Britain's bestselling and most widely respected military historian, Sir Antony Beevor's previous books include Stalingrad (winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for History and Hawthornden Prize for Literature), Berlin - The Downfall and D-Day - The Battle for Normandy.
Commemorate VE Day in 2022 with historian Sir Antony Beevor
Next year marks the 76th anniversary of VE Day, when the defeated Nazis finally surrendered, bringing to an end one of the bloodiest conflicts the world has ever known. There are countless tales of heroism and sacrifice from the period, some of which you will hear during this exclusive tour to Northern Europe.
To make your trip even more special, you will be joined by historian Sir Antony Beevor and The Telegraph columnist Simon Heffer. Sir Antony, author of Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges, 1944, will deliver a private talk and field your questions during an evening in the Dutch town, whose road bridge was the site of fierce fighting during the Battle of Arnhem.
Simon will join you for a special dinner in Dunkirk on board the paddle steamer Princess Elizabeth, which played a crucial role in the evacuations. He will also give a private talk and Q&A. Military historian Professor Peter Caddick-Adams will accompany you on the May 4 departure.
The May 5 departure itinerary operates in reverse with a different tour manager and military guide Michael How, who will be with you throughout your trip to provide insight into the places you're visiting and give two evening lectures.
In addition to visiting Arnhem, you will tour the Dunkirk beaches and the Dunkirk War Museum in France, as well as Hartenstein Airborne Museum and Ginkel Heath in the Netherlands. Other highlights include a visit to Pegasus Bridge - one of the first targets in the small hours of Operation Overlord - and trips to Sword and Omaha beaches, including a tour of the German defences. You will see the 11th-century Château de Creully that served as Field Marshal Montgomery's tactical headquarters during the summer of 1944.
On visits to the US military cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Bayeux and the Arnhem Oosterbeek British Cemetery, you will have the opportunity to pay your respects to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
"I hope you can join me in Arnhem to hear about researching this dramatic episode in Second World War history."
- Sir Antony Beevor
How you'll travel
You'll travel by Eurostar before continuing by local train to Caen. You'll spend two comfortable nights at the charming Ferme de la Ranconniere in historic Crépon. Following that you'll enjoy one night in Dunkirk at the four-star Hotel Borel situated in the town's harbour. Your final two nights will be spent at Van der Valk Hotel in Arnhem.
Please note: The May 5th departure operates a reverse itinerary and guests will spend two nights in Arnhem, one night in Dunkirk and two nights in Caen.
Reasons to book
Private tours of Second World War sites
Lecture by Sir Antony Beevor
Dine on Dunkirk "little boat" with Simon Heffer
Visit to the Dutch town of Arnhem
Your trip is 100% protected
Your expert guides
In a 35-year career in Fleet Street in senior editorial positions, Simon Heffer is now a Telegraph columnist. He read English at Cambridge and took a PhD in Modern History at that university, and has written history books on a wide range of subjects, including the Victorian era and the First World War.
- Exclusive talk and Q&A session with Sir Antony Beevor
- 4th May departure: talk will be on 7th May (Day 4)
- 5th May departure: talk will be on 6th May (Day 2)
- Dinner on Princess Elizabeth in Dunkirk with welcome drink, wine and exclusive talk and Q&A session with Simon Heffer
- Talk by military historian Peter Caddick-Adams (4th May departure)
- Services of military guide Michael How (5th May departure)
- Return Eurostar and TGV/local train from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Caen via Paris, returning from Breda via Brussels
- Two nights' dinner, bed and breakfast at the Ferme de la Ranconniere, Crépon
- One night's bed and breakfast at Hotel Borel, Dunkirk
- Two nights' dinner, bed and breakfast at Van der Valk Hotel, Arnhem
- Transfers, full touring itinerary, entrance fees
- Paperback copy of The Second World War by Sir Antony Beevor (one per booking)
- Signed paperback copy of Sand and Steel: A New History of D-Day by Peter Caddick-Adams (May 4 departure only, one per booking)
Day1Arrive in CréponCrépon, France
Travelling by Eurostar and TGV from London or Ebbsfleet, you'll arrive in Caen via Paris. From there you'll be transferred by coach to Ferme de la Ranconniere, Crépon. The village was the site of the exploits of Sergeant-Major Stanley Hollis, who won the only Victoria Cross on D-Day.
