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LIST: MILITARY HISTORY & BATTLEFIELD TOUR OPERATORS

These are UK-based specialist tour operators, travel agencies, and companies offering self-drive or expert guided battlefield tours to military sites and battlefields worldwide, but mostly World War I & II, and Napoleonic war sites in Europe.

Research Tips (below) also lists specialists in battlefield experiences that don't quite fit the parameters for this list. In particular there are a number of battlefield guides who are based on the continent near the sites they visit.
Anglia Battlefield Tours 01376 574130 Schools & groups battlefield tours to Europe. A range of different tours covering different conflicts, including poetry tours to WWI sites such as the Somme & Ypres studying the works of Siegfried Sasson and Wifred Owen.
Back-Roads 020 8987 0990 The Back-Roads Touring Co has a programme of escorted small group battlefield tours (WWI & WWII) in France, Belgium and Holland.
Bartletts Battlefield Journeys 01507 523128 Bartletts specialise in WW1 battlefield sites in France and Belgium, but they also covered the 60th anniversary of the WW2 Normandy Landings in 2004.
Battlefield Tours 0121 430 5348 Operating name for the War Research Society which specialises in taking pilgrims, veterans, widows and children to visit the battlefields, memorials and last resting places of the fallen, combined with guided historical tours of the areas of the First and Second World Wars in Northern France, Belgium, and Italy.
Cassino Battlefields 01347 811104 Specialise in battlefield study tours to the WW2 sites at Cassino, Anzio and Salerno in Italy.
Cooper's Waterloo Tours 01277 890214 Tours led by expert, Graham Cooper, to Napoleonic battlefield sites across Europe (his speciality), and also WW1 and WW2 (Normandy) battlefield sites.
Cultural Experience, The 0845 475 1815 starA programme of upmarket scheduled guided tours to a wide selection of battlefields and battlefield re-enactments from the Napoleonic campaigns and the US civil war to the Anglo-Zulu battlefields and Stalingrad.
Dr Thomson's Tours 01227 455922 Small-scale (one-man) tour operator. Dr Thompson is a historian & guide based in Canterbury, he takes private tours to battlefield and historic sites on both sides of the Channel Tunnel, ie. Kent & Sussex (castles, gardens, history), Northern France & Belgium (WWII & WWII) battlefield sites. In 2004 he has two 'space & rocketry' coach tours going to Peenemunde, Berlin, the European Space Technology Centre (ESTEC) at Noordwijk, and the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) at Darmstadt.
Galina International Battlefield Tours 01244 340777 Battlefield tours in Europe focused on WWI & WWII but also Agincourt & Waterloo.
Holts Battlefield Tours 0800 731 1914 Well-established (25 years) operator, and probably the best known, specialising in history & battlefield tours with expert guides. A huge range of expert-guided battlefield tours worldwide. Holts was a small independent specialist until Sept 03 when it was aquired by Titan Tours. Holts has now been merged with former competitor, Midas Tours.
In The Footsteps 01989 565599 Family run operator offering private battlefield tour services to WW1 & WW11 sites in France, Belgium, Germany, Holland, UK & South Africa with a team of expert guides, and for tailor made 'geneology tours', research for following in the footsteps of ancestors is free of charge on booking.
Leger 0800 018 9898 Small programme of 1st & 2nd WW battlefield tours in Europe.
Matt Limb Battlefield Tours 0870 74 814 74 Matt Limb OBE is himself a Commanding Officer of a specialist Territorial Army regiment. He takes battlefield tours to 1st & 2nd WW sites on the Continent.
Old Country Tours 01747 828719 Anglo-American specialist tour operator offering history and battlefield tours in Europe and the USA.
Perception Travel 01844 290635 Tour planners/organisers for visiting the WW2 Normandy landing sites. They also operate air tours of the area by private light aircraft.
Remembrance Travel 01622 716729 Remembrance is the Royal British Legion's specialist agency operating two kinds of tours: pilgrimages to cemeteries, memorials and war graves in Europe, Africa and the Far East, and battlefield tours to Europe and South Africa (Boer War sites). They have also been calling themselves 'Poppy Travel' in 2007, though the Remembrance name stays on their website.
Remembrance Travel for Schools 020 3207 2100 In addition to Remembrance Travel (above) The Royal British Legion also operates, in-house, guided tours for schools to battlefields and war cemeteries in many parts of the world, currently their programme features Ypres, The Somme, Normandy, Arnhem, Monte Cassino and Berlin.
Reveille Battlefield Tours 01304 240820 Owner-led, in-depth small group visits by minibus to major sites of WW1 and WW2
Richardson & Gray 01584 878914 Specialise in group tours to WWI & WWII battlefield sites, also for visiting American, Australian and Canadian groups.
Rifleman Tours 01908 617264 Small group guided WW1 battlefield tours with executive coach travel and 3-star hotel accommodation. Itineraries are flexible to incorporate special visits or interests, but they also offer tailormade tours.
Shearings Holidays 0844 824 6351 The UK's best known coach holiday company offers a range of battlefield tours in Europe accompanied by specialist guides, and including coach travel, hotel accommodation, meals and guided tours.
Skylark Battlefield Tours 01354 696779 WWI & WWII battlefield tours for colleges, schools and small private groups. They also offer 'Living History' presentations to school classes in the UK.
Somme Battlefield Tours 01202 880211 Expert-led and self-drive tours of the Somme & Ypres WWI battlefields.
Tours International 01892 515825 TI have a military tours programme that includes battlefield tours in the UK visiting USAAF sites in the UK, Battle of the Bulge sites in Belgium, and Normandy (70th anniversary in 2014).

