, welcomed by your captain and guide, board our comfortable aircraft. Take off around 8 am.

 

After take off from Fairoaks we pass over the South Downs and Arundel Castle, Goodwood Racecourse and Chichester Cathedral. Once airborne from Biggin Hill almost immediately you'll see Chartwell, Sir Winston Churchill's home, also Hever Castle where Anne Boleyn grew up. We pass over Ashdown Forest, inspiration for Winnie the Pooh, and other famous places. We brief on D Day and the liberation of Europe during the flight. We serve coffee and croissants plus soft drinks. We make our landfall where William the Conqueror assembled his fleet for invading the other way in 1066.

Approximately an hour later we reach the mouth of the River Orne on the Normandy coast.

We approach the coast and pass over the landing and drop zones at combat jump height.

After circling over the British and Canadian parachute dop zones and glider landing zones we return to the coast and fly along the whole length of the Allied invasion beaches at a low though safe height.

We point out the sites and their significance as we fly alongside the famous beaches. During this flight we also explain the tactics involved with the assault from the sea. We'll pass over the wreck of the surviving Mulberry Harbour. After flying alongside Omaha Beach and circling the Pointe du Hoc, we fly past Utah Beach and the American landing grounds before landing at Cherbourg Airport. The time in France is 11 am.

We meet our French colleague and set off by road through the very pretty bocage countryside for Saint Mere Eglise, focal point of the American glider and parachute landings. On arrival at the friendly little town we visit the American Airborne Museum and also visit the famous church which still has a replica paratrooper dangling from its tower. Sometimes the group is ready for some light refreshments before leaving the town square.

  

South from the town we drive beside the drop zones, fields and rivers where the 82nd and 101st US Airborne Divisions landed during the night of D Day and fought throughout several weeks.

We turn off the main road towards the coast and the pretty village of Mont Saint Marie du Mont, beyond lies Utah Beach. Sometimes we reverse this schedule and first go to the American Cemetery and Omaha Beach.

Around 2pm we arrive at the American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach. On the 6 June 2007 the splendid new American Normandy Visitor Center opened alongside the cemetery.

After visiting the cemetery and new visitor center we drive down one of the draws leading onto the beach where old pill boxes still menace the shore.

We walk over the same sands where thousands of young men struggled ashore, climb the same bluffs overlooking the beach. Your guide explains not only what took place but why particular crises happened, why decisions were made on both sides, right and wrong, thereby giving deeper understanding of the countless heroic acts on that fateful morning, how the desperate situation was turned around.

We take a late lunch at the Gaffié family's very welcoming small hotel and restaurant with delicious food and good wine. Afterwards we visit the Pointe du Hoc where the Rangers climbed the cliffs and captured a vital heavy gun battery. Around 6pm, having explored the deeply cratered point and discussed the crucial role of the Rangers, we return to Cherbourg Airport around 6pm and fly back across the Channel.

When we land at home base it's only 7pm in England and our chauffeur returns you to the front step of your London hotel by 8.30pm.

 

A VERY SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY

 

We can now combine a Normandy Tour with a further day in Cambridge.

Churchill College is home to the Archives of Sir Winston Churchill and Baroness Margaret Thatcher. We can make an appointment for you to have a tour, guided by one of the senior staff who will show you the actual archives - normally researchers work from micro-film - these include all Sir Winston's famous speeches with his own last minute edits. We would also have a walk around the charming old university city of Cambridge. 

Not far from the college is Madingley American Cemetery and only a few miles south is the magnificent collection of aircraft - from SE5s to the ultrasonic Blackbird - at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.   

The journey is made by road but the Mayfair Dove is available if any party would like to see - from the air - the legendary flat fields of Eastern England, once home to the 8th USAAF. Many old airfields are clearly visible.

This offers something rather special on the spare ' weather ' day suggested for visitors going to Normandy. There is no need to make the trips back-to-back. However, we do need to give enough advance warning to the senior staff at the Archives, whose diaries fill rather fast.

Below is a photo that links to more about the college.

 

 

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Also worth browsing - Stop Press and Before Take Off Briefing Operation Overlord

You can see a virtual day tour of the D Day coast by clicking here.

Our extended tours with overnights in Normandy include more D Day sites and Norman history.

Planes and prices at the Easy Aircraft Guide

Twelve o' Clock High and Our Finest Hour

 

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You can make enquiries and arrange a trip by e-mail, fax or telephone to our representative – Air & Marine Travel Limited of Brewster, New York or to our UK Operations Desk.

PLEASE MAKE BOOKINGS AND ENQUIRIES HERE

EASY THREE DAY SCHEDULES WITH TWO OVERNIGHTS

EASY SKY GUIDE