Tonight enjoy a welcome drink, dinner and an evening talk from military historian Peter Caddick-Adams (4th May departure only).
Day2D-Day sitesBayeux, France
This morning, you will head to Ranville and the scene of the British airborne attacks, Pegasus Bridge, and its museum. There you will learn of the glider mission to capture the bridge intact in the early hours of June 6, 1944, commanded by Major John Howard. You will move on to the 'Hillman' German position before seeing the Sword beach landing site.
After lunch, you will journey to Bayeux to pay your respects at Bayeux War Cemetery, the largest British Cemetery on French territory. The German gun battery at Longues-sur-Mer is your next stop before you visit Omaha beach, where the US force was focused. You will follow that with the US military cemetary at Colleville-sur-mer before you return via General Montgomery's headquarters at Creully.
You will spend the morning in Arromanches-les-Baines, where you will learn about the enormous Mulberry artificial harbour and pay a visit to the Musée du Débarquement.
You will transfer to Dunkirk for dinner on board the paddle steamer Princess Elizabeth, which helped evacuate 1,673 Allied soldiers in Operation Dynamo. Enjoy a welcome drink, followed by a talk and Q&A with Simon Heffer.
Today, you will tour the poignant beach at Dunkirk where hundreds of civilian boats joined the 1940 evacuation of 198,000 British and 140,000 French and Belgian troops. You will later transfer to Arnhem, with an opportunity to visit the Menin Gate First World War memorial in Ypres on the way. Return to the hotel for dinner and an evening talk from historian Sir Antony Beevor.
Day5VE DayArnhem, Netherlands
You start the day with a visit to Ginkel Heath, site of the main landings by the British 1st Airborne Division on September 17, 1944. Then it's on to Hartenstein Airborne Museum. You will also focus on the evacuation of the British 1st Airborne Division across the Rhine.
You will stop at the Lonsdale Church where many of those evacuated took shelter. Nearby is the house of Kate ter Horst. Used as a Regimental Aid Post to treat the wounded, it featured in the film A Bridge Too Far.
Your tour will conclude at the Arnhem Oosterbeek British Cemetery. Return to the hotel for dinner.
Day6Return homeBreda, Netherlands
Today, you'll return to London by local train and Eurostar from Breda via Brussels.
La Fèrme de la Rançonnière
The Ferme de la Rançonnière is a charming and unique hotel set in the Calvados region of Normandy. Originally a fortified stronghold, the first buildings were constructed in the 13th-century, making the hotel an historic monument, with rustic décor to match.
Comfortable hotel by Dunkirk's harbour with modern rooms, a bar, lounge and fitness room
Situated in the city centre by Dunkirk's harbour, this 1950s
hotel is a short walk from the Musée Portuaire and the Jardin de
The modern, comfortable rooms have TVs and free WiFi, as well as minibars, and tea and coffee-making facilities. Upgraded rooms add seating areas, while some have views out to the harbour.
There is also a communal dining room for breakfast, as well as room service, and a relaxed lounge/bar area and fitness room.
Van der Valk Hotel
Family hotel in the heart of Arnhem
The Van der Valk Hotel in Arnhem is a family business, with the fourth generation responsible for daily management of the hotel. There are 100 rooms, including Comfort rooms, Comfort Deluxe rooms, Family rooms, Lofts and Suites - and three rooms suitable for disabled guests.
The lovely, smart restaurant serves sandwiches, soups, meat dishes and desserts - with vegetarian options available. Plus there is a bar-brasserie.
Rooms feature a desk and sitting area, tea and coffee-making facilities, separate bathtub and shower and a balcony or terrace, even in the entry-level rooms.
Guests can enjoy free parking and WiFi at Van der Valk.
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