Notes

  • Battlefields by 4x4 is an interesting option. Small group guided battlefield tours for owners of 4x4 vehicles. You get yourself there and do the driving. They guide you to WWI & II sites in northern France (it's mostly WWI. They are based in Arras) on and off the beaten track.
  • African Battlefields specialise in battlefield tours in South Africa, especially the classical Victorian Military expeditions of the Anglo Boer and Zulu war Battlefields of 19th century British colonial Africa.
  • Battle of Waterloo Tours Ex-pat, Alan Lindsey has lived close to the Battlefield of Waterloo for more than 20 years and provides an expert guide service to the battlefield itself and the surroundings sites linked to the battle such as Quatre Bras & Ligny.
  • Battlefields Experience, The (not based in the UK) operates WW1 & WW2 battlefield tours in Northern France & Belgium.
  • Civil War Traveler is a useful website detailing historical self-drive tour and trail information to civil war sites in the USA.
  • French-Tours offer chauffeur-guided tours of WWI & WWII battlefields sites in France.
  • The Three Whales travel agency in Russia offers tours of major Russian World War 2 battlefield sites such as Kursk and Stalingrad.
  • Travel Talk is a well-established operator based in Turkey, specialising in guided adventure tours to the Mediterranean region for Brits, Aussies and New Zealanders in the 20 to 35 age group. They offer an ANZAC Day "pilgrimage of culture, history & remembrance" to the beaches, trenches and memorials of Gallipoli.
  • Martin Randall Travel have a Poets and the Somme tour led by Andrew Spooner, which runs on specific dates.
  • Trench Map Tours Battlefield guide, Iain McHenry, takes individuals and small groups to WWI sites.
  • Battle Fields is a Belgian company operating aerial battle site tours by helicopter.
  • Action Stations offer Battle of Britain experiences using a Spitfire and a helicopter based at Manston. You can check over the spitfire on the ground, then go on a helicopter tour of the aerial battleground over the Kent coast with the spitfire flying in tandem.
  • Country of Tourism are the guys who do all the extreme and special interest tours in Russia (eg. cosmonaut training, MIG flights) they have many military options including visits to battleground/military museums such as the tank museum in Kubinka, Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Museum of the Battle of Borodino T-34 Tank museum, etc.

 

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