Moto pilgrimage

What is it about journeys on motorbikes? We never tire of them.

Pre-tour we all pack too much. We thin it out and pack again, and again, and again until we realise that there's no need to cart about the whole wardrobe and kitchen sink. 

Your Cicerone will savour day 1 and will probably misquote Michael Caine from the 1969 Italian Job, that you should remember that 'in this country they drive on the wrong side of the road". 

We may adopt the drop-off system. We will all struggle with the helmet intercom system. And when that's all sorted, we'll begin to enjoy the route.

Some guests have visited the Western Front before and may look for a high level of detail from your Cicerone. Other guests may be content to be museum  'grazers' and who don't need to read every information tablet. Your Cicerone will seek to accommodate all tastes.

Equally, the route can be changed to accommodate the tastes and skills of the group. The green lanes of Picardy are fun but we all know that wet chalk will see the unwary low-siding and snapping something plastic, or worse. 








A 4-day/3-night pilgrimage (550 miles) usually begins early on a Thursday so that we return to the UK by the afternoon on Sunday. That way, a Monday - Friday worker will need only two days away from work and will be back in good time on Sunday to for a Monday back to 'normal'.

A 5-day/4-night pilgrimage (800 miles) usually begins early on a Tuesday and, again, so that we return to the UK by the afternoon on Sunday. 

If needed, we can provide a support van for luggage. Inevitably there is an additional cost to us for both the van and the driver. 

We don't ride bikes to get somewhere, right? We ride bikes because the journey is the adventure. There's no finer way to enjoy the journey than to follow in the footsteps of your relative who may have served in WW1. Let us help with research.

4Day/3Night example.

Day 1

- Calais-Etaples-Arras-Somme

- Somme focus -  1/7/1916

- Stay in Albert

Day 2

- Somme focus - Aug/Sept and Nov 1916

- Travel to Artois to focus on Vimy, then north to Loos.

- North to Flanders and stay in Dear old Pop or Ypres.

Day 3

- Ypres Salient clockwise tour

- Evening Menin Gate

Day 4

- Talbot House 

- Nieuwpoort

- Calais and home


Tours in 2023





Your Cicerone

My first tour the battlefields of WW1 and WW2 I was a child. John (my father) would hop on his motorbike and I'd hop on the back. Derrie Boots and a Bell open-face know the score.

Since we lived about an hour from Dover, a Friday crossing on the old Sealink ferry would have us scooting about Calais for a B&B for a few francs.

And so before I was 18, I'd toured most of the main WW1 and WW2 sites from the west coast of France to Arnhem.

In fact my GCE (yes, remember those?) for Geography included seven KODAK photographs taped together to make a panoramic shot of the Mulberry Harbour.

Thankfully, my passion for history was not erased by a business career and for the last twenty years I've responded to an increasing number of requests to research individuals and follow-up with a pilgrimage.

"Andy you know so much"...I've heard people say. Alas, this is wrong. I just know where to look for research, I know how to put that research together, I know how to present the case and I know my way around some of the Western Front. 

But I remain a humble student of history. If I were to say that I know 1% of 1% of 1% of 1% of 1% of 1% that happened in the Western Front in the Great War, I'd be exaggerating. 

In 1986 I joined a law firm in London and, in the pre-internet age, I was taught 'old-skool' to research facts in libraries and how to present those facts. 

These hard-won skills are used to present facts on pilgrimages. I make no secret that my favourite trips are when we lay breadcrumbs as we follow in the footsteps of the relative of one of our guests.


I joke that it's like 'Surprise Surprise' meets 'Who do you think you are?'.

With a motorcycle background going back to a brief and unsuccessful stint in Kent Schoolboy Scramble Club, I then moved to riding bikes on the road since I turned 16. 

Now middle-aged, 6'4" and with a waistline which is expanding at an alarming rate, I meet enough of the stereotypes to ride a R1250GSA. Yes, I'd like to ride something a bit more cool but I think to ride something cool, you first have to be cool.

So I think I'll have to stick with the GS.....enough said ('LOL').

But the GS does the job in its own agricultural way and plus it does it without making my back (or my backside) ache. 

Amongst my life memberships I have the privilege to say that I am associated with the Talbot House, the Last Post Association and the Somme Association.  The Western Front Association is a very good membership if you are considering it and as a Trustee of the Hampshire Archives Trust, I ask you to visit that site from the links panel above and support us.

My badge number is 991 of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides. This is yet to be made up to full 'badged status' but this is (as of 2023) work in progress.


In late 2023, I took part in a battlefield guiding course created by Dudley Giles and Steve Smith because every day is a school day.

There are some very interesting historians engaged with the WW1 topic. I do not hold myself to be an expert but my education touring the battlefields by motorbike began as a child (that was a long time ago) and my professional life has given me certain fact-based skills to place me in a position which, if the testimonials are to be believed, has been well received.

As I have yet to retire from working in the legal world, I do not make a charge for my tours. This will change one day but, for now at least, I ask my guests to make a donation to Talbot House, the Last Post Association and the Somme Association if, at the end of the pilgrimage, they feel so inclined. 

In this way, I can in my own small way help support the work of those charities so that, at the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.


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